Monmouth Park Stewards Suspend Two Jockeys For Using Riding Crop During Race

Two jockeys received five-day suspensions and $500 fines for violating the New Jersey Racing Commission’s riding crop rule stating the crop can only be used “when necessary to control the horse to avoid injury to the horse or rider.”

The two cases are as different as night and day.

Jockey Carlos Eduardo Lopez, who recently came to the United States from Uruguay, was sanctioned for his ride aboard Venezuelan Talent in the seventh race at Monmouth Park on July 11. Kevin Witte, agent for Lopez, said the rider admitted that he “got caught up in the moment” and used the crop to encourage his mount when he was fighting for the lead in the stretch. Venezuelan Affair was overtaken in deep stretch by Emirates Affair, finishing second by a length.

“He only speaks Spanish, but he was told before the race he could not use the whip but that he had the choice to take it with him for protection,” Witte said. “He apologized and will accept the suspension.”

Lopez will be suspended from July 24-July 28, inclusive.

Carlos Montalvo plans to appeal the suspension and fine he received for his ride aboard M I Six, winner of the first race at Monmouth Park on July 11. Montalvo claimed in a hearing with Monmouth Park stewards that he used the whip to prevent M I Six from bolting on the turn – something the gelding’s exercise rider said happened during morning training. According to the Equibase chart, Montalvo struck M I Six three times with the crop as the gelding was drifting out on the turn.

The New Jersey Racing Commission prohibits its stewards from talking to the media, referring all inquiries to the office of the New Jersey attorney general, which oversees the commission. The commission has obfuscated when asked to explain what types of situations would warrant acceptable use of the riding crop for safety.

The sanctions against Montalvo suggest the stewards are saying either a horse drifting out and with a history of bolting does not merit use of the riding crop, or they believe Montalvo and those who testified on his behalf at the hearing – including the exercise rider – are being dishonest.

M I Six was entered in a race earlier this week at Parx but was listed as a vet scratch.

Attorney Drew Mollica, who represented Montalvo at the stewards’ hearing, will handle his appeal. His suspension is scheduled to run from Aug. 24-Aug 28, inclusive.

Stewards have scheduled a hearing next week with Flavien Prat to consider sanctions for his ride aboard Hot Rod Charlie in the Grade 1 tvg.com Haskell Stakes on July 17. Hot Rod Charlie finished first but was disqualified and placed last after drifting in without clearance after passing Midnight Bourbon in mid-stretch. Midnight Bourbon clipped the heels of Hot Rod Charlie and stumbled badly, unseating Paco Lopez. Neither horse nor rider was seriously injured.

The post Monmouth Park Stewards Suspend Two Jockeys For Using Riding Crop During Race appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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