Day At The Track

Links to harness game all over doping indictments

05:52 AM 11 Mar 2020 NZDT
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Nick Surick, harness racing
Nick Surick

The following story was writen by Bill Finley

Jorge Navarro, among the 27 individuals indicted Monday by the District Attorney for the Southern District of New York in Manhattan for doping horses, had become the go-to trainer for many harness racing horsemen who dabbled in thoroughbred racing. Including Shancelot (Shanghai Bobby), who was owned by prominent harness breeders and owners Al and Michelle Crawford, Navarro trained a number of horses for people involved in the standardbred game. According to the indictment, Navarro’s ties to several of those individuals involved far more than the typical client-trainer relationship.

Harness trainers Rick Dane Jr., Chris Oakes, Chris Marino and Nick Surick were among those indicted. Surick’s name appears several times in the indictment as a central figure in Navarro’s doping routine.

“In addition to his role in the Navarro Doping Program, at all times relevant to this Indictment, Nicholas Surick, the defendant, was a racehorse trainer who orchestrated a widespread scheme of covertly obtaining and administering adulterated and misbranded PEDs to the racehorses under his control, including ‘red acid’ among other substances,” the indictment reads. Red acid is described as a PED designed to reduce inflammation in the joints.

In a particularly disturbing portion of the indictment, the District Attorney’s office reveals an intercepted conversation between Surick and another defendant, Michael Tannuzzo, in which Surick talks about disposing of horses that died under Navarro’s care.

“You know how many f—ing horses [Navarro] killed and broke down that I made disappear,” Surick said “…You know how much trouble he could get in…if they found out…six horses we killed?”

Starting in 2011, Surick owned outright or co-owned a handful of horses that were trained by Navarro. So did Oakes.

Surick has trained 1,775 standardbred winners and had 367 victories in 2019. He has 53 wins at the current meet at Freehold Raceway, 42 more than the runner-up. He has seven wins at the Meadowlands this year.

Jorge Navarro, among the 27 individuals indicted Monday by the District Attorney for the Southern District of New York in Manhattan for doping horses, had become the go-to trainer for many harness racing horsemen who dabbled in thoroughbred racing. Including Shancelot (Shanghai Bobby), who was owned by prominent harness breeders and owners Al and Michelle Crawford, Navarro trained a number of horses for people involved in the standardbred game. According to the indictment, Navarro’s ties to several of those individuals involved far more than the typical client-trainer relationship.

Chris Oakes

Harness trainers Rick Dane Jr., Chris Oakes, Chris Marino and Nick Surick were among those indicted. Surick’s name appears several times in the indictment as a central figure in Navarro’s doping routine.

“In addition to his role in the Navarro Doping Program, at all times relevant to this Indictment, Nicholas Surick, the defendant, was a racehorse trainer who orchestrated a widespread scheme of covertly obtaining and administering adulterated and misbranded PEDs to the racehorses under his control, including ‘red acid’ among other substances,” the indictment reads. Red acid is described as a PED designed to reduce inflammation in the joints.

In a particularly disturbing portion of the indictment, the District Attorney’s office reveals an intercepted conversation between Surick and another defendant, Michael Tannuzzo, in which Surick talks about disposing of horses that died under Navarro’s care.

“You know how many f—ing horses [Navarro] killed and broke down that I made disappear,” Surick said “…You know how much trouble he could get in…if they found out…six horses we killed?”

Starting in 2011, Surick owned outright or co-owned a handful of horses that were trained by Navarro. So did Oakes.

Surick has trained 1,775 standardbred winners and had 367 victories in 2019. He has 53 wins at the current meet at Freehold Raceway, 42 more than the runner-up. He has seven wins at the Meadowlands this year.

To read the rest of the story, click here.

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