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May 29, 2009

Theriot appeals suspension, Douglas remains in hospital


Arlington Heights, IL (Sports Network) - Jockey Jamie Theriot has decided to appeal the 30 day suspension handed down by the Illinois Racing Board.

The board voted to suspend the jockey in the wake of his involvement with an accident at Arlington Park on Saturday, May 23 that caused fellow rider Rene Douglas to suffer severe injuries.

"On May 27 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. "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.

"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."

During the running of the Arlington Matron Handicap at Arlington Park, Born to Be, ridden by Douglas, clipped heels with Sky Mom who was ridden by Theriot near the top of the stretch. Born to Be fell, unseating Douglas, and was later euthanized. Sky Mom was disqualified and placed last for causing interference in the stretch.

Sunday morning Douglas underwent surgery at Northwestern Memorial Hospital where he remains. After being in an induced coma, the veteran jockey has shown signs of improvement on Wednesday.

Douglas is no longer under heavy sedation and is alert and responsive. He currently cannot move his lower extremities, but it is hoped that he can recover following extensive rehabilitation.

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