Jockeys Jose Valdivia, Jr. and Diego Herrera (apprentice) have each been issued suspensions by the Del Mar stewards, reports the Daily Racing Form, for their roles in an incident that caused a seven-horse spill and resulting “no contest” in last Sunday’s seventh race.
Sassy Chasey (Herrera) was racing in third, in between frontrunners Katie’s Paradise (Valdivia) to the outside and Scream and Shout along the rail when she appeared to clip the heels of Katie’s Paradise and went down, setting off the chain reaction that involved Backtoflash and Cesar Ortega; Whiskey Blue and Kyle Frey; Siena Silk and Emily Ellingwood; Renegade Princess and Tyler Baze; Phoenix Tears and Tiago Pereira; and Corners Up and Juan Espinoza.
Miraculously, there were no serious injuries among jockeys or horses, with four riders going to a local hospital for evaluation before being discharged. Among the seven horses, there were only a few lacerations that required stitches. All were back in their stalls Sunday night.
Valdivia received a 10-day suspension, and Herrera received five days. Herrera’s agent, Vince DeGregory, said the apprentice jockey does not plan to appeal. However, Valdivia’s agent, Nick Hines, is planning an appeal.
“What can you say?” Hines told DRF. “Ultra-surprised and flabbergasted, to single Jose out when the rider who clipped heels admitted fault. They’ve made Jose out to be doubly responsible.”
Read more at the Daily Racing Form.
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