Report: Irad Ortiz Jr. Fined $1,000 For Punching Paco Lopez

Daily Racing Form‘s Mike Welsch reports that Gulfstream Park stewards have fined Irad Ortiz Jr. $1,000 and placed Ortiz and fellow jockey Paco Lopez on probation for the remainder of the championship meet following a fight between the two men after the fourth race on Feb. 26 at the Hallandale Beach, Fla., track.

Known Agenda scored an 11-length victory as the 1-2 favorite with Ortiz aboard in the allowance optional claiming race. Lopez finished second aboard Top Gun Tommy and claimed foul against Ortiz for an incident at the top of the stretch.

The two horses raced as a team into the stretch, with Known Agenda to the outside.Top Gun Tommy suddenly steadied and swung to the outside straightening into the stretch and apparently brushed the hindquarters of Known Agenda (see video below). The official Equibase chart says Known Agenda “took over outside Top Gun Tommy, getting his hind end brushed by the latter at the top of the stretch.”

As the horses came back to be unsaddled and the claim of foul announced, Ortiz could be seen yelling at Lopez. A few minutes later, while Lopez was seated in a chair, Ortiz threw several punches at him. It was quickly broken up but caught on video.

Stewards opted to allow the original order of finish to stand.


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