A father and son have admitted to using snake venom in order to fix two races at the Saratoga harness track in late 2006.
William Barrack, 68, and Keith Barrack, 43, were co-owners of a horse called Disco Force A, and William Barrack was a trainer at the track.
The two were among five men indicted in March on charges of conspiracy in the alleged doping of horses at the Saratoga Gaming and Raceway. Of the five people charged, the Barracks were the only two people who faced felonies.
They were each charged with two counts of first-degree scheming to defraud, a felony, as well as two counts of conspiracy, two counts of interference with a domestic animal and two counts of tampering with a sports contest, all misdemeanors.
They pleaded guilty only to a felony charge of interference with a domestic animal.
The men will likely be sentenced to five years' probation in August, according to Judge Jerry Scarano. They are free on a $10,000 bond posted after the March arraignment.
The three other men indicted in March -- Marc Mosher, 48, of Montgomery; Robert Moscone, 60, of Wappingers Falls; and Carl Forrester, 31, of Lewes, Del. -- were each charged with two misdemeanor counts of conspiracy. They have yet to appear in court.
Saratoga County District Attorney James Murphy III said his office worked with the state police and the New York State Racing and Wagering Board after receiving information that individuals were suspected of injecting drugs and snake venom into harness track horses.
Murphy said the effect of snake venom is to numb the horse to pain.
A horse can run through a situation that can be very dangerous and cause quite a bit of damage, Murphy said. "It's like a person who takes a lot of painkillers, they can hurt themselves without knowing it."