After McCarthy Spill, Migliore Blames the NY Stewards

Richard MiglioreCoglianese


When Trevor McCarthy went down in a spill Friday at Aqueduct and broke his collar bone and his pelvis, retired rider Richard Migliore said he was upset but not surprised. Migliore, whose son Joe Migliore is McCarthy's jockey agent, said he had been growing increasingly concerned as New York riders continued to be more and more aggressive while the stewards seem to look the other way. Something like this, he figured, was bound to happen, he said.

“People run into each other now with impunity,” said Migliore, an analyst on NYRA's America's Day at the Races show. “You can watch the races on a daily basis and there are guys who change paths without clearance, and it goes beyond herding. It's like they have a disregard for the horses and riders around them. It's very difficult for me to watch, especially when someone goes down and gets hurt. It's irresponsible on the part of the rider but they are not being held accountable. When that happens, it's human nature. The more you can get away with the rougher it's going to get. The stewards need to really crack down and lay down the law. No more nonsense.”

McCarthy was riding Ever Summer (Summer Front) in the mile-and-three-eighths turf allowance. Nearing the top of the stretch, Jalon Samuel, aboard Rhombique (Ghostzapper), came out, starting a chain reaction in which Ever Summer wound up clipping heels with another horse.

While not letting Samuel off the hook, Migliore said the jockey was no doubt following the lead of some of New York's top riders.

“The reason that accident happened is because riders have been allowed to get away with more and more of that kind of thing,” Migliore said. “Jalon Samuel doesn't get to ride a lot. But if he watches the leading riders do that and get away with it and sometimes even get lauded for it, with people saying how aggressive they are, why wouldn't he do the same thing? You have to start with the top guys. Guys needs to be sat down. Jalon Samuel is fully responsible for what he did it. But I don't want to pile on him. He sees it happen every day.”

To many New York racing observers, Irad Ortiz Jr. is the primary culprit when it comes to overly aggressive tactics and the stewards have handled him with kid gloves. Migliore said that when it comes to Ortiz the stewards have done nothing to discourage that sort of riding.

“He is very aggressive but I don't blame Irad because he's been allowed to get away with it,” Migliore said. “I have pointed it out when I feel like he's gone over a line. I am a fan. The guy brings to the table an intensify and a desire, whether it's a $5,000 claimer or Grade I and you have to applaud that. But if he's not told this is unacceptable there's no motivation to stop it. He's been wildly successful doing it. People say Cordero was the same way. If Angel did back then what Irad does now, he would have spent more time suspended than riding.”

Rhombique crossed the wire second but was disqualified and placed ninth. Samuel received a seven-day suspension. That, too, sent the wrong message, Migliore said.

“Jalon Samuel got seven days for that?” Migliore said. “Seven days for causing an accident like that, that could have easily taken down three or four other horses and caused Trevor McCarthy to be out months with a broken pelvis and a broken collar bone. Come on. That makes it even more of a joke. It's beyond my comprehension that that is the punishment. If you cause an accident you should be suspended for as long as the rider who was injured is out with his injuries. Are we going to wait until someone gets killed? The other day you could have had that scenario. Then a jockey gets busted up and a guy gets a week off. Am I crazy or is that absurd?”

Migliore rode from 1980 through 2010 and rode in 30,102 races, winning 4,450 of them. It was an era, he said, where the stewards wouldn't put up with careless riding.

“You'd go into the stewards' office and your knees would be knocking,” he said. “It was 'yes sir, no sir.' They laid down the law and you knew what was expected of you. If you are riding on a top circuit and if you can't work within the guidelines the stewards laid down then you don't belong there.”

He said the current crop of NYRA stewards needs to do the same thing, give the riders a clear understanding of what is acceptable and what is not. And they need to be tougher.

“We need stronger stewardship,” Migliore said. “Riders need guidelines that are consistent. This is what you are allowed to do and what you're not allowed to do. It shouldn't matter who it is, what day of the week it is or what kind of race it is. It has to start with the governing body. You have to be strict. Right now, they're not.”

Not a subscriber? Click here to sign up for the daily PDF or alerts.

Copy Article Link

Liked this article? Read more like this.

  1. Weekly Stewards And Commissions Rulings: May 16-22, 2024
  2. Mountaineer Jock Fined for Exceeding Six Strikes and 'Failure to Give Best Effort' in Same Race
  3. America On the Books for Al Riffa, Targets Grade One Glory in New York
  4. Leave No Trace Sizzles in Vagrancy Victory
  5. Belmont Gold Cup To Serve As International Qualifier For Melbourne Cup

Never miss another story from the TDN

Click Here to sign up for a free subscription.