By T. D. Thornton
The claim and subsequent transfer of a horse within the prohibited 30-day time frame mandated by the New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) has resulted in a 30-day suspension and $2,000 fine for trainer Wayne Potts and a $2,000 fine without suspension for trainer Amira Chichakly.
DRF.com's Dave Grening first reported the story Monday. His story quoted Potts as explaining that he had ownership clients wanting to claim a horse out of the second race at Saratoga Race Course Aug. 4, but that Potts told them he couldn't because he had already made a commitment to another owner who wanted to claim a different horse out of the same race.
Since a trainer is only allowed to make one claim per race in New York, Potts said he gave the clients Chichakly's contact information. According to the DRF story, Chichakly agreed to try and make the claim and was able to buy Mach One by dropping a $20,000 slip for owners Frank Catapano and Nicholas Primpas.
Three days later, that horse was transferred from Chichakly to Potts. Potts told DRF there had been an owners' misunderstanding about not being able to transfer a claimed horse within 30 days. Chichakly said in the same story “she was unaware that she was claiming the horse with the idea it was going to be moved to another trainer.”
Chichakly has appealed the fine and has been granted a stay until the matter is fully adjudicated.
According to the NYSGC ruling, Potts waived his right to appeal, and in exchange, 10 days of his suspension will be stayed providing he has no violations of the same “restricted transfer” rule within the next year. His 20-day banishment runs Sept. 30 through Oct. 19.