Jason Servis

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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Shug McGaughey Talks Code of Honor, Belmont Reopening, FBI Indictments on TDN Writers’ Room

There was no better place to be in American horse racing than Belmont Park Wednesday morning as the track prepared to reopen New York racing later in the day after months of being shuttered by the coronavirus pandemic. That's where Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey called in from as the Green Group Guest of the Week on this week's TDN Writers' Room podcast presented by Keeneland. In a wide-ranging discussion, McGaughey talked about the return of stable star Code of Honor (Noble Mission {GB}), racing finally resuming at his...

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Former Navarro, Servis Horses Entered at Gulfstream

The next chapter in the saga of Jorge Navarro and Jason Servis will begin Thursday at Gulfstream Park when the first of more than 100 horses that had been under the care of the two trainers before they were indicted will start for their new barns. Now trained by Mike Maker, Admiral Lynch (Super Saver) has been entered in Thursday's ninth race. The 4-year-old had been trained by Servis. On Thursday, Todd Pletcher will send out two horses that had previously been trained by Navarro. Three days after Navarro and...

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Owner Donoghue: ‘Disgust’ With Cheating Pushing Me to Race Overseas

Last week on the TDN Writers' Room podcast presented by Keeneland, spurred by this Bill Finley column in which prominent owner Joe Sutton spoke out about trainer Joe Sharp and his twice-disqualified Blackberry Wine (Oxbow)--who continues to run in conditions he would be ineligible for if not for positive drug tests--I put out an open call. I wanted to hear from owners and trainers who have been adversely affected by cheating and drugging of horses in light of the bombshell allegations revealed by the FBI indictments that rocked the sport...

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Keeneland CEO Bill Thomason Joins TDN Writers’ Room

As an organization with enormous interests in both the racing and sales worlds, Keeneland has been quick to act in response to the coronavirus pandemic, canceling its April 2-Year-Old Sale and Spring Meet in the early days of the sport's shutdown. They also were quick to reassure nervous buyers and sellers of yearlings that this year's marquee September Yearling Sale would proceed as scheduled, Sept. 14-26. President and CEO Bill Thomason joined the TDN Writers' Room presented by Keeneland Wednesday, calling in via Zoom from his home as the Green...

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Saudi Cup Purse Money Being Withheld

The Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia (JCSA) announced Monday that it is withholding distributing the purse money from the $20-million Saudi Cup in light of the criminal charges filed against winning trainer Jason Servis. Servis, who trained Maximum Security (New Year's Day), was one of 27 people indicted after a wide-ranging FBI probe into horse doping. The winner's share of the race is $10 million. The JCSA issued a press release Monday which read, in part: "JCSA is aware that Mr. Jason Servis, trainer of the horse, Maximum Security, the...

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Servis, Navarro Plead Not Guilty

Trainers Jorge Navarro and Jason Servis entered not guilty pleas to the charges of drug alteration and misbranding during an arraignment Thursday before United States District Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil. Due to the coronavirus, the arraignment was held via teleconference. Servis and Navarro were among 17 individuals arraigned Thursday for their alleged roles in a horse doping scandal. All 17 pleaded not guilty. The not guilty pleas were not a surprise as it is rare for defendants in a criminal case to plead guilty at the arraignment phase. Navarro has...

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“Not Set Up Like The FBI”: Racing’s Investigative Weak Spots

The shock announcement of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York's indictments against a slew of Thoroughbred veterinarians and trainers—and to a much lesser extent the California Horse Racing Board's (CHRB) long-awaited report into the equine fatalities at Santa Anita early last year—cast a kaleidoscopic shadow of speculation and questions marks over the industry. But one of the most salient takeaways from these two developments is surely this: What kind of investigative infrastructure is in place within the sport to catch the cheats and protect the...

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Arraignment for Alleged Dopers Now Apr. 2

The federal judge in charge of the alleged racehorse doping case involving trainers Jorge Navarro, Jason Servis, and 18 other defendants has set Apr. 2 as the new arraignment date. Court closures related to COVID-19 have already caused two postponements of the arraignment since Mar 23. In an effort to avoid another delay, the judge has ordered this Thursday's arraignment to be conducted via conference call. United States District Court (Southern District of New York) Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil also wrote in the Mar. 27 order that the missed time...

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