A jockey who kicked his horse in the stomach before a race was detained for 30 days and fined $1,000 (745 EUR).
Victor Molina's punishment was announced by his agent on Monday, three days after the rider's disciplinary hearing for kicking 2-year-old colt Yes Yes Ohyes.
Molina's agent, David Yannuzzy, said he was considering an appeal because the decision was too severe. Yannuzzy blamed the officials for overreacting because Molina's kick was televised, prompting fans who saw the act to call the track and complain.
"They felt the people pulling the slots would be upset if he didn't get enough time," Yannuzzy said. "This is not the first time horses have been hit by jockeys at races. Every time it's a $250 fine. That's it. But they said, 'Oh, we had all these hits on e-mail and TV."'
Molina said the feisty horse flipped in the starting gate last Monday and his head struck the jockey flush in the chest. Molina's chest went numb and he lost his cool.
Once Yes Yes Ohyes was scratched from the race, Molina removed the saddle and kicked the colt's belly. Molina said the pain and threat of injury triggered his temper.