06/17/2003 11:00PM

Serey loses training license

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New York regulators have revoked the training license held by Juan Serey, citing Serey's "violations of financial obligations" in claims arising from a lawsuit filed by his brother.

A hearing officer for the New York State Racing and Wagering Board, which issued the revocation at a board meeting Wednesday, had recommended earlier this year that Serey's license be suspended because of a New Jersey court ruling that ordered Serey to pay his brother Mario $479,000 in punitive and compensatory damages. Mario had sued Juan for allegedly taking money from Mario's horsemen's account.

Since the ruling, lawyers for both sides have been attempting to work out a settlement, and the racing board has deferred acting on the hearing officer recommendation four times.

"The board felt that they'd given more than enough time for the parties to submit what they wanted to submit," said Stacy Clifford, a spokeswoman for the board. "The findings of violations of financial obligations was enough to go forward" with the revocation.

Karen Murphy, Juan Serey's attorney, criticized the board's decision as having "no legal basis," but she said she has not determined what her next course of action will be.

"I will say that Juan has all intentions of returning to the racetrack," Murphy said.

Serey, the leading trainer in New York in 2000, has not trained since April 2002, when he said he was ill and needed a break. At the time he quit, Serey had yet to serve out a 90-day suspension for two medication positives in 1999.

Serey is currently working at a farm owned by Ernie Paragallo in Center Brook, N.Y.