07/21/2006 12:00AM

Meche, Verenzuela fined


Jockeys Lonnie Meche and Jose Verenzuela were fined $500 each by the Louisiana Downs board of stewards for an altercation in the winner's circle after the first race at the Bossier City, La., track last Sunday, July 16.

A hearing was held on Thursday, and separate rulings for each rider were issued on Friday. They state that each rider was fined for "using profanity after the running of the first race . . . which escalated into an altercation with another jockey in the winner's circle."

The fines were required to be paid within 48 hours, but Meche and Verenzuela also have the option of appealing the ruling. The two were dueling on the front end with their mounts for much of a one-mile turf race. Verenzuela ended up third in the race aboard Literary Row, and Meche was fourth, aboard Campinout.

Meche ranked second and Verenzuela ninth in the Louisiana Downs jockey standings heading into the races Friday.