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Banned Tampa Bay Downs vet awaits hearing

OLDSMAR — The Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering said it has no timetable on a hearing for Orlando Paraliticci, a private veterinarian who has been banned from Tampa Bay Downs.

The hearing before a three-member board of stewards was scheduled for Friday, but FDPW spokeswoman Sandi Poreda said Wednesday that it will take place once the investigation is finished.

"Because the investigation is ongoing, we're not able to provide any additional information," she said. "When that investigation has been completed, we'll work to get that hearing rescheduled."

The Downs declined to say why it banned Paraliticci, who operates a veterinary clinic in Oldsmar, earlier this month.

According to paulickreport.com, a website that covers horse racing, Paraliticci gave a horse prohibited treatment on race day near the barn of Jane Cibelli, the Downs' second-leading trainer and the only woman to win a conditioning title (twice) at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, N.J.

Cibelli continues to race horses at the Downs. She said Paraliticci was her vet until recently.

"Neither myself nor my assistants were in the barn when this supposedly took place," Cibelli said. "The story going around is that I'm standing right there when (Paraliticci) is doing whatever he was supposed to be doing. The first thing I knew about (the alleged incident) was when I got a phone call from the stewards.

"The other thing is he practiced two more days after that. To my knowledge, he was not banned because of when they searched his vehicle."

Cibelli is expected to be a major player in the Grade II $350,000 Tampa Bay Derby on March 9 with undefeated Purple Egg.

An attempt to contact Paraliticci was unsuccessful.

Since 2005, Cibelli, 51, has been fined five times at the Downs for medication violations, according to Thoroughbred Regulatory Rulings, an online database of rulings on horse trainers from regulatory authorities. The most recent was May 7, 2011.

"I can assure you we will, obviously, put through our investigation as a priority," Poreda said. "Generally speaking, we do have administrative actions available if our licensees are found in violation of state laws and regulations."

Banned Tampa Bay Downs vet awaits hearing 02/13/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 9:47pm]
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