08/28/2017 2:17PM

Trainer Morley, owner Proscia suspended for improper transfer of horse

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Barbara D. Livingston
Life in Shambles has a record of 7-5-9 from 29 career starts.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Trainer Tom Morley and owner Peter Proscia each will serve a 20-day suspension at the beginning of the Belmont Park fall meet, and both of them, along with trainer Steve Asmussen and his assistant Toby Sheets, were fined $5,000 by the New York State Gaming Commission for their roles in the improper transfer of the horse Life in Shambles last month.

The suspensions were originally for 30 days, but for waiving their right to appeal, 10 days were stayed pending no further violations for one year. The suspensions start Sept. 8, opening day of the Belmont meet.

On June 18, Morley claimed Life in Shambles as owner and trainer for $80,000 from Asmussen and Proscia, who races under the name Paradise Farms Corp. On July 7, it was discovered that the horse had been transferred back to Asmussen and Proscia within 30 days, which is against state rules.

State rules prohibit the sale or transfer of a claimed horse for 30 days, except in a claiming race. Further, Rule 4038.4 states, “a claimed horse shall not, unless reclaimed, remain in the same stable or under the control or management of its former owner trainer” for 30 days.

Steve Lewandowski, the gaming commission steward, said Asmussen was not suspended because Proscia was the one who was actively pursuing the horse and took responsibility for doing so. Sheets is Asmussen’s Belmont Park-based assistant and, according to the state ruling, was acting as the authorized agent for Proscia for the reacquisition of Life in Shambles.

Proscia claimed Life in Shambles for $40,000 on Jan. 16, 2016, and ran him 16 times, winning four races. Life in Shambles is a 6-year-old gelding by Broken Vow who has a record of 7-5-9 from 29 career starts.