Legal marijuana venture for trainer whose career high came on the grass
USA: Trainer Marcus Vitali’s 888-win career went to pot metaphorically last July when he was banned for a year and fined $2,500 for interfering with a drug investigation at Delaware Park.
Now, however, it appears the G1-winning trainer might be going to pot literally. According to a report in the Massachusetts-based Attleboro Sun Chronicle, Vitali is seeking to move into the business of legal marijuana cultivation.
Best known for his exploits at Gulfstream Park, Vitali has a checkered history including a number of medication violations over the years – according to the Thoroughbred Daily News, 23 in Florida alone between 2011 and the start of 2016.
On the plus side, his biggest career high came on the grass with the shock 39-1 success of Lochte in the G1 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap in 2014; Vitali also supervised the long career of million-dollar earner Valid.
Attleboro is a small town about 39 miles south of Boston, population 43,593 in the latest census. In a story picked up by the Thoroughbred Daily News, the local paper headlined Vitali’s potential new venture ‘Horse trainer with tainted past wants to open Attleboro pot farm’, suggesting the 59-year-old is looking to start a marijuana-growing facility in a former factory building down the street from a used car lot he already owns.
“I’m getting ready to retire and need something to do to keep busy,” Vitali told the Sun Chronicle. A special permit hearing is scheduled for February 20.