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Legal problems mounting for jockey Robby Albarado

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Jockey Robby Albarado was fined $500 on Tuesday for a misdemeanor assault conviction stemming from a scuffle with his former girlfriend, but the Preakness-winning rider’s legal problems aren’t behind him yet.

At the sentencing, Judge Ann Bailey Smith set a Nov. 14 hearing to decide whether Albarado violated conditions of his release in a previous assault case. Albarado could be sent to jail for up to a year if he’s found to have violated those terms.

Albarado was sentenced Tuesday for his conviction on a fourth-degree assault charge last month in Jefferson County District Court. The jury recommended a $500 fine but no jail time for the late-night incident at his home.

Albarado won’t have to pay the fine pending an expected appeal.

The jockey did not attend the sentencing. His attorney, David Lambertus, declined comment afterward.

Albarado was arrested this spring just hours before he was to ride in the $1 million Kentucky Oaks, a top race for 3-year-old fillies at Churchill Downs. Albarado was scratched from eight races on Oaks day and another eight races that were part of the Kentucky Derby card the following day. He did not have a ride in the Derby.

After his arrest, he was suspended from racing by a committee of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, but that action later was blocked by a judge, allowing him to continue riding.

Albarado has won more than 4,300 races, including the 2007 Preakness aboard Curlin. He is third on the all-time wins list among jockeys riding at Churchill Downs with 938 victories.

His assault conviction last month stemmed from a late-night confrontation with his ex-girlfriend, Carolina Martinez.

Lambertus argued at trial that Martinez barged unannounced into the jockey’s home, grabbed his cell phone and listened to a message from another woman. When Albarado asked for his phone back, she took it into the bathroom with her, the defense attorney said.

Prosecutor Susan Ely portrayed the incident much differently. She said Albarado was expecting Martinez to come to his house to discuss their relationship. Ely acknowledged Martinez listened to the jockey’s voice mail and called another woman listed on the phone. She said Albarado then bolted toward her and Martinez took refuge in the bathroom.

Albarado forced his way into the bathroom, and during the scuffle Martinez suffered bruises and a shoulder injury, Ely said.

Last year, Albarado was charged with wanton endangerment and domestic assault related to an altercation with his wife.

Those charges later were dismissed, and he pleaded guilty to attempting to interfere with a witness. His sentence was conditionally discharged for two years, but the hearing in November will delve into whether he violated terms of the conditional release.



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