Friday, November 5, 2010
Borel issues apology to fans
By Claire Novak Special to ESPN.com
Jockey Calvin Borel apologized to racing fans Friday afternoon for trading punches with jockey Javier Castellano on national television following the $500,000 Breeders' Cup Marathon at Churchill Downs.
"I realize many people hold me in high esteem, and I apologize for publicly losing my cool," Borel said in the statement, which was issued by his wife, Lisa Borel. "It's unfortunate that it happened on national TV and at such a prestigious event as the Breeders' Cup."
Terry Meyocks, National Manager of the Jockeys' Guild, said fighting between jockeys is highly uncharacteristic, but emotions run high during the Breeders' Cup World Championships -- the highest purses and best racing in the world.
"These two days, the world-class racing is very competitive, and anyone who makes it here is a consummate professional," Meyocks said. "When it's high-stakes racing and incidents happen, can get out of hand. But on a day-to-day basis for these guys, it's very much out of character."
Castellano told the Associated Press he didn't know exactly what happened. "I had pressure outside me," he said. "I went for a hole and they said I took his lane. I don't know. I don't know."
"Again, it's unfortunate, but it happened in the heat of the battle and hopefully they're working it out," Meyocks said. "This is not normal. I talked to them and they're both fine, they're getting their emotions under control."
Both riders will have to review films of the race with racing officials at Churchill Downs Sunday morning, but any rulings or fines would not be issued until Monday.