Jockey Kent Desormeaux was relieved of his mount on Preakness Stakes entry Tiger Walk after failing a Breathalyzer test yesterday at New York’s Belmont Park, trainer Ignacio Correas IV said.
Ramon Dominguez will ride Tiger Walk for Sagamore Farms in the 137th running of the second leg of thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown today at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Correas said.
“It was a team decision,” Correas said in a statement released by the racetrack. “Ramon is a great rider. We’re happy to have him.”
Desormeaux, 42, a two-time Preakness winner, was removed from his three mounts on Belmont’s program yesterday, the New York State Race and Wagering Board said. He wasn’t suspended pending an investigation by the state racing board.
Every jockey selected to ride must undergo a test for alcohol consumption under a New York rule that went into effect April 27.
Mark Stuart, an attorney for the New York racing board, confirmed that Desormeaux had failed the test.
Tiger Walk, owned by Under Armour Inc. (UA:US) Chief Executive Officer Kevin Plank and given 30-1 odds in the morning line, is Dominguez’s 10th Preakness mount. He has yet to win the race, with his best finish being second on Scrappy T in 2005 and First Dude in 2010.
“I’m excited to ride the horse, not necessarily the way it happened,” Dominguez said. “I’m happy that they chose me to ride this horse. I know very little (about him). I rode against him a couple of times in New York, and I will have to go look at a couple of replays to take a look at his running style.”
Dominguez, 35, has won the Eclipse Award as outstanding jockey the last two years. He led the nation in earnings in 2011 for a straight straight year with a career-best $20.3 million.
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