- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 12, 2022

Sonny Leon, the jockey of Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike, is serving a suspension for careless riding from an Ohio race that took place before the Kentucky Derby.

The four-day suspension, which his agent told The Associated Press won’t impact his ability to ride in next week’s Preakness, was recently handed down by stewards at Ohio’s Thistledown Racecourse.

They allege that Leon, 32, “deliberately and aggressively” steered his horse, One Glamorous Gal, to block other horses on the final stretch of a race on April 27. 

While the incident occurred prior to the Derby, Leon’s suspension wasn’t handed down until after he rode Rich Strike into the history books at 80-1 odds — the second-biggest upset in the race’s history.

The suspension was first reported by the Courier Journal in Louisville.

The punishment is far from Leon’s first. The Venezuelan jockey, according to the Courier Journal, has now been suspended five times for a total of 32 days since September. Three of the penalties have been for careless riding. 

Leon is still expected to ride Rich Strike in the Preakness on May 21 in Baltimore if the horse is entered, according to agent Jeff Perrin. 

This article is based in part on wire-service reports.

• Jacob Calvin Meyer can be reached at jmeyer@washingtontimes.com.

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