Owners Seek Vindication for Firenze Fire and Shancelot

POSTED ON  |  17-05-2020

Hair testing
For the owners of Firenze Fire and Shancelot, the future promises to hold the key to unlocking the past. Both horses were graded stakes winners for trainers whose licenses were revoked in March after they were arrested for their alleged roles in a racehorse doping scheme and hit with federal charges of using misbranded and adulterated drugs.

Firenze Fire became a grade 1 winner for trainer Jason Servis, and Shancelot earned grade 2 honors and finished second at last year's Breeders' Cup for Jorge Navarro, two trainers at the center of March 9 federal indictments that could lead to lengthy jail terms if they are convicted. They are two of the best-known horses among the more than 100 runners who were stabled with Servis and Navarro and are now under the care of different trainers or stabled at farms for freshening.

The status of all of those horses changed this week with the expiration of a 60-day ban that was put in place after the indictments so that they could be tested and any illegal substances could pass through their system. With the calendar turning to May 8, some of those horses stabled in Florida and New York are now ready to seek the final round of approvals that stand between them and the resumptions of their racing careers. 

The testing process began in early April with the collection of hair samples. About 60 of those horses are based in Florida and Gulfstream Park, vice president of racing Mike Lakow said. None of those tests have returned with a positive finding for an illegal substance.

Now, the final steps in clearing those horses for racing will come early next week in Florida when they will work in front of the watchful eye of veterinarians. If that goes well, blood and urine samples will be taken, and in about seven to 10 days, if the tests come back negative, they can be entered in races again, Lakow said.

The connections of both Firenze Fire and Shancelot are awaiting results of follicle tests but don't envision any problems and are eagerly anticipating the day when they can once again enter their horses. That's when the next step of the process will begin, proving whether it was the horse's talent or illegal methods by their trainers that turned them into graded stakes winners.

© 2015 IGSRV All rights reserved.