Espinoza Suspended Seven Days for ‘Careless Riding’ in Awesome Again

by | 09.28.2014 | 5:10pm
Victor Espinoza
Victor Espinoza

According to an official ruling by state stewards on Sunday, jockey Victor Espinoza has been suspended for seven days due to “careless riding” in Saturday's Awesome Again Stakes.

Espinoza's mount, Sky Kingdom, went very wide on the first turn, carrying heavy favorite and eventual winner Shared Belief with him. The rider was summoned to explain his actions to stewards on Sunday morning, according to the Daily Racing Form‘s Jay Privman on Twitter.

The ruling states that Espinoza's suspension will be in effect on October 4 and 5 and also on October 9-13.

Regular rider aboard dual classic winner California Chrome, Espinoza sits tenth in the national rankings by earnings this year.

 

  • Boknows

    You have got to be Kidding me!!! That is racing! Is that not what they said when they boxed CC in in the PA Derby?? Or when they send rabbits out on GOD?? If you are going to do it for one, you Dam well need to do it for all!! What a Joke! This sport is run like our Government!

    • Joeaveragefan

      7 days for that? I guess considering how stews react to social media instead of racing rules today it’s not a surprise. Wow!

      • vinceNYC

        Joe ..so the rules of racing is that you can intentionally impede a horse??

        • greg

          You can float a horse wide just as you can make it tight on the rail, did you see what was done to GOD in the Pacific Classic?? If you don’t like the rule change the rule but as long as it didn’t cause any risk to anyone or anything s/b NO days

          • Barbara Bowen

            He didn’t ride to win at all. There was nothing about his actions that didn’t scream ill intent and cast an appearance of collusion for Baffert runners. Surprised he got 7 days but glad he did to discourage other jocks from such a blatant display of bad sportsmanship and bad riding.

          • Dee R. Eff

            What was done to Dude in the Pacific Classic? Was he cut off? Was he carried five paths out in an exaggerated blatant move? No.
            So in your world, and in Bafferts world, you’re simply not allowed to go up and run with him. Maybe you and bob should get together and make a new rule, no passing inside the 1/16th pole.

          • Bo Mitchell

            Amen Greg! What’s Good for the Goose is Good for the Gander!!

    • Ron S

      Bo I could not have said it any better!

    • Ron S

      Is it any wonder why horse racing is on life support? Unable to attract a new fan base to racing and they seem to be trying to drive away the ones that are left.

      • snazzygirl

        Are you kidding me? People are attracted to conflict. There were/are no problems filling coliseums and football stadiums.

    • vinceNYC

      did you watch the race ???? Too comparing “boxing in” CC to what Espinosa did in this race is SILLY..Or using rabbits.NOT the same thing AT ALL…No you cannot intentional drift out and impede a horse………………So here is the question ….if Sky Kingdom had beaten SB should he have come down????If the answer is OF COURSE then this is a correct ruling

      • greg

        There would have been NO Inq or OBJ and NO DQ you’re thinking with your heart and not your head

      • Boknows

        Buy you some glasses cry baby!!

        • Dee R. Eff

          It’s not a matter of what he saw, he said it’s different. Never mind, can’t talk intelligently with Chromies.

    • Flag Is Up

      At least compare apples to apples!!!!!!!!
      The horse on the outside of Chrome stayed in the 2 lane and kept Chrome in the 1 lane.
      Espinoza floated from the 2 lane to the 5 lane on the first turn in Shared Belief’s race.

      Espinoza is beginning to look more and more like a below average rider!

      • forestwildcat

        As i’m sure you know its not uncommon for horses too get out a little bit going into the first turn, if you ask me victors horse was in the bridle hard at that point and he did a good job of controlling him

        • Dee R. Eff

          He was in the bridle hard because he had his instructions to ride as hard as needed to keep inside Belief and push him outside. Clear as day, good old bobby b.

      • Mike

        Perfectly stated!

