09/05/2003 12:00AM

Crawford returning after ban

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Juan Crawford will be back in the saddle at Assiniboia Downs on Sunday after serving a suspension of 12 racing days that resulted from an incident with fellow rider Ken Hendricks at the track on Aug. 15.

Crawford, a 24-year-old native of Barbados who is in his second season at Assiniboia Downs, originally had been suspended for the balance of the meeting, which concludes Sept. 28, after the stewards ruled he had injured Hendricks during "an unprovoked altercation" in the jockeys' room.

The Manitoba Horse Racing Commission modified the suspension after hearing Crawford's appeal on Aug. 22.

Crawford has alleged that Hendricks had uttered race-related insults before the incident, and those allegations are being investigated by both the Manitoba Jockey Club and the racing commission.

In the meantime, Crawford still faces a criminal charge after Hendricks lodged a complaint with police.

Crawford, who has mounts in seven of the eight races on Sunday's card, remains the second-leading rider at the meeting with 53 wins.