By Bill Finley
Following an incident in which a 1-20 shot he trained and owned was pulled up and eased shortly after the start of a March 10 maiden claimer at Turf Paradise, stewards at that track have hit trainer Juan Silva with a 180-day suspension and a $2,625 fine. The stewards have forwarded the ruling to the Director of the Arizona Department of Racing with a recommendation that further action be taken “up to and including revocation of Silva's license.”
Silva was charged with “conducting business in a manner detrimental to the best interests of horse racing in Arizona.”
After the horse Juror (Tapit) finished third in a maiden optional claimer with a purse of $23,800, Silva dropped the horse into a $3,500 maiden claimer 37 days later. Shortly after the gates opened, jockey Fausto Da Silva pulled the horse up. On Mar. 17, Da Silva was suspended 30 days for “conduct detrimental to racing.” In the Da Silva matter, the stewards ruled that the jockey should have brought the horse to the track vet to be examined before the race.
Juror, who was claimed out of the race by Eliska Kubinova for owners Gary and Deborah Lusk and D. J. Saddler, was vanned off the racetrack. Turf Paradise does not have a voided claim rule.
According to a ruling released Wednesday, the stewards believe Silva entered Juror knowing the horse was sore and unfit to race. The stewards took into consideration statements made by Da Silva, a track vet referred to as Dr. Butler and a state vet referred to as Dr. Gale. In addition, the stewards allege that Silva perjured himself during his hearing by giving false statements under oath. All horses currently owned or trained by Silva will be denied entry until they are sold or transferred to another trainer.
According to the ruling, the stewards also took into account Silva's “history of multiple rule violations.” The website thoroughbredrulings.com lists 22 rulings against Silva dating back to 2005. In a 2008 ruling, his license was revoked for “being of not good repute or moral character.” He did not start any horses between 2008 and 2014.
Silva has 450 career wins from 2,349 starters and was 13-for-99 at the current meet at Turf Paradise. He was the leading trainer at the 2019-2020 meet at Turf Paradise with 79 wins.