      • snazzygirl

        Ummmm……Victor is clueing Mike Smith about what is going to happen in the BC Classic. Mike Smith knows Victor Espinoza will be on board California Chrome. This is jockey wars. After all, Shared Belief and California Chrome will likely be the favorites in the Classic (if they both enter). Would have been interesting to hear the chatter between those two jockeys while riding on the turns.

    • guest

      the sport IS run by the government

    • Dee R. Eff

      Boxing CC in, in the PA Derby, and sending rabbits out on Dude? You’re funny. Not the same and if you don’t know that, you probably haven’t had a winner since 1963.

    • Dee R. Eff

      The only comparison to our government and this sport you could say, is the slick back room deal Baffert made to give those instructions to Victor.

    • Jim

      Stop whining

    • Mike

      Bo: When you PURPOSELY carry another horse wide you are INTERFERING with the outcome of a race. No different than race fixing. Get a clue! Racing is about competition. Not about manipulation.

      • Bo Mitchell

        Mike when you pen a horse to the rail you are INTERFERING with the OutCome Of the RACE!!! I got a CLUE! You Get One!!!

        • Lost In The Fog – Robert Lee

          You could poll a hundred racing stewards in 20 different jurisdictions and you would be hard pressed to find even one who would interpret what happened in the PA Derby as being questionable let alone a violation of the rules. As long as the other riders were maintaining their paths and sticking to their lanes (which they were) nothing beyond standard universally-accepted “race riding” occurred. As long as a rider maintains his/her lane there is no responsibility (implied or otherwise) to speed up, slow down or move further outside in order to make things easier for another horse on the rail.

          It’s true that CC was compromised by the rail post but that is quite normal and any jockey drawing the “one hole” knows it and must adapt to the very likely possibility of getting pinned on the rail. That’s Racing 101 stuff. It was Espinoza’s responsibility to manufacture a trip that would give him a way out but he didn’t. That’s why even Art Sherman criticized Espinoza’s ride. It’s quite possible that CC would have raced to a better result had he been ridden by a different jockey in that race.

    • Wildflowers52

      California Chrome found himself in, BECAUSE of
      Espinoza. BECAUSE of the ride Espinoza had given
      him because of LACK OF JUDGMENT…….
      He’s the one who lost The Penn, not Chrome.

      • Bo Mitchell

        There is a lot of Truth to that statement! But when Victor did attempt to get out they made sure he could not. That is interfering with the outcome of the race or Impeding the horse. It was obvious to anyone watching the PA Derby that was there intention. When that was done everyone one on here said oh that is just racing, but when it happens to there horse Oh that is different!! Lol

  • mattie.hamilton

    shame shame. unfair to victor.

    • vinceNYC

      So mattie….you think it is OK for a rider on the first turn of a race to INTENTIONALLY drift out and impede a horse…you think that is AOK

      • greg

        drifting out and forcing a horse wide and impeding are very different, impeding means getting in front of or otherwise blocking it, you’re just too emotional

        • Lost In The Fog – Robert Lee

          Wrong. Actual definition of impeding: “delay or prevent (someone or something) by obstructing them; hinder.”

      • forestwildcat

        No contact, it happens every day

        • Mo money

          Almost every single race it happens and many times WITH contact and nothing is never even said about it. I rode off and on for 23+ years and this is nothing but garbage!

      • Mo money

        There’s NO WAY on this earth you or anyone else can say he did it intentionally!! That’s a bunch of garbage by the stewards. He needs to appeal it and fight it all the way and, I bet he win it to!!

      • forestwildcat

        It was not intentional

      • Shedrow

        The rules apply to everyone Vince, including Smith. SB should have been taken down for Smith’s ride in the Pacific Classic and Smith should’ve gotten a suspension.

        • Granny

          THANK YOU!!

