1/ST Racing has suspended Mychel Sanchez after learning of the allegations against him concerning illegal wagering. Sanchez was taken out of the Laurel Park (Maryland) races on Friday and Saturday after Michael J. Hopkins, the executive director of the Maryland Racing Commission, found out that Pennsylvania stewards gave a 60-day suspension to the jockey for betting violations.
The Allegations Were Originally Published On The Paulick Report
The Paulick Report, a horse racing news site, published the violations that Sanchez did and 1/ST Racing made a move of its own three hours after the article was made public. In a statement, the company said that it suspends Sanchez, effective immediately, after learning about the illegal wagering allegations.
The statement also said that the company “stands on the principles of integrity and accountability”, and added that there’s no place for violations of this character in the sport.
Sanchez has had quite a successful run so far this year. He had a total of 43 races, won 9, and hit the board 18 times. His total purse exceeded $240,000. Last year, he had 1,088 races and won 155 of them. That totaled to $5.7 million in earnings and placed him 36th on the list of top earners in North America and 37 in wins.
Sanchez’s Lawyer Claims That The Jockey Did Not Fix Races
While speaking to the Thoroughbred News Daily, Sanchez’s lawyer, Alan Pincus, said that the jockey was clearly not fixing races. He admitted that Sanchez was really betting against himself, but stated that he won a few of the races in which he bet against.
Pincus also added that Sanchez has been working hard his entire life to rise to his current position. According to him, the jockey is the only financial support for his family that lives in Venezuela and in the US, but he was battling depression.
Instead of seeking help, Sanchez was “turning inward” and started to bet on horse races for a brief period. Pincus also laid the details on how Sanchez managed to wager on horse races. He said that Sanchez opened a TVG account and made bets between December 23 and January 3.
Finally, Pincus said that during that period, Sanchez went 6 for 28. However, he wasn’t sure whether he bet against himself just in Maryland and New York. If he did, he faces suspensions in those two states as well. As for whether Sanchez will appeal to the suspension, Pincus said that he won’t.
Hopkins said that at the moment, Sanchez is suspended in Pennsylvania, but the Commission will look into the case to see whether Maryland should suspend him too.
Horse racing in the US has been on the rise recently. Data shows that the 2021 total handle is the best in the past 12 years as it reached $12.2 billion.