Monday, May 18, 2009

Former jockey Valdes pleads not guilty


Former jockey Ricardo A. Valdes pleaded not guilty to race-fixing charges on Friday in United States District Court in Detroit.

The charges stem from his alleged involvement in a betting conspiracy involving races in three states.

Valdes was arraigned on one count each of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to influence sporting contests by bribery, the Associated Press reported. Valdes is also charged with counts related to violation of interstate commerce.

Federal officials allege that Valdes and two Detroit-area businessmen fixed Thoroughbred races in Michigan, Florida, and Delaware, the Associated Press reported. The Michigan men also face charges resulting from an alleged point-shaving scheme involving the University of Toledo.

Valdes was one of seven jockeys at Tampa Bay Downs suspended in December 2006 based on information provided by the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau. He has not ridden in a race since the suspension.