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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Court is In Session - The Buck I St Pat Edition

Harnessracing.com reports Buck I St Pat was ruled ineligible to compete in the Breeders Crown due the number of breaks in her recent starts.  Her connections are appealing the decision and a hearing in front of the ORC will be held Thursday morning.  The ORC rule indicates a horse must have one clean line out of their last three races (parimutuel or qualifier) and within forty-five days.  Buck I St Pat did break in her last two starts but in her qualifier on September 28, at the Meadows, she does show a clean line. 

As per the Ontario Rule 11.02.01 If a horse meets the conditions of Rule 11.01 it will be considered qualified and eligible to be declared to added money event races provided that one of its last three charted lines is a clean line in a purse, qualifying or schooling race, not more than forty-five (45) clear days before the closing of declarations and its individual time in that....

So she's in, right? 

Well, not so sure as per rule 11.02.02: Not withstanding the provisions of 11.02.01 no horse shall be considered qualified and eligible to be declared to added money event races if that horse, since having obtained the clean charted line referred to in 11.02.01, is required to qualify in accordance with the rules, including Chapter 12 where applicable, or is on the Judges List or is other wise ineligible to race.

So we look at Chapter 12 and see the following:

12.09 A horse making a break in or off a qualifying, matinee or schooling race must qualify again unless the break was an equipment break or caused by interference, or unless the horse is declaring into an Ontario Sires Stakes or other added money event.

Well, the Breeders Crown is an added money event, so she's in, right?  Well, lets move ahead....

12.10.01 A horse making a break in each of two consecutive races must qualify unless the breaks were equipment breaks or caused by interference.

Oops, maybe not.

To me, it appears there will be some fancy footwork required to get her in to race, though I certainly don't think she deserves to be in the race based off her recent performances.  It should be interesting on Thursday morning as the owners and the racing commission tries to define what 'must' means.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

There must be literally hundreds of precedents of horses making consecutive breaks (sometimes even more than two )and still racing in added money events. Just look at 2 and 3 year old trotting Ontario Sires Stakes events, and there's bound to be a few examples. I don't think racing her is the right thing to do, but I am amazed that she was ruled ineligible.

Anonymous said...

I may have spoken too soon. Looked up many lines, and couldn't find a horse in O.S.S. that didn't requalify after 2 uninterferred breaks this year. I know that this situation did happen in the past. Perhaps they have changed this rule, or have decided to interpret it differently?
In the not-too-distant past, you were O.K. to race in an added money event no matter how many breaks your horse made, as long as it had a flat line in the last month or slightly more.

Pacingguy said...

Actually, I find the ORC rules more generous than what I am used to. Typically, two breaks in a row (unless an off-track, interference, or broken equipment) meant re-qualifying.

I still am use to the 30 day rule, but I guess the sport is changing by adopting the 45 day rule. I do have a problem when the rule is 30 days for overnight horses and 45 days for stakes horses. The rule should be the same regardless.

Pacingguy said...

In this case, I think the connections of Buck I St Pat looked at the first rule and said, "See, she's good" and didn't bother going to rule 12. If they saw that they would probably have said, "Oh, wait....".

I would like to think they look at the rules closely and pull back their appeal, but when money is on line logic sometimes gets blurred.