08/07/2012 3:15PM

Thistledown: Trainer ruled off for attacking jockey


Trainer Adolfo Exposito has been suspended one year and fined $1,000 after being charged with aggravated menacing and simple assault for an incident in which he allegedly attacked jockey Hector Rosario Jr. in the parking lot at Thistledown in suburban Cleveland.

Steve Zaper, interim chief investigator for the Ohio State Racing Commission, said Tuesday that Exposito is facing criminal charges in Bedford, Ohio, with a pre-trial hearing set for Aug. 30. Zaper said Exposito is alleged to have struck Rosario with his fist and threatened him with a gun.

The incident in question occurred July 27, although Zaper said he is unaware what sparked it since Rosario had not had any recent mounts for Exposito. A stewards’ hearing into the alleged attack was held July 30, said Zaper, at which time the maximum allowable penalty was levied against Exposito. Zaper said Exposito has appealed the decision to the commission, but Thistledown has exercised proprietary rights in excluding Exposito from the grounds. A Thistledown spokesperson said Tuesday the track had no comment on the matter.

Zaper said Exposito will need to reapply for a trainer’s license after his one-year suspension is served and the commission will review the application.

Exposito has raced primarily in Ohio and Pennsylvania in recent years while wintering at Tampa Bay Downs. He has 258 wins from 1,636 starters in a career dating to 1989.

Rosario is a 13-year riding veteran with 1,320 career wins.