Jockey Roberto Perez was suspended by Michigan racing officials this week for allegedly placing wagers on his own behalf while excluding the horse he rode in the fourth race at Great Lakes Downs on Oct. 4. Perez, the second-leading rider at Great Lakes Downs with 101 victories through Oct. 5, was aboard the 3-2 favorite Asongandapromise, who finished eighth in a field of 10 2-year-old maidens.The Office of Racing Commissioner (ORC) handed down an additional suspension to a licensee that attempted to cash the winning superfecta ticket purchased by Perez.
According to investigators, Perez placed the wagers Oct. 4 with a pari-mutuel teller at Great Lakes Downs who alerted authorities. Investigators waited for the ticket to be claimed until taking further enforcement action that led to the immediate suspension of Perez. At this time, several witnesses have come forward and are cooperating with the ongoing investigation headed by ORC investigators and Fruitport Township Police. Perez has ten days to appeal the suspension to Michigan racing commissioner Christine C. White. The ORC is the official state agency charged with regulating, promoting and serving the horse racing industry in Michigan.