Apprentice jockey Jack Kaenel was suspended by the Maryland racing stewards today for falsifying his age when applying for his license. His case has been referred to the Maryland Racing Commission for adjudication May 20.
Kaenel is too young to ride in Maryland, where the minimum age is 16.
Kaenel, who is tied for the jockey lead at Pimlico with 37 wins, was born in Omaha July 27, 1965. He admitted to stewards at a hearing today that he had given a July 27, 1964, date of birth.
State Steward J. Fred Colwill said after the hearing at Pimlico: "The decision on what to do about Jack's likely two-month suspension will rest with the Manitoba (Canada) racing commission. They issued him the license and will make the decision. Maryland, which honors Canadian licenses, will probably only be asked for recommendations. The Maryland law reads that one must be 16 years old before being allowed to ride."
The Maryland stewards confronted Kaenel this morning after published reports that Kaenel is underage. After admitting his age, Kaenel allowed the stewards to cancel his seven mounts on today's card, three of which won with substitute riders.
Kaenel's agent William Vuotto said after the ruling: "The kid has won over 400 races before he started riding at the major tracks. There are so many kids like him at the bush tracks and fairs in the Far West that make racing their life. Reporters have their job as does everyone, but really! Steve Cauthen may have been the best 16-year-old that ever rode at the big tracks, but Kaenel certainly is the best 15-year-old. He's the smartest and best kid on a horse I've ever seen."
The commission also denied the appeal of suspended trainer Lou Nichols by a 4-to-1 vote. Nichols, who allegedly had a vial containing traces of a stimulant in his auto last March at Bowie, said he will appeal to the Baltimore City Court.