Updated on 09/16/2011 6:44AM

Coa gets 30 days for rough riding


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Jockey Eibar Coa has been suspended 30 days by the Gulfstream Park stewards for what they called "extremely rough riding" during the running of Saturday's $100,000 Ft. Lauderdale Handicap. Coa, who was tied for leading rider at the meet with Pat Day entering Monday's program, said he will appeal the decision.

Coa, aboard Mr. Livingston, was suspended for allegedly shutting off jockey Jerry Bailey and Del Mar Show several times during the opening half-mile of the turf stakes. Del Mar Show eventually overcame the trouble to win the Grade 3 race while Mr. Livingston finished fifth.

Despite Del Mar Show's victory, Bailey and trainer Bill Mott were both extremely upset after the race. Bailey exchanged words with Coa galloping back to the winners circle then told the media "I not only had to overcome the other horses I had to overcome Coa, too."

Mott said "it was unbelievable how rough the race was. You hate to see a horse get roughed like that."

State steward Walter Blum, who acknowledged he received complaints from both Bailey and Mott after the race, said Coa was given 30 days because it was felt his ride was "unnecessarily rough. Someone could have gotten hurt."

Coa said he doesn't believe he deserved any days let alone a 30-day suspension for his ride.

"I think it was a bad call. They're always picking on me," said Coa, referring to the Gulfstream stewards, who are also the same stewards team that officiates at Calder Race Course. "I thought Bailey rode a bad race so he complained about my ride to take the monkey off his back. He won because he had the best horse. I wasn't in a good position with my horse and I had no choice but to go when I did.

"We both went for the same hole. I wasn't trying to drop him. If another rider had done what Bailey did the stewards probably would have called them in, not me, for running their horse up into a spot they did not belong."

Bill Kaplan, who trains Mr. Livingston, said he was not unhappy with Coa's ride.

"It appeared he gave Mr. Livingston every opportunity to win the race," said Kaplan. "In fact I believe we still could have won the race if we hadn't lacked room near midstretch. The stewards obviously thought he was overaggressive but I was very surprised at the severity of the suspension."