Pennsylvania: Chuckas Now Says Barn Raids Resulted In ‘Nothing Of Substance’

In late May, Tom Chuckas, the director of Thoroughbred horse racing for the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, reported to the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission that a series of barn raids resulted in a “significant amount of contraband.” This week, Chuckas has changed his tune, reports the Thoroughbred Daily News.

“In the last months, enforcement action was taken both at Penn National and at Parx,” Chuckas said June 29. “That enforcement action consisted of…vehicle searches, barn searches, vet trailer searches. In addition, we did out-of-competition testing both at Penn National and at Parx, and the preliminary results from these investigative enforcement actions is very, very minor infractions. Nothing of substance.”

Between those two meetings of the PHRC, Parx Hall of Fame trainer Ricardo Vega, who trains as Richard Vega Racing Stable, was summarily suspended after multiple loaded needles and syringes were found in his tack room at Parx during the raid described by Chuckas.

The PHRC issued the summary suspension on May 24, following the raid. The next day, three of Vega’s horses were stewards’ scratches from the May 25 race card at Parx. A board of stewards hearing was held on May 27, where officials voted to uphold the summary suspension issued earlier in the week.

The summary suspension cited two violations of state code — one that prohibits the possession of hypodermic needles, syringes, or injectable substances by non-veterinarians, and another that states “a licensee shall not, alone or in concert with another person, engage in inappropriate, illegal or unethical conduct which violates the Commission’s rules and regulations of racing, is inconsistent with the best interests and integrity of racing or otherwise undermines the general public’s faith public perception and confidence in the racing industry.”

Vega has not started any horses since May 19 at Parx, but is reported to be appealing his suspension.

Read more at the Thoroughbred Daily News.

The post Pennsylvania: Chuckas Now Says Barn Raids Resulted In ‘Nothing Of Substance’ appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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