08/07/2012 2:11PM

Ellis Park: Albarado to ride in Gardenia Stakes, his first Kentucky mount since being arrested May 4


Robby Albarado is scheduled to ride in Kentucky for the first time since he was arrested on the morning of the May 4 Kentucky Oaks, having been named aboard Sassy Image in the showcase event at the Ellis Park meet, the $100,000 Gardenia Stakes on Saturday.

According to an e-mail from Dick Brown, a spokesman for the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, Albarado has been eligible to ride in Kentucky since late May, when he was awarded a temporary restraining order in Franklin Circuit Court.

Albarado has not ridden in Kentucky since May 3, the day before he was arrested at his home in the east end of Louisville on charges of domestic violence. It was the second time in a little more than a year that Albarado had been arrested on that charge. On July 13, Albarado was convicted by a jury of six in Jefferson District Court in Louisville, Ky., of fourth-degree assault from an April 30 incident that involved a woman named Carolina Martinez.

Albarado is scheduled for sentencing on that conviction next Tuesday, Aug. 14, in Louisville, at which time “it is our understanding that there will be a hearing regarding the revocation of his probation from a 2011 domestic violence case,” Brown wrote. “We are awaiting the outcome of both of these cases before the commission’s License Review Committee meets to discuss and perhaps take action.”

At the time of his May 4 arrest, Albarado had been on probation with the commission for the 2011 domestic-violence charge that involved his then-wife, Kimber. That charge eventually was dismissed after Albarado pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of interfering with a witness, for which he received a suspended sentence. The commission ultimately allowed him to resume riding in Kentucky, conditional on his avoiding any additional criminal charges.

Over the last 10 weeks, since June 1, Albarado has been riding regularly at Arlington Park in suburban Chicago after successfully seeking the restraining order. During that time, he has ridden just once in one other jurisdiction, Virginia, where on July 21 at Colonial Downs he swept the $600,000 Virginia Derby on Silver Max and the $150,000 Virginia Oaks on Volcat.

Sassy Image is trained by Dale Romans, who also trains Silver Max.

Sassy Image is Albarado’s only mount Saturday at Ellis in Henderson, Ky.

Albarado, a 38-year-old native of Lafayette, La., has ridden professionally since he was 16 and has 4,420 winners and more than $176 million in mount earnings to his credit. He was the regular rider of two runners to be voted Horse of the Year, Mineshaft in 2003 and Curlin in 2007-08.