Sports Outside the Beltway

Kentucky Horse Racing Commission suspends Jockey Calvin Borel

You may remember him for his riding two of the last three Kentucky Derby winners, including 2009 champion, Mine That Bird. From the Daily Racing Form-

Calvin Borel was issued a three-day suspension on Nov. 21 by the Churchill stewards after his mount, Pulpit’s Secret, was disqualified from first to second in the 10th race on Nov. 20.

Jockeys or harness horse drivers getting suspended after a horse of theirs is disqualified is not normally news worthy. Except…..

Three days later, Borel appealed the suspension, which resulted in an automatic stay of the penalty. The stay allowed Borel to ride during the final weekend of racing at Churchill’s fall meet and secure the meet’s riding title.

According to the commission, Borel dropped his appeal on Dec. 12, indicating that the appeal was filed only to avoid serving the days because of where they landed on the calendar. The new suspension will run from Jan. 15-17 and Jan. 22-24, both three-day stretches from a Friday to a Sunday.

Earlier in 2009, the commission voted to double a 15-day suspension handed down to trainer Rick Dutrow in 2008 after the trainer appealed the suspension.

Penalizing someone for appealing a verdict to me, looks like a violation of due process. Burel’s suspension took away his right to make a living for three days, and he appealed it. The Racing Commission penalizes him for making an appeal. Would this hold up in a court of law? I’m no lawyer, but to my sensibilities the actions taken against Borel are a violation of due process.

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