Jockey facing 60-day suspension for whipping fellow rider

April 20, 2019 09:42am
Oaklawn Park-based jockey David Cohen, who is battling Ricardo Santana Jr. for a meet title, will appeal a 60-day suspension handed down by stewards for allegedly whipping not his horse, but rather a fellow rider, during the Arkansas track’s eighth race on April 6.

Per the stewards’ report, two jockeys and a valet presented "credible evidence" that Cohen, who was aboard Bolita Boyz, used his whip on Morales, who had the mount on No Funny Biz, hitting him in the “right thigh causing four welts.” 

It wasn't quite the "Fighting Finish" to the 1933 Kentucky Derby all over again. The 4-5 favorite Bolita Boyz finished fourth in the race, with No Funny Biz finishing fifth. 

According to the report, Morales confronted Cohen post-race, telling him, “You whipped me more than you did your horse,” leading Cohen to reply, “Be patient and don’t take me wide.” Cohen then allegedly responded by saying that he hit Morales a few times because he had taken Cohen out wide near the top of the stretch.

Cohen is aboard the middle horse in the video below. Head on film is just as inconclusive.

Cohen was also assigned a two-day suspension set for next Thursday and Friday for “careless riding” when aboard Petrov in Oaklawn’s eighth race on April 7.

The stewards came to the conclusion in the 60-day case that Cohen was in violation of ARC rule #2163 (prohibiting a jockey to use a riding crop/whip on any other jockey in any race), jeopardizing the safety of other jockeys and horses in the race. 

Cohen testified that he would not deliberately hit another jockey with his riding crop/whip, and that if it happened, it was accidental.

If the suspension holds, it would run from April 27 through June 25. The jockey can still ride up to the appeal hearing on May 4.

Cohen plans to ride at Churchill Downs, where the suspension would carry over from Arkansas, after Oaklawn’s meet ends that same day.

Leaving Friday, Cohen tallied 59 wins from 259 starts this year, with his mounts earning nearly $2.2 million. He is sits second in the Oaklawn jockey standings, just two wins behind Santana Jr.


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