04/13/2013 4:42PM

Apple Blossom: Joe Johnson suspended three days for winning ride aboard On Fire Baby

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Tom Keyser
Jockey Joe Johnson was suspended three days on Saturday for his winning ride the previous day in the Apple Blossom Handicap.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - A day after winning the first Grade 1 race of his career in the $500,000 Apple Blossom, jockey Joe Johnson was suspended three days by the Oaklawn Park board of stewards for his ride aboard victorious On Fire Baby. The ruling issued Saturday afternoon addresses the run into the first turn of the mile and a sixteenth race that On Fire Baby won wire-to-wire by a half-length, over Tiz Miz Sue.

The ruling cites Johnson for “allowing On Fire Baby to drift toward the inside rail without being clear . . . thereby causing Grace Hall to be checked to keep from clipping the heels of On Fire Baby, which caused Summer Applause to alter her course.”

Grace Hall finished seventh and last as the even-money favorite, and Summer Applause finished fourth. There was no inquiry following the race, nor were any objections filed. The stewards said they held an informal inquiry among themselves before the Apple Blossom was made official.

“If you remember yesterday, it took us a little bit to make it official because we were looking at it pretty closely,” said Stan Bowker, state steward at Oaklawn.

The ruling against Johnson does not change the order of finish nor does it redistribute the purse, according to the stewards.

“The perception is if there’s no inquiry or no objection, then there’s not going to be days," Bowker said. "That isn’t the case. There could be an objection and no days, and there could be no objection and [you] have days, and this is one of those kinds of cases.

“Every race that we run here, we review before the race is made official. We review again after it’s made official, and to determine if whether or not we have to have movies or not.”

Johnson said Saturday that he would not appeal the days. He said he had no further comment on the case. Johnson’s suspension runs April 17-19.

Dee Englehart More than 1 year ago
Where were the objections from the jockey or trainer of Grace Hall? Why didn't they say something right away?
Buzz Nottingham More than 1 year ago
Another example of the incompetent management that exists throughout the sport of thoroughbred horseracing. In the Oaklawn case, where is the objection from the rider of Grace Hall? And more importantly, where is the inquiry light on the infield toteboard? The inquiry button should have been pushed when the horses hit the clubhouse turn. Seems to me that the stewards are saying they made a mistake when making the original result official. Stewards in most racing jurisdictions do a poor job when representing the horseplayer.
Jason Hart More than 1 year ago
He deserved to get days..... Almost dropped that kid going into the first turn. FYI, a horse being disqualified and a rider getting days are two seperate things. If a horse is disqualified it means the horse actually cost another horse a place in the order of finish. But win or lose, a rider can get days for doing anything that was unsafe. THIS WAS OBVIOUSLY THE CASE. Joe Johnson might be a decent rider, but he wasn't paying attention going into the first turn and is lucky nobody got hurt because of his carelessness.
Rick Kilburn More than 1 year ago
pat pope must of had bet the wrong horse,and lost a bundle, just like he used to at LA DOWNS till he got caught. why does oaklawn still use him????????
Daniel Garcia More than 1 year ago
There should have been an objection and taken down.
Daryl Montoya More than 1 year ago
Congratulations Joe Johnson on your first grade I
Don Otto More than 1 year ago
He should be proud what a way to win
Bugsy Anderson More than 1 year ago
As usual, I read the comments before watching the video, and while I see the infraction, hardly the worst of infractions. would be interested in seeing who initiated this. This looks like every race at a mile or over at WDB, and they do not toss anyone
Don Otto More than 1 year ago
open your eyes
TEDK215 More than 1 year ago
heres a jockey whos been around for 25 yrs and finally gets a break and wins a Gr 1 race and right away they come up with some BS when it should have been a GREAT DAY for this jockey! he should have appealed this unwarranted suspension! NOT EVEN AN OBJECTION? CMON REALLY!!
Jeff Byrd More than 1 year ago
Boy, it'd sure have been worth a lot of money to me if they'd only given days to santana on last wednesday as opposed to moving him from first to last...for a similar incident.
Jeff Byrd More than 1 year ago
aboard don dulce, that is. and the move jockey joe made was more of a foul in my mind than the don dulce race.
Gene Davenport More than 1 year ago
What a joke.....and these are the people who are in charge to make sure the best interest of racing and the public are looked out for. Why is it that some races and some jockeys are not treated the same ?
Jeffries Will More than 1 year ago
the only joke is your lack of objectivity