09/09/2007 11:00PM

Hastings jockey banned 60 days

EmailHastings stewards have suspended jockey Pedro Alvarado for 60 days after he inexplicably dismounted his horse, Louder, before the sixth race on Sept. 2 and exited the track through a gap in the fence.

According to the ruling, Alvarado was suspended for "demonstrating unprofessional conduct prior to the running of the race." The ruling also stated that Alvarado "disobeyed the direct orders of an official, obstructed an official in the exercise of his/her duties, and committed an act that obstructs or disrupts the conduct of a race meeting . . . and gave misleading information to the stewards during the investigation."

Stewards declined further comment.

Sam Hawkins, director of racing for British Columbia's Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch, speaking on behalf of the stewards, said "The ruling is self-explanatory, and basically he wasn't cooperative during the investigation."

Trainer David Milburn, who is a lawyer and acted on Alvarado's behalf, said "Alvarado was feeling ill, and that's why he dismounted and acted as he did."

Milburn said there would be no appeal of the ruling.

With the suspension ending on Nov. 7, Alvarado, who has been the leading rider at Hastings for four of the past five years, will miss the remainder of the meet, which ends Nov 4.