Indiana Grand’s Leading Quarter Horse Jockey Summarily Suspended

Samuel “Sammy” Mendez, currently the leading Quarter Horse jockey at the Indiana Grand meet in Shelbyville, Ind., has been summarily suspended and is awaiting a hearing before the track’s board of stewards.

A ruling dated Sept. 15 said Mendez is “hereby summarily suspended for actions not in the best interest of racing and which compromise the integrity of operations at a racetrack.” The ruling said the infraction occurred on Sept. 4, when Mendez won with three of nine starts – all for trainer Randy M. Smith – including the $84,200 Bob Woodward Memorial Classic Stakes and the $108,591 QHRAI Stallion Service Auction Derby.

Multiple sources told the Paulick Report that Mendez is being investigated in connection with discovery of an illegal electrical device.

A hearing was originally scheduled for Sept. 20 but has been postponed while an investigation continues, according to Deena Pitman, executive director of the Indiana Horse Racing Commission.

Mendez, who was last seen in the saddle on Sept. 13, primarily rides for Smith, Indiana Grand’s all-time leading Quarter Horse conditioner and leading the trainer standings there from 2015-’20.

Mendez won the 2020 Quarter Horse riding title.

Mendez has won with 38 of 138 mounts during the current meet. Smith has 62 wins from 287 starts, more than double his closest pursuer.

The most recent Quarter Horse jockey penalized for possession of an illegal electrical device at Indiana Grand was Juan Guerrero, who was suspended 10 years and fined $5,000 in 2015.

On Aug. 11, 2015, officials were tipped off that Guerrero would have an electrical device with metal prongs sticking out of holes cut in the palm of a glove while riding in the 10th race. After being stopped by security following the race, Guerrero ran off toward the jockeys room and was seen throwing an item toward the track’s casino. The next day an electrical device was found in that area. One of Guerrero’s gloves had two holes punched in it.

The horse Guerrero rode to victory in the race in question was Stone Toasted, trained by Randy M. Smith.

The post Indiana Grand’s Leading Quarter Horse Jockey Summarily Suspended appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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