Eclipse Award-winning jockey Ariel Smith was slapped with a 27-day suspension by stewards at Calder Race Course
Smith, who won the Eclipse in 1999 as the nation's top apprentice, earned seven days for careless riding and 20 more for his role in a wild jockey room brawl following the fifth race at Calder Monday.
Smith, aboard Wicklow Miracle in a one-mile maiden turf race for fillies and mares, impeded several others after shifting erratically to the outside at the top of the stretch. Wicklow Miracle won the race but was disqualified and placed last by the stewards.
One horse, Sorrento Sara, nearly went down in the incident, and the rider of that horse, Jeremy Beasley, had a heated exchange after returning to the jockeys room following the race.
According witnesses, Smith struck Beaseley over the head with his helmet, opening a wound that required stitches to close. They fought for several minutes before track security personnel broke it up.
Beasley took off his remaining mounts Monay and Thursday, but returned to action Friday.
Smith has 19 victories at the current Calder meeting.