NYRA Suspends Two Officials in Weight Probe

The New York Racing Association said Jan. 12 it has suspended clerk of scales Mario Sclafani and assistant clerk of scales Braulio Baeza with pay until further notice pending developments in an ongoing investigation into the weighing of jockeys.

The probe began in December with raids at Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga. NYRA, through a special oversight committee of its board of trustees, initiated the probe. Information was provided to law enforcement agencies, including the New York Attorney General's office.

"Our policy remains to cooperate fully with all government and law enforcement agencies to protect our customers and the integrity of Thoroughbred racing," NYRA president and chief executive officer Charles Hayward said in a release.

Details have been scarce, but in a December interview, NYRA co-chairman Peter Karches noted NYRA had initiated the probe and said it's a "fair assumption" jockeys' weights are involved.

Baeza is a Hall of Fame rider who was recognized as outstanding jockey in 1972 and 1975.