11/03/2005 12:00AM

Michigan rider banned for bet


Jockey Roberto Perez was suspended for seven years and fined $7,000 by the Great Lakes Downs stewards on Thursday for placing a wager on his own behalf and excluding the horse he rode, in the fourth race on Oct. 4. Perez, who had ridden 101 winners at the meet, finished eighth in a field of 10 on the 3-2 favorite, A Songandapromise.

According to the stewards, Perez, purchased a superfecta ticket, investing around $1,000, and omitting his own mount. Following the races, a pony person also licensed as an owner, George Fiesman, attempted to cash the winning $9,859.40 ticket, which had been frozen by the mutuels department after employees had conferred with the stewards. The ticket remains uncashed, according to track officials.

According to the stewards, a track employee noticed the jockey betting and inquired about his wagers to the clerk. The incident was relayed to an official in the mutuels department, leading to the ticket being frozen and the beginning of an investigation.

Perez will have 10 days to appeal the ruling to Michigan's Office of Racing Commissioner. He has been suspended since Oct. 5 while the investigation was pending.

Fiesman was given a 60-day suspension - 30 days allowed for time served - along with a $1,000 fine.