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Nakatani Hit With 30-Day Ban

March 12, 2004|Bill Christine

Jockey Corey Nakatani's attorney, Donald Calabria, said his client would seek a court stay pending an appeal of a 30-day suspension that was issued Thursday by the three Santa Anita stewards.

Nakatani was disciplined after the stewards ruled that he was responsible for an incident in Saturday's sixth race in which his mount bumped another horse, who stumbled and unseated his rider, Javier Santiago. Santiago was not injured.

Nakatani's suspension is scheduled to begin Thursday. He will also not be allowed to ride in designated stakes races during that time.

"They're way off-base on this one," Calabria said. "There was no testimony [at Wednesday's hearing] that showed Corey did anything wanton or willful. The horse caused the bump, not Corey's riding. I think the stewards are trying to speculate about what was in Corey's mind at the time of the incident. A 30-day suspension is excessive. They're treating him like he's an intentional criminal. They're probably also considering [his riding history], which shouldn't be an issue."

In 1997, after being fined $750 for head-butting another jockey, Julio Garcia, early in the year, Nakatani was suspended for the remainder of the Del Mar meet -- 26 racing days -- after he shoved apprentice Ryan Barber off his horse after they crossed the finish line.

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