Jockey Rose suspended for abusing horse

By FRANK ANGST
Thoroughbred Times | 25 June 2008

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Jockey Jeremy Rose - NTRA PhotoJockey Jeremy Rose, perhaps best known as the regular rider of dual classic winner Afleet Alex, will face a long suspension after an alleged horse-abuse incident in the stretch of a race at Delaware Park on Monday.

Taking quick action, the Delaware Thoroughbred Commission levied a six-month suspension against Rose for striking Appeal to the City in the face with his whip after losing a stretch duel. The five-year-old mare battled with Robin des Tune in the stretch of the five-furlong turf sprint before yielding to the eventual winner. Soon after, as Appeal to the City faded to third, Rose struck the mare’s face with his whip.

John Wayne, executive director for the Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission, said Rose was sanctioned for misusing the whip and animal abuse. Besides the six-month suspension, he will be required to attend anger-management classes, and pay the injured mare’s veterinary bills.

“We don’t tolerate these types of things,” Wayne said.

Rose said that hitting the mare in the face was an accident. The stewards required the suspension to begin immediately, calling the infraction “extreme misuse of the whip.”

Rose said he would not pursue a stay of the suspension to ride before a July 22 hearing date before the Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission. His agent, John “Kid” Breeden, said the rider plans to appeal the ruling at the hearing.

Appeal to the City suffered an eye injury in the incident and was sent to the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center for an examination.

In a head-on replay of the race, the third on Monday’s card, Rose is seen raising the whip in his left hand and striking Appeal to the City in the face. The mare slowed when hit and then veered sharply out into the center of the course. Rose said he was attempting to hit the mare on her shoulder to keep her from lugging in.

“I want everyone to know that this was an accident and not an intentional act on my part,” Rose said. “I did not mean to hit her in the face. … Notwithstanding that this was an accident and was unintentional, I failed to meet the standards required of me in this instance.”

The Delaware stewards contest that version of the story. Wayne has made a head-on video available to interested parties. The video has been posted on http://www.youtube.com.

Rose said immediately after the race he talked to trainer Howard Wolfendale’s wife, Tammy, to find out about the condition of the horse and also called the stewards to explain what happened.

“I do not believe for a second that Jeremy acted intentionally or sought to hurt my filly,” said Howard Wolfendale, adding that he plans to use the rider in the future. “I’m sure he meant to hit her on the shoulder. It was an accident and should be viewed as such.”

Wolfendale said the eye was not seriously injured and Appeal to the City’s vision appears to be fine.

“She is returning to my barn at Laurel Park today,” Wolfendale said Wednesday.

Rose won the Eclipse Award as outstanding apprentice jockey in 2001. In 2005, he guided Afleet Alex to victories in the Preakness (G1) and Belmont (G1) Stakes. This year through June 24, Rose ranked 15th among North American riders by earnings with $4,102,295. The 29-year-old rider has 15 stakes wins in 2008, including a victory on Sunday aboard Lady Digby in the $150,000 All Along Stakes (G3) at Colonial Downs.

“There are no words to describe how badly I feel abut this incident,” Rose said. “At the end of the day, the most important thing to me is my honesty, integrity, and sportsmanship.”

Last June, Philadelphia Park stewards suspended jockey Victor Molina for 30 days and fined him $1,000 for kicking his mount, Yes Yes OhYes, after the horse acted up in the gate and was scratched. In December 2002, Aqueduct stewards fined rider Victor Carrero $2,000 and suspended him for 15 days after he threw his whip and a clod of dirt at his mount, Saltaat, after the four-year-old colt broke down just past the finish line.
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Frank Angst is senior writer for Thoroughbred Times

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