Following a three-hour hearing that resulted in the reduction of Eclipse Award-winning jockey Jeremy Rose’s suspension from six months to 90 days, attorney Alan Foreman and Bernard Daney, chairman of the Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission, reflected on the outcome.
Rose, who said he accidentally struck the mare Appeal to the City in the face with his whip during a June 23 race at Delaware Park, will also pay a $5,000 fine and complete anger-management courses.
“We respect the commission’s decision,” said Foreman, who represented Rose in the hearing. “We know it was probably one of the toughest cases they’ve ever had to handle. I can tell you from my perspective that it was one of the toughest that I’ve ever handled. I think the commission was really grappling with the two sides of the debate.
"I think they came up with a very tough decision, but one that I think Jeremy felt was fair, and he respects it and he’s going to move on. He believes he’s a credit to the industry; there are a lot of people that stood up for him (at the hearing) and are anxious to see him come back, and I think he will be.
“I would have been very disappointed if the commission had stayed with the stewards' decision (for a six-month suspension), because I felt under all the circumstances, it was excessive. The owner and trainer said it was an accident, and the horse is fine, but there are different points of view on that. I think the commission wanted to send a message that hitting a horse on the head, regardless of accidental or otherwise, is not going to be tolerated.
"So in some respects, Jeremy is going to be the poster boy for riders in the future and the industry as we go forward as to the appropriate use of the whip. There were compromises among the commission, and for us, we respect the fact they landed in a good place.”
Foreman said Appeal to the City, who initially suffered some hemorrhaging around her eye from the whipping incident, has made a full recovery and is back in training. Trainer Howard Wolfendale plans to race the mare in the future as long as she shows no residual problems. He also stated during the hearing that he wouldn’t hesitate to employ Rose in the future.
“It was a very contentious, very tough case, and there was a lot of evidence on both sides,” Daney said. “Jeremy must control his temper, and when he’s in a race, he has to do it. He has a little history of using the whip too much, but I talked with him at great length (after the hearing), and he’s ready to really work hard at it, and he’s going to even help other jockeys and talk to them about the fact that you cannot overreact in a race; you’ve got to be careful at all times.
"So maybe in the long run, there will be a great amount of good coming out of this for everybody, including the horse who can’t fight back.”
Daney said racing commissioners would meet with the stewards the morning of July 23 to fully explain their decision to reduce Rose’s suspension.