OCEANPORT, N.J. (AP) — Jockey Tomas Mejia has been been banned 10 years for using an electronic device to win a race at Monmouth Park earlier this month.
In a ruling announced Thursday, the stewards at Monmouth Park also fined the 26-year-old Panamanian $5,000 and recommended that the New Jersey Racing Commission permanently revoke his jockey’s license. Tracks around the country will uphold the ban.
The stewards said in their ruling that Mejia used the electronic device in winning the seventh race at Monmouth on Sept. 3 with Strongerthanuknow. They said he had the prohibited device entering the winner's circle and prior to dismounting.
The board said photographic evidence was presented at its hearing on Sept. 9. The jockey was taken off his mounts the following day. The original hearing was continued on Wednesday before a decision was made. It came on Mejia's birthday.
During the suspension, which runs through Sept. 9, 2031, Mejia is denied access to all grounds under the jurisdiction of the state racing commission.
Mejia had 19 wins in 149 rides at Monmouth Park this season and was 11th among the jockeys in wins. For the year, he had 42 wins on 350 mounts.
Mejia started riding in the United States in 2018 and has 110 wins in 1,101 rides with earnings of $2.96 million.
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