Drafted owners appeal Forego DQ over riding crop violation

Drafted owners appeal Forego DQ over riding crop violation

Photo: Sue Kawczynski/Eclipse Sportswire

The owners of Writtenwho finished fifth in Saturday’s Forego Stakes (G1) at Saratoga, appealed a ruling that would disqualify their horse from fifth place and $26,000 share of the purse due to a whip violation .

Under rules set by the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority, a jockey is limited to six strikes with the crop in a race. NYRA stewards determined that jockey Luis Rodriguez Castro used it 10 times aboard Drafted, a total that triggers disqualification.

As first reported by David Grening of Daily race form, owner Thomas O’Keefe filed an appeal on Friday on behalf of Drafted’s ownership group which includes himself, Truls Engebretsen (Dublin Fjord LLC) and William Nichols (Racepoint Stables LLC). They are asking for a hearing and a stay of the redistribution of scholarships. No date has been set for the appeal hearing.

Attorney Andrew Mollica, who represents Drafted’s ownership group, stressed the need for owners to be involved when HISA makes decisions that impact their purse money. He noted that neither the owners of Drafted nor their attorneys were present when NYRA stewards reviewed Castro’s crop violation, resulting in a lack of constitutionally required due process.

“Their $26,000 is being taken away from them. Under due process laws, you can’t get caught without notice and without a fair hearing.”

In the case of a jockey using the whip 10 to 13 times, HISA prescribes a three-day suspension, a fine of $500 or the jockey’s share of the purse (whichever is greater), disqualification of the horse, and redistribution of the scholarship. silver. If NYRA commissioners determined that a jockey had used the crop seven to nine times, a one-day suspension and a $250 fine is prescribed, but no disqualification or redistribution of the purse.

Castro did not appeal his sanction for the crop violation based on 10 strikes, but Mollica argued that owners’ interests don’t end there, as jockeys’ interests can diverge from those of horse owners. . Mollica cited the stark difference in penalties for nine crop strikes versus 10, and stressed the need for transparency in film reviews when thousands of dollars can hang on determining a crop swing.

“If we’re going to have a hold, if you will, we need a full-fledged audience, where we watch the movies,” he said.

Mollica also expressed concern that issues with counting and reviewing the number of harvest strikes could arise in races with even bigger profiles and purses than the Forego.

“It’s only a matter of time until that happens in the Belmont Derby or the Belmont Stakes, and all of a sudden nine crop hits become ten, and someone gives up a share of the winner of $600,000.”

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