Report: Top Santa Anita Jockeys Hit With New Whip Suspensions

Not for the first time, Santa Anita riders Umberto Rispoli and Juan Hernandez have been suspended for whip use. According to the Daily Racing Form, Rispoli was given a three-day suspension for using his whip in an overhand manner during the Grade 3 Thunder Road Stakes on Feb. 6. Hernandez was also suspended three days for using his whip more than the permitted six times during the second race at Santa Anita on Jan. 31.

In January, Rispoli got his fourth whip rule violation in two months, making the most recent his fifth in quick succession. This ruling is the fourth for Hernandez in the past two months.

Numerous whip rule violations have been handed out by California stewards since Oct. 1, 2020, when new regulations went into effect. Jockeys can now only strike a horse six times during a race and no more than twice in succession and may not use the whip in an overhanded manner. Riders protested the changes at the time, claiming the restrictions would make it more difficult for a jockey to use the whip intuitively or to safely correct a horse they believe may be about to bolt or shy.

Read more at the Daily Racing Form

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