27 Horse Racing Pros, Including Maximum Security’s Trainer, Charged In Major Drug Scheme

horse rasing drug scheme

Getty Image / Michael Reaves

We’ve got ourselves one hell of a drug scheme bust in the horse racing world, folks.

It was reported by ESPN on Monday that a total of 27 horse trainers, veterinarians, and others have been charged in Manhattan federal court for what authorities described as ‘a widespread international scheme to drug horses to race faster.’

Among the most notable people charged was trainer Jason Servis, who is the trainer of Maximum Security who initially won last year’s Kentucky Derby before being disqualified for interference. Servis was accused of using PED’s on ‘all the racehorses under his control.’ Maximum Security won a large number of races last year and took the $10 million winner’s share at the Saudi Cup, which is by far the world’s richest race.

Authorities said participants in the fraud misled government agencies, including federal and state regulators, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, various state horse racing regulators and the betting public.

Prosecutors noted in the indictments that professional horse racing is a $100 billion industry followed by millions of fans worldwide, leading racehorses to sell at auction for well over $1 million.

The drugs named in the indictments are known as ‘blood builders’ which are used to stimulate a horse’s endurance. These drugs can result in horses overexerting themselves which then can lead to heart problems and even death. Another drug listed in the indictments actually deadens a horse’s sensitivity to pain that can even lead to leg fractures.

This initial report is certainly just the start of what is to come in this situation as it’s safe to say much, much more will come of this.

The Kentucky Derby is fast-approaching as it is scheduled for May 2.