By: Jim Dunleavy
Trainer John Servis has been suspended 15 days and fined $3,000 by the Parx Racing board of stewards for three clenbuterol positives this spring. On Wednesday, Servis said he has appealed the penalties.
Servis is the trainer of Kentucky Oaks winner Cathryn Sophia, who will be a heavy favorite Saturday at Parx in the $150,000 Princess of Sylmar Stakes. He also trained 2004 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Smarty Jones.
Servis has been based at Parx for decades and has had very few medication violations during his career. His appeal will be heard by the Pennsylvania Racing Commission.
The horses who tested positive are Miss Inclusive, who won the $100,000 Parx Oaks on May 7; Hearty Jones, the winner of a Pennsylvania-bred maiden race at Parx on April 4; and Someday Jones, who finished second in a Parx allowance race on April 16. All three have been disqualified from the purse money in their respective races.
Servis told Daily Racing Form in June that he was concerned that someone may have tampered with his horses and that while Hearty Jones tested positive for a trace amount of clenbuterol, the other two tested positive for “very large amounts.”
Clenbuterol is a bronchodilator that can help with respiratory issues. It also has steroidal properties and can help build muscle mass in horses. Horsemen are allowed to treat their horses with clenbuterol, but the advised withdrawal time before a race is 14 days.