Racing! Lots of rulings from the stewards

Hello, my name is John Cherwa and welcome back to our horse racing newsletter as we get more details on the kinds of things stewards look at on a daily basis.

This is the day we do our weekly look at the steward’s rulings. However, we’re going to start with a ruling that hasn’t been made.

Hall of fame jockey Kent Desormeaux came under criticism for the end of his ride on Take a Leap on Saturday. Some said he wasn’t fully riding his mount at the end of the race and cost the horse a second placing by a nose. Earlier in the race, Desormeaux used the whip four straight times—one more than allowable—and the stewards fined him.

The stewards totally punted on the decision and turned it over to the California Horse Racing Board for further investigation.

Desormeaux was called in for an informal hearing on the matter on Sunday.

“I explained to them at length that I absolutely had a strong hand ride [until] two jumps past the wire,” Desormeaux told Jeremy Balan on the Bloodhorse. “They accepted my explanation and said they turned it over to the CHRB for further investigation.” You can read Jeremy’s story here.

The guess here is they didn’t fully accept the explanation or they wouldn’t have turned it over for more investigation. Either way, you can watch the race here. The horse in question is the #1.

Stewards’ rulings.

On to the rulings. And we’re playing catch up, so there are a lot. (Additional details to the rulings are from the stewards’ minutes. A lot of good details are available when the minutes are made public in a timely manner.)

--Jockey Kent Desormeaux fined $100 for using the riding crop four times on Aug. 11 on Synthesis. The horse finished third. It was his first offense in last 60 days. (Until last Saturday.)

--Exercise rider Horacio I. Muro was fined $200 for excessive use of the riding crop during morning training. Lead outrider Cindy Ellet reported the violation. Muro “respectfully” told the stewards that he thought the penalty was severe as his horse was being uncooperative.

--Jockey agent Erick (Nelson) Arroyo was fined $200 for failure to conduct his business in a proper manner. Arroyo represents apprentice jockey Heriberto Figueroa. Owner Mary C. Rowan complained to the stewards that Arroyo backed out of a commitment for Figueroa to ride Spirit of Shanghai on Aug. 12. Instead, Figueroa rode Mycella in the race. Mycella won the race. Spirit of Shanghai, ridden by Edwin Maldonado, finished ninth of nine horses.

--Trainer Michael McCarthy was fined $300 for disorderly conduct and abusive behavior on Aug. 13. According to a citation, McCarthy ran the Z Gate after being told by Del Mar security to stop and turn around. McCarthy was said to use foul language when talking to security and again when told that the matter was going to be referred to the stewards. McCarthy was “contrite and apologetic” when informed of the penalty.

--Exercise rider Jose Orozco was suspended after failing to appear for a hearing with the stewards on Aug. 16. On July 8 at Santa Anita, there was an anonymous tip that Orozco was drinking beer while exercising horses. Sgt. Michael Valadez said surveillance cameras, at 7:48 a.m., backed that up and that Orozco admitted to getting on more horses after he had the beer. There was no time put on the suspension.

--Veterinarian Marc McCaughan was fined $500 for inadvertently administering a second dose of Phenylbutazone (Bute) to Oh Jerry on July 1 at Los Alamitos. He administered the drug 30 minutes after another veterinarian had done the same thing. McCaughan, upon learning of the error, immediately notified an official in the receiving barn, who notified the stewards. The horse was medically scratched.

--Trainer Ari Herbertson was fined $200 when his horse Miss Pretty reported to the receiving barn 19 minutes late. Herbertson pleaded guilty before the hearing. Miss Pretty finished eighth in the nine-horse field.

--Trainer Jeff Mullins was fined $200 when Itsinthepost showed up at the receiving barn improperly shod for a turf race on Aug. 18 for the Del Mar Handicap. The problem was corrected in the barn. Itsinthepost finished seventh as the favorite.

--Jockey Flavien Prat, as reported earlier, had an additional day added to his three-day suspension because he rode in three “designed” races on Aug. 18. He served the extra day on Saturday.

--Apprentice jockey Heriberto Figueroa was suspended three days (Aug. 26, 29, 30) for failure to maintain a straight course in the stretch while riding Satrapa on Aug. 18. In the final furlong Figueroa used his whip 15 times, both left and right handed. In the final 25 yards, after another hit from the crop, Satrapa drifted in and impeded Jefferson Davis, ridden by Kent Desormeaux. Satrapa finished second with no change in the order of finish.

