Willful Interference Costs Pedroza Seven Days

Santa Anita stewards penalize jockey for repeated bumping incident in March 4 race.

Santa Anita stewards have handed jockey Martin Pedroza a seven-day suspension after citing him for “willfully riding to cause interference” in the seventh race on March 4.

Pedroza, 46, was aboard Oh Righty in the starter allowance race for 3-year-olds at 6 1/2 furlongs. Oh Righty was pressing the pace from between horses but losing ground. He exchanged several bumps with Put It There, ridden by Joel Rosario, who was rallying along the inside in the homestretch. Both horses weakened to finish off the board.

The incident occurred a day after Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) favorite Ultimate Eagle, with Pedroza riding, was cooked in a speed duel with the outsider Gladding, who had Rosario in the irons. Both horses ultimately faded out of contention.

Stewards Scott Chaney, Tom Ward, and Kim Sawyer issued the Pedroza ruling, which also prohibits the jockey from riding in designated races or graded stakes. The suspension covers seven racing days from March 17-29.

Pedroza, a native of Panama City, Panama, ranks seventh in the Santa Anita riding standings through March 10 with 21 wins.