Maximum Security is considered one of the best racehorses in the world. He crossed the finish line first at last year's Kentucky Derby before being disqualified for interfering with another horse.
But now trainer Jason Servis is facing federal charges in Manhattan that he injected Maximum Security and nearly every other racehorse under his control with dangerous performance-enhancing drugs as part of a massive doping scheme.
“The defendants who we charged today engaged in this conduct not for the love of the sport, and certainly not out of the care for the horses, but for money,” said Geoffrey Berman, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District.
Berman brought charges against 27 people Monday, including trainers, veterinarians and drug suppliers. They are accused of shipping and administering performance-enhancing drugs that affected races in New York, New Jersey, three other states, and the United Arab Emirates, and evaded the detection of regulators.
Berman called the drugs dangerous, saying some of them increase pressure on a racehorse's heart.
“These animals were injected and force fed all manner of illegal and experimental drugs, drugs that allow the horses to run unnaturally fast and to mask pain, which as alleged can lead to their injury and death,” said Berman.
Jorge Navarro is another trainer at the center of the indictment.
Authorities say he used performance-enhancing drugs on a racehorse called XY Jet prior to first-place finishes last year in races in Florida and Dubai.
The horse died earlier this year of an apparent heart attack, which authorities say they are still investigating.
“XY Jet was regularly doped with misbranded and adulterated blood builders and other performance enhancing drugs in a callous effort to increase that horse's performance,” said Berman.
It's unclear how many horses died from this doping scheme, but authorities say they have evidence it's at least twenty.
Prosecutors say they have evidence Navarro worked with another defendant to quietly dispose of dead racehorses.
At the same time, the trainers raked in tens of millions of dollars in earnings.