By T. D. Thornton
The banned trainer Jorge Navarro, one of the most prominent targets among 27 individuals facing federal charges in an alleged “widespread, corrupt scheme” to dope racehorses, has been granted court permission to leave the Southern District of New York jurisdiction and move his family to Ocala, Florida.
But the endorsement signed Thursday by United States Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil that modified Navarro's bail conditions made it clear that the alleged doper “shall have no contact whatsoever with racehorses.”
Ocala, the heart of Florida's horse country, is part of the Middle District of Florida in the federal court system. The judge's endorsement also contained the clearance that “Mr. Navarro is permitted to travel to the Southern District of Florida only for the purposes of meeting with his counsel or visiting his mother or sister, but only with prior notice to and authorization from Pretrial Services.”
Navarro and the now-barred trainer Jason Servis were arrested Mar. 9 and alleged to be the lead figures atop a vast network of co-conspirators who allegedly manufactured, mislabeled, rebranded, distributed and administered performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) to racehorses all across America and in international races.
In intercepted phone calls between Servis and Navarro that are to be used as evidence, the two trainers allegedly coordinated the procurement and administration of SGF-1000, a customized PED intended to promote tissue repair and increase a racehorse's stamina and endurance beyond its natural capability.
On Aug. 16, during the annual Round Table Conference, Stuart Janney III, The Jockey Club's chairman, said that additional doping charges against other individuals are in the pipeline. “I have no doubt there are many arrests pending,” he said.
The next status conference in the federal case is scheduled for Nov. 19.