11/23/2015 1:58PM

Three charges against Luzzi dropped

Barbara D. Livingston
Jockey Mike Luzzi

Though jockey Mike Luzzi pleaded guilty to one charge of criminal mischief, three other charges brought against him from a domestic dispute involving his wife during the summer at Saratoga were dropped, according to Donald Matusik, Luzzi’s attorney.

According to Matusik, Luzzi paid a $250 fine for damaging his wife Tania’s cellphone during an argument at their Saratoga rental home Sept. 4, hours after Luzzi had returned to race riding following a 10-month layoff precipitated by injury.

Luzzi also had been charged with strangulation (felony), assault in the third degree/intent physical injury (misdemeanor), and endangering the welfare of a child (misdemeanor). Those three charges were dismissed by Saratoga Springs City Court judge Jeffrey Wait, according to Matusik.

“All but one was dismissed,” Matusik said. “The only charge I let him plead guilty to was he did admit he damaged his wife’s cellphone. But there was no domestic violence.”

Luzzi, 46, rode his first race in 10 months earlier in the day Sept. 4. At the time, he and his wife said the incident had been overblown.

“My wife and I learned a lot from it, and we probably get along better than ever and have grown closer because of it,” Luzzi said Monday. “I just want to focus on my comeback and get some business back.”

Since his return Sept. 4, Luzzi has won five races from 44 mounts, including two wins at Aqueduct on Nov. 13.

Luzzi was the 1989 Eclipse Award-winning apprentice and has won more than 3,000 races. Earlier this year, he was presented with the George Woolf Award, given annually to a rider whose career and personal character earns esteem for the individual and the sport of Thoroughbred racing. The award is voted on by fellow jockeys.