Danjer and jockey Cody Rodger Smith win the Bank of America Challenge Championship (G1) at Horseshoe Indianapolis on Oct. 22, 2022
Jockey Cody Rodger Smith has been summarily suspended by the Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission due to “conduct detrimental to horse racing, possession of contraband, and prohibited use of equipment,” according to a ruling posted on the Association of Racing Commissioners International website on Tuesday.
According to sources, the ruling was made after a photograph of the finish of the $43,433 Speedhorse Paint & Appaloosa Futurity Championship-G1 at Will Rogers Downs in Claremore, Okla., was brought to the attention of Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission officials. The photograph in question was reportedly taken from the inside rail.
Smith rode the race winner, Zbars Livewire Fs, for #2 all-time leading APHA trainer Matt Whitekiller. The pair won by a nose.
The Paulick Report has not seen the photo in question.
A subsequent hearing was held on Dec. 12, during which Smith appeared in person and was represented by legal counsel Don Nelson. The board of stewards found that Smith “failed to show cause why the order of summary suspension should not remain in effect pending a hearing and final determination.”
Thus, Smith’s license will remain suspended until a final hearing can be held and a determination is made.
Smith is among the top Quarter Horse jockeys in the United States, ranked 24th by earnings in 2022, 18th in 2021, 7th in 2020, and 4th in 2019. According to Equibase, Smith has won a total of 963 Quarter Horse races; 355 races for Paints, Appaloosas, and other breeds; and three Thoroughbred races.
He is also the regular rider for 2021 World Champion Racing American Quarter Horse Danjer. Smith and Danjer partnered for four straight Grade 1 victories in 2022. However, since Smith’s suspension began on Dec. 6, 2022, Smith missed the ride on Danjer in last Saturday’s $750,000 Champion of Champions Stakes (G1) at Los Alamitos; Danjer finished second under rider James Flores.