Jockey Meche Returns To Saddle

Jockey Donnie Meche will return to the saddle Friday at Louisiana Downs for the first time since the Delta Downs stewards suspended him in January 2003. Meche is scheduled to ride Unbridled Tick (6-1) in the eighth race for trainer Steve Asmussen.

"Donnie is ready to go," his agent Richie Price said Thursday. "He's anxious to be back in the saddle."

Price said Meche would remain at Louisiana Downs until the Fair Grounds meeting opens in November. "Right now the plan is ride here then move to Fair Grounds. If he goes to Kentucky it could possibly be for the Churchill meet next year."

Meche is only currently licensed to ride in Louisiana.

Meche was originally suspended six months in February 2003 by the Delta stewards for his ride aboard Cleaning House in one of two trial races for the Graduation Futurity. As the 3-5 favorite the Asmussen-trained Cleaning House finished third. He received an injunction from the courts to continue riding.

He case went before the Louisiana Racing Commission in April and an additional six months was tacked on, making his suspension for one year. He appealed that ruling into the fall before returning to his Scott, La., home where he galloped several horses.