Kent Desormeaux out of rehab, ready for Belmont Stakes

NEW YORK (AP) – Jockey Kent Desormeaux has returned from a drug and alcohol rehab center and was aboard Preakness winner Exaggerator for a morning workout Tuesday at Belmont Park in preparation for Saturday’s Belmont Stakes.

The 46-year-old rider spoke to the media after the workout and acknowledged those who have helped him through his struggles.

With his brother Keith, Exaggerator’s trainer, by his side, Desormeaux said: “I think that my brother, mostly my wife, and my family have supported me through all the years, and it was my turn to say thank you.”

Exaggerator is expected to be the favorite in a Belmont field of 13. Post positions will be drawn on Wednesday.

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After winning the Preakness on May 21, Kent Desormeaux returned to California. His last day of riding was on May 30 before he checked into Cirque Lodge in Sundance, Utah. The Hall of Fame jockey has a history of problems with alcohol, including a $2,500 fine for riding while impaired at California’s Del Mar racetrack in 2015.