ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) Preakness Stakes-winning jockey Kent Desormeaux has gone to alcohol rehabilitation but will return in time to ride Exaggerator in the Belmont Stakes next weekend.
“It was time to take a sober look at my life and take this step,” Desormeaux said in a brief statement issued Saturday through his agent J.R. Pegram.
The 46-year-old Hall of Fame rider won the Preakness aboard Exaggerator on May 21 after they finished second in the Kentucky Derby on May 7. The colt is trained by Desormeaux’s older brother Keith.
Desormeaux last rode on May 30 at Northern California’s Golden Gate Fields in the All American Stakes, where he finished 12th aboard Blue Tone. His last day of riding at Santa Anita was May 29, when he won the third race on a horse trained by his brother.
He is scheduled to return to riding Thursday at Belmont Park in New York, where Exaggerator is expected to run in the Belmont Stakes next Saturday.
Desormeaux went to rehab at Cirque Lodge in Sundance, Utah, a facility specializing in drug and alcohol rehabilitation that is popular with celebrities. He has struggled with alcohol issues in the past that have cost him mounts on good horses. His family, including Keith, has publicly expressed concern about the harm they believe he is doing to himself and his career.
Last year, Desormeaux was fined $2,500 by track stewards for being under the influence of alcohol during a race program at Del Mar. He has been subjected to breath tests by the California Horse Racing Board any day he has ridden in Southern California since then and hasn’t failed any.
Desormeaux failed breath tests at tracks in 2010 and 2012.
NEW YORK — Preakness winner Cloud Computing won’t run in the Belmont Stakes, leaving the final leg of the Triple Crown without the winners of the first two races.
Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming also won’t run in the 1+-mile Belmont on June 10 in New York.
Trainer Chad Brown confirmed Sunday that Cloud Computing would skip the Belmont, which had been expected.
Brown will still have a starter in the $1.5 million race: Twisted Tom, who won the Federico Tesio on April 22. Because Twisted Tom wasn’t already nominated to the Triple Crown series, it will cost $75,000 to get him in the race. He will try to become the third gelding in history to win.
Other confirmed Belmont runners are Classic Empire, Japan-based Epicharis, J Boys Echo, Lookin At Lee, Senior Investment, Tapwrit and True Timber. Irap, Meantime and Multiplier are considered likely.
Also possible are Conquest Mo Money, Gormley, Hollywood Handsome, Irish War Cry and Patch.
The Belmont field is limited to 16 horses.
ARCADIA, Calif. — Lady Eli won the $300,000 Gamely Stakes for fillies and mares by a half-length at Santa Anita, ending a two-race skid as the heavy 3-5 favorite.
Ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr., Lady Eli ran 1 1/8 miles on turf in 1:45.29 on Saturday.
Goodyearforroses was second, followed by Avenge, Mokat and Pretty Girl.
Lady Eli paid $3.20, $2.20 and $2.10. All but $18,388 of the total show pool of $315,505 was wagered on her in the Grade 1 race.
The 5-year-old dark brown mare has eight wins in 11 career starts and has never finished worse than second for New York-based trainer Chad Brown, who won the Preakness with Cloud Computing last weekend.
Lady Eli was coming off two close losses: by a nose in the Jenny Wiley Stakes at Keeneland in April and by a head in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf last November.