Rice Attorney’s Motion To Dismiss Denied, Hearing Moves Into Fifth Day

The New York State Gaming Commission rested its case against top trainer Linda Rice Tuesday after a fourth day of testimony reviewing details about the inside information Rice is alleged to have gotten from the racing office between late 2011 and 2015. At the conclusion of the commission’s case, Rice counsel Andrew Turro moved to dismiss the commission’s charge against her.

Turro argued that the commission failed to adequately prove Rice sought out the information provided to her by former racing office employees Jose Morales and Matt Salvato, and also that there was no specific NYSGC or New York Racing Association rule prohibiting racing office employees from providing trainers with the names of horses entered in a race prior to draw time.

Morales and Salvato have testified they provided, first through fax and later through email, horse names and past performance sheets of entries in races ahead of draw time — something senior racing office management testified is expressly forbidden. They also testified they were provided financial gifts by Rice, which they believed was in consideration for their providing her the information.

Rice is charged under state regulation language prohibiting “actions inconsistent with and detrimental to the best interest of racing generally ad corrupt and improper acts and practices in relation to racing.” During Tuesday’s hearing, which consisted entirely of testimony and layers of cross-examination and redirect examination of NYSGC steward Braulio Baeza, Jr., Turro pointed out that NYRA and NYSGC codes do not specifically spell out what sharing of information is or isn’t permissible by the racing office.

Rick Goodell, counsel for NYSGC, pointed out that language prohibiting licensees from failing to act “in the best interests of racing” may be broad, but is standard in many places and its legality has been upheld many times. Goodell also told the hearing officer that Rice herself acknowledged having loaned Morales money more than once and that she was not paid back for those loans. Morales and Salvato had indicated in previous testimony that Rice also sent cash or checks in envelopes to members of the racing office staff.

Clark Petschek, hearing officer for the case, denied Turro’s motion to dismiss.

Although Turro has yet to make his opening statement in the case, he also seemed to question how beneficial the information was to Rice, pointing out instances where Rice lost races after getting pre-draw information from Morales. It’s also true that since entries were still open at the time Morales and Salvato would send information to Rice, horses could come in or out of the race after she got preliminary entries but before draw time. Rick Goodell, counsel for NYSGC, also pointed out instances where Rice’s horses had won or otherwise done well in races where Morales’s emails showed he sent her information.

Two more days are allotted for the hearing on Nov. 18 and 19, allowing the defense to present its case. It remains unclear when after the conclusion of the hearings Petschek could issue a decision.

See previous coverage of the hearing here and here

The post Rice Attorney’s Motion To Dismiss Denied, Hearing Moves Into Fifth Day appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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