Jason Servis

Op/Ed: A Critical Step Forward for the Sport

When 27 individuals were indicted in March by federal authorities for their alleged involvement in a wide-spread doping scheme the story was about more than Jason Servis or Jorge Navarro or the cocktails of performance-enhancing drugs they were charged with using on their horses. It was about a system that was so hopelessly broken and incapable of effectively policing the sport that it took the federal government to come in and do what racing had continually failed to do--take meaningful steps to clean up the game. There had to be...

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The Week in Review: No More Doubts, Maximum Security is Back

When Maximum Security (New Year's Day) had to fight his way to a narrow victory in the GII San Diego H., it was fair to question whether or not this was the same horse that had been so outstanding throughout his career for trainer Jason Servis. Yes, he won that day, but the dominance and brilliance he had shown on so many occasions for a trainer who was subsequently indicted for allegedly doping his horses was not there. Then again, it seemed unwise to write him off after one race....

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‘Max’ Back On Big Stage in Pacific Classic

The last time Maximum Security (New Year's Day) traveled 10 furlongs, he crossed the wire first before the disqualification heard around the world in the GI Kentucky Derby. A ton has happened with the colt in the year-and-change since then: an Eclipse championship, a buy-in from Coolmore, a trip across the world to win the G1 Saudi Cup, doping allegations, a barn switch. Through it all, the horse who controversy seems to follow like a shadow will return to 1 1/4 miles and Grade I company with questions to answer...

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Judge Allows Navarro to Move to Ocala, Forbids Contact with Racehorses

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...

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West, Coolmore Respond to Decision to Withhold Saudi Cup Payment

Two days after the Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia (JCSA) announced that it was withholding payment of the winner's share of the purse for the $20-million Saudi Cup won by Maximum Security (New Year's Day), the colt's owners issued a statement which called the Saudi's actions something that was unprecedented in the annals of racing. The statement was signed by Gary West and Coolmore. Just nine days after Maximum Security won the Saudi Cup, his trainer Jason Servis was indicted on federal charges involving horse doping. The Servis indictment led...

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JCSA Withholding Saudi Cup Earnings from Maximum Security

The Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia (JCSA) announced Monday that it will continue to withhold payment from the $20-million Saudi Cup to the connections of Maximum Security (New Year's Day) as it continues to investigate the circumstances surrounding the horse and former trainer Jason Servis. While that money is being withheld, a decision has been made to go ahead and pay the owners who had horses finish second through 10th in the Feb. 29 race. Shortly after Saudi Cup, Servis was among 27 people indicted on federal charges involving the...

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Maximum Security Exits San Diego in Good Order; Pacific Classic or Woodward Next

Champion Maximum Security (New Year's Day) was "good" Sunday morning following an all-out effort for a nose victory in Saturday's GII San Diego H. at Del Mar, Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert told the Del Mar notes team. "I actually thought he was pretty good right after the race being that I only had him about 80%," Baffert said. "I didn't think he'd have to do a stop-and-go movement [during the race] but he showed what a great horse he is." Making his first start for Baffert, first in...

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Maximum Security Just Gets Up in Dramatic San Diego Return

It's never easy being the hunted. Making his first start since the federal indictment of his former trainer Jason Servis and sent out for the first time by trainer Bob Baffert, Eclipse Award winner Maximum Security (New Year's Day) looked destined for defeat in Saturday's GII San Diego H. But the 4-year-old, last seen winning the $20-million Saudi Cup nearly five months ago, overcame some aggressive race riding and perhaps some ring-rustiness to grab Midcourt (Midnight Lute) to take it by a nostril. Given a positive ride from the gates...

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Midnight Bisou in the Classic? Why Not?

The Week in Review, by Bill Finley There was no word Sunday from the camp of Midnight Bisou (Midnight Lute) regarding where their mare would run next and what the long-term goals are for the season. But we know this much: Midnight Bisou is outstanding, her connections took on males once, in the Saudi Cup, and the GI Breeders' Cup Classic is a lot bigger deal than the GI Breeders' Cup Distaff. Does that add up to her starting in the Classic? Fans of this sport can only hope that...

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Former Navarro, Servis Horses Back in Winner’s Circle

When Note to Selfie (Big Drama) showed up in the seventh race last Wednesday at Gulfstream, many handicappers surely dismissed the $8,000 claimer. In her most recent start, she finished a non-threatening sixth at the same $8,000 claiming level Feb. 16, and that was for trainer Jorge Navarro. Since that race, Navarro was indicted for allegedly using performance-enhancing drugs on virtually every horse he started. If Note to Selfie couldn't win for Navarro, how would she do for her new trainer, Elizabeth Dobles? Dobles is competent, but has never produced...

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Code of Honor Makes Seasonal Bow in Westchester

Dual Grade I winner Code of Honor (Noble Mission {GB}) makes his first start as an older horse Saturday in Belmont's GIII Westchester S. Victor of the GII Fountain of Youth S. last term, the Farish homebred captured the GIII Dwyer S. going a mile over this strip last summer and followed suit with a decisive score in the GI Runhappy Travers S. in August. Crossing the line a nose short of Vino Rosso (Curlin) in this venue's GI Jockey Club Gold Cup S. Sept. 28, the chestnut was promoted...

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Performer Seeks Grade I Glory in the Carter

After Shug McGaughey saddles the likely favorite Code of Honor (Noble Mission {GB}) in the GIII Westchester S. Saturday, he will send out on of the top choices in Belmont's GI Runhapppy Carter H. in the talented Performer (Speightstown). The Carter is typically run in April at Aqueduct, but was rescheduled and relocated due to the COVID-19 racing shutdown. It is a "Win and You're In" qualifier for the GI Breeders' Cup Sprint. Graduating at second asking going six panels at this oval last June, Performer followed suit with an...

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