In the wake of a scandal, owners, it’s your move

Maximum Security and Luis Saez winning the Haskell at Monmouth. Ryan Denver/EQUI-PHOTO

It’s not like anyone was really surprised.

The whispers started a few years ago, when all of sudden trainer Jason Servis couldn’t lose. According to Equibase, his win percentage in 2015 was 21%; in 2016, it jumped to 27%. Then it was 29%, then 32%. Anyone who was paying even a little attention had to notice, and whispers became murmurs, then comments, then calls for action.

From 2016 through 2019, Servis’ win percentage averaged 29%. Bill Mott’s was 15%. Christophe Clement, 19%. Mark Casse, 18%. Even Chad Brown, whose horses win at an astonishing rate, falls short of Servis’ rate, hitting at only—only!—26%.

Jorge Navarro’s win percentage over the same time frame: 31%. You remember Navarro. He’s the guy who was videotaped at Monmouth Park in 2017, watching a simulcast race with one of his owners, exulting when a horse trained by his brother won.

“The juice man!” exclaimed the owner, Randal Gindi.

“We f–k everyone,” Navarro said a bit later.

Widely seen as an implicit admission of cheating, the video resulted in a $5,000 fine for both Gindi and Navarro, who nevertheless kept training horses and kept winning races.

He’s won the last seven training titles at Monmouth; in each of the last three years (Equibase doesn’t publish statistics before 2017), Servis has been his runner-up.

Contine reading at The Racing Biz

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