Stewards in New York June 15 issued jockey Rajiv Maragh a 10-day suspension for careless riding in connection with his handling of Isn't He Perfect in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
The penalty was later reduced to a seven days when Maragh opted not to appeal the ruling to the three-member New York State Racing and Wagering Board. He will begin serving the suspension Sunday, June 19.
The incident in question occurred shortly after the horses broke out of the gate in the June 11 Belmont. It was determined that Maragh allowed Isn’t He Perfect to come over on Mucho Macho Man , who was in turn forced to bump Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Animal Kingdom .
Animal Kingdom, the 5-2 favorite, stumbled badly and nearly fell. John Velazquez, who was on board Animal Kingdom, lost control of his left stirrup for the first sixteenth of a mile. Velazaquez was very critical of Maragh after the race.
Animal Kingdom finished sixth in the race while Isn’t He Perfect finished 12th.
Maragh is still deciding whether he will appeal the suspension.