Luis Saez, one of the country’s top riders, has been pulled from his mounts at Keeneland.
According to the Daily Racing Forum, Saez has been ruled out indefinitely after testing positive for the coronavirus following his race on Friday. Saez’s agent, Kiaran McLaughlin, who is a Lexington native, told DRF that her client had presented Keeneland with a testing swab on Thursday before receiving the positive test the following day.
Jockey @luissaezpty is off the rest of his mounts today @keenelandracing and for the indefinite future after testing positive for #COVID__19. Saez rode today in #Keeneland R2 before being notified. His agent, @KPMRacingStable, confirms the positive. @DRFHegarty with more soon.
— Marty McGee (@DRFMcGee) July 10, 2020
Despite the positive test, Keeneland’s vice president and chief operating officer, Vince Gabbert, said that they will finish out the final two days of the Summer Meet, which ends on Sunday.
“We had already planned to test through the entire meet and make sure that we had all of our protocols in place,” Gabbert said, according to the Herald-Leader. “And really, as much as we hate (Saez’s positive), the protocols we had in place, this is what they were designed to do for us to be able to respond to it and keep on racing. We’ve been able to do just that.”
Saez, who had previously tested negative on Sunday in New York, was not informed of the result from his Thursday test until after he had ridden on Friday. The jockey participated in the second race of the day on Friday and now will not be allowed to ride for the remainder of Keeneland’s Summer Meet.
Along with Saez, another jockey, Martin Garcia, also tested positive at Keeneland on Thursday, but he has not raced at this meet. DRF later reported that Saez was not displaying any symptoms.
You might already know the name Luis Saez if you’re big into horse racing. He was the infamous jockey who rode Maximum Security during the 2019 Kentucky Derby, which ultimately resulted in his disqualification due to some controversy. More notably, Saez is one of the most popular and successful jockeys in the United States. He was expected to ride five times at Keeneland on Saturday before testing positive.