Ademar Santos, on Mi Helena, retaliates after Eriluis Vaz, on Divine Light (noseband), had landed the first blowPICTURE: YouTube
Jockeys come to blows at Philadelphia Park
USA: Those who went to Philadelphia Park on Friday to watch racing saw a boxing match break out.
Jockeys Eriluis Vaz and Ademar Santos traded punches going down the backstretch during the fifth race, with Vaz landing the first blow. After Santos struck back, Vaz retaliated with his whip.
Santos claimed after the race that Vaz had veered his mount Divine Light toward him three times prior to throwing a punch.
"I asked, 'Man, why you go like that?' Santos told the Philadelphia Inquirer.
"Then he hit me in the face. . . in the mouth."
Santos said his reaction was a reflex but said he did not land his punch. Vaz responded by striking him several times on the back with his whip, Santos said.
Carson Phelps, agent for Santos, said: "My rider said, 'I got hit in the face. I've got to dosomething.' It looked like (Vaz) was trying to knock him off the horse. He could have destroyed half of the field."
Lou Albertrani, Vaz's agent, said he could not comment on the situation because he had neither seen therace nor talked to his rider.
John Scanlan, trainer of Santos's mount Mi Helena, said of Santos: "He's fired forever riding for me. I've been in this game for 50 years. I've only seen this once before, on a film.
"There were 11 horses in the race and a lot of other horses were getting banged around bacause of it. We were lucky there wasn't a spill. They should get a penalty and get it big."
Scanlan said he told Santos: "You should have taken it upstairs to the jocks' room. That's the way it's always been."
A steward, who did not want to be identified, said a hearing will be held regarding the fight, but it will not take place for at least ten days.