Jockey Fight At Breeder’s Cup

5 Nov

Jockey Calvin Borel is restrained after the Breeders' Cup Marathon race at Churchill Downs.Jockey Calvin Borel leaned toward Javier Castellano, pointed, and just like that, the winner’s circle at the Breeders’ Cup morphed into a boxing ring. Three-time Kentucky Derby winner Borel and Castellano tussled at Churchill Downs just moments after tangling during the $500,000 Breeders’ Cup Marathon in an ugly, chaotic scene that left Castellano shaken and Borel pleading with security officials to let him go so he could “kill” his rival.

Two riders who usually save their jostling for the racetrack turned that hallowed ground — a place typically reserved for big smiles and even bigger winner’s checks — into a fight club on Friday after the opening race of the Breeders’ Cup.

The 43-year-old Borel waited for Castellano after the Marathon, angry over a mid-race move in which Castellano and mount Prince Will I Am unwittingly cut off horses ridden by Borel and Martin Garcia.

The move nearly sent Garcia tumbling to the ground and blunted Borel’s momentum.

An inquiry was ordered shortly after the race was finished. While Castellano waited to talk to track officials, Borel approached Castellano and jabbed his right hand in Castellano’s face.

The 5-foot-1, 110-pound Castellano then took a swing at Borel, who is four inches taller. Security officials struggled to separate the two, just a few yards away from where Marathon winner Eldaafer’s owners were posing with the Breeders’ Cup trophy.

It took several minutes for Borel — his eyes bugging out and his face a deep shade of red — to be restrained. His wife, Lisa, and brother Cecil each grabbed an arm and walked Borel back to the jockeys’ room, where he flung off his silks.

The disagreement continued out of the view of cameras in the jockey room, though Borel later apologized for his outburst.

In an interview with ESPN as he rode out for the Juvenile Fillies race, Borel said he and Castellano had patched things up.

“It’s over. It’s all good,” Borel said as he was interviewed aboard Tell A Kelly. “We talked.”

Kentucky chief state steward John Veitch said officials will review videotape of the incident and interview both riders. If officials find either jockey at fault, penalties could range from a warning to a suspension.
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