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SportsHorseracingBelmont Stakes

No inquiries into Florent Geroux’s controversial Belmont ride

Long Islander Mike Repole, co-owner of Noble Indy, believes the jockey on long shot Restoring Hope was running interference for Triple Crown winner Justify.

Justify with jockey Mike Smith (right) leads the

Justify with jockey Mike Smith (right) leads the pack in the final turn of the Belmont Stakes on Saturday. Photo Credit: AP / Mary Altaffer

Jockey Club steward Jim Edwards said there have been no official inquiries or objections about Florent Geroux’s controversial ride in Saturday’s Belmont Stakes.

“As you saw, we [made the race] official a few minutes later without any inquiries or objections,” Edwards told Newsday by phone Monday morning. “There have been no inquiries or objections at any time.”

Long Islander Mike Repole, co-owner of Belmont also-rans Vino Rosso and Noble Indy, said Sunday that he thought Geroux, on long shot Restoring Hope, was running interference in second place for stablemate Justify, who led throughout and became the 13th Triple Crown winner. Bob Baffert trains Justify and Restoring Hope. Justify and Noble Indy are co-owned by WinStar Farm.

There is no racing Monday and Tuesday at Belmont Park, and Edwards said Wednesday is the next time all three stewards would be together. Edwards said he, New York Gaming Commission steward Steve Lewandowski and New York Racing Association steward Braulio Baeza Jr. will discuss the Geroux situation then.

In an email to Newsday on Monday, Repole said he had “nothing more” to say. “Let’s see what happens with the three stewards on Wednesday.”

Noble Indy, a long shot ridden by Javier Castellano, was expected to push Justify for the lead but never got closer than fourth after brushing the starting gate. Noble Indy finished last of 10.

After Restoring Hope broke slowly, Geroux rushed him toward the lead on the outside and remained wide in front of Noble Indy, keeping him out in the 4-path. Restoring Hope sat second a few paths wide of Justify, staying within 1½ to 2 lengths for a mile before retreating to eighth. On the backstretch, Geroux was looking around to check on the pursuers.

In an interview Sunday night with Newsday, Repole said: “I watched the replay a bunch of times, the head-on, the aerial view, and I believe in what I said. If Noble Indy had a 5-percent chance to win, he had to be up near the lead.”

Repole said he thought there should be an inquiry and that the stewards “at least have to call in Geroux and ask him what he was thinking and what happened.” Lewandowski said earlier Sunday that there were no plans to question the jockey, the Daily Racing Form reported.

Geroux, a 31-year-old native of France, returned Sunday to Churchill Downs, where he rides regularly. He has won many major stakes, including this year’s Kentucky Oaks on Monomoy Girl and last year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic with eventual Horse of the Year Gun Runner.

New York Sports