DEL MAR — After a two-hour hearing Monday, Del Mar stewards Ingrid Fermin, David Samuel and George Slender said they will rule Wednesday on the incident involving jockeys Ryan Barber and Corey Nakatani after Sunday's seventh race.
Apparently angry after being shut off by Barber while trying to rally along the inside with Boldly Ruhl, Nakatani came up alongside Barber and pushed the apprentice off his mount, Policy Maker, while galloping out past the wire.
Nakatani later had an altercation with Alex Solis, who apparently had come to Barber's defense in the jockeys' room.
Testimony was heard Monday from Barber, Nakatani and three other riders--Solis, Goncalino Almeida and Martin Pedroza, all of whom rode in Sunday's seventh race.
Barber, 20, who will begin a seven-day suspension Friday after being found responsible for the spill that led to jockey David Flores' suffering back and shoulder injuries in Friday's fifth race, first said he had maintained a straight course during the stretch run and galloping out. But under cross examination by Darrell Vienna, a trainer and Nakatani's attorney, and after viewing videotape of the race, Barber admitted he had veered toward the rail in the stretch, then veered back away from the rail on the gallop out, closer to Nakatani and Boldly Ruhl.
He also said nothing was said by either him or Nakatani until he was on the ground, but others said insults were exchanged before Barber hit the dirt.
Solis and Pedroza said Nakatani pushed Barber but both also indicated he then tried to grab Barber when he saw the apprentice was going to fall.
Repeated viewings of the videotape didn't corroborate that, but Nakatani, who had been sent through the rail by Barber in a race June 26 at Hollywood Park, did say it wasn't his intention to push Barber off the horse.
"I didn't want him to fall off," he said. "I'm sorry for what happened. I lost it. A lot of things have been bothering me, and my back has been hurting [apparently since the June 26 spill] and I do need to get professional help."