11/08/2016 8:49PM

With charges pending, jockey Murgia prohibited from riding in Kentucky

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Antioco Murgia, a jockey with 72 wins this year, has been prohibited by the Kentucky stewards from accepting mounts in the state as Lexington authorities proceed with an investigation into charges that resulted in the rider’s arrest on Friday, according to racing officials.

Murgia, who is from Italy, was arrested Friday and charged with one count of rape and one count of sodomy, according to an arrest report of the Lexington police. He was named on one mount at Churchill Downs in Louisville on Saturday and one on Sunday, but did not ride on either day.

Contacted on Tuesday, Murgia declined to comment, citing the advice of his attorney.

Barbara Borden, Kentucky’s chief state steward, said on Tuesday evening that the stewards decided to prohibit Murgia from accepting mounts until more is known about the charges. Murgia has a hearing scheduled for Dec. 6.

According to multiple sources, the charges were based on an incident that occurred at a Lexington bar this summer. Murgia has told the authorities that he is innocent, the sources said.

Murgia has a record of 72 wins, 65 seconds, and 62 thirds from 563 mounts this year, with earnings of $753,766. He began riding in the U.S. in 2013, with 41 mounts, and had just over 200 mounts in both 2014 and 2015.