Jockey Kent Desormeaux rode Take a Leap in the fourth race at Del Mar on Saturday, and was caught near the wire to finish third. Stewards called a hearing on Sunday morning with Desormeaux, regarding allegations that he did not persevere with his mount all the way to the wire, but eventually decided to pass the issue on to investigators with the California Horse Racing board, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.
“What we held today was an informal hearing,” said steward John Herbuveaux. “The investigators will talk to everyone everyone involved and then decide if there should be a hearing before the California Horse Racing Board.”
Re stewards referral of Desormeaux matter to CHRB investigators, this is not to be interpreted as referral to Board. Investigators routinely gather factual information to determine if complaint should be filed with stewards for a formal hearing. Only would reach Board on appeal.
— Michael Marten (@CHRBMike) August 27, 2018
Early in the stretch run of that same race, Desormeaux hit Take a Leap four times in a row with his whip, which resulted in a fine of $200 (riders are not allowed to hit the horse more than three times without waiting for a response). Desormeaux was accused of not persevering with the horse in the final portion of the stretch run, and he Tweeted the following response to the allegation on Sunday:
I clearly flagged the horse all the way to wire. I was hissing and kissing for more run. Photo finish clearly shows me shoving hard. And head on shows me not standing up until way passed wire.
— Kent DesOrmeaux (@DesormeauxKent) August 26, 2018
Desormeaux has been accused of not riding all the way to the finish before, and has accumulated several fines for the issue over the course of his career.
Read more at the San Diego Union-Tribune.
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