Updated on 05/21/2012 12:25PM

Preakness: Dominguez to ride Tiger Walk after Desormeaux fails Breathalyzer test

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Barbara D. Livingston
Jockey Kent Desormeaux failed a Breathalyzer test at Belmont Park on Friday.

BALTIMORE – Hall of Fame jockey Kent Desormeaux was replaced by Ramon Dominguez aboard longshot Tiger Walk for Saturday’s Preakness Stakes after Desormeaux failed a Breathalyzer test at Belmont Park on Friday and was removed from his three mounts by that track’s stewards.

“We’re trying to run a professional operation and can’t have any distractions this weekend,’” Tom Millikin, general manager for Kevin Plank’s Sagamore Farm, the owner of Tiger Walk, wrote on Twitter. “We spoke with Kent and wished him well.”

The Breathalyzer test revealed that Desormeaux had a blood-alcohol level of .05 percent or higher, which constitutes “alchoholic impairment.” Jockeys in New York must pass a Breathalyzer test each day in order to ride.

A spokesman for the New York State Racing and Wagering Board said the board is “conducting an investigation into the matter.”

In a phone interview with Daily Racing Form on Friday afternoon, Desormeaux admitted he had “a little too much wine with dinner last night” but said he had stopped drinking by 8:30 p.m., knowing that he would have to take a Breathalyzer test in order to ride Friday.

“I guess my body doesn’t deal with it the way your body does,” Desormeaux said from New York.

Desormeaux had only one other mount on Saturday’s card, in a maiden race following the Preakness. It was unclear if he would come to Baltimore to ride that horse, though he would be eligible to ride.

Jockeys at Pimlico are not required to take a Breathalyzer test, but the track stewards may order one if they have “reasonable cause.”

In July 2010, Desormeaux failed a Breathalyzer test at Woodbine and was removed from his mount, Hold Me Back, in the $216,400 Dominion Day Handicap. Hold Me Back won that race with Tyler Pizarro aboard.

Desormeaux, 42, is a three-time Eclipse Award winner. He ranks 19th all time in races won (5,450) and is fifth all time in purse money won with $243,167,894.