01/15/2012 4:55PM

Santa Anita: Rosario suspended five days for careless ride

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Barbara D. Livingston
Joel Rosario, the leading rider at Santa Anita, was given a five-day suspension by the stewards for causing a spill in Saturday's ninth race.

ARCADIA, Calif.-  Leading jockey Joel Rosario has been suspended five days for causing interference in Saturday’s ninth race, the stewards announced in a ruling issued on Sunday.

Ron Ebanks, Rosario’s agent, said he was unsure whether Rosario might appeal the suspension.

The incident occurred about 50 yards from the finish. Rosario rode Mon Coeur, the even-money favorite, who drifted out into the path of Teasing Bernie, who was closing outside of the leader. Mon Coeur’s hind legs tangled with Teasing Bernie’s left foreleg, causing Teasing Bernie to fall heavily. Teasing Bernie and his jockey, Martin Pedroza, were not injured.

Rosario was cited for failure to maintain a straight path and for causing interference. Mon Coeur was disqualified from first and listed as unplaced since Teasing Bernie did not finish the $30,000 claiming race for maidens over 6 1/2 furlongs.

Through Saturday, Rosario had 15 wins, two more than Rafael Bejarano. Rosario won four riding titles in Southern California in 2011 – the winter-spring meeting at Santa Anita, the Hollywood Park spring-summer and fall meetings, and at Del Mar.

Rosario’s suspension is scheduled to begin on Saturday and continue through Jan. 28. During that span, he would be permitted to ride graded stakes, or designated races that are exempt from routine suspensions.

Pedroza returned to riding on Sunday with two mounts. After Saturday’s spill, Pedroza was on the ground momentarily before walking away under his own power.

Teasing Bernie, a 3-year-old gelding, was recovering at trainer Jim Cassidy’s stable on Sunday.

“He was moving around better than he was last night,” Cassidy said. “We’ll see how he is in the next two or three days.”

Cassidy said that Teasing Bernie will be watched carefully for a possible head injury sustained in the fall.

“That’s my biggest concern,” he said.

Initially, Cassidy feared that Teasing Bernie had suffered a leg injury in the fall, but when he arrived at the track and saw the gelding being observed by veterinarian Dana Stead he realized that was not the case. A few moments later, Teasing Bernie rose to his feet, greeted by an ovation by a relieved ontrack crowd.