Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Horseplayers Sometimes Complain Too Much......

.... but this time I think they have a good complaint. Be prepared to see the most incredible judges call, perhaps in the history of not just harness racing, but the thoroughbreds too (video below).

The chat boards are buzzing about race 12 at London's Western Fair raceway last night. The comments are less than complimentary. In this race, the horse in the pocket along the rail, pulls off the racetrack at the head of the lane. Yep, off the racetrack. He then proceeds to pace a little while, dodging the traffic, because well, horses are not allowed inside the rail so clearly there in no traffic; and then he joins back up just before the wire. Some would think this is a simple call - pitched to last.

In fact, virtually everyone thinks this is a simple call, and not just horseplayers. On Andrew Cohen's board, here is a comment from Woodbine announcer Ken Middleton:

I can't imagine how they didn't place the winner behind the rest of the field.

The horse in question looked like he was on his way to choking in the hole, and Donnie McElroy had no other choice but to put him inside the saftey lane - he simply couldn't hold him in the hole.

That might be the WORST call I've ever seen!


Here is the video evidence and here is the story. Be prepared. Don't say I didn't warn you.:)

3 comments:

Vern said...

Horrendous, pure and simple.

There is no possible way a placing cannot take place here.

I can understand McElroy's need for his own safety but no way the judges can let this stand. This is "hit the road jack" material. They should never work again in this business if it's "integrity" is ever to be taken seriously.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if other horses will use the new and wider passing lane:)

Can anyone investigate the judges?

Real Desire Fan

Allan said...

I took another look at the race and to me it appears definitely the horse needed to bail out because the #3 horse, the 45-1 stopped/backed up in tight corners on the race 'winner'; it had nothing to do with the horse being lame (though he may have been). Also, note the announcer indicated the field was in tight quarters before the winner left the course.

Let me ask this question. For now, ignoring the fact the horse stayed off the course. If Greystone Dylan driven by Nichols deliberately backed into the winner forcing him off the course, wouldn't the suspension issued be appropriate? What should have happened to the winner Dream Well in this case? Does it change because he stayed off the course and would have had to go to the back of the pack to get back on quicker?

If the horse just Greystone Dylan just backed up in a tight field right in front of Dream Well (as a 45-1 is prone to do) and the horse got right back on the track would Dream Well have been considered being impeded or is it just bad racing luck to the eventual winner and he should be penalized (again forget about the strech run)? Then consider if the ruling changes because of the stretch run.

I may be in the minority, but if you ignore the stretch run and look at the start of the infraction, it is not clear to me the judges made a mistake. If you look at the end of the race and ignore the point of the infraction, then I can see why there was an outcry.

IMHO, it all boils down to a judgement call at the moment the horse left the course and not the balance of the stretch drive. The judges tend to think a wheel was being put under the winner deliberately and this is why they made the call and this is why they left him up.

That being said, being it is highly controversial, I hope it is well covered in the industry and local papers so the fans who witnessed it will finally be given an explanation and the judges exonerated or proven wrong.