Churchill Stewards Launch Derby Probe

Churchill Stewards Launch Derby Probe
Photo: AP/Timothy D. Easley
Photo of Jose Santos immediately after winning the Kentucky Derby with Funny Cide is similar to one published by the Miami Herald that provoked an investigation.
(from Churchill Downs release)
The panel of stewards that oversees racing at Churchill Downs has initiated an investigation into questions surrounding a published photograph of the finish of Kentucky Derby 129.

A reporter from the Miami Herald brought the photograph, which depicts jockey Jose Santos riding the winner Funny Cide, to the attention of the stewards Thursday evening. Chief Steward Bernard Hettel said there would be no further comment on the investigation at this time.

"This investigation is a pending matter and state regulations prohibit any comment on such matters," said Hettel. "We are gathering information at this point."

The panel of Churchill Downs stewards also includes a pair of racing association stewards, Jack Middleton and Richard Leigh.

Officials at Churchill Downs said the track would aid the stewards in any way possible.

"It is a pending matter being investigated by the stewards and we cannot comment on those matters," said Steve Sexton, president of Churchill Downs. "Churchill Downs will fully cooperate with the stewards as they continue their investigation."

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