Fresu To Begin Serving 32 Calendar Days For Multiple HISA Riding Crop Violations

It was a good news, bad news Labor Day weekend for jockey Antonio Fresu at Del Mar.

First, the bad news.

The 31-year-old native of Italy was suspended for the sixth time for violating the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority’s six-strike riding crop limit while aboard Lunar Impact, winner of the first race on Sept. 2. He received a one-day suspension and $492 fine for the violation, plus three multiple violation points for the Class 3 offense.

That brought Fresu’s total points to 18, triggering an additional 15-day suspension under HISA rules. The prior week, Fresu was notified of his fourth and fifth whip violations, each of which came with a one-day suspension and fine. Those two rulings triggered two separate seven-day suspensions under the multiple violation structure that calls for seven-day suspensions for accumulating 11-15 points over a six-month period. The next level, 16-20 points, result in 15 days; 21 or more points, 30 days.

So where’s the good news?

Last week’s rulings said the suspensions were to be served on racing days in Southern California, meaning his 16-day ban would have run from Sept. 8 through Oct. 9. California Horse Racing Board stewards, at the request of Tom Knust, Fresu’s agent, sought clarification from HISA on whether the suspensions are meant to be served only on racing days or as calendar days. HISA officials said the rule was intended to mean calendar days, so the previous rulings were amended.

As a result, all 32 days of Fresu’s suspension will be served as calendar days. By coincidence, the aggregate 32 days of suspensions will extend to the same date, Oct. 9, as the 16 days would have run were it racing days.

Knust told Mike Willman on the ThoroughbredLA radio show on Sept. 3 that Fresu, newly arrived from Dubai in April, developed a habit of tapping his mounts once at the top of the stretch, then using the crop six times down the lane. “That puts him at seven,” Knust said. “He can’t do that tap first.” All of Fresu’s violations were for going one strike over the limit, Knust said.

Fresu is allowed to ride in designated races and is named on two horses at Del Mar Sept. 9: Turnerloose in the Grade 2 John C. Mabee for Phil D’Amato; and Cheeky Gal for Peter Miller in the G1 FanDuel Racing Del Mar Debutante Stakes.

Virtually unknown in Southern California when he arrived from Dubai at the suggestion of Doug O’Neill assistant Leandro Mora, Fresu has had an exceptional Del Mar meet, coming into the final three days with 31 wins from 169 mounts, second only to perennial leader Juan Hernandez in the standings.

The post Fresu To Begin Serving 32 Calendar Days For Multiple HISA Riding Crop Violations appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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