      • Bellwether

        So Vince you can read Victor’s mind???…Did you ever hook up with Edgar Casey???…

    • Granny

      AMEN!! I don’t remember seeing the stewards do anything about Smith turning SB into the path of Toast of NY the last time SB ran (6th win)!! They said Victor had to “steady his horse” when, if you saw the race, the reason he had to stand up in the irons and pull back on the reins was to keep from colliding with Smith and SB when they cut in front of Toast of NY! Victor avoided a ‘potential’ nasty accident. This is so NOT FAIR!!

      • Bandit’s Mom

        You are correct Granny. I posted above before seeing your post. How quickly we forget. Mike was no angel with that ride and should have been taken down.

  • mj66

    So when did Mike Smith think he needed to stop working hard for his wins???

    • vinceNYC

      I agree… hiorses should drift out every first turn , all the time and impede rivals

      • forestwildcat

        Five path

    • Politics101

      Agree. Smith seems to want it handed to him on a plate. And I have seen him flat-out ease them on occasion for no apparent reason other than they were beat. He’s still a great rider, though.

      Maybe Victor was still pissed about the box-job in Pennsylvania. Who knows?

      The rider of Moreno deserves days, too.

  • KYFan

    Boknows is right! How is this any different from Prado keeping CC boxed in? Smith could have opted to check Shared Belief and drop in behind and then inside, but no, he was afraid of getting boxed in like they did to CC. Oh boy, they better give Alvarado at least 2 weeks suspension then for causing Wicked Strong to nearly go down.

    • vinceNYC

      Can you really not see the difference…….One is race riding the other is an intentional attempt to impede…….and FYI CC had ZERO..Chrome was CLEAR the entire stretch ..Prado went to the front and CC dropped behind them..1000 percent different if you take off the rose colored glasses

      • jazz mania

        blinded by chrome…

      • race

        VinceNYC—you might want to go to go back and watch Codero and the Boy’s in the Ole’ days if you want to see what real racing riding is all about—absolutely ridiculous to suspend Espinoza—

        • betterthannothing

          It is not because jockeys like Cordero and his NY gang were ugly and brutal then that we should tolerate jockeys riding dirty or abusively now.

          • race

            Read the race chart on DRF–“drifted out some into the first turn”—wow!—-seven day’s—really?—my eyebrow went up a little when I saw the race, but nothing would suggest 7 day’s—

          • betterthannothing

            I don’t need the DRF to tell me what I saw. Hopefully, that suspension is just the beginning of a positive trend toward tougher, quicker punishment for all including abusive and cheating horsemen. If jockeys seek revenge they should do it on foot. If they get orders to ride dirty, they should be forced to think twice based on the consequences of breaking the rules.

        • Barbara Bowen

          Cordero was trying to win.

  • Steve G.

    He totally deserved to get suspended. You can’t do what he did. He wasn’t even trying to win the race. He was trying to interfere with the other horse. All of your analogies are totally wrong. If you keep a straight line and keep a horse boxed in, that is totally legal and is good race riding. That is not comparable to what happened here. What Espinoza did is ridiculous. The stewards did the right thing. If you allow that kind of thing, what would prevent a trainer from entering two horses and having one of them float the favorite out into the 15 path. You can’t do that. And no, that is not the same as having a rabbit. By the way, coming down the stretch you will get taken down and suspended if you float a horse out 3-4 paths. Why would it be different on the turn (especially when it’s intentional)?

    • Tinky

      You and your pesky facts.

    • Lost In The Fog – Robert Lee

      Well said Steve G. Espinoza was correctly cited for violation of two rules – jockeys riding “carelessly, or willfully, so as to permit their mount to interfere with or impede any other horse” and a rule pertaining to “unsatisfactory rides.” There was nothing in the ruling specifically saying that Espinoza put Mike Smith or Shared Belief at physical risk (though you could make that case) , nor is that a prerequisite to justify a suspension. Clearly Espinoza was riding “willfully” with a singular mission – to impede Shared Belief – which he did without question, not just through one turn but through two (which pretty much eliminates arguments that it wasn’t intentional). It was obvious, egregious and undeniable, particularly if you viewed either the NBC overhead camera shots or the Trakus animated replays of the race.

