The Maryland Racing Commission Thursday approved a $25,000 fine against a Carroll County driver and voted to prohibit him from driving for a race team at Laurel Park racetrack.
Commission members accused professional moto-cross racer David Keeler, 29, of Fredericksburg, of using unnecessary force on the track against riders earlier this year at Bowie Race Course.
The commission voted 2-1 to suspend Keeler’s racing license for two years and institute a $25,000 fine.
Keeler’s lawyer, Anthony Coppola, described the incidents as between two jockeys on racing jumps. He said that the sport needs to “get people off drugs,” something Keeler has done by being clean for the past 11 years.
Keeler has a history of fighting with other drivers in competition. He has been banned from Churchill Downs, to the Kentucky Derby after he hit a driver in 2004. He reportedly pulled out of a major flat-track race in Canada last year.
The commission agreed.
In a statement issued Thursday, Maryland Racing Commission Administrator Jon Lewis said, “Hindsight is 20/20, but there is no question that these two incidents would not have occurred if Keeler had never been suspended for his previous fighting incident.”
Commissioners voted in early September to recommend a two-year suspension of Keeler’s Maryland racing license, but the move did not take effect until Thursday.
The suspension will remain in effect even if he wins the 2008 motorcycle king championship with his team from Woodstock, T.J. Mahomed (RMH Racing) and then gets a new license from the commission,
If Keeler is not reinstated as a licensed racing driver in Maryland within two years of the suspension, he will forfeit all his license privileges.