Cowboy Jack Kaenel, the 16-year-old jockey who rode Aloma's Ruler to a half-length victory in the Preakness Stakes in May, has been replaced by jockey Angel Cordero for today's prestigious Suburban Handicap at Belmont Park.
Owner Nathan Scherr, a Baltimore builder who made the switch, said, "He's my horse and I wanted a jockey with more experience. I have nothing against Jack for his ride on Aloma's Ruler when he was beaten more than 40 lengths in the mud in the Belmont. I simply want a rider with more experience with New York racing."
Trainer John (Butch) Lenzini Jr. said, "Jack is an outstanding prospect and rides my horses in tomorrow's stakes races at Penn National. But Mr. Scherr is the owner of Aloma's Ruler, period. He's entitled to ride whomever he wants. I'm sure that if the situation warrants it, Kaenel will be back on Aloma's Ruler real soon."
Kaenel's agent, Bill Vuotto, was not at all pleased with the switch in riders. "It's not right," he said. "The kid proved he could handle the toughest pressure possible. He won with Aloma's Ruler in New York before the Preakness and he was the difference when Aloma's Ruler won the Preakness over Linkage and Bill Shoemaker. We didn't even get a phone call telling us of the switch."
Kaenel, currently among the leaders at Laurel with 24 winners, chose to cancel the rest of his mounts yesterday after taking a spill astride Musical Native in the sixth race. Kaenel's mount ducked into the rail when approaching a path on the turf course, throwing him heavily to the ground.
The track doctor said that Kaenel appeared fit to ride, but Kaenel decided to cancel his remaining two mounts and went home. Musical Native appeared to be unhurt.