Discussing harness racing from the fan's perspective.
Saturday, January 9, 2010
Friday Afternoon Fights
Today we take a rare detour to the world of thoroughbred racing. Yesterday afternoon, at Philadelphia Park, a hockey game broke out during the running of the fifth race. Jockey Eriluis Vaz deliberately veered over and punched Ademar Santos during the running of the race and then Santos returned the favor which was then responded to by Vaz hitting Santos with the whip.
I am sure we will find out what caused this incident but the recklessness of Vaz and to a lesser degree Santos is inexcusable. Not only did they put themselves and their mounts in danger, being near the front of the field, it could have been disastrous for many of the others in the race. The sad thing is that Vaz returned to ride in later races (Santos apparently had no further mounts). Apparently, both of these jockeys can continue to ride until a hearing is held which won't be at least for ten days. What should have happened is that both jockeys should have been immediately taken off any mounts and suspended until a hearing could be held.
It will be interesting to see what incited this incident and to see what kind of justice the stewards hand out. I assume both of these jockeys will be given plenty of time to contemplate the stupidity of their actions.