11/15/2006 1:00AM

Riders take ad appeal to court


Jockeys Kent Desormeaux, Corey Nakatani, and Jeremy Rose have appealed suspensions handed down by the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority in Franklin Circuit Court in Frankfort, Ky., according to a petition filed with the court.

Earlier this year, the authority suspended Desormeaux and Rose for 15 days for violating the state's rule on wearing advertisements during the 2005 Kentucky Derby. Nakatani was suspended for five days under a violation of the same rule.

The petition to appeal states that the authority's rule violates the jockeys' free-speech rights, and also says that stewards did not issue adequate warnings to the riders that the advertisements they wore were in violation of the rule.

The appeal will be the second of the initial stewards' ruling to suspend the jockeys. The first was heard by the authority, which upheld the suspensions with its ruling in July.

"We're anxious to get in front of an independent tribunal and see what they say," said Mike Goodwin, the Louisville attorney who is representing the three jockeys.

No court date has been set yet for the appeal.