10/30/2006 1:00AM

Rider to appeal year ban


Quarter Horse jockey Carlos Bautista will appeal a one-year suspension issued by stewards on Saturday for possessing an electrical device in the warm-up period for the Pomona Quarter Horse Championship at Fairplex Park on Sept. 24, according to his attorney, Donald Calabria.

The suspension was scheduled to begin on Wednesday and continue through Oct. 31, 2007, but Calabria said Bautista intended to request a stay this week, allowing him to ride pending an appeal.

Bautista rode Royal Medallion to a third-place finish in the 400-yard race at Fairplex Park. In a hearing before stewards Albert Christiansen, John Herbuveaux, and George Slender at Santa Anita last month, Fairplex steward Tom Ward testified that Bautista took a small item from a pony girl and touched Royal Medallion twice on the flank during warm-ups. Each time that Bautista touched Royal Medallion on his flank, the horse lurched forward, Ward said.

Video evidence presented during the hearing showed Bautista reaching back and touching Royal Medallion on the flank during the warm-up period. When the horses were near the starting gate, Bautista was seen handing an item back to the pony girl, Ward testified. The jockey was not alleged to have used the electrical device during the race.

In addition, an outrider who was present on the track at Fairplex Park testified that Bautista was in possession of an electrical device during the warmups. Electrical devices are illegal to possess by jockeys.