06/17/2016 2:52PM

Oklahoma commission orders new hearing into jockey altercation


The Oklahoma Racing Commission on Thursday ordered a new hearing in a case concerning a fight between two riders during the running of a Will Rogers Downs race May 21.

The altercation between jockeys Freddy Manrrique and Natalie Turner took place during the 12th race on the final card of the track’s meet for Thoroughbreds. The incident began prior to the three-sixteenths pole and continued past the sixteenth pole, according to a ruling in the case. The riders’ mounts finished fifth and sixth in the one-mile allowance for Oklahoma-breds.

Manrrique received a 30-day suspension from the stewards and orders to complete an anger management class. He did not contest the penalties, said Kelly Cathey, executive director of the commission. Manrrique’s suspension runs through July 8.

Turner did appeal the same penalties levied against her and is riding on a stay, according to Cathey. Her initial hearing was held before the board of stewards at Will Rogers, but because the case was not presented by an attorney or law enforcement agent, the commission has ordered a new hearing before the board of stewards at Remington Park.

In other business at Thursday’s meeting, no action was taken on a proposal to change the cycle of check payments for Oklahoma-bred breeder and stallion awards from weekly to quarterly, said Cathey. The pitch was made in an attempt to reduce commission administrative costs after the legislature made budget cuts to state agencies during its recent session. Some horsemen were opposed to the plan.

In additional business, the commission also received date requests for next year from the state’s tracks, and none of those requests represented significant changes from 2016, said Cathey.

The commission also voted Ran Leonard as chairman for another term, which is one year, said Cathey. The board reelected Keith Sanders as vice chairman and Mel Bollenbach as secretary, said Cathey.