      Additionally, and perhaps even more unacceptable, Espinoza made no effort whatsoever to put his own horse in a position to finish in the money (an unsatisfactory ride), which is a minimal requirement and a clear violation of the basic rules of racing. In essence he defrauded every single bettor who placed any kind of wager that included his horse. That in itself is inexcusable.

      As for what happened in the JCGC with Moreno, whether the NY stewards do or don’t levy sanctions against Alvarado (and they certainly should in my opinion) has no bearing on the validity of the ruling against Espinoza in the Awesome Again. Espinoza’s ride was absurd and he’s getting exactly what he deserves for it.

      And finally the argument that CC being pinned on the rail in the PA Derby is “the same thing” or “just as bad” is just plain silly. When you start from the one hole getting pinned on the rail is a normal everyday occurrence and well within the rules of race riding. It’s a disadvantageous post position in many circumstances and the high probability of getting boxed in unless you gun it out of the gate to take the early lead is standard operating procedure. There’s simply no comparison between what Espinoza did in the Awesome Again and what happened to CC in the PA Derby.

      • Ron S

        I would love to have a copy of the rules of racing. Where can I find a copy?

        • Lost In The Fog – Robert Lee

          At the CHRB website.

        • AngelaFromAbilene

          Every State has their own Racing Board or Commission and on every State’s website, you can get their respective Racing Act. Each State varies on their rules & regulations, so you have to know the ones for the State(s) you compete in.

    • Bandit’s Mom

      Shared Belief with Mike aboard sure kept a straight path ahead of Toast of NY. NOT.

      • Vince Mirarchi

        Good point. Remember the relief when the ruling was “No Change”.

      • Barbara Bowen

        Mike was trying to win when he came in and was on the better horse. Didn’t change the outcome. Didn’t change it here either, but Victor was trying to ride the favorite SB, not his own horse SK. And using his mount as a tag team, not as a separate betting interest.

    • davidinD

      Hey Steve G., I totally agree with your sentiment and really he should be suspending regardless of whether it was intentional or not. But I’m just curious, how are you so sure it was intentional? I’m not disagreeing, just more wanting to know what you see that indicates that he absolutely intended to swing wide on the first turn.

      • Lost In The Fog – Robert Lee

        Well one clue might be the headline that just went up on the DRF which reads:

        “Espinoza decides not to appeal suspension”

        • davidinD

          Excellent point.

  • Greg J.

    Don’t think Victor deserved days at all.

    And Baffert had nothing to do with it? That is comical, and to say he never cried about Game On Dude? Really Bob?

    After Pacific Classic: ““Longshots are always the biggest danger to a horse like Game on Dude, they always want to go after him. I hate to see that. I think he was gonna win if they hadn’t gone after him like that. It’s frustrating to train a horse and get him ready for his biggest race and have a horse who has no shot to win take that chance away.”

    Cry me a river Bob…

    • Dee R. Eff

      Thought that was funny as well. Bob was crying and whining constantly about it, then says, he “retired him without crying about it.”. No he didn’t.

  • Frank Ambessi

    anyone remember cordero & Genuine Risk? #GoogleIT

  • greg

    You have trainers drugging their horses daily there, and what Victor did is LEGAL!! Just like entering a rabbit to burn off a front running favorite, and at NO time was the rider or horse in any jeopardy of being injured or causing a spill. This is a terrible call done strictly to appease Hollendorfer, Rome, and unhappy fans, who BTW got the win they wanted.

  • jazz mania

    In any race this would be considered unsafe as it played out coming into and down the backstretch. The move was an impediment to a horse coming around and gaining.

    I agree it was a bit more than what should be acceptable. All this grumblypeg bs makes me wonder if some are not blinded by the reflection of Chrome.

    The SA stewards are doing what most people are begging for; trying to send a message to keep it safe and fair. I mighta said three days, but I’m glad they did it. Please ask yourself before jumping my tail; What if Shared Belief had gone down???

