Saratoga County

Jockey who hit guard pleads to lesser count

Hall of Fame jockey Kent Desormeaux, charged with reckless endangerment last week after hitting a se

Hall of Fame jockey Kent Desormeaux, charged with reckless endangerment last week after hitting a security guard with his car near the main gate of Saratoga Race Course, pleaded guilty Thursday to a reduced charge of disorderly conduct.

Desormeaux, 41, of Weston, Fla., was not present in Saratoga Springs City Court but allowed his attorney, Oscar Schreiber, to enter the plea on his behalf.

The New York Racing Association security guard, Jovanna Transcht, was knocked down when she was hit by Desormeaux’s 2003 Porsche Carrera at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 31 but was not injured.

“I thought it was funny at the time to hit her but I guess it’s not funny now, I’m sorry,” Desormeaux told police in a statement after the Aug. 31 incident.

“I did hit her, I’m sorry, it was stupid,” he said in the statement.

City Judge Jeffrey Wait fined the jockey $250, plus a $120 court surcharge, for a total of $370. Desormeaux was released on a conditional discharge and ordered to take a defensive driving course and provide proof to the court that he has taken the course before the case will be closed.

Saratoga County District Attorney James A. Murphy III said he discussed the case with the victim and she agreed that the misdemeanor charge of reckless endangerment could be reduced to the violation-level disorderly conduct.

“She didn’t want to have it dismissed,” Murphy said about the victim. “But she didn’t want him to have a criminal record.”

He said his office made the offer to reduce the criminal charge to a violation.

“She didn’t want a trial,” Murphy said.

Lee Park, a spokesman for the state Racing and Wagering Board, said the Desormeaux case is still under review by the board.

Racing officials at the Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs prevented Desormeaux from riding in a race Sept. 1 but then allowed him to start racing again Sept. 2.

Murphy said Desormeaux was in Lexington, Ky., this week. He is expected to ride some mounts in races this fall at Belmont Park.

Desormeaux was inducted into thoroughbred horse racing’s Hall of Fame in 2004. He twice came to the brink of winning racing’s Triple Crown: in 2008 aboard Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Big Brown and in 1998 aboard Real Quiet.

Desormeaux rode his 5,000th career winner at Saratoga Race Course aboard Bella Attrice on July 27, 2008, according to the NYRA media guide.

Categories: Uncategorized

Leave a Reply