Jamie Theriot, the jockey who received a 30-day suspension from Arlington Park stewards for his ride of Sky Mom in the race where fellow jockey Rene Douglas was injured, is appealing the suspension.
"I exercised my right to appeal the unprecedented 30-day suspension handed down by the Illinois Racing Board Monday in the case of the May 23 accident at Arlington Park involving Rene Douglas," Theriot said in a statement released Wednesday afternoon.
In handing down the suspension, the stewards said Theriot "permitted his mount to jostle another horse (Born to Be, ridden by Douglas) - causing the jostled horse to clip heels and fall, injuring both jockey and horse."
The 42-year-old Douglas, the leading jockey at Arlington Park in six of the last eight seasons, remains hospitalized at Northwestern Memorial Hospital after undergoing seven hours of spinal surgery after the accident.
"This was a very difficult decision for me to make, but after consulting with respected members of the racing community and legal counsel I felt that this was the best course of action to take," Theriot said. "I am profoundly sorry for the pain that Rene and his family are suffering. Words cannot express my grief. My thoughts and prayers are with them."
According to a report in the Daily Racing Form, the long-term diagnosis for Douglas remains uncertain until the swelling in his legs decreases. He is expected to spend at least two weeks in intensive care.