03/02/2012 4:36PM

Aqueduct: Stewards prevent Sanchez from riding


The Aqueduct stewards would not permit Jeffrey Sanchez to ride his one mount, Final Mesa, in Friday’s $75,000 Bold Brat Stakes, due to an incident that occurred last spring in France. He was replaced by Ariel Smith.

Final Mesa, who set the pace, finished sixth to Dontbeshy I’ll Buy, a 12-1 shot.

According to Brian Morgan, Sanchez’s agent, French racing officials fined Sanchez approximately $1,000 after he failed a drug test when he was riding there last spring for trainer Wesley Ward.

Morgan said French officials claim he tested positive for barbiturates, but that Morgan said it was “over-the-counter diet pills.”

Sanchez, who is the regular rider of undefeated Awesome Feather, has been riding regularly at Gulfstream, where he is 9 for 122 at the meet. His biggest win came aboard Awesome Feather in the Florida Sunshine Millions Distaff.

Sanchez was permitted to ride in New York on Jan. 8, when he rode Ravalo to a fifth-place finish in the Rise Jim Stakes.

Lee Park, a spokesman for the New York State Racing and Wagering Board said “the stewards decided to remove Mr. Sanchez from his mounts today because he failed to provide required information to the Racing and Wagering Board to ensure his fitness to ride in light of an incident that occurred in France.”

Park declined to comment when asked if the state asked Sanchez to provide a urine sample on Friday.