Meanwhile in … Florida: jockeys at war as Irad Ortiz is fined for punching Paco Lopez

Horse Racing Irad Ortiz jockey
Irad Ortiz: jockey angered by Paco Lopez’s claim of foul riding against him at Gulfstream Park. Photo: Lauren King

USA: The on-track rivalry between jockeys Irad Ortiz and Paco Lopez boiled over off the track last week in a bout of fisticuffs.

Ortiz, who leads the rankings at Gulfstream Park in Florida, where he is the two-time champion, had ridden odds-on favourite Known Agenda to a comprehensive 11-length victory in the fourth race on Friday.

But Lopez, who rode the runner-up, lodged a claim of foul against the winner, claiming he had been interfered with on the bend into the straight, a challenge that was ultimately dismissed by the stewards.

However matters did not end there for an irate Ortiz, who was captured on video throwing a number of punches at Ortiz as he was sat in a chair, until officials intervened.

This time the stewards at the Florida track did act, fining Ortiz $1,000 and placing both riders on probation until the end of the meet.

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