A small controversy has broken out regarding disqualifications made at Tioga Downs which occurred over the past two Sundays involving driver Jim Marohn Jr. On May 2, Marohn was disqualified for what is being reported as a slow quarter. In reality, the alleged infraction was likely slowing up too quickly which resulted in confusion amongst the trailing horses. On May 9, Marohn once again was disqualified, this time allegedly for causing interference with the horse behind him.
Were the calls correct or not? I will leave it to other forums to discuss this. What is clear to me is when making a disqualification which impacts the pari-mutuel payoffs, the evidence of an infraction better be clear cut; otherwise the judges should deal with the alleged infraction in a hearing room. People are wagering their hard earned dollars on our races so before the judges make a decision which results in people throwing what they thought were winning tickets away, the infraction needs to be obvious to all reasonable people in attendance; beyond a reasonable doubt.
Secondly, should there be a disqualification; the head judge needs to be on the public address system explaining why a placing is taking place. The explanation needs to accompany a video replay of the infraction with the judges being able to highlight the alleged infraction on the monitor for all to see. Is this too much to ask for our wagering customers? Also, while it is nice to make video replays available, it should be mandatory that the replay be appended with video showing the disqualification; don’t leave it to the viewer to guess what happened. Having a track announcer explain what the disqualification is not fair to anyone.