This weekend, jockey Sonny Leon had the best day of his career, winning the Kentucky Derby atop 80-1 longshot Rich Strike. Just days later, he’s been suspended for careless riding.
Leon is currently serving a four-day suspension for careless riding related to an April 27 race that took place at Ohio’s Thistledown Racecourse.
According to the AP, Leon was suspended by Ohio racing stewards for “deliberately and aggressively” steering One Glamorous Gal toward the rail to block other horses from passing. Leon reportedly interfered with jockey Alexander Chavez, who was riding Ultra Rays, which led to One Glamorous Gal being disqualified after finishing in third place.
The suspension is Leon’s fifth since last fall and the Louisville Courier-Journal reported that three suspensions were for careless riding. He was also suspended for “presenting false and altered documents from a physical examination to West Virginia stewards and another for inflicting visible injuries on one of his mounts through misuse of the whip.”
While the Ohio suspension applies to races in all states, Leon’s agent Jeff Perrin told AP that he would be eligible to ride in the Preakness if Rich Strike were entered, but the horse’s owner has announced that they’ll skip the Preakness and focus instead on the Belmont Stakes.
Leon is currently scheduled to return to the track on Friday where he’s expected to race six times at Belterra Park in Cincinnati.