Veteran Louisville jockey Robby Albarado was found guilty today by a Jefferson District Court jury of a misdemeanor—Fourth-Degree Wanton Assault—and ordered by Judge Deana D. McDonald to pay a fine of $500; thereby avoiding jail time. Albarado was originally charged with intentionally assaulting his former girlfriend, Carolina Martinez, but the jury of three women and three men convicted him of a lesser charge, after deliberating for more than five hours.
After his arrest on May 4 of this year, at his Louisville home, Albarado was suspended from racing and lost his Oaks Day and Derby Day mounts. He then filed a lawsuit in Franklin Circuit Court, claiming the Churchill Downs stewards had violated his civil rights, and obtained a court order allowing him to resume riding.
Albarado has been charged with numerous traffic violations in Kentucky over the past several years, and pleaded guilty to DUI in Shelby County in May of last year; receiving a 10-day suspended jail sentence and more than $700 in fines and court costs.
On April 1 last year, Albarado was charged with First Degree Wanton Endangerment, Fourth Degree Assault (Domestic Violence, Minor Injury), and two counts of Intimidating a Witness. On April 20, he pleaded guilty to the merged charge of Intimidating a Witness, and was sentenced by Judge David Bowles to serve 365 days in jail; conditionally discharged for two years, on the condition of good behavior. Because of his most recent assault arrest, he has been ordered to appear before Jefferson District Court Judge Anne Haynie on July 18, to show cause why his 365 day jail sentence should not be served.
Albarado, 38, began riding at the age of 12 in his native Louisiana and after turning professional, went on to win 4,411 races. He has ridden in eight Kentucky Derbys with his best results coming on third-place finishers Steppenwolfer in 2006 and Curlin in 2007. He won his first Triple Crown race at the 2007 Preakness Stakes aboard Curlin, edging out Derby-winner Street Sense. Albarado also won the 2007 Breeder's Cup Classic aboard Curlin.
Albarado was bumped from Animal Kingdom in the 2011 Kentucky Derby, because of the broken nose and facial cuts he suffered when he was bucked off his mount, Smoke'n Al and kicked by the horse while on the ground during the post parade for a previous race at Churchill Downs. Three days later, he watched as John Velazquez rode Animal Kingdom to victory in the Run for the Roses.
Photo credits: Churchill Downs, Louisville Metro Corrections