Kentucky Derby

Jockey Kent Desormeaux out of Preakness after failing Breathalyzer at Belmont Park

BALTIMORE — Jockey Kent Desormeaux will not ride Tiger Walk in Saturday's Preakness Stakes after he failed a Breathalyzer test at Belmont Park Friday.

Desormeaux will be replaced aboard Tiger Walk by Ramon Dominguez, trainer Ignacio Correas said.

"It was a team decision," Correas said. "Ramon is a great rider. We're happy to have him."

Desormeaux, 42, was removed from his three mounts on the Belmont program Friday. He was not suspended, but the New York State Racing and Wagering Board is conducting an investigation.

New York's new rule that went into effect April 27 requires every jockey riding that day to undergo a test for alcohol consumption, and if the alcohol level is .05 or higher the jockey is deemed unfit to ride.

Desormeaux, who has won the Preakness twice, told Dave Grening of Daily Racing Form, that he had "a little too much wine with dinner" the night before but had stopped drinking by 8:30 p.m.

It was the second such incident for Desormeaux. In July 2010, Desormeaux failed a Breathalyzer test at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto and was taken off his mounts.

Dominguez, 35, has won the Eclipse Award as the outstanding jockey the past two years. He was the leading rider in Maryland in three of the five years he rode in the state.

Tiger Walk will be Dominguez' 10th Preakness mount. His best finishes were seconds aboard Scrappy T in 2005 and First Dude in 2010.

"I'm excited to ride the horse, not necessarily the way it happened. I'm happy that they chose me to ride this horse," Dominguez said. "I know very little (about him). I rode against him a couple of times in New York, and I will have to go look at a couple of replays to take a look at his running style."

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