11/11/2015 11:14AM

New York reduces Espinoza's fine to $2,500

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Barbara D. Livingston
Jockey Victor Espinoza

The New York State Gaming Commission has reduced a $15,000 fine it levied on jockey Victor Espinoza for wearing unauthorized promotional material during the Travers Stakes at Saratoga in August to $2,500, according to a ruling released following Espinoza’s appeal of the decision.

The fine was reduced after the commission accepted “mitigating circumstances” surrounding the incident and after taking into account Espinoza’s charitable contributions from earnings related to his rides on American Pharoah, the Triple Crown winner who finished second in the Travers, according to the ruling. The remaining $12,500 is being suspended so long as Espinoza does not violate New York’s rules on promotional advertising in the next two years, the ruling says.

"This is an example of two parties negotiating in good faith and reaching an agreement that is acceptable to both sides," said Drew Mollica, Espinoza's attorney, referring to settlement talks with the commission.

American Pharoah was sponsored by Monster Energy Drink during and after his Triple Crown run. In the Travers, the product’s logo was affixed to Espinoza’s riding boots. In addition, Espinoza’s name appeared on the riding pants he wore during the race. Espinoza had earlier in the year signed an agreement with a marketing company to seek promotional opportunities on his behalf.

The initial ruling stated that Espinoza did not have permission to wear promotional materials during the Travers, and that he was specifically instructed not to wear the materials by the stewards. Under New York’s rules, jockeys must apply to wear promotional materials at least 24 hours in advance of the race.