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Monday, April 27, 2015

What Does it Take to Get a Life Time Ban?

If I was.the New York Gaming commission, I would wait until the final court appeal to be heard.  That being said, today the NYGC fined embattled trainer Lou Pena $343,000 and handed him a 3 year suspension.  It is certain now that the penalty has been handed down, Pena will have his lawyers attempt to continue the battle in state court to get the decision thrown out; the major part of their argument being the lack of fairness by the state in taking 13+ months to hand down a decision.

If this decision is sustained, Pena would be out quite a bit of money but the three year suspension troubles me.  If Mr. Pena gets a 3 year suspension for over 1,000 violations of medication rules, what does it take to get a life time ban?  Did the NYGC craft their decision hoping the relative leniency of the ruling will get Pena to drop any future legal action?  If so, that is one of the problems of regulators these days, seeking to avoid litigation by handing down watered down penalties

No, Pena will never get another license to race in New York for if Pena applied and was rejected, that rejection would be used by some other racing commissions as a reason for refusing licensing.  While the penalty he has received would hurt him if he applies elsewhere, it may still be possible some state(s) with liberal policies on licensing would allow him to resume his career.  But it is safe to assume his career is over in any major harness racing jurisdiction.

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