NJ: Monmouth Park top trainer Jorge Navarro sentenced to 5 years, fined $25.8 million

Navarro charged in conspiracy charges in case of distribution of ‘clenbuterol’

Jorge Navarro, who won seven straight trainers titles at Monmouth Park through 2019, was sentenced by a federal judge to five years in prison for his role in a performance-enhancing drug scandal that rocked the horse racing industry.

Navarro, who pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy in August, was sentenced Friday in Manhattan by federal Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil for being part of a conspiracy to distribute and administer adulterated and misbranded drugs for racehorses. He is scheduled to report to prison in 60 days.

He was also ordered to pay $25.8 million in restitution resulting from his financial gain from the conspiracy. For his career, Navarro’s horses earned some $34.8 million, winning 1,224 races.

Navarro charged in conspiracy charges in case of distribution of ‘clenbuterol’
After shattering every single-season training record at the Oceanport racetrack, Navarro and Eatontown resident and Monmouth Park trainer Jason Servis were the leading figures among 27 indicted after a years-long FBI investigation on March 9, 2019.

Servis, who trained disqualified 2019 Kentucky Derby winner Maximum Security, has maintained his innocence and is expected to go on trial sometime next year. Maxium Security was disqualified for interference during the running of the race.

According to a press release by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York: “Navarro operated his doping scheme covertly, importing misbranded ‘clenbuterol’ that he both used and distributed to others, avoiding explicit discussion of PEDs during telephone calls, and working with others to coordinate the administration of PEDs at times that racing officials would not detect such cheating.

“Navarro engaged in repeated and persistent efforts to cheat over the course of years, cycling through various sources of supply, and pursuing aggressively new means to illegally dope horses. Throughout, Navarro maintained a flippant attitude towards his dangerous and illegal conduct. Navarro notoriously known in the horse racing world as the ‘Juice Man’ due to his routine doping, kept a pair of customized shoes in his barn with the words ‘JUICE MAN’ emblazoned across the front.”

In 2017, the New Jersey Racing Commission opted not to suspend Navarro or revoke his license for a controversial video that surfaced online, instead fining him $10,000 and placing him on probation for a year. In the video, shot in a bar at Monmouth Park, Navarro and horse owner Randall Gindi are heard repeatedly using the term “juice,” as well as “juice man.”

In a statement released by PETA (People for the Ethical Treament of Animals), Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo said: “Jorge Navarro will eventually be let out of prison to pick up the pieces of his life, but there will be no starting over for the victims in this case—the horses…The public has made it clear that it won’t tolerate dying horses, and as long as racing protects criminals, the industry’s reputation will continue to disintegrate.”

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