07/23/2011 12:12PM

Louisiana Downs: Justin Shepherd appeals suspension for drug positive


BOSSIER CITY, La. - Jockey Justin Shepherd has appealed a ruling issued by the Louisiana Downs board of stewards that has prevented him from riding since last Saturday. In the ruling, which was dated July 21, Shepherd was “suspended 30 days beginning July 16 for testing positive for amphetamines (first offense).”

Pending a hearing in front of the Louisiana State Racing Commission, Shepherd will return to the saddle in Saturday’s first race at Louisiana Downs and is also slated to ride in day’s second race. Shepherd was named to ride in Saturday’s sixth and seventh races but his agent, Richie Price, said Shepherd would be forced to take off those mounts in order to be at Evangeline Downs Saturday night to ride Paper Shredder in the Matron Stakes.

Price declined to comment on the details surrounding the suspension citing the ongoing nature of the situation.

As a condition of his stay, Shepherd was mandated to submit a negative drug sample before being allowed to return. He did so Friday morning, according to Louisiana Downs steward Roy Wood Jr.

Entering Saturday’s races, Shepherd was fourth in the Louisiana Downs rider standings with 29 wins.