06/08/2003 11:00PM

Rowland hit with 30-day suspension

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NORTH RANDALL, Ohio - The Thistledown stewards have suspended jockey Mike Rowland for 30 days for "failure to obtain a satisfactory ride" in the fourth race on June 2.

In the race on June 2, Rowland was riding 1-5 favorite Gold Scepter for trainer W. John Bourke. When the bell rang, Gold Scepter bore in, hitting the side of the gate. She trailed the entire race and finished last, beaten 21 1/4 lengths.

"She flipped in the paddock prior to the race," Rowland said. "When she broke poorly, I was protecting myself and the horse. I probably should have pulled her up. Perhaps I made a mistake."

Rowland has appealed the ruling and will continue to ride here until his case is resolved by the Ohio State Racing Commission.

Rowland has ridden here since 1985. He has led the annual rider standings seven times and has won a record 28 meet riding titles. The Thistledown season consists of four different meets.