Monmouth Park winning jockey suspended for breaking NJ anti-whip rule

Monmouth Park stewards issued the first of two high-profile decisions on Friday, suspending Carlos Montalvo for five days and fining him $ 500 for breaking New Jersey’s new rule restricting the use of whips during races .

The incident took place during the first race on July 11. It is considered a test for the country’s strictest regulations, which prohibit a rider from using a whip to “cheer” on a horse, restricting its use “except for safety reasons,”

As he rolled over MI Six, Montalvo used a right handed whip three times while challenging the lead on the outside while rounding the turn. 4-year-old gelding making a second career start, MI Six drew a three-length win at 28-1 odds.

In a hearing with the flight attendants on July 16, Montalvo, represented by attorney Drew Mollica, argued that his use of the whip was due to a safety concern because MI Six was doing well, believing it to be a danger to himself and to other riders and horses. In the race. Montalvo also argued that MI Six had behaved badly since performing in the saddle zone and paddock before the race.

MI Six, ridden by Carlos Montalvo, wins the first race at Monmouth Park on Sunday July 11, 2021.

Montalvo will appeal the decision. Bet payouts are unaffected by Friday’s decision.

With 1,213 victories in his career, Montalvo’s mounts have grossed $ 25.8 million. He is currently seventh in the Monmouth Park jockeys standings for wins (12) and prize money ($ 392,927).

The controversial rule, which led several regular Monmouth Park jockeys to decide to ride elsewhere this summer, has been pushed into in the national spotlight at last Saturday’s Haskell Stakes, the first major American race – a Category 1 with a million dollar purse – where runners couldn’t use a whip.

Stewards are yet to rule on the heartbreaking incident in the nationally televised stretch of the race that resulted in the disqualification of winner Hot Rod Charlie for interfering with Midnight Bourbon at the eighth pole. Hot Rod Charlie, ridden by Flavien Prat, veered inside towards Mandaloun on the rail, tripping Midnight Bourbon’s heels, knocking down jockey Paco Lopez.

Midnight Bourbon and Lopez were uninjured, with Lopez coming back to win Sunday’s first race.

Prat, who should have an audition next week with the flight attendants, publicly stated that the new state whip rule played a role in the incident. Prat did not use his whip to correct Hot Rod Charlie, although the rule allows it in emergency situations.

New Jersey racing officials have not made any public comment on the incident.

Currently riding in Del Mar in Southern California, Prat has won races with a national record of 27% this year, while his mounts have earned $ 11.5 million, the fourth best nationally.

Monmouth Park Stewards issued jockey Carlos Lopez with a five-day suspension and a $ 500 fine for using a whip in race seven on July 11.

Unlike Montalvo, Lopez, who was making his first start at Monmouth Park and only the seventh of his career in the United States, did not argue that he had used him due to a security situation.

Lopez has clearly tried to cheer on his steed, Venezuelan Talent, using the whip to try and push the eventual winner Emirates Affair back into the stretch. Lopez will be suspended from July 24 to 29.

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