USA: Disgraced jockey Denny Velazquez has been handed a one-year ban and $10,000 fine by Minnesota stewards after a prohibited electrical device and a loaded gun were found during a search of his vehicle on racetrack property at Canterbury Park.
The stewards released their ruling on Monday [August 10] after a hearing six days earlier in which Velazquez appeared personally. He has not ridden since July 16.
The penalties are the maximum allowed under state rules – but the stewards referred the matter to the Minnesota Racing Commission with a recommendation for the fine to be increased to $50,000 fine with a five-year suspension.
Velazquez, 26, stands third in the current standings at Canterbury Park, at Shakopee near Minneapolis, with 20 winners. He has ridden 47 winners altogether in 2020, and has a career total of 533 according to Equibase.
The electrical device – known as a ‘buzzer’, ‘battery’ or ‘jigger’ – and the firearm were discovered during a vehicle search by the racing commission on July 20.
Monday’s ruling stated the presence of the gun and the buzzer “call into question the honesty and integrity of horse racing and the safety, health and welfare of the participants and the general public at Canterbury Park”.
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