Jockey Didiel Osorio has been summarily suspended by Indiana Horse Racing Commission stewards after allegedly being in possession of an illegal electrical device following the fifth race at Indiana Grand on Thursday.
Osorio rode the winner, 7-10 favorite Deep Explorer, owned by Jeff Allen, Michael Thomas and Donald Habeeb and trained by Habeeb.
According to senior state steward Stan Bowker, Indiana Horse Racing Commission investigator Toni Sperle conducted a search that began in the winner's circle while Osorio was weighing in after the fifth race and ended in the jockeys room. Electrical devices, made from small batteries, wires and electrical tape, can be concealed in a jockey's hand during a race and are used to shock or stimulate a horse. Commonly referred to as buzzers, batteries or machines, they are illegal in racing and can lead to lengthy suspensions.
Osorio was removed from his remaining mounts at Indiana Grand on Thursday and a summary suspension was issued Friday that will be reciprocated in other states. An initial hearing has been set for Aug. 22.
The summary suspension, pending completion of an investigation, cites a violation of IHRC Rule #71 IAC 7.5-6-5 (d) (4), and states that “possession of an electrical device on the grounds of an association is conduct that is against the best interest of horse racing or compromises the integrity of racing.”
Osorio, a 23-year-old native of Panama, has been riding at both Indiana Grand and Ellis Park in Kentucky, where he ranks third in the current jockey standings, with 13 wins from 80 mounts. Osorio was leading rider at Ellis Park in 2015, winning 25 races from 171 mounts. He began his U.S. riding career in 2013 and has 235 wins from 2,037 mounts.
Bowker said the maximum penalty the stewards can assess for possession of an electrical device is a one-year license suspension and $5,000 fine, but the case may be referred to the commission, which has the authority to issue additional sanctions.
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