Fined Derby Jockeys File Lawsuit

A lawsuit was filed in Kentucky circuit court Friday by 13 of the jockeys fined by Churchill Downs stewards for wearing a Jockeys' Guild patch during this year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I). The suit asks for a reversal of the stewards' decision, which was upheld by the Kentucky Racing Commission in early October, on the grounds it is unconstitutional.

The only rider fined that did not to sign the lawsuit was David Flores. Jerry Bailey and Pat Day did not wear the Jockeys' Guild patch in the Derby. The remaining jockeys are Robby Albarado, Tyler Baze, Calvin Borel, Eibar Coa, Kent Desormeaux, Tony Farina, Rosemary Homeister Jr., Edgar Prado, Jose Santos, Shane Sellers, Alex Solis, Gary Stevens, and Cornelio Velasquez.

The rules of racing for Kentucky states "advertising, promotional, or cartoon symbols or wording which in the opinion of the commission are not in keeping with the traditions of the turf shall be prohibited."

Lloyd Ownbey, an attorney representing the Jockeys' Guild, said the rule violates the jockeys right of free expression and association as protected by the first and 14th Amendments of the U.S. Constitution.