10/24/2006 11:00PM

Court rejects Ferrer's plea

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A Cook County, Ill., district court judge on Wednesday denied jockey Jose Ferrer a temporary restraining order, so Ferrer will have to begin serving a 30-day suspension on Friday as stipulated in a ruling issued by stewards at Hawthorne on Sunday.

Ferrer was suspended for allegedly failing to do his best to win a race with Burke's Legend, the tepid favorite in a low-level claiming race on Saturday at Hawthorne, who finished third. Ferrer has denied the charge, and he appealed the ruling in district court late Tuesday. Ferrer still can appeal the denial of a restraining order to an appellate court.

Shelley Kalita, legal counsel for the Illinois Racing Board, said the board was obligated to conduct a hearing on Ferrer's suspension within seven days, and that a hearing date would be scheduled Monday.

Ferrer, Kalita said, already is riding under a restraining order issued after Ferrer appealed a five-day suspension for a riding infraction at the Arlington meet. Ferrer took off his mounts Sunday, but was to ride Wednesday and Thursday.