11/13/2007 12:00AM

Santos's daughter pleads not guilty

EmailSophia Santos, the 20-year-old daughter of retired Hall of Fame jockey Jose Santos, pleaded not guilty in a Nassau County District Court in New York on Monday to charges of vehicular homicide and driving while intoxicated. The plea came one day after a car crash that left one woman dead and two others in critical condition.

Virginia Casazza Urgo, 62, died in the car crash, which occurred on Long Island at 2:30 a.m. on Sunday morning. Two others - Urgo's husband, John Urgo, 53, and her sister, Linda Chapman, 54 - were in critical condition.

Santos, who was the lone occupant of her vehicle, is being held on bail of $1 million cash or a $500,000 bond. She sustained minor injuries in the crash.

Prosecutors said that a portable blood test conducted after the accident indicated that Santos had a blood-alcohol content of 0.18, more than twice the legal limit of 0.08. Prosecutors also said Santos did not have a driver's license.

Santos's lawyer, Felice Muraca, said that evidence collected from the portable blood test is not admissible in court, and he criticized the prosecution for releasing the information. Muraca said that blood tests taken at the hospital to determine whether Santos had been drinking would be available within the next six weeks.

"The only evidence we have been shown is that this was a car accident," Muraca said. "We have not been shown any evidence that she was intoxicated, and we have not been shown any evidence that she was the cause of the crash. So until someone proves otherwise, this is how we are treating this, as a car accident."

Kelly Wietsma, who represents Jose Santos, said that the ex-rider is in Chile visiting with family and was unavailable for comment. Santos, who retired earlier this year and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in August, is attempting to return home, Wietsma said.

Sophia Santos is a daughter from Jose Santos's first marriage, which ended in divorce.