PUNTERS are in uproar after a wrestler-turned-jockey who was 'almost killed' in a horse race got an eight-day ban for fighting a rival.
Nik Juarez has been suspended for just over a week but Paco Lopez got just a five-day ban for the 'dangerous' riding which led to the scrap.
US-based jockey Juarez was also fined £422 for 'initiating a physical confrontation with another jockey' at Monmouth Park, New Jersey.
Punters thought it was ridiculous that Lopez, 36, got the lesser punishment because it was his mid-race move that sparked the whole incident.
And they said it was unfair that Juarez, a former high school wrestling star, got a longer suspension for merely responding to the wrongdoing.
One punter labelled the whole affair 'horse s**t' while others were left wondering just what the stewards were thinking.
One said: "Let me get this straight. Paco Lopez gets a five-day suspension for almost dropping Nik Juarez in a move that we've seen Lopez make before that landed up to a 30-day ban.
"Juarez is justifiably upset and goes after Lopez physically after dismounting. Juarez gets eight-day ban. #horse s**t."
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Another wrote: "Unbelievable."
While one punter said: "Paco Lopez got five days for almost killing Nik Juarez."
And another comment read: "The dangerous rider gets five days and the guy who was rightly upset for nearly getting killed gets eight days. OK."
Juarez called for bosses to do more when addressing the situation on Twitter.
He wrote: "I shouldn’t have lost my composure. I accept my repercussions.
"I would never want my children to see me that way whether it was justified or not.
"What Paco does is out of my control, but when are racing authorities going to step up?
"When is enough going to be enough?
"If this was a licence to drive on the road he would have his licence revoked years ago."
The flashpoint occurred in a race on July 1 when Lopez's mount Midnight Diva switched paths without sufficient room, causing La Costa, under Juarez, to clip heels and 'stumble badly, losing all chance'.
Lopez was punched in the face three times by Irad Ortiz Jr in March last year, with the shocking incident caught on camera.
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