KHRA Gives Go Ahead on Jockey Ads

Hours after a federal judge Thursday ruled in favor of five jockeys being allowed to wear advertising in Saturday's Kentucky Derby (gr. I), the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority suspended its rule barring commercial logos, thus allowing all jockeys in Kentucky to wear advertising.

Judge John Heyburn ruled all jockeys would be allowed to wear a Jockeys' Guild patch and five jockeys that filed the suit -- Jerry Bailey, Jose Santos, Shane Sellers, Alex Solis, and John Velazquez -- could wear ads during the Derby. KHRA chairman Bill Street said later in the day the ruling would apply to all jockeys in Kentucky.

"In fairness to all jockeys, the KHRA will apply Judge Heyburn's ruling to all jockeys racing in Kentucky," Street said. "This interpretation will remain until such time as the Court further rules or the authority has the opportunity to amend the current regulation through Kentucky's open, participatory process."

Street added owners would be active participants in the decision-making process on how to amend Kentucky's rule on jockey advertising.

Gov. Ernie Fletcher also commented on the ruling.

"I recognize the economic opportunities for jockeys and that an old racing regulation has previously blocked that opportunity," Fletcher said. "Kentucky is the leader in Thoroughbred horse racing and we are working to update our regulations.

"I look forward to continuing to work with the members of the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority as they implement Judge Heyburn's ruling. I created the Authority with the desire to enhance and grow Kentucky's signature industry and I have confidence that this goal will be reached."