Suspension for jockey who kicked his horse

28 06 2007

From the Associated Press via

A jockey who kicked his horse in the stomach before a race was suspended for 30 days and fined $1,000 by Philadelphia Park officials on Monday.

The decision against veteran jockey Victor Molina came three days after his 40-minute disciplinary hearing for kicking 2-year-old colt Yes Yes Ohyes. Molina, a 27-year veteran who’s been racing at Philadelphia Park since 1988, hoped for only a fine and was surprised by the severity of the penalties issued by the track’s stewards.

“The kick wasn’t what I’m about,” Molina said by phone. “The penalty doesn’t warrant what I did. I got punished a little harder than other ones. I think most people around the track, if you asked them, would say it was a little too harsh. People in the industry wouldn’t judge me the way I’ve been judged.”

Molina’s agent, David Yannuzzy, said he was considering an appeal. The suspension was retroactive to June 19 — the day after Molina was ejected from the park — and continues to July 18. Yannuzzy blamed the officials for overreacting because Molina’s kick was simulcast to tracks around the country and was live on racing channel TVG, prompting fans who saw the act to call the track and complain.

“They felt the people pulling the slots would be upset if he didn’t get enough time,” Yannuzzy said. “This is not the first time horses have been hit by jockeys at races. Every time it’s a $250 fine. That’s it. But they said, ‘Oh, we had all these hits on e-mail and TV.'”

Messages left at Philadelphia Park for track officials were not immediately returned, and a spokesman said the stewards had been asked not to comment on the decision.

Molina said the feisty horse flipped in the starting gate last Monday and his head struck the jockey flush in the chest. Molina’s chest went numb and he lost his cool.

Once Yes Yes Ohyes was scratched from the race, Molina removed the saddle and kicked the colt’s belly. Molina said the pain and threat of injury triggered his temper.

“I know there’s been a lot of attention because it was on TV,” Molina said. “I’m not trying to justify it. I shouldn’t have done what I did. Did I hurt the horse? Did I try and hurt the horse? That’s not what I did.”

The colt was gelded last week.

Molina has apologized to the owners, track officials and fans, and volunteered to talk to the media to show his remorse. Molina said he was he embarrassed that the kick stained what was a virtually unblemished reputation and record.

“I would have hoped they took into consideration my record and everything else,” he said. “To say people aren’t going to come and bet because I kicked a horse, that’s not going to happen. I’m sorry. I feel bad about it.”

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8 responses

28 06 2007

Boy, this is a hard one. There are so many things at play here. I’m not sure I could even wade my way through it.

There is so much written about brutality in racing, I’m sure that a jockey losing his temper on the racing channel didn’t help much, That’s for sure.

I also know that anyone getting hit that hard in the chest by a horse should have been on his way to a trauma center instead of still dealing with the horse. He’s lucky it didn’t turn out to be a life threatening injury because it sure could have been.

I have trouble believing remorse when it’s tempered with nobody else would have been treated this way.

The fact the horse was gelded makes me wonder about his history, past offenses etc which could have had an affect on the jockey.

I don’t know, the whole thing is a convoluted mess that’s not helping the racing industry one bit. I don’t think there are any winners here. Tje horse, the jockey, racing no one wins.

28 06 2007

as an owner of an OTB who is my first horse (green rider), this hit close to home. While my mare definitely has tested me , she’s also been an incredible teacher and friend. WHile i agree there are no winners here, methinks you gotta look after equine affairs first

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1 07 2007
Dog Collar Addict

i know that the guy got kicked in the chest & was probably mad @ the horse, but that’s no reason to kick it back. a simple punch on the butt would have done.

6 07 2007

the punishment was less, he should have been suspended atleast for 6months

6 07 2007

the punishment was less, he should have been suspended atleast for 6months, it still a push. If the details r clear.. yah its unbelievable the kick part, he wud be in trauma center, get real dude!

24 07 2007

Molina was definitely over fined by the authorities. $250 fine would be correct for this incident, because there are lot of examples in the past. Caught by video,Tv alone shouldn’t be the reason for fine hike…
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28 12 2007
dave o

go back to mexico and ride for pennies on the dollar,,,,,,,,,

9 03 2008

Can any of you read?
It clearly says that the horse struck him in the chest with its head, no one’s claiming he got kicked.

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