By: Tom Precious
Racing regulators in New York have slapped a five-year ban on trainer Jerome Palumbo in a case state officials began investigating more than four years ago.
The New York State Gaming Commission, which met April 25, said Palumbo trained horses without a state license for a 15-month period dating back to 2009. Agency records show that one of the horses, Martha’s Mandate, in 2010 had “a pre-race TCO2 level of 37 millimoles per liter or more before it was administered its race-day furosemide.”
NYSGC executive director Robert Williams recounted hearings, settlement talks, agreements and, finally in November 2015, a hearing officer recommending a $5,000 fine and a one-year suspension for Palumbo. The NYSGC, however, unanimously agreed to impose a five-year suspension and a $10,000 fine.
Agency documents show Palumbo trained horses without a license from March 2009 to June 2010 at Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park, and Saratoga Race Course. The April 25 ban excludes him from being on the grounds of a racetrack either as a trainer or patron.
State officials Monday evening explained that Palumbo “was working behind a ‘beard’ trainer named Neal Terracciano.”
“When the former Racing and Wagering Board became aware of the fraudulent activity,” the commission official said of the former state agency that became the Gaming Commission, “it took action that, despite many delays, led to today’s five-year suspension.”
The commission official noted that Terraccino was suspended by the state over the matter for 30 days in 2014.
The NYSGC also adopted several proposed and final rules, the longest of which pertains to the conduct of operations at commercial casino facilities now under construction in New York.
The agency approved new rules governing Pick 4 and Pick 6 wagering pools “to be more consistent and attractive to bettors” and added a Thoroughbred Pick 5 wager it said is now only incorporated by reference under current rules.
“This should result in more wagering activity, more entertainment for racing fans, and greater revenue for government,” the rule states. The rule, intended to be in effect for the start of the Saratoga meet this summer, puts into writing how certain circumstances, such as canceled races or scratched horses, affect the wagers.
“It would increase a bettor’s chances of winning under some circumstances that currently result in a canceling of the pool, and make such wagers more attractive to bettors by returning the full amount wagered when appropriate in unusual cases,” the rule states.
The change was supported by the New York Racing Association.