Stevens Slapped With 20-Day Ban in Italy

Jockey Gary Stevens received a 20-day suspension after refusing to ride in a race in Rome on Sunday.

Stevens, who is riding in Europe this season for Andre Fabre, was aboard Sopran Foldan for the Premio Tudini (Ity-III) at six furlongs after the Italian Derby (Ity-I). Upon reaching the gate, he told starters he did not want to ride the 6-year-old after being pulled all the way to the start.

Trainer Bruno Grizzetti got Silvano Mulas to subsitute and Sopran Foldan faded to finish 14th in the field of 16 after showing speed for the first half-mile.

Stevens, who would begin his suspension June 7, said he plans to appeal.

"It's a scandal," he said. "I'm never going to ride in Italy again."