P J Fraley banned from racing at Meadowlands

01:25 AM 15 Mar 2014 NZDT
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P J Fraley, harness racing
P J Fraley (left) interview by Meadowland's Ken Warkentin
P.J. Fraley, a top trainer whose barn includes three-time Dan Patch Award winner Anndrovette, has been informed that he will no longer be allowed to participate at the three tracks owned by Jeff Gural, the Meadowlands, Vernon Downs and Tioga Downs.  This was reported in Harness Racing Update by Bill Finley late Thursday.

The Gural tracks have also banned trainer Alvin Callahan. As has been the case each time the Meadowlands has
barred a trainer, Gural declined to comment on the decisions. Fraley also declined to comment other than to say he will likely have something say in the near future.Fraley is the primary trainer for owner Jeff Bamond and took over many of the stable's horses when prior trainer Mark Kesmodel received a 105-day suspension from the New York State Racing and Wagering Board when Anndrovette tested positive in 2011 for the drug Oxymetazoline, a decongestant found in products like Afrin. Bamond, who co-owns Anndrovette with Joseph Davino, said he was standing by Fraley.
 
"I won't have much of a comment for now because everything still isn't worked out," Bamond said. "I will say that I am going to stand by P.J. Whatever they are saying happened is false and we will, maybe, pursue this a different way."
 
Fraley picked right up where Kesmodel left off when he took over in 2011, winning with 403 of his 2,119 races with
earnings of more than $8.4 million. Fraley has not had a particularly good year at the Meadowlands, where he is 8 for
77 since the meet began in late November. Several of the trainers who have been banned at the Meadowlands do not have stakes horses in their barns andhave gotten by racing at other tracks once out at the Meadowlands. Fraley is among the first trainers to be banned there that has the type of horses that compete in the top stakes races at the Meadowlands. The list includes Anndrovette.

It is unclear if the Gural ban will extend to stakes races where the owners have already paid the staking fee. For instance, will Anndrovette be allowed to compete in the Breeders Crown at the Meadowlands if Fraley remains her
trainer?

When asked if horses that were paid into stakes races that were trained by individuals that have been banned Gural replied: "That is a difficult question and right now I am not sure what the answer is."

Bamond said his horses should be allowed to race in any race where they have already paid fees to be eligible.

"They accepted my money and cashed my check so I am hoping that they honor that." he said. "It's a private track, so I understand we are up against something."

In addition to Anndrovette, Bamond has Shelliscape, Krispy Apple and Santanna One staked to Meadowlands races.
 
Anndrovette has been nominated to the Matchmaker Series at Yonkers and is expected to race there next. The series begins March 21.

Callahan was 2 for 38 at the meet before his entrants were scratched by the judges March 1. The trainer has won both
his races at the meet with Abelard Hanover. Callahan is a regular at the Maryland tracks.

 

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