    • Daniel Fischer

      He didn’t go down!!!!!! Wicked Strong did!!!!

      How does anyone not see the Moreno v. Wicked event as the more serious offense??? Does this blog have only west coast POV (And, I live in SF!!!). Wow – enough with Shared Belief and California Chrome! They will both be exposed (For Chrome, again) soon enough.

      And btw Jazz Mania – I don’t look at anyone’s picks, etc. – my comment was on JJ’s comment – couldn’t care less how many winners he or anyone picks as I put ZERO into others opinions as it relates to what I play. Horse Racing to me is a singular focused (aka my own opinion) event.

      • jazz mania

        I would agree that Alvarado was a worse offender and believe he should be suspended as well but, FWIW, I think we can agree that their is nothing more more contentious than whatever the stewards decide in any controversy.

        I also question the hype related sentimentality regarding CC and SB…

        Happy Trails!

      • Tulsa Terry

        Western racing is all that matters in this country. East of Cali is irrelevant,

  • Daniel Fischer

    Who made vinceNYC the moral authority here? Many people echoing the similarities of cheap speed pressing a favored speed horse (Game On Dude, etc.) and various fannings that go on all the time. I mostly agree with that point of view.

    I also agree with Matt C on TVG (as well as my guys on twitter like JJ) that if it happened in Race 5 on a Wednesday, NOTHING WOULD’VE BEEN SAID and no suspension given.

    We are missing a larger question – which is the worse offense: Victor on Shared Belief or Junior Alvarado against Wicked Strong in the Gold Cup? If you say the former, you are absolutely clueless. BOTH RACES were on National TV – where is the outrage over Junior’s ride??? Junior’s ride was health threatening – Victor’s was not.

    But, Horse Racing wants to create racing stars – and by doing that, the marginal to average fan is involved (especially with a celeb owner of an undefeated horse – never mind that Shared Belief has beat up on cupcakes…). And since the outcry happened with an undefeated winner (as opposed to two horses in Gold Cup not affecting parimutuel decision), the twitterverse is on it’s moral high horse.

    Give it a rest Shared Belief honks. The horse won – a slap on wrist is fine for Victor without a 7 day suspension. It’s entirely over the top.

    • jazz mania

      JJ had what, 2 or 3 winners yesterday? Picked FB, no wonder your percolating comment.

  • Kris

    Initially, I was quite surprised at the ruling, however, as someone pointed out on HRTV; what about the people that bet money on Sky Kingdom? SK was used as a tool to try and beat Shared Belief, and those people got robbed by Victor Espinoza. I’m a big fan and have great respect for Mr. Espinoza, however, his ride on SK was a head scratcher. Protecting the integrity of the sport begins with protecting the bettors.

    • Ron S

      As far as people that bet on Sky Kingdom, they must not be able to read a racing form. Obviously he had no prayer. So why would anyone bet that horse. Betting on a horse like Sky Kingdom is basically a donation to the wise players in the race. Hey, I like to look for long shots too, but he was never worthy of any consideration. Those people that backed SK did not get robbed by Victor, they got robbed by their own inability to handicap.

      • Lost In The Fog – Robert Lee

        While I agree with you as far as a win bet is concerned there certainly were plenty of horseplayers who included Sky Kingdom (as they would any Baffert-trained horse regardless of odds) underneath in exactas, tris and supers.

      • betterthannothing

        “Those people that backed SK did not get robbed by Victor, they got robbed by their own inability to handicap”

        Newbies don’t know how to handicap yet racing want them to come to the races. Newbies must assume that all horses entered in a race belong in that race and will be ridden fairly. There are no red flags anywhere to warn them against wasting their money on a horse that “had no prayer” and even worse, could be used the way Sky Kingdom was.

      • Kris

        Ron,
        It doesn’t matter what chance Sky Kingdom had in that race; the people who bet money on that horse had every right to expect Victor to try and achieve the best possible finish. What about the folks that bet place or show? How about exotic wagers?

