NY Post Reports on NYRA Trial

New York Post

Through The Binocs
By Ed Fountaine

September 13, 2007 -- So-called "Fat Jockeys" trial, which opened Sept. 4 in Saratoga County Court, could be nearing resolution. In investigation initiated by NYRA in 2004, clerk of scales Mario Sclafani and his assistant, retired Hall of Fame jockey Braulio Baeza, were accused of allowing several top riders, including Jose Santos and Cornelio Velasquez, to ride overweight. Sclafani and Baeza were fired by NYRA and indicted by then-attorney general, now Gov. Eliot Spitzer, charged with fraud conspiracy, larceny, and tampering with sports event. But the case, which appeared flimsy to begin with, seems to be falling apart.

"The way the evidence has unfolded, we feel the prosecution is in serious, serious trouble at this point," Sclafani's attorney, Todd Greenberg, told The Post yesterday. "The videos that were shown (by prosecution) have established everything the defense has been saying: That the methodology used (by investigators) was terribly flawed and inaccurate."

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