Navarro, Servis Charged With Doping Horses In Massive Federal Indictment

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Jorge Navarro and Jason Servis, two trainers with major ties to Monmouth Park, were indicted on Monday in a massive federal investigation of the use of performance-enhancing drugs on racehorses.

“The charges in this indictment result from a widespread, corrupt scheme by racehorse trainers, veterinarians, PED distributors, and others to manufacture, distribute, and receive adulterated and misbranded PEDs and to secretly administer those PEDs to racehorses,” according to the indictment of more than two dozen horse racing industry officials by the U.S. District Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York.

Navarro, per the indictment, entered horses in 1,480 races from 2018 through February 2020 while Servis entered 1,082 races. The indictment alleges that Servis — who has complained about questions over his success — administered “SGF-1000” to “virtually all the horses under his control.”

The customized PEDs, including “red acid,” were designed to reduce inflammation in joints and thus improve racing performance.

XY Jet, a horse trained by Navarro, won $1.5 million in the Golden Shaheen race in Dubai in March 2019. The horse died of an alleged heart attack earlier this year.

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Servis trained Maximum Security, who appeared to have won the Kentucky Derby in 2019 until the horse was disqualified minutes later for having impeded the path of other horses.

Maximum Security recently won the $20 million Saudi Cup — the world’s richest horse race — but the indictment alleges that last June Servis persuaded a veterinarian to falsify records to prevent a positive test for PEDs.

The same horse won the prestigious Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park last summer, which culminated a day of controversy over horses racing in conditions of high heat and humidity.

Servis and Navarro allegedly collude

The indictment also alleges that on Feb. 19, 2019, Servis warned Navarro via text about a racing official. Later that day, Navarro allegedly told another conspirator, “He would have caught our asses f—ing pumping and pumping and fuming every f—ing horse that runs today.”

After winning a sixth straight training title at Monmouth Park in 2018, Navarro said, “Listen, I am very hard on myself. I lose one race, and you can tell on my face that I’m upset. Deep inside I want to win them all. I’m sorry, but that’s the way I am. But I have also learned to appreciate it and to enjoy things when you win.”

Navarro expressed special appreciation for setting a record at the Oceanport track.

“This is my home,” said Navarro. “I love this place. I don’t have words to express how much I appreciate what they’ve done for me and how they have opened their arms to me, my horses, and my owners.”

In October, Navarro said he planned to slow down at some point.

“I do want to slow down,” he said. “I want to spend more time with my family.

“That doesn’t mean I’m stopping. I’d like to be going a lot slower when I’m 50. I can’t keep going the way I have. I’m a 44-year-old man and I feel like I’m 60. At some point you realize you just can’t keep pushing yourself nonstop the way I have been doing.”

Photo by Mark Zerof / USA Today Sports

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John Brennan

John Brennan has covered NJ and NY sports business and gaming since 2002 and was a Pulitzer Prize Finalist in 2008, while reporting for The Bergen County Record.

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