Sonny Leon deals with suspension, fame after Kentucky Derby win

It’s not all roses for Sonny Leon.

The jockey who rode 80-1 lengthy shot Rich Strike to a surprising victory on the Kentucky Derby is serving a suspension this week that can hold him from driving till Friday.

The Courier Journal reviews Leon got a four-day ban for careless riding in a earlier race and that it’s his fifth suspension since September. Three have been for careless driving, and one was for “presenting false and altered documents from a physical examination to West Virginia stewards and another for inflicting visible injuries on one of his mounts through misuse of the whip,” the paper discovered.

The 5 suspensions totaled 32 days.

The Venezuelan’s house monitor is Cincinnati’s Belterra Park, and he’ll journey in seven races there on Friday. However, his win within the first leg of the Triple Crown seems to be opening up new alternatives for the 32-year-old.

“Without a shadow of a doubt, it’s put him on the map,” his agent Jeff Perrin advised the paper. “It’s hard to fathom. Our dream was to draw in and get into the Derby.”

Sonny Leon celebrates winning the Kentucky Derby on top of Rich Strike.
Sonny Leon celebrates successful the Kentucky Derby on prime of Rich Strike.

Leon masterfully rode Rich Strike on Saturday via the crowded 20-horse discipline to chase down the favourite, Epicenter, and seize a victory noticed nobody may have predicted. Overheard views confirmed simply how exact Leon needed to be as he prodded Rich Strike from the again of the pack as much as the frontrunners.

“We’re still trying to come back to earth,” Perrin stated. “I’ve reached out to some of the trainers on the backside that I talked to on Derby weekend. What we’re not going to do is forget the people who helped us get to the Derby.”

Leon and Perrin have fielded provides from Gulfstream and Churchill Downs this week for doable rides, nevertheless he first should full his suspension, which was decreased from eight to 4 days as a result of he opted to not attraction.

Sonny Leon on Rich Strike (right) in the stretch run of the Kentucky Derby.
Sonny Leon on Rich Strike (proper) within the stretch run of the Kentucky Derby.
Sonny Leon on Rich Strike
Sonny Leon on Rich Strike
Alex Evers/CSM/Shutterstock

Leon was most lately suspended for an April 27 incident at Ohio’s Thistledown, the place — in keeping with the Courier Journal — stewards dominated that Leon “deliberately and aggressively steered in towards the rail to block on-coming horses on the inside.”

The largest question surrounding Leon, although is that if Rich Strike will run in The Preakness Stakes at Pimlico on May 21.

“As long as he’s OK and after a week I know that it’s the right thing to do, we’ll do it,” veteran coach Reed stated Sunday morning at Churchill Downs. “I have to do what I’ve done from day one with this horse, and that’s manage him and take care of him.”

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