Maria Borell Pleads Not Guilty To 43 Animal Cruelty Charges Filed In 2016 - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Maria Borell Pleads Not Guilty To 43 Animal Cruelty Charges Filed In 2016

Maria Borell, following the Breeders’ Cup Sprint victory by Runhappy in 2015

Breeders' Cup-winning trainer Maria Borell has pleaded not guilty in Mercer County District Court in Kentucky to 43 charges of animal cruelty originally filed in June 2016.

Russell J. Baldani, attorney for Borel, made the plea on behalf of his client on June 13. A pre-trial conference has been scheduled for Sept. 15 for Borell, who was not immediately served with an arrest warrant for the second degree animal cruelty charges after she left Kentucky.

Baldani told the Harrodsburg Herald – which first reported the not guilty plea – that Borell turned herself in to authorities in May because “she wants to address the allegations and clear her name.”

Cash bond of $7,500 was posted May 17. A condition attached to the bond is that Borell is “not to be responsible for the care of any horses in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.”

Baldani said Borell has not lived in Kentucky since December 2015.

Borell and her father, Charles Borell, were both charged with animal cruelty after 43 neglected horses were found on a Mercer County farm that was leased in the elder Borell's name. Charles Borell entered an Alford guilty plea in the case – meaning he did not admit to committing a crime but conceded there was enough evidence to convict him. Prosecutors dropped 34 animal cruelty charges in exchange for his guilty plea on nine counts. He was put on probation for two years.

Maria Borell trained Eclipse Award-winning sprinter Runhappy for most of his 3-year-old campaign in 2015, when he won the Grade 1 King's Bishop (now H. Allen Jerkens Stakes) at Saratoga and the G1 Breeders' Cup Sprint at Keeneland. She was dismissed the day after the Breeders' Cup by owner James McIngvale and closed out the year with a G1 victory in the Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita.

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