Saturday, April 11, 2009


More Black for the Industry Eye

"Gotcha!" By Ray Paulick

Michael Garrison had his occupational permit revoked and he was fined $1,000 and suspended indefinitely as the clerk of scales at Charles Town Races & Slots in West Virginia after an investigation determined he was not reporting overages of assigned weights of riders weighing out before races. Seven jockeys were suspended 30 days and fined $1,000 each for violation of the West Virginia rules of racing pertaining to riding weights and dishonest or corrupt practices.

Garrison was escorted off the Charles Town premises by security personnel following the first race March 27, according to chief steward Danny Wright and association steward Robert Lotts. Acting on an anonymous tip, track security had installed surveillance cameras in the weigh-out area adjacent to the clerk of scales office and Garrison was allegedly observed being derelict in his duties by not reporting overweights of the riders.

After hearings were conducted on Wednesday, the fines and suspensions were announced. The seven jockeys suspended are: Alexis Rios Conde, Tony Maragh, Anthony Mawing, Luis Perez, Lawrence Reynolds, Jesus Sanchez, and Dale Whittaker. The suspensions are effective from today (April 9) through May 8.

Garrison refused to testify at the hearing, according to Kelli Talbott, deputy attorney general representing the West Virginia Racing Commission. He was suspended for failing to use due diligence in the performance of his duty as clerk of scales, in violation of West Virginia rules of racing.

No evidence was presented that bribes may have been involved.

“No riders admitted to accepting or giving money or anything of that nature,” Wright told the Paulick Report. “That never materialized.”

Former rider Mark Munden has assumed the clerk of scales duties.

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