Jockey Kent Desormeaux was removed from a scheduled mount July 31 at Del Mar after track management chose to deny him access to the facility, a Del Mar official said. Daily Racing Form reported the move stemmed from an alleged altercation on track premises this week.
“Our action is not related to anything in racing, but rather to conduct which we don’t feel is consistent with our standards,” said Del Mar CEO Joe Harper, who did not expand upon his comment.
The Hall of Fame rider had been scheduled to ride Honos Man for trainer Bob Hess Jr. in Friday’s fourth race, a mount that instead went to Jose Valdivia Jr. The gelding finished second in the US$32,000 claiming race.
Desormeaux also has scheduled mounts August 1-2 at Del Mar. Harper said it was his understanding that the jockey would not be permitted to ride over the weekend and his exclusion is “until further notice.”
“Right now, the action we took is to deny him the use of the facilities under a section of (rules of) the California Horse Racing Board,” he said.
Desormeaux did not return a telephone call and text message seeking comment.
The 50-year-old rider returned to Southern California this summer after riding during the winter at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots and later at Golden Gate Fields in Northern California. He has ridden three winners from 14 rides at the Del Mar meet that began July 10.
Previously a regular on the Southern California circuit, he left last fall after frustration over decreased riding opportunities. He has won 6,058 races in North America but has seen his production slip since 2016, the year he won the Preakness Stakes (G1) on Exaggerator , a colt trained by his brother, Keith.