06/16/2016 4:05PM

Santana nears deal to reduce length of suspension


Jockey Ricardo Santana Jr., who was suspended a total of 21 days for five different riding infractions during the recent meet at Oaklawn Park, is in discussions with the Arkansas Racing Commission to reduce the length of the suspension, according to a commission attorney. The matter was discussed at the agency’s meeting on Thursday.

Byron Freeland said that in a tentative agreement discussed, Santana’s suspended dates could be reduced to a total of 15, with five of them to be served during the 2017 meet at Oaklawn. The remaining 10 dates could be served at other tracks. (There has been the potential of Santana serving the 21 dates during next year’s 57-date meet at Oaklawn.) As part of any agreement, Santana would have to drop appeals he has pending in a circuit court in Arkansas.

“It’s an ongoing process right now,” Freeland said Thursday.

Santana has won the last four riding titles at Oaklawn and this past season captured the track’s Grade 1, $1 million Arkansas Derby aboard Creator. Santana is now riding at Churchill Downs.