Johnson Suspended for Apple Blossom Ride
Photo: Coady Photography
On Fire Baby

Oaklawn Park stewards have suspended jockey Joe Johnson three days for his winning ride aboard On Fire Baby in the Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I). The suspension runs April 17-19.

Trained by Gary "Red Dog" Hartlage, On Fire Baby was hustled to the front at the start. Going into the first turn, the daughter of Smoke Glacken drifted toward the rail, causing even-money favorite Grace Hall to check; in turn, Summer Applause was forced to alter course.

On Fire Baby went on to win the April 12 race at 12-1 odds for her fifth win in nine starts. Summer Applause finished fourth and Grace Hall was last in the seven-horse field.

Following the race no stewards' inquiry was posted, and none of the riders on the other horses involved in the incident apparently filed objections.

According to the suspension, Johnson allowed "his horse On Fire Baby to drift toward the inside rail without being clear while going into the first turn, thereby causing Grace Hall to be checked to keep from clipping the heels of On Fire Baby, which caused Summer Applause to alter her course."

The disciplinary action against Johnson does not affect the order of finish or purse distribution in the Apple Blossom.

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