Marco Castaneda fractured his right wrist in a frightful spill, an incident that began a chain of events leading to Social Retiree's first-place disqualification yesterday in the $75,000 Governor's Cup at Laurel.
Castaneda's injury in the seventh race left trainer Barclay Tagg in need of a rider for Social Retiree, and he settled on another veteran, Carlos Barrera. Barrera filled in admirably for nearly a mile, but the Governor's Cup was 1 1/16 miles long.
As Social Retiree struggled to keep the lead from Major Lux in midstretch, he angled out under Barrera's left-handed whip and bumped his challenger. Social Retiree won the race by a neck, but following a stewards' inquiry and an objection by jockey Gregg McCarron, Social Retiree was lowered to second and Major Lux ruled the winner.
"If I brushed him," Barrera said, "it was very light."
"I was on a real big horse," McCarron said. "It might not have looked like I got shoved at all, but my horse lost total momentum."
McCarron also claimed foul in Friday's feature race, which led to the removal of My Three Daughters from first place. His jockey, Edgar Prado, received a seven-day suspension that he plans to appeal.
The stewards disqualified two more horses yesterday, the second of which gave Major Lux his first stakes victory and a $13.20 win mutuel. The 3-year-old, a plodder in his previous 12 starts, showed much-improved speed yesterday, which trainer Bernie Bond called an outgrowth of morning workouts with quick stablemate Friendly Intent.
Bardland finished third out of seven, and 7-5 favorite Highland Devotion was 12 lengths back in fourth, his worst performance since Bob Klesaris claimed him for $45,000 in February and turned him into a stakes winner.
Castaneda, 40, went down in a two-horse spill well into the far turn. His seventh-race mount, Elloree, was near the back of the well-bunched nine-horse field on the inside when Irish Maverick fell in front of him.
Chris DeCarlo had advanced Irish Maverick between horses about three lengths off the lead when the hole closed. Ajusta Blade, who was outside of him, appeared to angle left while Recall The Marker seemed to inch off the rail. Amid the squeeze, Irish Maverick fell hard, and DeCarlo appeared to be clipped by Hooliganism after hitting the ground.
Castaneda had no chance to steer Elloree clear, and went sailing forward when his mount tripped over the befallen.
DeCarlo managed to rise within moments, but Castaneda did not. He was removed by track ambulance and taken to nearby Greater Laurel-Beltsville Hospital, where X-rays confirmed the fracture. He is expected to be sidelined six to eight weeks.
Irish Maverick suffered a gash in his forehead and had to be destroyed, according to state veterinarian Pat Brackett. The 3-year-old claimer won two of 11 starts and $21,630. Elloree did not appear injured, Brackett said.
The stewards disqualified fourth-place Ajusta Blade and jockey Mike Luzzi for coming in on Irish Maverick. Chief steward Clinton Pitts Jr. said it is possible Recall The Marker moved off the rail slightly under Greg Hutton, but that was not clear on video replays.
DeCarlo did not ride his final two mounts, and he too probably lost a victory. His ninth-race replacement, Donnie Miller Jr., rode Wings Of Silver around the field and into the winner's circle.
Hutton rode three winners, including the remarkable Titan Ribot. The 10-year-old beat $8,500 claimers for his third straight victory and 26th in 94 starts.
"I've gotten to know him," Hutton said. "He's 10 years old and set in his ways. Basically, he tells me what to do, and I take it from there."
Rosecroft Raceway: Woodie Wright, driven by Jim Morand, set a world record for a 3-year-old pacing gelding on a five-furlong track by winning in 1:53 3/5 for the mile. The old mark of 1:54 was held by four horses, including Minuteman Hill who equaled it Friday at Rosecroft.