06/25/2007 11:00PM

Molina banned 30 days for kicking horse


The stewards at Philadelphia Park have suspended jockey Victor Molina for 30 days for kicking a horse in the stomach before a race at the track on June 18.

Molina, 46, was notified of the decision on Monday. On Tuesday, Molina said he had not decided whether to appeal. An appeal would have to be filed within 10 days of the ruling, which also included a $1,000 fine.

"I realize that's the penalty, and I should accept it," Molina said.

Just before the third race at Philadelphia Park on June 18, Molina kicked Yes Yes Ohyes, a 2-year-old colt making his first start, after the colt reared up and had to be removed from the starting gate.

The kick was broadcast live on Television Games Network, and Philadelphia Park was flooded with complaints from viewers about Molina's treatment of the colt. Philadelphia Park ejected Molina later that day.

Molina has ridden for 27 years. Immediately after the incident, he apologized for kicking the horse and called his actions "stupid."

Molina said that when the horse reared in the gate, he was struck in the chest and head by the colt.

Yes Yes Ohyes was eventually scratched by the track veterinarian after it was revealed that the colt suffered lacerations when he acted up in the gate. The colt is trained by Clifford Sise and is owned by Hidden Meadow Farm.

The 30-day suspension is retroactive to the day after the ejection.

Molina said that one of the factors governing whether he will appeal is whether Philadelphia Park will allow him back on the grounds after he serves his days.

"I know that's the ruling of the stewards, and track management has said they are going to abide by it," Molina said. "But the question is, if I take the days, is the ejection going to be lifted.

"I need to know whether or not I can go to work after this is done."

Molina said track officials had told him they would meet with him this week to discuss the ejection order.

Philadelphia Park officials did not return phone calls on Tuesday.