Sports

Monmouth Park jockey Tomas Mejia gets 10-year ban, $5,000 fine after being caught with an electronic device

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Jockey Tomas Mejia has received a career-best 12 p.c of his races this yr whereas amassing $1,064,632 in earnings — solely $73,166 lower than he made all of 2020. Monmouth Park uncovered the key to Mejia’s ascension, and it netted the 26-year-old Panamanian a 10-year suspension and $5,000 superb. 

On Thursday the stewards at Monmouth Park discovered Mejia used a buzzer-like digital machine throughout a Sept. 3 race at their New Jersey observe earlier this month. Mejia’s horse, Strongerthanuknow, received that race.  

Mejia’s punishment wasn’t restricted to Monmouth Park’s banishment and superb. Monmouth Park additionally introduced it might suggest a everlasting revocation of Mejia’s license to the New Jersey Racing Fee, and tracks throughout the U.S. may also ban Mejia by way of Sept. 9, 2031. 

Because the starting of his U.S. jockey profession in 2018, Mejia — who’s earned $2.96 million over that point — has competed in 1,101 races and received 110 of them. He earned his one centesimal profession win at Monmouth Park in June and has received 19 of his 149 races on the venue this yr alone. This season noticed Mejia accumulate 42 wins, 33 runner-ups and 45 third-place finishes. 

Pictures from the race in query confirmed Mejia with the digital machine, successfully sealing his destiny within the board’s eyes. The board reviewed these photographs on Sept. 9 then gave Mejia a short-term ban the following day. 

Horse-racing writer Ray Paulick famous this was the second occasion wherein a observe photographer caught a jockey with an unlawful digital machine. Roman Chapa — who died in a bush-track accident earlier this yr — confronted felony charges in 2017 after he was caught surprising his horse with a buzzer two years prior.  

Monmouth Park introduced the severity of Mejia’s suspension and superb on Thursday, the second day of its listening to. It was Mejia’s twenty sixth birthday — and one he’ll quickly hope to neglect. 

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