No one condones jockey Victor Molina for striking back in anger when an obstreperous mount he was about to ride at Philadelphia Park injured him in the starting gate. Clearly, kicking a horse in the stomach is not an appropriate response, only a human one.

Molina deserved a fine and suspension, but the 30 days he received from the Philadelphia Park stewards without precedent seems excessive, as did ejecting him from the grounds.

Molinas real crime was being caught on television, creating an immediate unfavorable response from the public. The jockey apologized for his actions, reached out to the fans, and is considering volunteer work with the SPCA during his suspension.

Horsemen should not abuse the animals in their care, obviously. But some strong-willed, tough racehorses are mean spirited. The trait makes them good on the racetrack makes them lousy pets.

In that context, the punishment didnt fit the crime. Molina didnt kick the horse in the ankle or knee, nor did he punch it in the face in an attempt to injure. Again, this does not excuse his actions but 30 days smacks more of political correctness than justice. The $1,000 fine will pale when compared to lost purse money and future mounts.

The stewards missed an opportunity here. They also should have fined and suspended the Pennsylvania Racing Commission for forbiding them to comment on the actions they take when meting out racing justice.

Quoting musician Willy Nile; the rights of man don't mean a damn we're in the age of style.