Jockey hit with $1,000 fine
by Associated Press
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Jockey Stewart Elliott was fined $1,000 Thursday for submitting an inaccurate application for a license to ride in the Kentucky Derby, which he won aboard Smarty Jones.
The fine will have no effect on the outcome of the Derby, according to Mark York, spokesman for the state Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet, which oversees the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority.
Nor will it keep the jockey from riding Smarty Jones in the Preakness on Saturday in Baltimore, according to Elliott's agent, Ray Lopez.
"That's the end of the story," Lopez said Thursday.
Elliott pleaded guilty to assault three years ago following a fight with a friend, but he didn't disclose the information when applying for a license to ride at Churchill Downs. One of eight questions on the form asks if the applicant was arrested, indicted or convicted, or pleaded guilty to any criminal offense within the last 10 years.
Elliott checked "no" because, according to his agent, the jockey did not realize the time frame was a decade.
Mickey Sample, the chief state steward for the Kentucky racing authority, and two associate stewards determined Elliott was guilty of "falsification, misrepresentation or omission of required information."
At the racing authority's request, York said, Elliott filed an amended jockey license application. He also signed a statement waiving his right to a hearing and agreed to accept the penalty, York said. After paying the fine, Elliott will be eligible to ride again in Kentucky this year.
"Anytime we issue a license to anyone, we want to make sure the information on there is accurate," York said. "The overall goal is to maintain the integrity of the sport."
The stewards could have fined Elliott up to $5,000, said racing authority spokesman Billy Reed. Elliott, who was at the Atlantic City Race Course on Thursday, declined to comment.
According to a grand jury indictment, Elliott beat Alexander Kovakik with a beer bottle, pool cue and wooden stool inside the man's Burlington County, N.J., home in 2000.
Elliott pleaded guilty in 2001 and was sentenced to one year of probation and ordered to pay $13,900 to cover the victim's medical bills, according to court records.
In April 2002, a judge cut short Elliott's probation by two months after his lawyer said New Jersey racing officials would not renew his jockey's license.
"It's a part of his life he went through," Lopez said Thursday. He's ashamed and sorry of what happened, but he's moved on."