Kentucky Derby winner banned from racing after string of offences including providing ‘false and altered documents’
KENTUCKY Derby hero Sonny Leon has been banned from racing.
The jockey of shock 80-1 winner Rich Strike has been suspended as a number of previous rules infractions have totted up.Kentucky Derby hero Leon is currently banned from racing after a string of offences this season[/caption]
One of them included ‘presenting false and altered documents from a physical examination’, report the New York Post.
A four-day ban for careless riding in a previous race kicked in on Monday and Leon, 32, cannot race again until Friday.
Leon has been hit with five bans since September, with three of them for careless riding.
Another was for the allegedly false papers provided to West Virginia stewards.
While another was for ‘inflicting visible injuries on one of his mounts through misuse of the whip’, say the Courier Journal.
Venezuelan Leon has been banned for a total of 32 days since September – but is the talk of the racing world for his unforgettable ride on the rank outsider.
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Rich Strike, who was seen biting a man and pony in the immediate aftermath of victory, scythed through the field to win the £1.3million race last Saturday.
Leon is booked for seven rides at his home track Belterra Park, in Cincinnati, on Friday, by which time his ban will have ended.
The jockey’s agent Jeff Perrin spoke of how the race has changed all their lives.
He said: “Without a shadow of a doubt, it’s put him (Leon) on the map. It’s hard to fathom. We’re still trying to come back to earth.”
But regarding the latest offence – which came in a race at Thistledown on April 27 – he refused to say too much for ‘political reasons’.
He added: “You do have to be aggressive to win.
“I think there are judgment calls that people make, and I don’t want to comment on it too much for political reasons. But you have to be aggressive.”
Leon did not appeal against the length of the ban, which came after stewards ruled he had ‘deliberately and aggressively steered in towards the rail to block on-coming horses on the inside’.
As is common in racing, the timing of the ban was set so as not to stop the jockey from competing in big races.
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