LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Jockeys Calvin Borel and Javier
Castellano turned the winner's circle at Churchill Downs into an
impromptu boxing ring, trading punches moments after the opening
race of the Breeders' Cup on Friday afternoon.
Borel charged Castellano shortly after the $500,000 Breeders'
Cup Marathon, angry over a dangerous mid-race move that endangered
Borel and fellow rider Martin Garcia.
The two jockeys were near the weigh-in station next to the
winner's circle when things grew heated.
The 43-year-old Borel pointed a finger at the 33-year-old
Castellano. The 5-foot-1, 110-pound Castellano then took a swing at
Borel, four inches taller than his rival. Security officials
struggled to separate the two, holding an enraged Borel who urged
them to let him go back at Castellano.
It took several minutes for Borel - his eyes bugging out and his
face a deep shade of red - to be restrained.
In an interview with ESPN as he rode out for the Juvenile
Fillies race, Borel said he and Castellano had patched things up.
"I want to apologize to everybody," Borel said as he was
interviewed aboard Tell A Kelly. "It's over. It's all good. We
Borel was escorted to the paddock by eight security officers for
that race. A fan shouted, "Kick some (butt), Calvin."
The fight was a decided step out of character for the affable
Borel, who has become a fan favorite at Churchill Downs for his
rail-hugging rides and his ability to turn long shots into winners.
In May, he tucked Super Saver along the rail, his favorite spot,
to win the Kentucky Derby, making him the first jockey to win three
Derbys in four years.
And Borel nearly pulled off his own personal triple crown in
2009. Mine That Bird won the Derby, then Borel switched to filly
Rachel Alexandra to win the Preakness before going back to Mine
That Bird in the Belmont Stakes, finishing third.
Though jockeys have been known to tangle on the track during
races, the postrace dust-up was jarring in a sport known for monied
owners, big hats, seersucker suits and big smiles in the winner's
Not this time as a brawl more suited for a bar broke out in the
track's most hallowed spot.
A few feet away from the chaos, Eldaafer owner Mike Iavarone
held the championship trophy as security officials tried to restore
order. Eventually, Borel's wife, Lisa, and brother Cecil each
grabbed an arm and walked the three-time Kentucky Derby winning
rider back to the jockeys' room, where he flung off his silks.
During the race, Castellano moved into the path of Romp and
Martin Garcia, causing the horse to stumble. Borel and A.U. Miner
were jostled as a result. Prince Will I Am later was disqualified
in the race won by Eldaafer.
"I had pressure outside me," Castellano said. "I went for a
hole and they said I took his lane. I don't know. I don't know."
Castellano returned to the track minutes later to ride in the
Juvenile Fillies Turf while Borel remained in the jockeys' room to
Prince Will I Am, who finished second behind winner Eldaafer,
was disqualified and placed 10th while A.U. Miner was bumped up to
third following an inquiry.
Back on the track two hours later, Borel finished seventh in the
Juvenile Fillies and was scheduled to ride again later in the
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)