09/09/2003 11:00PM

Lumpkins will begin 10-day suspension


SAN MATEO, Calif. - Jockey Jason Lumpkins begins a 10-day suspension Friday for a ride in last Sunday's second race at Bay Meadows.

Lumpkins asked for a stay on the suspension from the California Horse Racing Board pending an appeal, but his agent, Dennis Patterson, was informed Wednesday that the stay had been denied.

Patterson said that Lumpkins would serve the days and not continue on with the appeal. The suspension will run through Sept. 25. Lumpkins was cited for "taking his horse back without reasonable cause and failing to ride his mount until the finish line is passed."

Lumpkins believes the 10-day suspension is excessive for his ride aboard Ace's Valentine, the early pacesetter, who wound up fourth in a $25,000 claimer for fillies and mares at one mile on the turf.

"Basically, I was standing up in front of the wire. I know it looks bad," Lumpkins said shortly after learning of the suspension.

Stewards said the 10-day suspension was issued because of the severity of the offense. "He cost the horse a placing," steward Darrel McHargue said.

Lumpkins opened an early lead while setting comfortable fractions, but the 5-year-old Ace's Valentine offered little response when challenged by Magnetic in the stretch. Ace's Valentine was in somewhat tight quarters inside the sixteenth pole as Magnetic went by, and Lumpkins stood up. But a stride or two after he stood up, Magnetic drifted out a bit, apparently leaving adequate room for Ace's Valentine. Lumpkins remained standing to the wire, however, losing third by a neck to second choice Magnetic, who after making the lead was passed by favored Hazen, the winner, and runner-up Flying Alibi.

"My horse was hesitant," Lumpkins said of his mount's response when Magnetic was passing her.

Ace's Valentine's trainer, William E. Morey, said, "Actually, I wasn't really happy the way he finished, but I don't think he did anything really, really bad."

Morey noted there was a difference of $1,950 in purse money between third and fourth and said he felt Lumpkins may have made a mistake.

* Nine fillies and mares meet in Friday's feature, a one-mile $40,000 starter allowance race on the turf. Lightening, who won her debut in a $32,000 maiden race at one mile over the turf, will make the second start of her career. Conquestress, who graduated at a similar level on the turf here on June 7, makes her return as well.