The 2021 Haskell Stakes is over, but the end was not what everyone expected. The sought-out event ended with Hot Rod Charlie winning the event only to see the decision being overruled moments later. It was stated that the crowd-favorite drifted into Midnight Bourbon mid-stretch.
It resulted in a potentially catastrophic scenario where both horses clipped heels. During this, Bourbon stumbled, and Paco Lopex, the jockey, fell to the ground. Paco did not move for some time while Bourbon trotted away. Doctors quickly took Paco off the track, and Dr. Chinnici stated Paco suffered a soft tissue injury. The jockey did not need to be treated at a hospital but was forced to leave the remaining card.
Lopez talked about the situation, saying that Bourbon kicked the jockey, hurting the tendon. Lopez could not move the knee for 10 minutes but felt better afterward. As per Lopez, Bourbon had run left and could have won the race too.
Mandaloun, the Second-Favorite, Wins the Event
Despite the controversy, the positive side of the event was that Mandaloun earned its first grade 1 victory. The second-favorite with 3/1 odds won after Hot Rod Charlie was disqualified. The domino effect put Sea to 7/2 from its original 18 ¼ to second. The effects continued, and Antigravity reached 56/1 from its original 22 ¾ lengths.
The drama continued off the track and resurfaced the New Jersey Racing Commission’s decision the previous year. The rule stated that jockeys could use the crop only for security purposes. The decision instantly bothered numerous jockeys, with the most notable ones being 13-time champion Joe Bravo.
The decision put Terry Meyrocks (Jockey’s Guild President) into the limelight against the Commission. Terry stated that the Racing Commission is to be blamed for the rule. The Commission did not ask anyone and forced the rule. It is unfortunate, and everyone should hold the Commission responsible for it.
Flavien Prat, Hot Rod Charlie’s jockey, stated that one left-handed tap on the horse could have avoided the collision. The almost drastic situation occurred quickly after Eduardo Guiterrez died due to injuries sustained during a race in Oregon.
Edward was riding Godfather Advice when there was an accident. Godfather Advice hit the railing, and Edward dropped to the ground head-first. The jockey might have hit the head on the railing before dropping to the ground. The accident resulted in Edward’s death, shocking the entire racing circuit.