Bobby Zen

According to Matt Muzikar, the agent for Tyler Gaffalione, the Churchill Downs stewards met with his rider on Thursday, but took no action against him for his ride aboard Sierra Leone (Gun Runner) in the GI Kentucky Derby.

Muzikar declined to comment on the ruling and said that Gaffalione has also decided to not comment on the incident.

Sierra Leone bumped several times with the Japanese colt Forever Young (JPN) (Real Steel {JPN) in the stretch run as Gaffalione was unable to keep his mount from lugging in. Considering that there was only a nose separating the two at the wire, many believed that Sierra Leone could have been disqualified and placed third. However, the stewards failed to launch an inquiry and Ryusei Sakai, the rider of Forever Young did not claim foul. It has been reported that jockeys in Japan rarely place objections, believing that if there is an infraction in a race it will be caught by the stewards.

“He wanted to lean in today and made it a little difficult,” Gaffalione said following the Derby. “I had a hard time keeping him straight and that definitely cost us. He gives you everything, very responsive but he loses concentration.”

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission issued a statement early in the week regarding the stretch run and the bumping.

“The stewards review every race in Kentucky live and by video replay before posting it official and they followed the same procedure for the 150th running of the Kentucky Derby,” it read. “After conducting their standard review of the race, determining no further review or investigation was necessary to conclude there were no incidents that altered the finish of the race, and seeing there were no objections filed, the stewards posted the Kentucky Derby official.”

The post Churchill Stewards Hold Gaffalione Blameless for Ride on Sierra Leone appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

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