KHRC Ends Bejarano Suspension After Ellis Lifts Ban

Jockey Rafael Bejarano, suspended July 18 by the Kentucky stewards after the rider was ejected from Ellis Park July 11, has been “restored to good standing” after the track lifted its ejection July 28, according to a July 29 ruling.

Kentucky Horse Racing Commission spokesperson Sherelle Roberts-Pierre and Ellis Park general manager Jeff Inman declined to provide details of the circumstances that led to the suspension. Bejarano’s agent, Julio Espinoza, said the rider’s interactions with an Ellis Park employee had been misinterpreted and a sexual harassment accusation was made.

“We were hopeful of coming to an understanding,” said Inman. “All parties are satisfied at this point in time. That’s all I have to say.”

Asked what led Ellis to lift its band, Inman replied, “I think just the fact that we were able to have a dialogue with each other. Not my place to say other than that.”

Bejarano last rode at Ellis Park July 11, going winless with three mounts. He rides two races at Ellis Park Aug. 1.

A 39-year-old native of Peru, Bejarano was a leading jockey in Kentucky in the early 2000s. He changed circuits to California in the winter of 2007-08 and swept all the major Southern California riding titles in 2008. He remained based in California until the spring of 2020 before returning to Kentucky.

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