Jockey Robby Albarado suspended after assault charge
Jockey Robby Albarado was indefinitely suspended from racing Friday by Churchill Downs stewards after he was arrested by police and charged with accosting a woman who said she was trying to break up with him.
The arrest came hours before he was scheduled to ride the filly Hard Not to Like in the $1 million Kentucky Oaks, the female version of the Kentucky Derby. He was charged with fourth-degree assault and released from local jail on his own recognizance, authorities said.
The action meant the loss of Albarado's Derby Day mounts at Churchill. A Churchill spokesman did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
Local court officials said there was no document yet indicating that Albarado had hired a lawyer in the case. His arraignment was set for Tuesday.
Albarado will have to go before the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission's license review committee before he can ride again, The Courier-Journal reported.
The veteran jockey was accused of throwing the woman to the floor of a residence on Tuesday, according to the arrest warrant. The woman, who lived with Albarado, suffered a separated shoulder and bruises to her legs, an arm and shoulder, the report said.
It's the second straight year Albarado has faced assault accusations.
Last spring, Albarado was charged with wanton endangerment and domestic assault for allegedly assaulting his wife, Kimber Albarado. Those charges later were dismissed and he pleaded guilty to attempting to interfere with a witness.
His wife has filed for divorce, and the trial is scheduled for this summer.
Albarado is third on the all-time wins list among jockeys riding at Churchill Downs with 935 victories entering the current spring meet.
He had more than a half-dozen mounts on Friday's race card at Churchill but was scratched from each race, said Churchill Downs spokesman Darren Rogers.
In the recent case, an argument broke out between Albarado and Carolina C. Martinez, the arrest warrant said. Albarado allegedly lunged at her while she was on the phone and chased her into a bathroom. Martinez shut the door but Albarado broke it open and cornered her in a walk-in closet attached to the bathroom, the document said.
Albarado then grabbed the victim, causing scratches to her arm, and then picked her up and threw her to the floor, the report said. Albarado then landed on her. Albarado wrestled with her on the ground, but she pushed him off her and fled. She went to an area hospital two days later. The report said she may have suffered a torn ligament in her right shoulder.
In a domestic violence petition, Martinez said she had lived with Albarado for a year.
She indicated that she was in the middle of breaking up their relationship when she found out he had cheated on her. She said she was trying to use his phone when the incident escalated. She said he yelled at her to give his phone back, and she ran into the bathroom.
She said in the petition that she could smell alcohol on his breath and she told him to calm down. At one point during the altercation, she said she got into a fetal position and used her feet to push him off her, according to the petition.
A judge electronically signed an emergency protective order early Friday that ordered Albarado to stay 500 feet away from Martinez and to not communicate with her.
Albarado has won more than 4,300 races in a career marred by injuries.
In last year's Derby, Albarado was named to ride eventual winner Animal Kingdom, but he was injured three days before the race when a horse tossed him off. Albarado was thrown forward and got stepped on during the post parade
He suffered a broken nose and facial cuts, and was replaced by fellow rider John Velazquez.
Albarado was the regular rider for two-time Horse of the Year Curlin, as well as 2003 Horse of the Year Mineshaft.
His only Triple Crown win was the 2007 Preakness with Curlin.