06/24/2008 11:00PM

Garcia's agent surrenders his license


Tony Micallef, agent for jockey Alan Garcia, recently surrendered his license to the New York State Racing and Wagering Board. Garcia, who earlier this month won the Belmont Stakes aboard Da' Tara, is the second-leading rider at the current Belmont meeting with 36 victories and ranks seventh nationally in purse money won.

Though neither the board nor Micallef would confirm why he surrendered his license, several sources said Micallef did so after having refused to take a urine test.

Reached by phone Wednesday, Micallef declined comment. Steve Lewandowski, the alternate state steward, confirmed only that Micallef surrendered his license, but would not say why.

Lewandowski did say that anyone who surrenders a license for drug-related matters must first go through a drug program and then submit to a urine test before being allowed back.

Micallef is not permitted on the grounds of a New York Racing Association track or to have contact with trainers. In his absence, former jockey Jorge Velasquez is helping Garcia with mounts at the daily draw, but that could lead to another problem, as Velasquez is the agent for Luca Panici. New York rules do not allow for agents to represent two journeyman riders.