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Del Mar: Gomez still not cleared by stewards to work, ride horses
By Jay Privman
DEL MAR, Calif. – Jockey Garrett Gomez was removed Tuesday from his scheduled mounts for the Wednesday card at Del Mar and was not permitted to work horses Tuesday morning, owing to his not having satisfied requirements set forth last week by the California Horse Racing Board, a CHRB spokesman said.
“He has not been approved,” racing board spokesman Mike Marten said on Tuesday. “The stewards and the investigators have not received everything required.”
Gomez has ridden only a handful of days the past two months, citing family problems and treatment for alcoholism. He was named to ride horses earlier in the meet, but the stewards said he would not be allowed to ride until he met with them. In a meeting last Friday with Del Mar’s stewards – Scott Chaney, Kim Sawyer, and Tom Ward – Gomez was given provisional approval to ride beginning Wednesday, pending the results of a urine test as well as other paperwork requested by the racing board.
On Tuesday morning, scratch time for Wednesday’s races, he was removed from his three mounts. Gomez is named on three horses on Thursday. Scratch time for that card is Wednesday morning.
Gomez last week told the stewards he had been given a prescription for antidepressants as part of his treatment for alcoholism. He said he was in the process of reducing the dosage.
Gomez was scheduled to submit to a urine test Sunday, and stewards said that if that test showed a higher-than-expected level for the antidepressants, his comeback could be delayed.
Gomez, 41, has not ridden this meet. He first took off his mounts at Betfair Hollywood Park on June 13, citing the need to spend time with his family and that he was working through issues related to his marriage. He recently said he and his wife, Pam, are in the process of divorcing.
Gomez returned to ride at Hollywood Park from July 11-14, but took off his mounts at Del Mar on opening day July 17, and then was removed from his mounts July 18-20 when he was absent and did not contact the stewards. As a result of those actions, Gomez was given a $1,000 fine by the stewards following their meeting last week.
Gomez, who has been in recovery for drugs and alcohol for a decade, said he had a relapse of drinking earlier this summer and had subsequently sought treatment for it. Stewards ruled that in order for Gomez to return, he had to check in daily with racing board investigators, would be subject to random drug testing, and had to enter into a counseling session with the Winner’s Foundation, which aids people in horse racing in Southern California with substance-abuse issues.
At the meeting with the stewards last week, Bob Fletcher of the Winner’s Foundation said Gomez also was to begin treatment with Dr. Daniel Amen, a psychiatrist in Newport Beach, Calif., who specializes in substance-abuse issues, mental health, and nutrition. One of the requirements stewards set forth for Gomez to return was written documentation from Amen that Gomez was fit to ride.
– additional reporting by Steve Andersen
Good luck GG!
Now the jockey have to go through much stricter testing polices then the horses do. I never thought the day would come when the jockeys would be scrutinized. These stewards are not even qualified to wipe there own a s s e s let alone determine if someone is fit enough to ride a horse, sad, sad, sad,.........The one's that should be tested for competence are the stewards & the CHRB!
So sad to hear Mr Gomez getting divorced, it now explains his distraction. Get well my friend and get back to that talented professional you are. Wish you well
Garrett should do what most other good jockeys have done of late which is leave Cali and ride somewhere else like Ky or NY...Rosario seems to be doing well...Corey used to tear up NY racing back in the day as well...I stopped betting the Cali circuit when they started only allowing 8 race day cards and going to 4 days a week...they have no clue how to run a sport out there just ask the NFL...the only thing postitive in horse racing is Trever Denman that comes from Cali anymore...well unfortunately the horses who test positive from all the cheating trainers too i guess:)
Who is governing the stewards? CHRB? Nope, not really......The Stewards are free to control ALL things that concern racing personnel, as well as the interest of the betting public who have steadily made their disapproval of the SoCal stewards known. There should really be a limit as to how long a steward can work at any one racing circuit, and there should also be democratic solution as to how they're anointed in the first place. It's clear that a change is needed!
The stewards in California are the WORST....they need to be replaced...the non DQ earlier in the meet when the horse knocked the 3 inside horses sideways out of the gate and was not taken down from 2nd in a stakes was pathetic...then a few days later they DQ a horse who wins for NO reason....JOKE
If he can legally operate a vehicle in the State while taking his meds, then he should be cleared to ride!
Making all his personal business public is not necessary, let the man and his family work it out privately, let him give the stews what they require, and let Garrett get healthy and do what he does better than 98% of all the people in the WORLD!! Get well Garrett
Wishing him all the best. It is very difficult; and I hope he will be able to come back healthy and sound.
Per the SD Union Tribune: “I guess they’re (CHRB investigators) not happy with the results of the tests,” Gomez told the newspaper. “There’s nothing I can do right now about it. I’m trying to get a lawyer to see if there’s anything I can do about it.”
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