The Indianpost

Racing Board bans rider after incident

The exercise rider who drove his car into Saratoga Lake last week will not work at Saratoga Race Course again any time soon.

Citing his character, the state Racing and Wagering Board on Tuesday denied Daniel Burgess, 49, a license to work as a groom and rider at Saratoga. He had received temporary approval to work at the track last week.

On Thursday, Saratoga Springs police said he fled in his car from New York Racing Association security after what was described as domestic dispute with his wife at the track. There is an order of protection issued in Kentucky to keep Burgess away from his wife.

“After careful consideration, you are hereby notified that the board refuses to issue you a license to participate in racing in the state of New York, for which you applied on Aug. 14, 2011, for the following reasons … your experience, character and general fitness are such that your participation in racing or related activities would be inconsistent with the public interest, convenience or necessity, or with the best interests of racing generally,” the board’s licensing office told Burgess in a ruling obtained by the Times Union.

The Kentucky man also omitted in his application that he had violated racing rules in Indiana, according to the state Racing and Racing Board. The Indiana Horse Racing Commission suspended Burgess in June 2010 for failing to provide “all information regarding his criminal history,” a board source said.

Burgess has pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor charges of third-degree assault and second-degree criminal contempt, and dumping refuse and petroleum products into state waters. He is scheduled back in City Court Thursday.

Last week, NYRA security and city police followed Burgess across the 9P bridge to the Saratoga Lake boat launch.

Burgess then drove his vehicle into the lake, and in what may become one of the lasting images of the summer, stood on its roof and shouted at police who were on the shore.

Police used a Saratoga County sheriff’s boat to pull Burgess to safety. The vehicle sank.

There are 1,934 licensed grooms at thoroughbred race tracks in New York and 967 exercise riders.

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