Controversy, Cubed!

Throughout horse racing history there's been a ton of controversy; it's kind of a big part of the game.

The past 48 hours have us in throw-back mode, with talk about non-DQ's in a huge race, a leading trainer's help administering something before a race, and an oldie but a goodie: A jock with a buzzer.

Last evening in the $700k Metro Stakes there was plenty of contact in the lane (video here), with Some Major Beach taking the bulk of it. Many observers felt the winner forced his way out and caused the brouhaha, but he was left up. Reaction from twitter (in HRU, pdf, page three) was quick and forceful.

Via the chart, seven horses were charted as having, or causing interference. One guesses - we don't really know - that the horse who came last was the culprit, which is the reason we saw no placings? Again, since judges decisions are not reported, we don't know.  This, in my opinion, was a curious decision, and I feel in such a rich race, they simply let the contact caused by the winner go.

Our Thoroughbred friends are responsible for the last two controversial happenings.

Doug O'Neill's assistant of some sort gave a pre race treatment to a horse who was getting ready to race.
  •  CHRB safety steward Luis Jauregui saw an O’Neill employee “enter the stall of a horse with a detention sign on the door and administer a product in its mouth,” according to the published stewards’ minutes from that day. “He confronted the person, who turned out to be the foreman, and confiscated the tube, which had the brand name CB2A and contained amino acids, which are illegal to give on race day. The horse turned out to be Cinco de Mario, which was scheduled to run in the fifth race.”
According to the Paulick Report, O'Neill called this a "human error".

That may very well be completely true, but when something involves O'Neill and "mistakes" it tends to cause some controversy.

For many it begs the question regarding things we see in several barns: "Why do mistakes seem to happen in the same barns?". "Why do TC02 overages and 'bad testing' always happen to a hot off the claim barn?". "How is a trainer the only trainer on earth not to know that you don't give "Air Power" to a horse in detention?". How does some hot barn have 5 or 10 overages for medications, but hundreds of other barns with even more starts not have one?"

I saved the best for last: Buzzers. This is some major-league old school horse racing stuff, and that makes this a super-cool story.  Here is the recap on the Paulick Report with link to the video.

Enjoy your Sunday everyone.

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