02/14/2002 12:00AM

Coa suspension reduced to 15 days


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - The Gulfstream Park stewards have reduced jockey Eibar Coa's original 30-day suspension for his ride aboard Mr. Livingston in the Jan 26 Ft. Lauderdale Handicap to 15 days. The decision came after a re-hearing on the incident Thursday. Coa, who does not plan to appeal the latest ruling, will begin his suspension Sunday and can resume riding on March 7.

In the new ruling, the stewards suspended Coa 20 racing days, to be reduced to 15 racing days if no appeal is made, for "extreme careless riding around the clubhouse turn and down the backside" during the stakes.

Coa appealed the original 30-day suspension. At an appeal hearing last Wednesday, Scott Savin, president of Gulfstream and acting as appeals officer, ordered Coa be given a second hearing before the stewards to afford him time and opportunity to prepare his case and be represented by legal counsel.

"This was a win for me getting them to lower my days. I really have no other options," Coa said. "At least I've got something. I'm happy for that. This is going to hurt my business but hopefully not too much."

Charlie Camac, an association steward, commented: "Coa admitted at the hearing this morning he made a mistake and took responsibility for his actions. That's all I wanted to get done. I just wanted to make a point and get his attention along with everybody else's so this kind of thing won't happen again. Once he did that I was comfortable with reducing the days."