09/28/2003 11:00PM

Meche's license appeal denied

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A civil district court judge in New Orleans on Friday denied an appeal filed by jockey Donnie Meche asking the court to overturn a one-year suspension levied against him by the Louisiana Racing Commission.

The judge, Rosemary Ledet, heard testimony on Aug. 26 from Meche's attorney, Sonny Garcia, and Kim Chatelain, attorney for the racing commission. Ledet's written ruling stated she had not found the "preponderance of evidence" required to overturn the suspension.

Meche originally was suspended six months by stewards at Delta Downs for failing to do his best to win a race there in January, and the racing commission later extended the suspension to a year. Meche's mount, Cleaning House, finished third at 2-5 in a trial race for the Graduation Futurity. Meche maintains that Cleaning House injured himself at the starting gate and that he rode to protect the horse.

Meche said he would appeal the ruling to another court.