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Belmont jockey admits stabbing friend to death

Michael Lutchman, 43, was born in Trinidad and lived in Queens Village before being arrested in September on charges of stabbing Dilip Amarsing, 31, after the two had an argument outside a restaurant on the racetrack grounds, the DA said. The nature of the argument is still unknown, but the two jockeys were said to be friends up until a verbal fight that preceded the slaying by about a month, according to the DA.Police said Lutchman carried a kitchen knife with him at all times for protection and had an argument with Amarsing that ended when Lutchman stabbed his former friend in the chest, killing him. He then tried to hide the knife in a pile of manure and straw, police said.Police had charged Lutchman with second-degree murder, but a grand jury refused to indict him on that charge, instead opting for the lesser charge of manslaughter in the first and second degree, in addition to a weapons charge and tampering with evidence. Lutchman pleaded guilty to the top count of manslaughter in the first degree as part of a plea deal and will face 10 years in prison when he is sentenced May 27. A spokesman for the DA's office said the plea deal includes the 10-year sentence that must be served in full regardless of any good behavior time that Lutchman may accrue while in prison. Lutchman was only a exercise jockey at Belmont, which means he did not ride the horses in races, only during training, according to the New York Racing Association. The association also suspended Lutchman's exercise rider license at a Jan. 20 meeting because "...public safety and welfare imperatively require this emergency situation." Amarsing had won 25 of his 388 starts during his career, which began in 1992, according to the NYRA.Reach reporter Peter A. Sutters Jr. by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or call 718-229-0300 Ext. 173.

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