Shortly after breaking from the starting gate, Animal Kingdom clipped heels with either Mucho Macho Man or Munzon, almost falling. Jockey Johnny Velasquez narrowly escaped falling but it took him more than an eighth of a mile to get his foot back into his stirrup.
It was an incident that stopped Animal Kingdom’s Belmont bid before it even started.
After reviewing the race in slow motion, stewards have issued a 10 day suspension to jockey Rajiv Maragh for careless riding. Maragh, on long shot Isn’t He Perfect, veered into Mucho Macho Man at the start, which pushed him into Animal Kingdom.
I know that’s all part of horse racing, but it gives me new respect for Animal Kingdom for making up so much ground (he finished sixth) and for Johnny V for staying on. What a nightmare to get clipped like that in the midst of a field of 14 horses and think you’re going down.