Horse Racing

Potts, Vazquez Among Instructors Rejected NYRA Booth

Six trainers, including Wayne Potts and Juan Vazquez, have been informed by NYRA officials that they will no longer be allowed to settle at Belmont Park and that their horses must be off the field by Wednesday. However, all six will still be allowed to race at the NYRA tracks, at least for the time being.

The story was first reported by Daily Racing Form David Grening.

The NYRA’s decision not to ban trainers outright stems from a ruling made in the Bob Baffert matter last July by the U.S. Eastern District Court for the Eastern District of New York. The court has ruled that it is not possible to ban coaches from the NYRA tracks without due process, beginning with a formal statement of charges. Counter refusal or recall may not fall under the same guidelines. It was not known on Friday whether the NYRA would eventually take the required steps to ban any or all six coaches.

The other coaches that were told they would no longer be allowed to settle at the NYRA tracks were Marvin Richardson, Luis Miranda, John McAllen and Michael Simmonds. In addition, Bonnie Lucas, an assistant to Potts, was also refused to open a stall, she applied for a job after Potts’ application to be a stall was rejected.

“NYRA reserves the sole and absolute discretion to grant, deny, revoke or reduce booth space for licensed trainers at its properties,” NYRA spokesman Pat McKenna said in a statement. An announcement. “Following the completion of booth registration for the spring 2022 meet at Aqueduct Raceway and the 2022 spring/summer meeting at Belmont Park, the NYRA declined to allocate a booth for the Wayne coaches. Potts, Juan Vazquez, Marvin Richards, John McAllen, Luis Miranda and Michael Almond. Trainers were notified of the decision earlier this week and will be asked to leave their current stalls or transfer horses in their care by March 30. Bonnie Lucas, a Potts assistant , applied for a stall after Potts turned down the stall and her application was denied. ”

The statement continued: “Regardless of point of origin, all horses transported to race at NYRA tracks are subject to the same level of health and safety supervision as horses that are rammed onto our property. NYRA. These protocols are effective in reducing risk, enhancing equine safety, and protecting the integrity of sport in New York. “

Potts and Lucas were suspended last year 30 days by the New Jersey Racing Commission, which charged that it defied a request from the state veterinarian to force a horse off the track after a race for the benefit. Both have appealed. Potts also fled the authorities during last year’s Saratoga meeting when it was alleged that he had violated the rules regarding complaints, which resulted in a 30-day suspension. The New York Game Commission alleges that the horse, Mach One (Air Force Blue), was claimed by Potts owners Frank Catapano and Nicholas Primpas by trainer Amira Chichakly and subsequently transferred to Potts. Potts requested another horse from the same race, and trainers were not allowed to claim more than one horse in any given race. Additionally, Potts was banned from the Maryland racetracks in 2020 over allegations that he was the paper coach for Marcus Vitali.

Potts won a career-best 61 races last year and is top coach at Monmouth. He said he has 47 horses in New York and plans to move them to a training center in New Jersey.

“I was shocked when they told me I wasn’t allotted stalls,” Potts said. “I have been a strong supporter of the NYRA circuit over the past two winters when they had short fields. If this is an act to clean things up, then there are others who should go before myself. I do not have a complete list of mediation violations. I’ve done some stupid things in life, but there are other people out there who have done much worse than me. ”

When asked if he fears the NYRA will eventually ban him outright, Potts said: “I don’t think that’s going to happen. I had a meeting today with the race secretary and with Frank Gabriel. They said I was still free to go in and out and that I could conduct my business as before. That is what I will continue to do. ”

Vazquez received two consecutive 15-day suspensions from the Pennsylvania Racing Commission after two of his horses tested positive for the dewormer levamisole during races at Parx last year. One, Hollywood Talent, tested positive after winning GIII Turf Monster S. at 108-1 odds. Vazquez filed an appeal. Vazquez had multiple suspensions and breached his record. In a 2017 ruling in Pennsylvania, it was noted that Vazquez tested positive for drugs eight times over a 23-month period. Vazquez, who did not return a phone call seeking comment, was fifth in the Aqueduct coach rankings.

While Potts and Vasquez are standout coaches, the others are not. Richards is a zero to six of the year and has won just five races in his career starting in 2017. He is facing a one-year suspension from the New Jersey Racing Commission after his horse Meanwhile, Awesomenewyear (New Year’s Day) tested positive for the banned drugs oxazepam and ibuprofen after the September 3 race at Monmouth. He had six horses rammed in New York.

“That would be an easy thing for the NYRA to lean on,” Richards said. “They might say you have a positivity, so we won’t give you stalls. I can’t say for sure what that is. Maybe. I’m still in Belmont, so they haven’t kicked me out yet. Where will I go? I’ll find a place where I can put my horse up. I will have to try to find stalls elsewhere. That would be a great inconvenience. I live right next door [Belmont]. I don’t even want to think about not being in Belmont. ”

Racing Form cited sources as saying McAllen was denied stall because of his alleged inability to properly care for his horses. He is 2-eat-54 in and said he has 12 horses in Belmont.

“If someone wants to come and see my horses, I have no problem showing them to you,” McAllen said. “They’re 100% perfect.”

McAllen said he’ll be looking for barn space somewhere before eventually taking his stables to Monmouth Park.

Miranda has won with just 4% of those starting her career and is 2 to 94 since 2020. Simmonds is 1 to 19 next year after going 2 to 75 last year. It was not immediately clear why those trainers were denied stalls.

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