Marcus Vitali

Potts, Vazquez Among Trainers Denied NYRA Stalls

Six trainers, including Wayne Potts and Juan Vazquez, have been informed by NYRA officials that they will no longer be allowed to stable at Belmont Park and that their horses must be off the grounds by Wednesday. However, all six will still be permitted to race at the NYRA tracks, at least for the time being. The story was first reported by the Daily Racing Form's David Grening. NYRA's decision to not outright ban the trainers stems from a ruling issued in the Bob Baffert matter last July by the...

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The Week in Review: Though Defeated a Huge Race for Smile Happy

The chart of the GII Risen Star S. run Saturday at the Fair Grounds will show you that the race was won by Epicenter (Not This Time) and that runner-up Smile Happy (Runhappy) was never a serious threat to win. It's just that there is a lot more to this story. Expectations were high for Smile Happy coming into the Risen Star. He was 2-for-2 last year and his win in the GII Kentucky Jockey Club S. came at the expense of Classic Causeway (Giant's Causeway) and White Abarrio (Race...

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Horsemen's Rep Says Vitali Meth Positive is Environmental Contamination

In his fight to get out of as one-year suspension after a horse of his tested positive for methamphetamine, controversial trainer Marcus Vitali will have at least one person in his corner. Todd Mostoller, the executive director of the Pennsylvania Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, which represents horsemen at Penn National and Presque Isle Downs, said that the methamphetamine positive was a result of environmental contamination and that Vital should not have been suspended "This is somebody who did absolutely nothing wrong," Mostoller said. On Friday, the Pennsylvania Racing Commission...

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Vitali Hit With One-Year Suspension for Meth Positive in Pennsylvania

Trainer Marcus Vitali, whose career has been plagued by numerous suspensions and controversies, has been suspended for one year and fined $10,000 by the Pennsylvania Racing Commission after a horse he trained named Single Lady (Shanghai Bobby) tested positive for d-methamphetamine. He was also hit with six multiple medication violation points. The infraction occurred on Aug. 21, 2021 at Presque Isle Downs in a maiden special weight race won by the Vitali-trained filly. The horse is owned by Crossed Sabres Farm. The story was first reported by the Paulick Report....

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NYRA Considers Action Against Potts

After the news that trainer Wayne Potts had been suspended by the New Jersey Racing Commission for the first 30 days of the Monmouth Park meeting, the New York Racing Association is investigating the possibility of holding a hearing and potentially suspending the trainer as well, according to NYRA spokesman Patrick McKenna. The news was first reported by Dave Grenig of Daily Racing Form. In a TDN story Saturday, it was revealed that on Aug. 6, 2021, Potts allegedly told his assistant, Bonnie Lucas, not to permit one of his...

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NYRA Schedules Hearings, Issues Charges, for Baffert, Vitali

The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) has issued charges and scheduled hearings for trainers Bob Baffert and Marcus Vitali, NYRA announced Friday morning. "NYRA contends that Mr. Baffert and Mr. Vitali have engaged in conduct that is detrimental to the best interests of the sport of Thoroughbred racing or potentially injurious to the health or safety of horses or riders," they said in a press release. "Further, as detailed in the respective statements of charges, this conduct warrants revocation or suspension of their right to train horses, enter races,...

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The Week in Review: Vitali Starting a Horse at Saratoga Is Not OK

The system, whatever that has come to mean, failed badly last week when Marcus Vitali, one of the sport's most controversial trainers, was allowed to start a horse at Saratoga. Then again, should anyone have been surprised? This was just the latest example of this being a sport that is so dysfunctional, its regulatory systems so weak, that it is completely unable to police itself. Help is on its way. Some day, the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) will be implemented and a central body led by the U.S....

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Vitali—Aided by Baffert Court Order—Resurfaces at Saratoga

When the New York Racing Association (NYRA) barred Hall-of-Fame trainer Bob Baffert back in May over integrity concerns surrounding his five equine drug positives in a one-year span, it was only a matter of time before speculative comparisons began to percolate within the industry along the lines of, "They banned Baffert, but they allow so-and-so to race?" You could have inserted the name of any controversial or rogue trainer of your choice in that above sentence. But it didn't take long for the entries at Saratoga Race Course to supply...

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Vitali Resurfaces at Turf Paradise

Trainer Marcus Vitali started a horse Monday at Turf Paradise, finishing third in the Hank Mills Sr. S.s with Be Gone Daddy (Scat Daddy) in what was his first start since July 21, 2019. Vitali's career has been marked by numerous drug violations, suspensions and bans. His career stalled in 2019 when, in mid-July, he was suspended for 365 days by the Delaware Racing Commission for "interfering with and impeding an investigation being performed by the DTRC investigator along with Delaware Park Security staff." Delaware racing officials alleged that Vitali...

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Vitali's Racing Sanctions Surface Anew in Pot-Growing Venture

Marcus Vitali, a Thoroughbred trainer with a lengthy history of medication violations who is currently serving a one-year suspension for interfering with and impeding a 2019 drug investigation at Delaware Park, is attempting to shift his focus to a new business venture in Massachusetts: legal marijuana cultivation. But even before Vitali can take the first municipal step in a state that has one of the most stringent licensure processes in the nation for recreational marijuana cultivation, his litany of racing violations is drawing scrutiny in the local press. According to...

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