Four men ejected from Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races over alleged involvement in the use of "program trainers" have filed an appeal with the West Virginia Racing Commission.
WVRC deputy attorney general Kelli Talbott said March 7 the agency is in the process of lining up a hearing examiner to handle the appeal. The individuals that filed the appeal are trainers Scooter Davis and Doug Shanyfelt; Billy Ray Davis; and Cliff Tuomiso.
The WVRC began the process of hearing appeals from ejected permit-holders after the state Supreme Court of Appeals, in a 3-2 vote in November 2011, sided with the commission in its contention that such individuals have the right to appeal ejections. The opinion stemmed from a legal case involving jockeys ejected from Charles Town Races for allegedly misrepresenting their riding weights, but other permit-holders have fought ejections at Charles Town as well.
In a related matter, a stewards' hearing to consider action against the permits of Billy Ray Davis, Shanyfeld, and Tuomiso, and the denial of Scooter Davis' permit, won't be held March 9 as scheduled. Talbott said their attorney requested, and was granted, a postponement. A new date hasn't been set.
Scooter Davis received a six-month suspension from Aug. 26, 2012, to Feb. 21, 2013, from the WVRC for a clenbuterol positive June 22, 2012, when a horse he owned and trained tested positive for the Class III drug. The horse, Dynamic Dino, finished second in that race at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort.
Davis expected to return after his suspension, but Charles Town owner PNGI took the ejection action against him. The company has a policy of not discussing details of such cases.
Shanyfelt, who has raced several horses at Turfway Park in Kentucky this winter, was on hand when Mountaineer began its 2013 meet March 1. Through March 5 Shanyfelt topped the trainer standings with four wins, three seconds, and one third in 16 starts, according to Equibase.
Mountaineer officials earlier said they would not consider action until the stewards' hearing was held and a decision rendered.
WVRC executive director John Amores earlier noted the state's racing rules prohibit use of program trainers, whose names may appear as the trainer record in the program even though another individual is the trainer.