By Ray Paulick
Jockey Jamie Theriot has been suspended 30 days by Illinois Racing Board stewards for his actions in Saturday's Arlington Matron Handicap that resulted in a spill in which jockey Rene Douglas has been seriously injured and possibly paralyzed from the waist down.
The ruling against the 30-year-old Theriot reads: “Jockey Jamie Theriot is hereby suspended from riding 30 calendar days, Saturday, May 30, 2009, through Sunday, June 28, 2009, inclusive, for permitting his mount ‘Sky Mom' to jostle another horse during the running of the 9th race Saturday, May 23, 2009, causing the jostled horse to clip heels and fall, injuring both jockey and horse. Jockey Theriot's mount ‘Sky Mom' was disqualified from 5th to last position.”
The ruling was signed by state stewards Joseph Lindeman and Eddie Arroyo and association steward Peter Kosiba Jr.
Theriot had Sky Mom racing along the rail throughout the 1 1/8-mile Matron. Douglas' mount Born to Be was right alongside Sky Mom as the field hit the top of the stretch, when Theriot appeared to angle Sky Mom out for racing room. The two horses bumped or jostled, and Born to Be clipped the heels of another horse, stumbling and throwing Douglas, then rolling over the fallen rider.
Douglas, 42, was placed on a stretcher and taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital. Later that night, he was moved to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, where he underwent seven hours of spinal surgery. His agent, Dennis Cooper, told reporters the native of Panama who came to the U.S. in 1983 and is a six-time Arlington Park riding champion might never walk again. Cooper said doctors held out remote hopes the paralysis might disappear as the swelling to the spinal region is reduced.
Born to Be, a 4-year-old stakes-placed A.P. Indy filly owned by Chiefswood Stable, was euthanized.
Theriot is based in Kentucky, where he is currently fifth in the Churchill Downs standings, with 18 wins from 105 mounts.
Copyright © 2009, The Paulick Report
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