09/04/2006 11:00PM

Collazo fined for riding error


Jockey Jorge Collazo Sr. has been $500 by the River Downs stewards after committing a serious error in judgment during the last race of the meet Monday.

Collazo was aboard Cowboy's Limelite, the 7-5 favorite in a starter-allowance race run at 1 7/8 miles on the turf, when he put the horse to an all-out drive when approaching the finish line for the second of three times around. Having drawn off to a 20-length lead and what he believed to be an easy victory, Collazo then pulled his mount up after the wire, after which most of the field passed him. Collazo's efforts to recover were futile, as Cowboy's Limelite wound up finishing eighth of 12 starters.

With River's annual highlight, the Cradle Stakes, having been run as the previous race, and with a meet-high estimate of some 5,000 people in attendance, the mistake was a particularly egregious one, said River steward Vince Clark. The stewards met with Collazo after the races, said Clark.

"He said he didn't realize the race was that far," said Clark. "He said it was an honest mistake, but we said the people betting on that horse didn't think much of it. He's a professional and is supposed to know how far a race is going to be."

Collazo, a 50-year-old native of Puerto Rico, has ridden every year in the United States since 1986. His son, Jorge Jr., also has been a jockey since 1999.