"As a group, we felt strong and we all wanted to come out to support Jose (Santos). We feel the charges that have come up are unfounded and unfair. It has tarnished a great ride by a great horse in a great race. All of us who have ridden with Jose and have known him for years know these charges couldn't be anything further from the truth. We feel terrible about the allegations. To have this put on America's race - everyone knows the Kentucky Derby - is a shame. It was Jose's day and now it's been unfairly dragged through the mud."
The New York jockey colony released a statement Sunday defending the integrity of fellow rider Jose Santos, who has been under investigation by the Churchill Downs stewards based on a photo and article that appeared in the Saturday Miami Herald.Although a study of an Associated Press photo has all but proved the allegations to be erroneous, and the case has pretty much died out, the riders still felt compelled to express their views. The following is their statement, through longtime New York jockey Richard Migliore: