Judge Dismisses Funny Cide Jockey’s Suit Against ‘Miami Herald’

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(AP) A federal judge dismissed a libel suit by jockey Jose Santos against The Miami Herald, but the jockey’s attorney said today that the case will probably be refiled in South Florida.

Santos sued the paper in U.S. District Court in Louisville in May. Santos, who rode Funny Cide to victory in 2003 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, sued the newspaper; its parent company, Knight-Ridder Inc.; and several of the newspaper’s employees for $48 million.

Stewards investigated the finish of the Derby after a May 2003 photograph and story in the newspaper raised questions about whether Santos might have carried an illegal device in his right hand when he crossed the finish line.

Stewards later concluded Santos was holding only his whip.

U.S. District Judge John Heyburn II dismissed the lawsuit in December, saying the federal court in Louisville had no jurisdiction over the case.

Attorney David Travis of Louisville, who is handling the case for Santos, said he is exploring refiling the case in South Florida. Travis said the suit could be refiled in the next few weeks.

“We’re exploring all our options,” Travis said.

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