04/20/2009 11:00PM

Suspended jockey wins appeal

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The Ontario Racing Commission has upheld an appeal lodged by jockey Simon Husbands and quashed a one-year suspension handed down by the Woodbine stewards last Dec. 8.

Husbands, who had been cited for "an unsatisfactory ride" on Bug's Boy during the third race on Nov. 30, had been granted a stay of that penalty and his appeal was heard at the ORC offices on March 30-31.

Bug's Boy had finished second, beaten three-quarters of a length, and the stewards' ruling said Husbands "did not persevere with his mount throughout the race or demonstrate an effort to ensure the best and fastest race of which his mount was capable."

In a written decision explaining the ruling, the ORC found trainer John LeBlanc's testimony to be "decisive."

LeBlanc testified that Bug's Boy had not responded well to an aggressive approach and that he had instructed Husbands to avoid using the whip on Bug's Boy and "keep him together racing into the bit."

Husbands, 39, is the older brother of leading Woodbine rider Patrick Husbands.