Jockey Donnie Meche is awaiting a ruling by an Orleans Parish Civil District Court judge on whether or not he can return to the track following a suspension he received by the Louisiana State Racing Commission. Judge Rosemary Ledet heard arguments on Aug. 26 and has 30 days to make a judgment.
The state racing commission handed Meche a one-year suspension on April 29 agreeing with stewards at Delta Downs who suspended the rider for six months in February for failing to do his best to win a Jan. 23 trial race aboard Cleaning House, who finished third as the 3-5 favorite. The stewards then referred the case to the racing commission. Meche requested a judicial review following the commission's decision.
"Right now we feel very good about the case and we are just waiting it out," said Sonny Garcia, Meche's New Orleans attorney. "Donnie is making no money right now and is just trying to survive."
Garcia said although he feels very confident about the outcome of the review, the next step for Meche would be to appeal the ruling in the Louisiana Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals if the decision falls in favor of the racing commission.
If the court rules in favor of Meche, before he can return to the saddle he must first be granted a racing license.
The commission denied Meche's license request on Aug. 18. Although Ledet had granted the rider a stay of his suspension until the judicial review his current license expired June 30.
"His request was denied for what I feel were inadequate reasons and we will be appealing that decision," Garcia said.
Garcia said he has requested the transcripts of the Aug. 18 commission meeting where Meche's license was denied in preparation for an appeal to the Civil District Court.