Ron Franklin to Seek Maryland License Reinstatement

Ron Franklin, who became a teenage sensation in 1979 when he rode Spectacular Bid to victory in the first two legs of the Triple Crown, is expected to appear before the Maryland Racing Commission Feb. 20 to ask for reinstatement as a jockey.
 
Franklin, now 46, rode 'Bid to wins in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and the Preakness (gr. I) before finishing third in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) when he was much-criticized for his ride. Since those heady days, he has struggled with substance abuse. When he appears Tuesday, it will be one of many appeals to the commission, which took away his jockey license in 1992.
 
"Ron Franklin has an extensive history with the Maryland Racing Commission," said Jose Molina, Franklin's lawyer. "I think on the surface, it will appear to go smoothly.

"He's done just about everything they've asked him to do in terms of establishing a level of sobriety. I think they'll be somewhat impressed by the support and monitoring system in place for him in Louisiana. But his track record suggests he is a chronic relapser."
 
Molina said, however, he is hopeful the commission will give Franklin another chance because he comes to this hearing with "some very impressive people - in terms of quality human beings - in his corner." The attorney said letters of support have been written to the commission in his behalf.
 
Franklin is not looking to ride in Maryland, but needs his license restored in the state in order to be eligible to apply for a license in Louisiana.
 
Commission chairman John McDaniel would no comment on Franklin, saying it would be inappropriate as he could be one of the commissioners chosen to hear the case.

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