By: Jim Dunleavy
The Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission has rescinded the 15-day suspension handed to trainer John Servis by the Parx Racing board of stewards after three of his horses tested positive for clenbuterol between April 4 and May 7, 2016.
The commission ruling, which was made Friday, cites “articulated mitigating circumstances.” The first two rulings were upheld by the commission, but the third was amended, and Servis will be fined rather than suspended.
Servis’s three positives at Parx came with Hearty Jones in the seventh race on April 4, Someday Jones on April 16, and Miss Inclusive in the $100,000 Parx Oaks on May 7.
Servis will be fined $1,500 each for the April 4 and April 16 positives, and both horses will be disqualified from the purse money of those races, as the original rulings stipulated.
The purse of the Parx Oaks also will be redistributed, but Miss Inclusive will be considered the race winner, as will second-place finisher Eighth Wonder, who was placed first in the original stewards’ ruling. Since the race in question is a stakes, both fillies will earn first-place black type.
Rather than suspending Servis, the amended ruling will fine him $5,000.
Servis, when contacted by phone Friday evening, said he was thrilled by the decision but declined to comment further on the amended ruling.
Servis, who has trained since 1984, has not had a medication positive since 2008, when one of his horses tested positive for the tranquilizer acrepromazine in Maryland.
Servis won the 2004 Kentucky Derby with Smarty Jones and the 2016 Kentucky Oaks with Cathryn Sophia.