Jockey Martin Osuna Suspended for Alleged Use of Electrical Device
The action was taken by Turf Paradise stewards on Wednesday.
December 14, 2016
The Turf Paradise Board of Stewards has suspended jockey Martin Humberto Osuna for allegedly having is his possession what stewards believe to be an electrical device, during the running of Sunday's $21,000 Mike Hastings Memorial Stakes at Turf Paradise.
Osuna rode Captain On Takeoff, the winner of the 400-yard stakes. The rider can be seen in a track photographer's finish line photo, holding something in his left hand that appears to be the alleged device.
“The track photographer noticed something as he was reviewing the photos of the day's races and subsequently notified the Turf Paradise management,” said Greg Stiles, Enforcement Manager for Arizona Department of Gaming's Racing Division. “Turf Paradise then notified the stewards, who immediately summarily suspended Osuna and ordered an investigation of the incident.”
On Monday morning, the board contacted Osuna and gave the jockey 24 hours to appear and explain the photo. The jockey met with the stewards on Tuesday morning and denied any wrongdoing. A notice of hearing was issued immediately after the Tuesday meeting.
At his Wednesday, December 14th hearing, Osuna was suspended for 180 days and fined $2,500. The stewards then referred the matter to the Division of Racing's Director with a recommended suspension of five additional years. As a result of the ruling, the stewards also disqualified Captain on Takeoff, declaring the horse unplaced, and ordered a redistribution of the purse money.
There is no word if Osuna plans to appeal the ruling.
“This investigation is not over by any means with the stewards' ruling,” said Stiles. “There is much work to be done to discover whether others were involved in this incident. If evidence suggests that Osuna didn't act alone, we'll take appropriate action against those parties as well.”
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