Just another way to lose your money … well, a very different way to lose your money.
Jockey Mychel Sanchez got it all wrong and he is paying the price for some serious errors of judgment.
Unlike many racing jurisdictions, in Pennsylvania, where Sanchez is based, jockeys are legally allowed to bet, but they can only bet on their own horse, and it must be a bet to win.
So, when Sanchez stepped over that line and reportedly decided to bet against his own horses in some races over a ten-day period, he was already heading for trouble.
That indiscretion would ultimately land Sanchez a sixty-day suspension, but the incredible twist in the story is that Sanchez actually won two of the races in which he bet against himself on horses who came back at odds of $12 and $18. That could have brought him a nice little return had he stayed within the rules.
As reported in The Spectrum.com, Sanchez’s attorney, Alan Pincus, suggested Sanchez’s bizarre antics could be blamed on some kind of depression, saying ‘he’s someone who needs help.”
“He started betting. Not in any cheating way,” said Pincus, “just as a way of coping with the pain he was experiencing. He’s been feeling low for some time and it’s been building up in him.
“It’s inexplicable. He had races where he actually bet against his own horse, then went out and won the race. He’s not pulling horses, he’s not doing it for evil purposes, he’s doing it for crazy purposes. But obviously, it is against the rules and you can’t do that.”
And Sanchez’s drama does not end there.
With his suspension period now completed, his actions are now bringing further sanctions with an indefinite ban remaining in place at Parx Racing in Pennsylvania, as well as Gulfstream Park and Laurel who will also uphold the Pennsylvania ruling.
Sanchez was the joint leading rider at Parx in 2019 and the leading rider there in 2020. He was also a top ten rider at Monmouth, Laurel, and Parx in 2021.