WESTERN NEW YORK (AP) — On Friday, trainer Jason Servis, whose horse Maximum Security won the 2019 3-year-old division, pled guilty to federal charges stemming from an extensive plan to drug horses.
When he is sentenced in May of 2019 in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, the 65-year-old New Jersey-based trainer faces four years in prison. 23 of the original 31 defendants have pleaded guilty; he was the last person prosecuted in the conspiracy.
Servis Admitted Guilt for His Part in Peddling Fake Equine Medication
U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Damian Williams issued a statement in which he said, “Servis’ actions represents corruption at the highest levels of the racehorse industry.” “As a certified racehorse trainer, Servis was obligated to safeguard the equines in his care and abide by racing rules intended to promote the safety and well-being of horses and the integrity of the sport.”
Rita Glavin, Servis’ attorney, did not immediately reply to an email seeking comment. After an extensive investigation into doping in the horse racing industry, charges were brought against Servis in 2020.
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His trainer’s license was revoked by the racing commission.
When the dust settled on the 2019 Kentucky Derby, Maximum Security had finished first, but he was disqualified for interfering. The colt won the $10 million Saudi Cup just before Servis’ imprisonment in March of 2020. Due to Servis’ arrest and indictment, Saudi officials eventually refused to hand over the prize money to the winner.
Trainer Graham Motion, who won the Kentucky Derby, tweeted, “I don’t take any solace in other peoples misery, actually quite the opposite I feel some empathy for them.” “But the reality is that those of us who were beaten by Jason Service’s (sic) horses have little to show for it other than losing money, owners, and horses due to his success.”
Jorge Navarro, a personal trainer from New Jersey, pled guilty a year ago and was sentenced to five years in jail. Eleven of the accused were animal trainers, and seven were veterinarians.
John Servis, Servis’s brother, trained Smarty Jones to victory in the 2004 Kentucky Derby and the 2004 Preakness, but the colt fell short in his bid for the Triple Crown at the 2004 Belmont.