Hearings set for suspended jockeys

May 17, 2009|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. -- The West Virginia Racing Commission is scheduled to be in Shepherdstown, W.Va., next month to hear an appeal from seven suspended jockeys.

The jockeys were suspended for 30 days last month after they were accused of weight-reporting violations at Charles Town Races & Slots.

Laurence Dupuy, a member of the board of stewards, which reviews allegations of impropriety, has said the jockeys and a clerk of scales didn't report that the jockeys were 2 to 6 pounds heavier than the required weights on March 26.

The extra weight left the jockeys within the allowable limit to race, but it had to be reported and publicly announced so bettors were aware, Dupuy has said.


At a Web site called, the jockeys say "the allegations against us are false and we are in the process of litigation."

"We ask for your prayers and continued support as we strive to clear our names and continue with our riding careers that we have been building our entire lives," the site says, without explaining the jockeys' side.

Terry Meyocks, the national manager of the Kentucky-based Jockeys' Guild, which is representing the suspended jockeys, has declined to talk about specifics of the case, but has said inconsistencies in regulations and how they're enforced create problems within the industry.

Charleston, W.Va., lawyer Sean W. Cook of the firm Bailey & Glasser, which the Jockeys Guild hired for the appeal, did not return two phone messages last week.

After The Herald-Mail printed a story last month about the allegations, one of the suspended jockeys contacted a reporter to say he'd talk about the case, but hasn't returned phone messages since then.

The hearing is scheduled for June 16 and 17 at the Bavarian Inn in Shepherdstown, said Kelli Talbott, a state deputy attorney general who represents the racing commission.

Talbott has identified the suspended jockeys as Anthony Mawing, Lawrence Reynolds, Alexis Rios-Conde, Tony Maragh, Luis Perez, Dale Whittaker and Jesus Sanchez.

Besides the 30-day suspension, they were fined $1,000 each.

The clerk of scales, whom Dupuy has identified as Mike Garrison, had his state license revoked and did not appeal.

Following the board of stewards' decision, the track ejected the jockeys for 30 days and banned the clerk of scales indefinitely. On April 16, the jockeys obtained a temporary restraining order letting them race pending an appeal.

This past week's Charles Town race schedule, posted online, lists six of the seven jockeys as riding horses.

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