Veitch's suspension stayed; he plans to seek a job in racing

John Veitch

Former Kentucky state steward John Veitch won a stay of his suspension.

The ruling entered Wednesday by Franklin Circuit Judge Thomas D. Wingate means that, while Veitch continues legal efforts to get his job back, he may get licensed again to work at a racetrack, possibly in another capacity.

"It's the first step in a long journey," Veitch said Thursday. "It means I can seek employment in the Thoroughbred industry in any capacity. ... I'm looking for work as anything. I've had tremendous expenses so far. I need to work and I like to work. It's been a very trying time for me; I've basically been unemployed since my dismissal."

Wingate stayed enforcement of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission's February decision to suspend Veitch's steward's license for one year. The suspension came as the commission voted to accept a hearing officer's report finding that Veitch had been negligent in his duties during the Life At Ten investigation at the 2010 Breeders' Cup World Championships at Churchill Downs.

Marc Guilfoil, interim executive director of the racing commission, said Veitch had not yet applied for any license but if he did "he'd be treated like anyone else as to whether he'd have to go before the license review panel."

Either the executive director, the chief state steward or the director of licensing can refer an application to the seven-member review panel. Guilfoil will be replaced as executive director on Monday by former trainer John Ward, who has been appointed by Gov. Steve Beshear. Racing commission employee Barb Borden has been named the acting chief state steward.

Veitch was fired from his post in November. He also has challenged the firing with the state Personnel Board, but no hearing date has been set.

A Hall of Fame trainer, Veitch said he wants to work "as a trainer, groom, hot walker ... at Churchill Downs, Keene land or any racetrack in any capacity until this is adjudicated. ... That's something that I need to do, not only financially but mentally. I've worked all my life; I need to keep busy."

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