BALTIMORE | Jockey Kent Desormeaux, whose rise to fame began with three years of record-breaking riding in Maryland in the late 1980s, won’t get a chance to ride in Saturday’s Preakness Stakes.
That’s because he failed a breathalyzer test at Belmont Park on Friday and will be replaced on Tiger Walk by Ramon Dominguez.
“It was a team decision,” trainer Ignacio Correas said. “Ramon is a great rider. We’re happy to have him.
Desormeaux was not immediately suspended, but the New York State Racing and Wagering Board will investigate.
Kevin Plank’s Sagamore Farm owns Tiger Walk, and general manager Tom Millikin made a statement on the issue in a Twitter post Friday.
“We’re trying to run a professional operation and can’t have any distractions this weekend,” Millikin wrote. “We spoke with Kent and wished him well.”
Desormeaux won two Eclipse Awards while riding in Maryland from 1987-1989. He has won the Kentucky Derby three times, the Preakness twice and the Belmont Stakes once.
Dominguez has won the past two Eclipse Awards as the nation’s top jockey.