There are more rulings, but we’ll wait until we can see the stewards’ minutes.

John Asher, RIP

The racing world mourned the loss on Monday of John Asher, the vice president of racing communications at Churchill Downs. He was the track’s spokesman and can be remembered as the voice of the Kentucky Derby draw. Asher was in Orlando when he complained that he wasn’t feeling well. He was taken by ambulance to the hospital but was pronounced dead. The cause is believed to be a heart attack. He was 62.

Jockey and trainer standings

Here are the current standings from Del Mar.

First, the jockeys.


Drayden Van Dyke 125------33------14------17------26%------51%------$2,113,822

Flavien Prat-------- 108------29------20------6------27%------51%------$1,872,380

Tyler Baze---------- 148------23------18------17------16%------39%------$1,331,220

Heriberto Figueroa 94------19------11------7------20%------39%------$527,750

Assael Espinoza--- 157------17------16------16------11%------31%------$690,003

Geovanni Franco---124------14------14------19------11%------38%------$717,747

Tiago Josue Pereira 105------13------12------15------12%------38%------$656,997

Mario Gutierrez-----100------11------18------12------11%------41%------$907,189

Joseph Talamo------ 102------11------7------10------11%------27%------$688,701

Rafael Bejarano------104------10------12------14----10%------35%------$721,883

And now, the trainers.


Peter Miller-------- 92-------28-------14-------11-------30%-------58%-------$1,253,586

Doug F. O'Neill--- 120-------16-------21-------14-------13%-------43%-------$1,080,455

John W. Sadler---- 57-------15-------5-------8-------26%-------49%-------$1,677,124

Jerry Hollendorfer 78-------14-------16-------8-------18%-------49%-------$976,756

Richard Baltas----- 83-------13-------9-------9-------16%-------37%-------$711,493

Philip D'Amato---- 91-------12-------11-------10-------13%-------36%-------$1,052,731

Jeff Mullins-------- 52-------11-------6-------5-------21%-------42%-------$500,370

Bob Baffert--------- 34-------10-------8-------4-------29%-------65%-------$635,230

Brian J. Koriner--- 37-------8-------3-------3-------22%-------38%-------$415,585

William E. Morey- 32-------7-------4-------4-------22%-------47%-------$383,395

And, finally, the folks who pay the bills.


Hronis Racing LLC 41-------11-------3-------5-------27%-------46%-------$1,256,009

Rockingham Ranch 21-------9-------4-------2-------43%-------71%-------$325,580

Red Baron's Barn/Rancho Temescal 31-------6-------5-------5-------19%-------52%-------$385,655

Gary Barber--------- 15-------5-------2-------2-------33%-------60%-------$335,355

Reddam Racing LLC 43-------4-------11-------6-------9%-------49%-------$585,020

Kaleem Shah, Inc.--- 12-------4-------1-------1-------33%-------50%-------$243,680

Jay Em Ess Stable--- 13-------4-------1-------1-------31%-------46%-------$219,210

Ruis Racing LLC----- 11-------4-------1-------1-------36%-------55%-------$150,660

OXO Equine LLC----- 4-------3-------0-------0-------75%-------75%-------$192,345

Brinkerhoff, Kelly and Grayson, Jr., Bob 4-------3-------0-------0-------75%-------75%-------$120,420

Del Mar preview

Last Wednesday card of the meeting and it’s the usual eight races starting at 2 p.m. Four, yes, half, of the races are for 2-year-old fillies, including the feature. The seventh race is the $100,000 Generous Portion Stakes, for Cal-breds going six furlongs. It’s a field of six after one scratch.

The favorite, barely, is Creative Instinct, at 8-5. She won her only race, a maiden special, by 3 ¾ lengths. She’s trained by Peter Miller and ridden by Tyler Baze. Second favorite, at 2-1, is Dichotomy, who has won one of her three races. That win came by 2 ¾ lengths. She was eighth in her last start, the Grade 2 Sorrento Stakes. She’s trained by Doug O’Neill and ridden by Mario Gutierrez.

Now, the very best 2-year-old fillies will be running on Saturday in the Del Mar Debutante.

The field sizes for Wednesday, in order, are: 7, 7, 10 (3 also eligible), 11, 10 (4 AE), 11 (3 AE), 6, 10 (3 AE).

