Busy Whips at Del Mar

From the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club’s minutes, July 26-August 1:

“Jockey JAMES GRAHAM came to the office to review his crop use during two races yesterday. In the seventh, we wanted to review his flagging style to the extent that his flagging looks very similar to a strike. We asked that he be a little more clear with respect to whether he was whipping or flagging both from a stewarding standpoint, as well as a perception [italics added] standpoint. We also reviewed the third race. Although Mr. Graham was initially skeptical about whether he had struck his mount four times in succession, the video made that fact clear.” Fine: $300

“Jockey BRICE BLANC called yesterday in lieu of his hearing this morning. He examined his ride in the first race and acknowledged that he violated the crop rule. He explained that his mount was pulling up, but also acknowledged that this was not an excuse to use his crop more than three times in succession.” Fine: $200

“Jockey COREY NAKATANI came to the office to review his ride in the seventh race. He struck his mount four times in succession.” Fine: $200

“Assistant trainer JOSE SANCHEZ is fined FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS for violation of California Horse Racing Board rule #1902.5 (Animal Welfare – creating a saddle sore and riding a lame horse).”

“Jockey KENT DESORMEAUX came to the office to review his ride in the third race yesterday. We also discussed the fact that he failed a breathalyzer test yesterday afternoon and was removed from his remaining mounts. We referred the matter to the investigative staff and explained that he would be permitted to ride in the interim provided that he submitted to a breathalyzer before each racing card.”

“Jockey DRAYDEN VANDYKE came to the office to review his ride in the fifth race yesterday [July 30] during which he struck his mount seven times in succession without giving the horse a chance to respond. We considered a stiffer than normal penalty because this was excessive but ultimately elected for the normal progression during the first few months of the new rule.” Fine: $300

“Jockey DRAYDEN VANDYKE [again] came to the office to review his crop use in the fifth race yesterday [July 31]. On two occasions, he used his riding crop four times in succession without giving his mount a chance to respond.” Fine: $500 (Perhaps they should have gone for the “stiffer penalty” after all.)

This is horseracing.

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  1. Maybe they should start putting these fines into the retirement fund for these babies, if they get that far…I think fining these guys does little to stop the behavior, suspension from riding and some sort of behavior classes might be better..but of course the bet solution would be to just stop this cruel, inhumane “sport” called horseracing…

  2. Slaps on the wrist, fines and suspensions will never stop this abuse. They have proved to be ineffective deterrents for decades.

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