Bay Meadows Stewards Bench Garcia Twice

(from Bay Meadows release)
Apprentice Martin Garcia, who trails perennial champion Russell Baze by one win (23-22) at the current Bay Meadows meeting, has been given a pair of riding suspensions that will cause him to miss eight days of action.

The board of stewards gave Garcia a three-day suspension for his ride on Royal Bull in last Sunday's sixth race, and a five-day benching for his effort on Half A Dollar Maid in Wednesday's fifth race.

Garcia was cited for "failure to make a proper effort to maintain a straight course in the stretch and causing interference" aboard Royal Bull, who finished third but was disqualified and placed fifth. The newcomer was also penalized for "crossing over without sufficient clearance down the backstretch and causing interference" with Half a Dollar Maid, who was disqualified from third and placed seventh.

Garcia is to serve the suspensions Jan. 19-22 and Jan. 25-28, meaning he will miss eight of the final 14 days of the meeting, which concludes Feb. 5.

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