Bob Ike’s DMR pick of the day

FOURTH RACE: No. 10 Roaring Fork (8-1)

Sophomore gelding from the Sean McCarthy barn was in too tough when finishing far back last time but should fit much better in this restricted claimer. Despite an outside post, ‘Fork might be able to establish early position and should be very competitive at this level based on his maiden claiming win one race back.

Sunday’s result: Lemoona never threatened at any point, finishing far back in the Torrey Pines Stakes.

Bob Ike is a Partner/VP of (here's a video) and the proprietor of (full-card picks, 3 Best Plays and betting strategy).

Final thought

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Any thoughts, you can reach me at You can also feed my ego by following me on Twitter @jcherwa

Now, the star of the show, Wednesday’s entries.

Del Mar Entries for Wednesday, August 29.

Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Del Mar, California. $2 Win, Place and Show; $1 Exacta, $2 Quinella, 50-cent Trifecta, $2 Rolling Double, 50-cent rolling Pick 3; 10-cent Superfecta; 50-cent Pick 4 last 4 races; 50-cent Players Pick 5 first 5 races; $2 Pick 6 last 6 races; $1 Place Pick All; $1 Super High Five last race. Trifecta needs 4 betting interests; Superfecta needs 6. 31st day of a 36-day meet.


1 Mile. Purse: $60,000. Maiden Special Weight. Fillies. 2 year olds.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Mercy MercyKent Desormeaux120Robert B. Hess, Jr.10-1
2Madame GenevaEvin Roman120Robert B. Hess, Jr.20-1
3Lesley's SongAssael Espinoza115Jerry Hollendorfer6-1
4Giza GoddessMario Gutierrez120John A. Shirreffs10-1
5Ask the CustomerGary Stevens120Thomas F. Proctor3-1
6VibranceDrayden Van Dyke120Michael W. McCarthy2-1
7Keeper Ofthe StarsMike Smith120Jerry Hollendorfer5-2


1 Mile. Purse: $26,000. Claiming. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Prices $16,000-$14,000.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1GentrifiedTiago Pereira120Steve Knapp10-116,000
2My FarmerEdwin Maldonado120Paul G. Aguirre3-116,000
3Bay AreaDrayden Van Dyke120Jonathan Wong4-116,000
4Just KiddingRuben Fuentes120Reed Saldana7-216,000
5Avanti BelloFlavien Prat122Doug F. O'Neill5-216,000
6Above BoardAssael Espinoza115Vann Belvoir10-116,000
7Banze No Oeste Santiago Gonzalez118James A. Davis, III6-114,000


5 Furlongs. Purse: $23,000. Maiden Claiming. Fillies. 2 year olds. Claiming Prices $32,000-$28,000.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Gee Cee CeeJoseph Talamo120Gary Sherlock6-132,000
2Happier TogetherEdgar Payeras113Eddie Truman12-128,000
3Tiz WillowGeovanni Franco120Gary Stute20-132,000
4Hola MazumaEvin Roman120Vann Belvoir10-132,000
5Midnight MiracleGary Stevens120Robert B. Hess, Jr.5-232,000
6Disco TaleKent Desormeaux120Hector O. Palma7-232,000
7Curryforthree BangAssael Espinoza113Peter Miller3-128,000
8One Perky MargeFranklin Ceballos120Nestor M. Capitaine20-132,000
9Miss BennetStewart Elliott120Thomas Ray Bell, II12-132,000
10Plan BBrayan Pena120Genaro Vallejo10-132,000
Also Eligible
11Easy PeasyHeriberto Figueroa115G. F. Almeida20-132,000
12Party All NightTiago Pereira120Michael Machowsky4-132,000
13Pure ResolutionMartin Garcia120Dan Blacker10-132,000


1 Mile. Purse: $20,000. Claiming. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Prices $16,000-$14,000.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Hard ArchHeriberto Figueroa118Vladimir Cerin6-116,000
2SchoenhardtTyler Baze120John W. Sadler5-116,000
3TopgallantMartin Pedroza123Dan L. Hendricks7-216,000
4HaylordAlonso Quinonez123Leonard Powell15-116,000
5Zippy GroomEvin Roman120Robert B. Hess, Jr.15-116,000
6So Long SailorJoseph Talamo120Peter Miller4-116,000
7Wise CurlinAssael Espinoza118Peter Eurton9-216,000
8Rolls Royce DealMatt Garcia123Gus Headley6-116,000
9Roaring ForkTyler Conner120Sean McCarthy8-116,000
10Gray AdmiralFlavien Prat120Vann Belvoir5-116,000


