05/20/2012 4:07PM

Belmont: Stewards permit Desormeaux to resume riding

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Barbara D. Livingston
Jockey Kent Desormeaux resumed riding Sunday at Belmont Park and is named on more horses this week.

ELMONT, N.Y. - Jockey Kent Desormeaux, who failed a Breathalyzer test last Friday which prompted the Belmont Park stewards to remove him from three mounts that day, was cleared to return to the saddle on Sunday.

In his only mount on Sunday’s Belmont program, Desormeaux finished last aboard 3-4 favorite She’s Very Rare in the first race.

Desormeaux met with Belmont’s three-steward panel Sunday morning. No sanctions were handed Desormeaux nor were any provisions placed on him for the future “as of right now,” according to Carmine Donofrio, the New York State Racing and Wagering Board steward.

Donofrio said that Desormeaux had taken and passed a Breathalyzer test and was permitted to ride Sunday. Beginning with the Belmont Park meet, New York state law mandates that each rider pass a Breathalyzer test every day in order to ride. The test must show a blood alcohol content below .05.

Prior to the state taking over, the New York Racing Association had been randomly conducting Breathalyzer tests on jockeys for about two years, according to NYRA steward Braulio Baeza.

Asked if Desormeaux would be required to participate in any alcohol counseling program, Donofrio said, “we plan to meet with him in the future and we’ll play it from there.”

In addition to be removed from his three mounts at Belmont on Friday, Desormeaux was taken off Tiger Walk for Saturday’s Preakness at Pimlico. Tiger Walk finished eighth in the Preakness under Ramon Dominguez.

Desormeaux also has been replaced on Dullahan, the third-place finisher in the Kentucky Derby, for the June 9 Belmont Stakes. Trainer Dale Romans said Javier Castellano would ride Dullahan.

Over the next three racing days - Wednesday through Friday - Desormeaux is named to ride five horses.