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Fistfight Erupts and a Belmont Pick Emerges

Known Agenda, ridden by Irad Ortiz, runs down the front straightaway during the 147th Running of the Kentucky Derby on May 1.
Known Agenda, ridden by Irad Ortiz, runs down the front straightaway during the 147th Running of the Kentucky Derby on May 1.Photographer: Brian Spurlock/Icon Sportswire/Getty Images

Minutes after Irad Ortiz crossed the finish line first atop a big chestnut colt named Known Agenda one Friday this February in South Florida, he walked over to his fellow rider Paco Lopez, who was leisurely sitting on a chair just off the track, and hit him square in the jaw with a roundhouse hook.

Now, Lopez, it should be known, has long had a reputation in the East Coast jockey colony for being something of a yahoo -- a reckless rider willing to take risks that endanger his life and those of the jockeys and horses around him.