A West Virginia-based trainer has been deemed ineligible for a license, and three others were suspended in connection with alleged use of "program trainers" at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races.
The Charles Town stewards held a hearing into the matter March 20 and issued their rulings March 21. The four men have the right to appeal the ruling; they already have appealed their ejection from Charles Town to the West Virginia Racing Commission, which is scheduled to hear the case in early May.
The stewards said owner/trainer Scooter Davis, who had been suspended for six months through Feb. 21 of this year, "is on video clearly showing his involvement in arrangement related to the care, custody, and control of horses under the trainership of Doug Shanyfelt." Stewards upheld denial of a permit for Davis and denied him access to all grounds under WVRC jurisdiction, saying he is ineligible for future licensing.
Shanyfelt, currently the leading trainer at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort, was suspended for one year from March 25 of this year through March 24, 2014. Owner/trainer Billy Ray Davis and assistant trainer Cliff Tuomisto each were suspended for 45 days from March 25 through May 8, according to the rulings.
The stewards–Danny Wright, L. Robert Lott, and Ismael Trejo–said Shanyfelt "knew or should have known a disqualified person was heavily involved in the day-to-day arrangements of his stable operation." Billy Ray Davis, father of Scooter Davis and in the top 10 trainers by wins at Mountaineer, and Tuomisto were witnesses to Scooter Davis being involved with Shanyfelt's horses, the stewards said.
Charles Town ejected all four men after turning over video evidence. Mountaineer has said it would wait until the stewards' ruling was issued before making a decision.
Under a state Supreme Court ruling in late 2011, ejected individuals have the right to request an appeal hearing before the WVRC.