A Manhattan federal judge ripped attorneys for a group of alleged horse-doping trainers who had asked the jurist to recuse herself in the case — calling their request “frivolous” and “intentionally misleading.”
The judge, Mary Kay Vyskocil, was responding to a motion that she recuse herself from the largest horse-doping prosecution in the United States filed by attorneys for defendants, including Jorge Navarro, the alleged doping king of the sport.
In the motion, the attorneys falsely argued that horses owned by Vyskocil raced against steeds owned by two of the defendants, including Navarro, which could potentially make her a victim in the case, the judge said in the hearing Friday.
In reality, the horses were the offspring of animals that Vyskocil once had a “financially negligible interest” in, the judge said.
The races were also run more than a decade before any of the horse-doping allegations outlined in the indictment against the defendants took place, the judge said.
A noticeably annoyed Vyskocil called the motion a blatant attempt by the attorneys to delay proceedings in the case.
Vyskocil said it was an “obvious tactical gambit to delay a determination of defendant’s motion to dismiss.”
“No reasonable person would or could believe I could not provide fairly and impartially over this case,” Vyskocil said.
She added that their letter was “intentionally misleading” because the attorneys falsely claimed the horses connected to Vyskocil were owned by the judge — not the offspring of animals she had invested in years ago.
The judge also denied a motion to dismiss the case filed by defendants, and said she would file a full opinion on her decision in the near future.
A total of 19 defendants are charged in the wide-ranging scandal, which was brought in the Southern District of New York last year.
As part of his role in the scheme, Navarro allegedly “personally administered various adulterated and misbranded” drugs to prize-winning thoroughbred XY Jet at the annual Golden Shaheen race in Dubai in 2019.