JC / Railbird

Wilbur Suspended

It took several months, but the CHRB finally issued a ruling against horse owner Bill Wilbur on January 7 for an incident at Cal Expo last summer in which he switched his customary silks for a set resembling the Confederate flag. The colors were worn by jockey Michael Martinez, riding a 2-year-old colt unflatteringly named after TVG host Ken Rudulph. Per the ruling (PDF), Wilbur will pay a fine of $1500, has had his license suspended through February 28, and has agreed not to apply for a new license before July 1 of this year.

1/21/10 Addendum: After reading Larry Stewart’s Thoroughbred Times report on Wilbur’s suspension, I became curious about what had happened to the silks in question. If the switch was, as the owner’s lawyer contended, due to a change in Wilbur’s personal circumstances, had the owner’s horses, including Mute Rudulph, continued to run in the new colors or did the owner return to using his registered purple-and-black silks? I asked Stewart, who was kind enough to look into the question. He replied that, according to Pat McCarthy, Wilbur’s lawyer, the silks worn by Martinez on July 15 had been turned over to the CHRB for evidence, and that in each of Mute Rudulph’s subsequent four races, the colt has run in trainer Bill McLean’s colors. McCarthy also clarified, said Stewart, “that contrary to some media reports, Wilbur has never said using silks resembling a Confederate flag was meant as a joke.”


Mute Rudulph has finished last in each of his past three races.

“Conduct Detrimental to Racing”.

That seems to be the par-for-the-course out west these days.

Posted by The_Knight_Sky on January 20, 2011 @ 9:11 am

The Thoroughbred Times story includes a screen capture with the offending silks on display: http://www.thoroughbredtimes.com/national-news/2011/01/20/mute-rudulph-fine.aspx

Posted by EJXD2 on January 20, 2011 @ 4:12 pm

Thanks for the link, Ed. Also of interest in the story, the explanation for the silks offered by Wilbur’s lawyer, which brings up something I haven’t seen mentioned elsewhere — did Wilbur go back to using his purple-and-black silks after the July 15 incident?

Posted by Jessica on January 20, 2011 @ 4:24 pm

Mr. Wilbur was a “part-owner” with three other members in group for Mute Rudulph.

There should have been other silks available. For now all it looks like Jockey Michael Martinez or Stephanie Searle must have never seen a confederate flag before. (insert ‘shocked’ emoticon here)

Posted by The_Knight_Sky on January 20, 2011 @ 4:38 pm

If it were up to me I would, in addition to what the CHRB has done, make it a condition of his license that the horses belonging to Mr. Wilbur are only allowed to run in the house silks from this point forward.

Posted by Steve on January 21, 2011 @ 1:54 pm