07/25/2006 11:00PM

Great Lakes bans two


Trainer James Jackson and racing official Lawrence Waite have been suspended by the Great Lakes Downs stewards for the remainder of the meet after the two had an altercation at the track earlier this month, according to an official with the Michigan Horse Racing Commission.

The ruling will deny both men access to the grounds at Great Lakes through Nov. 7, when the Michigan track ends its 2006 meet. Jackson's suspension began on July 20, eight days after the July 12 altercation. Waite's suspension began on July 23.

According to a local police report, Jackson brandished a baseball bat at Waite, the assistant racing secretary at Great Lakes Downs, just outside the track's stable gate following an argument the two had in the track's racing office.

Jackson, who was arrested following the altercation by Fruitport Township police, is facing a charge of assault with a dangerous weapon, and is scheduled to appear in court on Thursday.

Both men have 10 days from the date of the ruling to appeal their suspensions. The stewards issued the ruling after a hearing on Saturday.

Neither Jackson nor officials from Great Lakes Downs returned phone calls on Wednesday.