      • turffan

        & Don’t forget SK ran exactly where the betting public predicted……LAST as the longest shot on the board

  • missedgehead

    Great job. If you are in the 2 hole, you don’t go into the 5 hole just to push the favorite all the way in the SEVEN HOLE to the far outside. Ridiculous. Please don’t compare one situation to a situation that has nothing whatever to do with the other.

  • forestwildcat

    Its not nice too mess with the media darling, seven or eight or ten wide is an issue, five wide no big deal

    • forestwildcat

      A smooth easy five wide at that

  • Tiznowbaby

    Interesting. I remember when Codex floated Genuine Risk wide in the Preakness and it was considered race riding. But that was a long time ago.

    • Barbara Bowen

      As egregious as it was and even if he deserved to come down, he was riding to win and Cordero did just that. Win. Victor was doing nothing but trying to take out the much the best favorite on a no hoper for a trainer entry (the trainer he rides the best 2 year old in the country for) and wasn’t even subtle about it.

  • Mo money

    Everyone should call or write the stewards and let them know what you think. If they get enough people calling them emailing etc they probably will drop the suspension. I for one will never ever spend one more dime at a cali track if the suspension isn’t lifted!!

    • bryan e

      I think the California tracks would more than make up for the loss of your gambling dollars with money wagered by people who actually like it when the jockeys aren’t allowed to cheat.

  • gus stewart

    dearest greg and harriet, sometimes even the bad english student gets it right

  • robet little t tuccille

    but who said smith had to stay out wide i mean look at the replay blanc was even wider but he took back and then when inside and still press the pace so i mean is there ever a chance that maybe mike smith gave a bad ride???

  • Mac

    I think with this ruling they have opened a can of worms now a precedent has been set and they will all be screaming this in future races I think this was a bit harsh considering this is a daily practice of most jockeys I hope they know what there doing.

  • Matt D.

    Impressive, less than 24 hours from race end to steward’s ruling. Listen closely and you may hear Omar Berrio and A.C. Avila snickering in the shadows. A tale of two cases, overkill and overlooked.

  • gus stewart

    as usual stewards got it wrong… he should of got 10 days and a fine.

  • There is no place in racing for a b. s. stunt like the one Espinoza pulled in this race. He should have been set down for 30 days. The selfish act he perpetrated conceivably could negatively impact the well being of racing if it results in the winner’s physical well being of Shared Belief.

    • hank

      You r totally correct, not was he only trying to make it tough on SB I honestly think he was trying to hurt that horse with his actions, he really was trying to knock him out, he realizes he has no shot of beating him with CC, they r two diff kind of horses. I can’t believe there people on this site who actually beiieve that Baffert told him to ride that way, guys get a grip, If i owned CC Espoinoza is gone,

      • bryan e

        you started out making a little bit of sense but veered off course there at the end. of course Baffert told him to ride that way.

        • hank

          It is really hard for me to comprehend that Baffert told him to ride that way and rough up SB, When I worked at track there was sort of a mutual understanding amonest trainers to not intentionally damage another mans horse, but with jockeys they are the biggest reason a lot of horses break down, they are very abusive in there handling of a horse, just wtch them whipping one, good jocks hardly use a whip.

  • Bellwether

    Not like SK knocked SB out there…Oh! well…Victor will get some rest and a few days off before the BCC which may in fact help him and CC before the BIGGEST race of their lives…

    • betterthannothing

      Glad nothing bad happened to SB as horses are so fragile but he was forced to work much harder than he normally would have in that race, especially with the big race coming.

  • JoeJoe

    When you have the target on your back, you got to expect this. Mike Smith complained like a sissy. I have lost respect for him. Are the other riders supposed to make it easy for Shared Belief?

    • bryan e

      no. they are supposed to try to win with the horse they are riding instead of just trying to make sure one other horse loses. the fact that rules like this are almost never followed or enforced is the reason that horse racing has almost no fans left.

