Cote Assisted in Bourgault Investigation
Friday, February 2, 2024
Further details on the death of the standardbred race horse “Finish Line” at the hand of trainer Frederick Bourgault at a New York training facility last July reveal that Brice Cote, private investigator for Jeff Gural’s racetracks, played an integral role in the process that led to Bourgault’s and indictment by Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler and eventual arrest on January 30.
Cote was first made aware of the abuse by a confidential source soon after it occurred. He immediately contacted officials at Gural’s tracks to have Bourgault excluded from any presence or participation at those tracks and set about seeing to the details of the overall investigation.
Cote then acquired the name of the attending veterinarian who had euthanized the horse, a young woman with limited experience in the field who had never encountered a situation like this one and was badly shaken by it. Brice helped guide her through the steps necessary to deal with the troubling incident and a course to get it to the hands of the proper authorities.
Cote, a former NJ State Trooper, advised the veterinarian to report the abuse to the NY Gaming Commission and to involve the NY State Police as well.
The police opened an investigation, relying heavily on Cote for guidance in a situation with which they had virtually no experience. Their investigation eventually required the exhumation of the corpse and a necropsy performed to confirm the injuries that ultimately led to the horse’s death.
These details provided reliable evidence that enabled the Orange County DA to indict Bourgault for the crime.
Brice Cote’s experience and expertise, along with the concern for horses that is a priority at the Gural tracks, went a long way in assuring the investigation process would support the charges for these brutal, malicious deeds and rid the industry of those who would commit them.