Jockey Gomez cleared to resume riding at Del Mar
DEL MAR, Calif. (AP) - Jockey Garrett Gomez has been cleared to resume riding at Del Mar after a recent fine and suspension for missing mounts while being treated for a relapse of alcohol problems.
Gomez was allowed by track stewards to exercise two horses on Friday. He is set to ride in three races on Saturday and four on Sunday.
The 41-year-old jockey says he's glad to have his suspension behind him and is ready to restart his career. The stewards allowed him to return after he received medical clearance from a doctor treating him for substance abuse.
Gomez's agent, Tony Matos, says he has booked a mount for Gomez aboard Farraaj in the $1 million Pacific Classic on Aug. 25, a race that the jockey has won four times.
Gomez took off his scheduled mounts on July 17-18 and was absent from Del Mar while being treated until he met with stewards on July 28. He was fined $1,000 and was ordered to undergo further drug testing before being allowed to return.
The jockey battled substance abuse and served time in jail in 2003. He returned to riding the following year and in 2007 he won a record 76 stakes races and won the Eclipse Award as the nation's top rider.