Maximum Security Drug Allegations: Goodbye To Servis

Maximum Security Drug Allegations: With this horse, nothing is ever what it appears. For 22 minutes he was the Kentucky

Maximum Security Drug Allegations: Goodbye To Servis

Photo: Doug DeFelice/Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia

Derby champion, and then he wasn’t. On Monday, nine days after he won the richest race in history, the $20 million Saudi Cup, drug allegations against his trainer, Jason Servis, raised doubts about all the horse’s accomplishments. What part did chemistry play in them, and how can we know?

Maximum uncertainty haunts this talented but star-crossed colt, and accusations of minimal integrity against Servis and others have rocked racing. No one was jolted as badly as the man who bred and co-owns Maximum Security, Gary West.

“Yesterday, Jason Servis, a trainer we have used for five years, was indicted on multiple charges regarding using an illegal substance in horses,” West said in a statement. “This news is extremely disturbing and disappointing. Therefore, we will be moving all our horses from Jason Servis as soon as arrangements can be made with other trainers.

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Like West, Ron Lombardi was stunned after enjoying a successful 13-year partnership with Servis. He had 15 horses for Lombardi, whose nom de course is Mr. Amore Stable. He will send his horses to other trainers, as will Michael Dubb, another prominent owner who employed Servis.

“It’s pretty crazy and unthinkable,” Lombardi told “My reaction is total shock. I found it hard to believe when I heard about it. Especially the magnitude of it, with the re-labeling (of performance-enhancing drugs) and other stuff. That was what was crazy … I’m thinking Jason was very naïve about the implications of all this.”

The reckoning came Monday morning, when Servis was arrested and indicted. There were more repercussions Tuesday, when New York suspended his license and those of trainer Jorge Navarro and nine of the 27 defendants in the federal case. Servis and Navarro each face two counts of “misbranding conspiracy,” and each carries a maximum penalty of five years’ imprisonment, prosecutors told

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