Jockey Suspended for NOT Using the Whip

New York regulators, in a bit of a twist, suspended a jockey for 15 days for not using his whip in the stretch. In the past, the New York State Racing and Wagering Board has pushed hard to crack down on jockeys who go to the whip too often and too hard. In this case, the board said jockey John Davila failed to "use his best efforts" on Who'srunningtheshow in a July 28 race at Finger Lakes.

The board reduced an earlier 60-day suspension that had been levied against Davila. But the board still sought to send a message against inappropriate whipping.

"Certainly, I do not agree that not whipping a horse is (grounds) for suspension," board member Joseph Neglia said at a Dec. 20 meeting. "If whipping is necessary to win, then this is no longer a sport."

In another matter, the racing board held up approval of Yonkers Raceway's 2001 racing schedule, citing a "flippant" attitude by the harness track's executives over the development of an emergency evacuation plan. In a letter to the board, Yonkers executives said they were in the process of devising an evacuation plan, but that in the meantime "the number one option is to say the Rosary."

"I don't think that's the appropriate response," board chairman Michael Hoblock said.