U.S. News

Milkshakes, snake venom involved in charges against trainer...: Thoroughbred Times 7/29/10

Milkshakes, snake venom involved in charges against trainer Delahoussaye

by Jeff Lowe

Pennsylvania trainer Darrel Delahoussaye was arrested on Wednesday and charged with attempting to fix races at Penn National Race Course, based on evidence and testimony that he administered milkshakes and snake venom to horses before they raced.

State police charged Delahoussaye, whose first name is listed as Darryl in court documents, with two felony counts of theft by deception and one misdemeanor count each of rigging a publicly exhibited contest, administering drugs to race horses, and tampering with or fabricating physical evidence.

Delahoussaye was arraigned Wednesday morning and he was released after posting bail of $20,000. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for August 16.

Controversial owner Michael Gill fired Delahoussaye on January 24, a day after one of Gillís horses, Laughing Moon, broke down and was euthanized after a third-place finish in an allowance race at Penn National. Laughing Moon was the second Gill-owned horse to break down there in three days, and a horse trained by Delahoussaye and owned by his wife, Mitzi, broke down on January 13 and initiated a chain reaction spill.

After Laughing Moonís fatal injury, Penn National jockeys threatened to boycott races in which Gill had a starter. Gill, the nationís leading owner by wins and earnings in 2009, was barred from participating at the track in February and announced that he would disperse his stable.

According to a presentment from the grand jury filed on July 23, an investigator discovered items used to administer a milkshake near Gillís horse Lionís Pride on October 22 at Penn National.

Lionís Pride was listed as lame in chart comments after he dumped his rider in a Penn National allowance race on December 18. The gelding has not raced since then.

A groom, James Muzzy, testified that he witnessed Delahoussaye frequently administer milkshakes and snake venom to his horses. Muzzy also said Delahoussaye would often troll through medical waste bags, looking for used syringes to use on his horses.

Muzzy said he turned several bottles of the Class 5 drug dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO), a legal anti-inflammatory, over to a state trooper after Delahoussaye asked Muzzy to hide several medications in fear that investigators for the state racing commission would search the stable.

The grand jury also reported that trainer Stephanie Beattie gave three injured horses to Delahousssaye based on his false representation that he would send the horses to a retirement facility in Ohio. Delahoussaye sold the horses to Jay Budrewicz for $450 each to retire a debt. One of the three horses, Storm Rising, raced at Suffolk Downs three times this spring, most recently finishing second in a $4,000 claiming race on June 7.

Delahoussaye has registered 13 wins from 130 starters at Penn National this year.

Jeff Lowe is a Thoroughbred Times staff writer.

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