Jason Servis

Trials in Alleged Doping Conspiracy Get Pushed to 2022

Back in May, United States District Court Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil was emphatic about wanting to begin trials in the fourth quarter of 2021 for the first of four groupings of 14 defendants in the alleged federal doping conspiracy case. In late August, she even set a Nov. 15 start date for the trial of Seth Fishman, Lisa Giannelli and Jordan Fishman. But during a Sept. 15 status conference, that schedule got reset to January 2022, meaning that for a number of defendants in the latter groupings, their trials could...

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Week in Review: Debate Over 'PED' Devolves Into Theater of the Absurd

When former pharmacist Scott Mangini was sentenced to 18 months in prison last Friday for his admitted role in the federal doping case, it provided another piece to the puzzle in terms of how other offenders might later get sentenced for their roles in the same alleged conspiracy. Specifically, almost everyone in the Thoroughbred industry wants to know what will happen to the highest-profile defendants at the very end of the supply chain: The barred trainer Jorge Navarro, who has already pled guilty to one felony count in the conspiracy...

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Mangini Gets 18 Months in Prison

Even up until the final tense moments before a federal judge handed down Scott Mangini's sentence Friday for his role as a licensed pharmacist who created custom drugs for racehorses in an alleged international doping conspiracy, the defense and prosecution sparred over two main issues: 1) How many of those drugs were actually "performance-enhancing," and 2) What should Mangini's sentencing be relative to that of Scott Robinson, who got 18 months in prison for marketing and selling those same pharmaceuticals? Saying that he wanted to "send a message" that would...

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Hot Trainer Steve Asmussen Joins TDN Writer's Room

On his drive from Saratoga to Kentucky Downs Tuesday, Steve Asmussen stopped in every state he drove through and bought lottery tickets. Shocking that he didn't win. Coming off one of the greatest week-and-a-half stretches in racing history, during which he won five Grade I races in Saratoga over nine days, Asmussen was this week's Green Group Guest of the Week on the TDN Writer's Room, presented by Keeneland. If that wasn't enough, two of his wins, Gunite in the GI Hopeful S. and Echo Zulu in the GI Spinaway...

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Wiretaps Reveal Alleged Dopers' Bravado, Ignorance and Fears

Newly disclosed transcripts of intercepted phone conversations involving alleged doping co-conspirators Jason Servis and Jorge Navarro reveal both an initial brazenness against getting caught and an utter ignorance about some of the substances the two now-barred trainers were purportedly injecting into their racehorses. According to a previously unreleased collection wiretapped calls made public last week by federal prosecutors, Servis and Navarro didn't always know the names of some the illegal pharmaceuticals they purportedly administered to their horses. Nor were they always clear on exactly what those substances were or what...

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Government Says Servis Wiretaps Legit

United States Attorneys have filed an opposing motion to deny barred trainer Jason Servis and his fellow defendants' motions to suppress the wiretaps placed on their cell phones, along with the seized physical and electronic evidence from a search of veterinarian Seth Fishman's belongings. The opposing motion was filed Sept. 2nd in the Southern District of New York by U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss, who writes, "the defendants' motions are entirely without merit and should be denied in full." On Aug. 3, lawyers representing Servis filed a motion to have evidence...

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Think You're a Navarro Victim? Get In Line

Now that the barred Thoroughbred trainer Jorge Navarro has admitted in open court that he doped racehorses and procured performance-enhancing drugs [PEDs] for others between 2016 and 2020, the industry has a $25,860,514 question to kick around between now and when "The Juice Man" gets sentenced Dec. 17. Beyond Navarro's potential five-year prison term and possible deportation back to his native Panama, the 46-year-old conditioner also must pay restitution to victims in that astronomical amount as per the stipulations of his plea bargain. Although it is unclear exactly how federal...

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Trainers React to Navarro Guilty Plea

On Wednesday, disgraced trainer Jorge Navarro pled guilty to one count of distribution of adulterated and misbranded drugs with the intent to defraud and mislead, a major development in the doping scandal that has rocked the sport since indictments were announced in March of 2020. Navarro will likely spend time in prison and has been ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $25,860,514. His career is over and he may be deported to his native Panama. But was this good day or bad day for the sport?  And what...

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Navarro Changes Plea to Guilty in Federal Court

The barred trainer Jorge Navarro cut a deal with federal prosecutors Wednesday in which he pled guilty to one count in a years-long Thoroughbred doping conspiracy in exchange for having a similar second count against him dismissed. Navarro now faces a maximum prison term of five years when he gets sentenced Dec. 17. In addition, Navarro on Aug. 11 agreed to pay $25,860,514 in restitution to a list of victims whose identities won't be divulged until the government's final prosecutorial paperwork is due one week before the sentencing. Navarro admitted...

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NYRA, FOX Sports TV Analyst Acacia Courtney Joins Writers' Room

One of the stars of the successful New York Racing Association and Fox Sports daily broadcast from Saratoga, Acacia Courtney joined the TDN Writers' Room podcast presented by Keeneland Wednesday morning. Calling in via Zoom as the Green Group Guest of the Week, Courtney gave her impressions on the early part of the Saratoga meet and talked strategy when it comes to analyzing the 2-year-old races that are so integral to the programs at the Spa. Asked about the different feeling in the air at tracks this year with fans...

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Servis Seeks to Have Wiretaps Thrown Out

Lawyers representing Jason Servis filed a motion Monday to have evidence against him that was obtained through wiretaps thrown out. Attorneys Rita Glavin and Michael Considine charge that the government obtained authorization from a court to tap into Servis's phone based on a sworn affidavit from an FBI agent that, they contend, "contained deliberately or recklessly false statements and the material omission of statutorily and constitutionally required information." The Servis legal team argues that the wire taps evidence should be thrown out because using it represents a violation of Servis's...

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Rhein Implicates Servis When Switching Doping Plea to 'Guilty'

Kristian Rhein, a suspended veterinarian formerly based at Belmont Park, on Tuesday changed his plea to guilty on one felony count within the federal government's sprawling prosecution of an allegedly years-long conspiracy to dope racehorses. Speaking in open court, Rhein also directly implicated five others, most notably co-defendant Jason Servis, the now-barred trainer who was his regular client and allegedly administered performance-enhancing drugs [PEDs] on practically every Thoroughbred under his control. "I, along with Jason Servis, concealed the administration of SGF-1000 and clenbuterol from the owners by billing for other...

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