Why was Horse-Trainer Gary Sciacca Suspended by the New York State Racing and Wagering Board?

Gary Sciacca SuspensionGary Sciacca Suspension. Image Source: Facebook.

Gary Sciacca is a Thoroughbred horse trainer who secured his first professional training victory at New York’s Aqueduct Racetrack on October 21, 1981. He has ever since won several other races.

Did you know Gary was suspended by the New York State Racing and Wagering Board on November 18, 2008? Let’s find out why.

Background Information on Gary

  • The horse trainer was born on March 10, 1960, in Brooklyn, New York.
  • He trained Saratoga Dew, the first New York bred to earn an Eclipse Award.
  • At the 1993 Belmont Park spring meeting, Sciacca was the leading trainer.
  • As of May 2023, he has earnings worth $43,489,369.
  • Gary is happily married to Josephine Sciacca.
  • The couple welcomed two children, Gina Sciacca and Robert Sciacca.

The Reason Behind Gary’s Suspension

As mentioned earlier, the horse trainer was suspended on November 18, 2008, by the New York State Racing and Wagering Board. And here’s why.

On June 28, 2003, a New York Racing Association investigator said he saw two of Sciacca’s employees and a Belmont Park veterinarian give a prohibited substance to Storm River Kelly on the race day.

According to the investigator, he saw veterinarian Dr. John McGuire, the horse trainer’s stable foreman, Oscar DeLeon, and assistant, Paul Barone, give sodium bicarbonate and electrolytes to the horse.

They allegedly gave the substance, commonly referred to as “milkshake,” to the horse on the morning it was scheduled to race.

Although the bicarbonate of the soda mixture is said to reduce fatigue and is not a banned substance, it is considered illegal to give to a horse on the day it is to race.

According to the trainer, another horse next to its stall was supposed to receive the milkshake.

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120-Day Suspension for Sciaccia

At the time of the incident, the horse trainer was out of the country. Despite that, he was liable for any sort of illegal activity taking place in his absence, according to the trainer’s responsibility rule.

In September 2004, Gary was suspended for 120 days by the New York State Racing and Wagering Board for his connection in the said incident, and he began serving his suspension in November 2007.

Gary Sciacca's suspension
Gary Sciacca Suspension. Image Source: Facebook.

Likewise, the New York State Racing and Wagering Board also handed uncompromising penalties to Gary Sciacca’s assistant and stable foreman, along with the veterinarian.

Baron was also suspended for 12 days and began serving his suspension on November 11, 2007. McGuire was given a $1,000 fine and a 180-day suspension. Likewise, DeLeon was suspended for 45 days in 2006.

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How Did He Spend His 120 Days?

Being hit by a suspension for 120 days is a big deal. Many must be wondering how he spent those days. Well, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Gary returned from a 120-day suspension in March 2008 and went to the winner’s circle with the first horse he saddled. He revealed that it felt good to be back.

Sciacca stated that he spend the suspension days taking it easy, hitting the gym, and having some fun. He returned with 14 horses, which was less than half the 35 horses he had when he was suspended.

At the time, Gary revealed that his goal was to win another meet somewhere. So, has been successful in doing so? Let’s find out.

Gary Sciacca’s Career So Far

Gary has made a name for himself in the horse racing world. After his suspended days ended, he came back and has ever since worked hard to prove himself.

Gary has won several races over the years onboard notable horses. Gary Sciacca’s earnings are a testament to the success he has achieved in the horse.

Here are some of the major racing wins of the horse trainer.

  • Beldame Stakes (1992)
  • Kingston Handicap (2001)
  • Hollywood Derby (1997)
  • Poker Stakes (1994)
  • Gazelle Stakes (1992)
  • Jamaica Handicap (1997), etc.

Although Gary has not won any races in recent years, he might someday, as he is still involved in the racing business. We hope he has more successful days in the future.

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