09/04/2001 11:00PM

Espinoza fined for whip use


DEL MAR, Calif. - Victor Espinoza on Wednesday was suspended for two days and fined $2,000 by Del Mar's stewards, the latest action against the jockey for whipping a horse on the flank and causing a break in the skin.

Espinoza was cited for his ride on Rafid in the first race Aug. 26. Espinoza had been warned and fined earlier this meet, and had previously incurred a one-day suspension, which he appealed. He was ordered to serve the latest suspension on Sept. 26-27, the first two days of Santa Anita's Oak Tree meeting.

In other stewards' rulings Wednesday, trainer Joe Herrick was suspended for 30 days and fined $2,500 because two of his horses tested positive last December at Hollywood Park for an illegal medication, Carisoprodol, which metabolizes into Meprobamate, a Class 2 drug.

One of Herrick's horses, Phone Love, won the sixth race at Hollywood on Dec. 20. The stewards ordered that the purse of that race be redistributed.

Finally, jockey Corey Nakatani was fined $500 for unprofessional conduct toward an official. Nakatani picked up a phone near the winner's circle and cursed at a steward following an inquiry that was not resolved in Nakatani's favor on Sunday.