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Controversy Surrounds Del Mar Derby

Jockey Patrick Valenzuela wasn’t even involved in the nearly catastrophic incident on the backstretch, but he was as upset as anyone near the winner’s circle after the Del Mar Fiasco, make that Derby, finished on Sunday.

Valenzuela was aboard the 33-1 long-shot Jairzihno, who finished second to the 1-5 favorite, the super-talented and undefeated Twirling Candy in the Grade II, $300,000 Del Mar Derby at Del Mar.

But Valenzuela saw jockey Joel Rosario lose control of Twirling Candy near the ¾-mile mark of the 1 1/8 miles race. Twirling Candy was leading, but Valenzuela saw jockey Victor Espinoza have to pull up his horse, Summer Movie, a 12-1 long-shot that was racing second to Twirling Candy. Espinoza pulled Summer Movie away from a lugging Twirling Candy and prevented a catastrophe on the backstretch.

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