By: Matt Hegarty
A preliminary hearing scheduled on Wednesday for Marian Vega, the Parx-based groom who was arrested two weeks ago and accused of illegally medicating horses trained by Roman Preciado, has been delayed at her counsel’s request, according to the Pennsylvania attorney general’s office.
No makeup date has been scheduled yet, according to a spokesman for the attorney general, Jeffrey Johnson.
Vega was arrested on Aug. 18 and charged by Pennsylvania prosecutors with one count of rigging a publicly exhibited contest, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in jail. In an affidavit, Vega admitted to administering the regulated medication clenbuterol to horses trained by Preciado while employed by the trainer during a six-month period from late 2015 to early 2016.
The attorney general’s office has said that the investigation remains ongoing.
Preciado is appealing a 270-day suspension handed down by the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission for six positives for clenbuterol in horses he trained at Parx from early March to mid-April, coinciding with Vega’s employment. Preciado’s attorney has argued that the trainer should be cleared of the charges based on Vega’s arrest and affidavit.
Alan Pincus, Preciado’s attorney, said on Tuesday that the appeals hearing has concluded, but that the commission is not expected to issue a ruling on the appeal for several months.