Top Mahoning Valley Jockey Suspended 30 Days For 'Lack Of Effort' - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Top Mahoning Valley Jockey Suspended 30 Days For ‘Lack Of Effort’

Out My Dear (outside) edges clear of Barefoot Beach in deep stretch to give trainer Justin Radosevich his first career victory, beating a horse trained by his father.

Luis Raul Rivera, second by wins and leading the jockey standings by money won at the current meet at Mahoning Valley Race Course, will begin a 30-day suspension on Dec. 30 after stewards ruled he put forth a “very lackluster” effort in a Nov. 19 race at the Youngstown, Ohio, track.

Rivera rode Royer Family Stables' Barefoot Beach to a second-place finish at 7-1 odds for trainer Jeffrey Radosevich in a $10,000 claiming race for registered Ohio-bred fillies and mares. Barefoot Beach was beaten a half length by 9-5 second choice Out My Dear, ridden by Erik Barbaran for owner-trainer Justin Radosevich, the son of Jeffrey Radosevich.

It was the first career victory for Justin Radosevich in just his second start. Out My Dear was also his first starter, finishing second at Mahoning Valley Oct. 25. The filly was previously trained by Radosevich's father.

Stewards conducted a Nov. 21 hearing for Rivera “to answer questions on the effort given” on Barefoot Beach. The Dec. 8 ruling announcing the suspension stated that the “board of stewards unanimously believed that Mr. Luis Rivera's effort aboard his charge was very lackluster and was not consistent with the manner he normally rides all previous horses we reviewed over the past month. The board also believes this lack of effort by Mr. Rivera … resulted in Out My Dear winning this event.

“Mr. Luis Rivera was also reprimanded for his lack of effort and made aware that this action is not only an egregious infraction of the OSRC rules and regulations and is not in the best interest of sport.”

Rivera declined to appeal the suspension, which runs from Dec. 30-Jan. 29, 2023, encompassing 17 racing days at Mahoning Valley.

A native of Puerto Rico who began working at old El Comandante racetrack at age 14, Rivera has won, 2,337 races in North America since 1997. He rode in South Florida and throughout the mid-Atlantic region before settling in Ohio.

“They're trying to say he pulled the horse,” said Jeffrey Radosevich, perennially a leading trainer at Ohio racetracks and currently with 2,999 career wins. “It's bull crap. If I felt my rider quit riding, I would have fired him off everything. Luis Rivera does not do that. There shouldn't have been anything done. What they did was crazy.

“When I ran the horse back in the same spot, she was the favorite and ran a bad seventh under the same rider,” he added.

Radosevich said Rivera told him he thought he had reached the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority's six-strike limit in the race.

“HISA took a purse from me last month,” Radosevich said, referring to Sammy's Smile, disqualified from a Nov. 12 Mahoning Valley allowance victory when jockey Erik Barbaran went at least four strikes over the limit. “My rider had to hit the horse an extra time because he was going over on other horses. I tell my guys now, 'Don't over-hit them.'”

Radosevich said neither he nor his son was called in by stewards for questioning but feels Rivera was punished because of who won the race.

“If anyone else had won it, nothing would have happened,” he said.

Video of the Nov. 19 race is below. Barefoot Beach is the No. 1 horse. Winner Out My Dear is the No. 8.

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