5 Furlongs. Purse: $23,000. Maiden Claiming. Fillies. 2 year olds. Claiming Prices $32,000-$28,000.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Portal CreekStewart Elliott118Ryan Hanson10-128,000
2Lucky FlashRuben Fuentes120Todd W. Fincher7-232,000
3Madame JeanetteEdwin Maldonado120Paul G. Aguirre5-132,000
4Point ReceivedJoshua Rodriguez113Ruben Gomez20-132,000
5Zip's SecretAssael Espinoza115Vann Belvoir6-132,000
6Here's the ThingFranklin Ceballos120Dan Blacker20-132,000
7RolingaGeovanni Franco120Edward R. Freeman4-132,000
8KathiaEdgar Payeras113Jesus Mendoza20-128,000
9La DolfinaTyler Baze120Dean Greenman10-132,000
10No Thanks ErikMario Gutierrez120Doug F. O'Neill3-132,000
Also Eligible
11RomolinaEdgar Payeras113Molly J. Pearson10-128,000
12TwitteratiEdwin Maldonado120Michael Machowsky5-232,000
13Gracie BelleJoseph Talamo120Gary Sherlock5-132,000
14Daddy's MistressHeriberto Figueroa113Steven Miyadi20-128,000


1 3/8 Mile Turf. Purse: $62,000. Allowance Optional Claiming. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $40,000.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Master SingerKent Desormeaux124Gary Mandella15-1
2Starting BlocRafael Bejarano122Alfredo Marquez10-1
3Oscar Dominguez Geovanni Franco124Adam Kitchingman7-240,000
4Hot AmericanMario Gutierrez118Neil D. Drysdale6-1
5Aztec WarriorGary Stevens122Andy Mathis10-1
6KaleiAssael Espinoza117John A. Shirreffs20-1
7Amazon CryJoseph Talamo122Philip D'Amato10-1
8Bold PapaDrayden Van Dyke124Michael Pender5-1
9Tough It OutSantiago Gonzalez122Vladimir Cerin6-1
10Red KingHeriberto Figueroa117Vladimir Cerin15-1
11TartiniFlavien Prat122Jack Carava9-2
Also Eligible
12Rapid RedEvin Roman124Doug F. O'Neill10-140,000
13MithqaalIII Antongeorgi124Jonathan Wong5-140,000
14Lucky SoulTyler Baze122Michael W. McCarthy20-1


6 Furlongs. Purse: $100,000. 'Generous Portion Stakes'. Fillies. 2 year olds. State bred.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Be Lifted UpDrayden Van Dyke118Sean McCarthy6-1
2Time for SuzzieHeriberto Figueroa118Jorge Periban12-1
3DichotomyMario Gutierrez120Doug F. O'Neill2-1
4Mucho UnusualFlavien Prat118Tim Yakteen4-1
5Swing ThoughtsTyler Conner118Ed Moger, Jr.8-1
6Creative InstinctTyler Baze120Peter Miller8-5


1 1/8 Mile Turf. Purse: $32,000. Maiden Claiming. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Prices $62,500-$55,000.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1CulpableFlavien Prat120Richard E. Mandella7-262,500
2Indoctrination Martin Garcia120Philip D'Amato3-155,000
3Key to the NileDrayden Van Dyke120Richard Baltas8-162,500
4King CaymusJoseph Talamo123David E. Hofmans12-162,500
5DignitaireTyler Baze120Gary Mandella12-162,500
6Data CentralKent Desormeaux117J. Keith Desormeaux7-255,000
7Tequila BlancoGeovanni Franco120Steven Miyadi6-155,000
8Big Sky LoganEdwin Maldonado120Vladimir Cerin10-155,000
9Super ClassicBrice Blanc120Ruben Gomez30-162,500
10Cosa Nostra Tyler Conner120Jack Carava10-162,500
Also Eligible
11Silver FuryHeriberto Figueroa112Blake R. Heap15-155,000
12Bitter Ring HomeGeovanni Franco120Neil D. Drysdale20-162,500
13Spirit MissionKent Desormeaux117Robert B. Hess, Jr.20-155,000