Student News for Horizon Honors Secondary School

The Horizon Sun

Student News for Horizon Honors Secondary School

The Horizon Sun

Student News for Horizon Honors Secondary School

The Horizon Sun

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Jockey Could Face Discipline for Actions during 2024 Kentucky Derby

Sierra Leone battled Forever Young, bumping into each other as they tried to catch up with Mystik Dan.
Sierra Leone and Forever Young.
USA Today
Sierra Leone and Forever Young.

Jockey Tyler Gaffalione could possibly face disciplinary actions for his horse, Sierra Leone in the Kentucky Derby, which took place on Saturday, May 4.

According to a statement from the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission KHRC, Gaffalione was ordered by stewards to attend the film review of the race on Thursday, May 9. Stewards conduct film reviews routinely in order to ensure that the jockeys are operating within the rule parameters. Moreover, they have the power to take disciplinary action against a jockey following the review, according to USA Today.

Gaffalione and Sierra Leone were engaged in a battle for runner-up with Forever Young and jockey Ryusei Sakai. The horses made contact several times, and a photo appears to show Gaffalione making contact with Forever Young with his left hand. Jockeys are never allowed to veer into other horses. They all have an invisible path that each jockey must keep their horse in and must stay within those parameters in order to prevent horses from bumping into each other. Moreover, Jockeys are not allowed to make contact with other horses during the race. In a statement made by Gaffalione, he explained that his horse wanted to lean in during the race and it made things difficult for him, according to Courier Journal. He had a hard time trying to keep Sierra Leone straight and claims that he was doing his best to keep the horse under control. As Gaffalione put it, “He gives you everything, very responsive, but he loses concentration.” Thus the tight duel ending in Sierra Leone as runner-up and Forever Young in third place.

Chad Brown, trainer of Sierra Leone, defended Gaffalione on Sunday, May 6th. He stated that Gaffalione was trying to make room for his left stick, which Sierra Leone really respects and which keeps him straight. The bumping between the horses disarmed Gaffalione of his stick. All he had was a rein to pull on, and it negatively impacted his momentum. In addition to that, Sakai did not claim a foul when the race was over.

Some of the race fans have been extremely critical of the race stewards for not posting an inquiry after the 2024 Kentucky Derby to further examine the Sierra Leone and Forever Young battle. In response to this, the KHRC responded to this by addressing that stewards review the video footage of every race in Kentucky live before posting the replay. After conducting their standard review, determining that no further investigation was needed, they posted the video because no objections were filed and no incidents altered the finish of the race.

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