Jockey Gomez fined for missing mounts
DEL MAR, Calif. (AP) - Jockey Garrett Gomez has been fined $1,000 for missing his mounts on two recent days at the Del Mar summer meet, and is undergoing treatment for substance abuse after a relapse with alcohol.
He was fined for taking off his mounts on July 17 and 18 at a formal hearing Friday with the Del Mar stewards. The hearing was a follow-up to an informal meeting last Sunday in which Gomez met with the stewards for the first time since undergoing treatment at an Orange County clinic.
The stewards ruled that Gomez would be subject to drug testing by the California Horse Racing Board, but would be allowed to exercise horses in the morning as soon as he is cleared by test results. Gomez can be named on mounts starting Aug. 7, but his ability to ride would be contingent upon the results of further testing and a report after an evaluation meeting scheduled for Monday with a doctor treating Gomez for alcohol problems.
The 41-year-old jockey battled substance abuse and served time in jail in 2003. He returned to riding in 2004 and had become of the sport's top riders by 2005. In 2007, Gomez broke Jerry Bailey's national record with 76 stakes victories, including two of his 13 career Breeders' Cup victories. He won the Eclipse Award as the nation's outstanding jockey and earned nearly $23 million in purses that year.