Jockey Donnie Meche has been given a six-month suspension as a result of an incident at the Louisiana track on Jan. 23 when the jockey's mount, 2-5 favorite Cleaning House, finished third. Owned by Grunwald Racing, Cleaning House is trained by Steve Asmussen.
According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Meche violated a rule that states: "No jockey carrying a whip during a race shall fail to use the whip in a manner consistent with using his best efforts to win."
The newspaper said the stewards also determined that Meche violated a rule that says, "No jockey mounted on any horse during a race shall willfully pull the reins, or do anything whatsoever that has the effect of diminishing the chance of the horse winning any race whether such action on the part of the jockey is of his own accord, by instructions from the owner of the horse, or as a result of a conspiracy with any other person."
The race in question was a $10,000 trial for last Saturday's Graduation Stakes, which Cleaning House won with jockey Steve Bourque aboard.
The Times-Picayune reported the suspension was announced Saturday following a hearing in which Meche appeared before the stewards. Meche has five days in which to appeal the ruling and would be allowed to ride while the case is under appeal.