  • Jack N

    If you watch racing on a steady basis horses are pushed out wide every single day going long around the first turn and nothing is ever said, the sad part about this is Smith put himself in that position he had no reason to be going three wide with his horse, it was a terrible ride on his part. Suspending Espinosa is totally wrong as what he did happens every single day at every track and nothing is done.

  • kelly_94089

    Below someone mentions whether this was fair to the bettors. What about the owners? This is a difficult sport financially, and owners deserve to have their horse placed where he can win rather than placed where they can help a bigger owner’s horse win. This while we are desperately short of owners and horses in CA. If Fed Biz and Sky Kingdom had common ownership I could view what happened as predictable from the form. But as it is i feel Westrock got robbed of a purse Sky Kingdom could have won were he appropriately placed.

    • betterthannothing

      I totally agree with you… Baffert may have made a deal with all involved.

  • J

    “Very Unfair” – Prado Boxed Him In The PA Derby – las week. Where is his Penalty???
    There have been Rabbit’s used for years – That is Legal??? Lets Get Real – Here

    • peeping tom

      It’s ok to keep a horse pinned against the rail as long as the horse doing the pinning is where he’s supposed to be–in the 2 path during the race. Not out in the middle of the track and still drifting more and more toward right field like he’s chasing a foul ball. There was no attempt by Espinoza to yank the reins to the left when his horse started mugging Shared Belief.

  • Richard C

    Espinoza forgot one golden rule in racing — make it appear that the other jock has a runner that is casually drifting out to find the nearest soda stand….Angel Cordero Jr. seemed to be a master of the slick technique.

  • peeping tom

    Mike Smith should bide his time and get “passive” revenge on the white haired guy. A younger jockey couldn’t do this but Mike Smith doesn’t need BB anymore.

  • betterthannothing

    Was Espinoza asked by the stewards if he rode dirty on his own or followed orders? If so the trainer should not get away with it.

  • David Juffet

    Jerry Bailey gave Eddington the same ride in Belmont Stakes when he forced Smarty Jones 5 wide on clubhouse turn. He should have been suspended too.

  • Smarty Jones

    You can clearly see Espinoza matching pace with Smith, slowing Sky Midnight down when Smith slowed Share Belief, no doubt trying to get inside. I like Victor, but the stewards made the right call. I had Sky Midnight on a couple of my wagers, I expected Espinoza to ride like a professional.

  • Wildflowers52

    Dear Mr. Art Sherman,
    Do Chrome justice. Allow him to do the best he can. What he does best, is winning.
    Therefore, give Espinoza the boot; the hook. Get him the heck out and replace him with a REAL, PROFESSIONAL JOCKEY!

  • hype22redux

    our ancestors had some good rules in place to police this,coupled entries,jockies had one agent and that agent was allowed one journeyman and one apprentice,contract riders you rode for one barn not baffert one race and sadler the next why “you scratch my back I will scratch yours syndrome”…one by one we dismantled those rules and you get this …Espinoza will not interfere with another if both parts of the entry come down….good rules long since discarded

  • hank

    Just read that Espinoza is not going to appeal his 7 days, also read that stewards had asked Baffert, his reply was that he did not tell Espinoza to ride that way, okay all u Baffert haters time to relax, he is much to classy a guy and to good a trainer to use these tatics,Truth be know he is probably one of the best ever trained a horse.He doesn’t winn all these things by accident

    • 5timeHOTY

      He also has a list of drug violations….long live your hero

  • Just read that Mike Smith told Victor Espinoza to “keep walking or I’ll cut your head off”. In light of recent happenings in the Middle East that comment is a bit extreme and rather creepy. I am also certain that Smith has ridden too hard at times too. They all have. This is getting outrageous and I hope Espinoza appeals. He jsut can’t ride in Stakes races. I guess hard riding is fine for “lesser” horses. I’m surprised he doesn’t have to serve the suspension over Breeders Cup weekend.!

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