10/15/2013 1:10PM

Tampa Bay Downs: Navarro barred for 2013-14 meet


Jorge Navarro, a leading trainer in Florida and New Jersey who is currently serving a 60-day suspension, will be denied stalls at Tampa Bay Downs through next summer, and the track will not accept any of his entries during that time, the top official of the track said Tuesday.

Peter Berube, president of the track, said that the track decided to put the ban in place after Navarro accepted a 60-day suspension from the Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering last week. The suspension was based on six post-race positives for the regulated medication flunixin that were detected following races at Tampa Bay’s 2011-12 meeting, nearly 18 months ago.

Tampa Bay is scheduled to open its 2013-14 meet Dec. 4, running through May 4. However, Navarro will be denied stalls and entries through June 30, Berube said, because Tampa is expected to run one or two days during the summer of 2014.

Navarro is the second trainer that Tampa Bay has barred for the upcoming meet. In late September, Tampa barred another leading trainer, Jane Cibelli, when she accepted a 60-day suspension from the state after a veterinarian was caught administering a substance to a horse she trained on race day. The vet, Orlando Paraliticci, also has been barred.

Like Cibelli, Navarro will be allowed on the grounds during the ban, but “only in the public places,” Berube said.

Navarro won 33 races from 94 starts at Tampa’s 2012-13 meet. He had 25 stalls at the track last year, Berube said.

Linda Parker More than 1 year ago
How is allowing him on the grounds a "ban"? Come on, step up and put an end to this behavior!
jackdsplns More than 1 year ago
Good . There will be far less 3/5 shots winning there..Jamie Ness you're next !
Howard Schwartz More than 1 year ago
They should be charged with the federal crime of fixing a sports contest. Let them face jail time for injecting horses with juice. The bettors are being cheated and much more important the horses are being abused.
Cover2 More than 1 year ago
It works, look at any conditioner, where barn turned over.......takes time to come back
Ken Wiener More than 1 year ago
The best deterrent would be if some vigorous prosecutor laid criminal charges against a trainer in an appropriate case. Although not a drug case, in the early 1970s criminal charges were laid here in Toronto against a trainer and jockey for allegedly stiffing a horse in its first race. The trainer was convicted although the jockey was found not guilty (granted, not entirely consistent decisions).
Alexander Danzig More than 1 year ago
Great idea. With the highest incarceration rate in the developed world, let's think of some more crimes to jail people for and go for the world record. If we try hard enough, I think we can overtake North Korea.
NY Minute More than 1 year ago
What I still dont understand is why the horse that tests positive for the drug, isn't given days either? You should somehow penatalize these owners too as many of them just follow the "hot trainers"... Look at Navarro's main owner- High Point Thoroughbred Partners. Marshall K. Graham runs High Point Thoroughbred Partners and he also has horses with Carlos Guerrero. (Oh excuse me- Lisa Guererro) lol.. By suspending the horse who tested positive, will make owners more aware of who them employ and might make them think twice before going with some of these SuperTrainers... They do it over in Europe- give the horses days when it tests positive for a banned substance- Why can't we do it here in the US too?? Might make for a more level playing ground!!
Alexander Danzig More than 1 year ago
Owners already lose the purse money from horses that test positive, so having a horse test positive is like having it run last. Burns money. But if you want to "penatalize" owners even more for trainer blunders of which the owners probably are unaware when finding new owners already is difficult, go right ahead. Why not jail time?
Robert Smith More than 1 year ago
"Why can't we do it here in the US too??" Because everything is black and white.
Dac More than 1 year ago
Its amazing what the trainers don't tell the jockeys about what meds they gave their horses. And its even a more amazing that jockeys don't sue the trainers when they are on a horse and it breaks down and the jockey is seriously injured. There will be a day when a jockey sues the trainer and maybe even the owner for knowingly giving a pain masking med to a horse and the horse breaks down and injures the jockey. Maybe thats when all this drugging of the horse will stop.
Gordon More than 1 year ago
Not only that, the track may be sued as well, for not preserving the evidence and having a necropsy ordered.
Jay Stone More than 1 year ago
A good question to ask everyone who is condemning Jersey racing would be what did they know. The division in Florida may not have told any other jurisdiction about there investigations until they ruled. Since there ruling came out after Monmouth closed the Jersey people may have known nothing.
nicholas More than 1 year ago
Be curious to see who fills the role as "trainer" for cibelli and Navarro's horses wherever they wind up and if they become the latest magic trainer-- without those two at Tampa will ness have a batting average of .500? Betting horses at the lower ranks is just crazy as long as the "juice" is in the game
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
Now get Ness and Tampa will show they're truelly serious. Either way they're on the right track.
Steve S More than 1 year ago
Ness doesn't bother me as much. He has a HUGE operation and like most, they can afford the machinery (medical) and other benifits that Rusy and Jane and Navarro do not have. This si what makes the big outfits better. I, for one, can live with Ness's entires and don't think there is as much cheating , IF ANY going on.
Gordon More than 1 year ago
Ness, is a suspicion. You can't just throw him out, because people think he is doing something. If he gets caught, and the State of Florida hand down a punishment, I would expect tampa to ban him as well. I remember reading that Tampa has raided his barn like 4 times in the last 2 years. They never found anything.
Horse Cents More than 1 year ago
My numbers show Ness has 22 total drug violations. Through 2010 Ness had by far the highest drug violation rate by number of starts of all trainers. Although he's had many violations he may have cleaned up a bit as I can only see one drug violation in about the past two years, but that may have more to do with being a bit smarter than he was. However with a record like that he is more than a suspicion.