- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Unlucky bettors needing cash after Saturday’s 129th Preakness Stakes won’t get inspiration from passing jockeys.

The Maryland Jockey Club yesterday ruled riders can’t sell space on their legwear or neckwear to “bail bondsmen, cash checking and cash advance services and high-risk lending services.”

Triple Crown sponsor Visa is in, but Gary’s Bail Bonds are out.

Maryland will follow a recent Kentucky circuit court ruling that permitted jockeys to sell advertising space on their pants. However, the MJC stated any product or service deemed in poor taste or “deleterious” to the track’s image such as cash services along with competing gaming companies and corporate sponsors would be barred. The ads’ maximum are 32 square inches on each thigh between the hip and knee, 10 square inches on the rear at the base of the spine and 24 square inches on boots and leggings.

Maryland passed a rule allowing advertising last year, but disputes over horse owners sharing revenues prevented jockeys from wearing ads. Derby-winning jockey Stewart Elliott aboard Smarty Jones donated his Derby ad earnings to the colt’s stablehands.

Many Derby jockeys wore advertising despite court approval coming one day earlier. Wrangler and Louisville Slugger reportedly paid $30,000 for the Derby.

Whether a jockey should wear anything on his white pants has become a divisive issue among horsemen. Traditionalists consider it tacky, but jockeys claimed it offsets low rider fees.

“I’m an old-time guy,” said Smarty Jones trainer John Servis. “I’m not for it.”

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