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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Judges Blew it This Time (for sure)

The judges at The Red Mile just can't seem to dig themselves out of trouble with their decision not to penalize John Campbell further for the controversial disqualification at The Red Mile involving Odds On Equuleus.  The judges assert they didn't penalize Campbell because they felt the horse was partially responsible for the infraction.

The judges blew it by not sanctioning Campbell.  I am not singling out Campbell, but if the judges truly felt there was an infraction which required a disqualification, Campbell should have been penalized if partially responsible.  Days and/or a fine should have been handed out, perhaps mitigated for what they felt was the horse's contribution to the infraction.  The only way no additional penalty was justified is if the judges felt the horse's action alone caused the infraction and the driver was blameless. Of course, this is all predicated on the original disqualification being correct.

Not penalizing Campbell any further indicates one of two things. Either the judges want this whole fiasco to go away as soon as possible so they didn't want to throw more fuel on the fire, or the judges realize they blew the original call which means it will quickly be overturned in the appeal process (the decision can't be overturned without an appeal) and those who bet on Odds On Equuleus will know they got the shaft.

Now it can be said definitively that the judges blew it.  If the judges truly believe the infraction occurred, the judges should have stood their ground and sanctioned Campbell.  Being a judge is not a popularity contest and to let anyone go just to stop the controversy is wrong.  Of course, if the judges didn't penalize Campbell because of the original call, it means the original call was blown.

Perhaps the judges hoped this decision would quiet things down; instead it leaves a bad taste in everyone's mouth.

8 comments:

edge1124 said...

Ok....so I don't lose a FIN, but I didn't win a FIN either....but I feel I was right in that it was a BAD call to begin with which is why Campbell gets no further action and no fines etc. Just like in thoroughbred racing they need clear cut evidence to make a change. In this case because of what Sears did, you could not clearly say Campbell was at fault. This is why they call it gambling...it sucks but if you don't like it...go home haha!

Harry Lare said...

Judges didn't blow it this time. They blew it the first time.

Anonymous said...

Pacingguy:

No fine or suspension makes no sense. One or both had to follow the DQ.

This decision only makes the judges look worse and confirms what many of us thought. Campbell did nothing wrong. He and everyone connected to the horse needlessly lost their share of the purse...and BETTORS were cheated.

I say DQ the judges and let them serve a suspension and pay a fine for violating the public's trust.

Pacingguy said...

More impotantly, it show why unless it is an obvious infraction, beyond doubt, the DQ should be for purse money and not impact the finish for wagering purposes.

For example, if drivers hook wheels, then an 'instant' DQ is valid, but in a case like this, even assuming the judges were correct, those placings should be done after the race is declared official. Announce in the paddock before the race is declared official that the judges will have a post race review and the results are official for pari-mutuel purposes and then post them official.

Pacingguy said...

More impotantly, it show why unless it is an obvious infraction, beyond doubt, the DQ should be for purse money and not impact the finish for wagering purposes.

For example, if drivers hook wheels, then an 'instant' DQ is valid, but in a case like this, even assuming the judges were correct, those placings should be done after the race is declared official. Announce in the paddock before the race is declared official that the judges will have a post race review and the results are official for pari-mutuel purposes and then post them official.

Pacingguy said...

Anon,

My point exactly. The judges needed to act as if their original decision was correct. That means if Campbell was held liable for any part of the infraction a fine or suspension should have been handed down, mitigated for the horse's contribution and held in abeyance until the appeal was decided. This way, if the appeal was decided in favor of the DQ'd horse, it all gets tossed.

What the judges did here was inconcistent at best, cowardly at worst.

Anonymous said...

I think you may have unearthed the biggest secret in harness racing! NJAW officers moonlight as judges at the Red Mile....

As alluded in a previous comment, "obvious infraction without doubt" I wish to introduce the following; What should the standard of proof be for any disqualification? In criminal cases officers probable cause to arrest and the state or prosecutor needs proof beyond a reasonable doubt to convict. Civil matters between two peers is merely a preponderance of the evidence.

If broken down this way, even if privately owned, the track is not a peer and is acting as a state equivalent. Proof beyond a reasonable doubt in my opinion should be the standard for a dq and removing the property right of the purse money.

If the judges were trained to look at the responsibility this way instead of a coin flip preponderance we could avoid this type of nonsense.

Bob said...

If those judges had any smarts or b#%ls, they would have cited Sears and Gingras for FAILURE TO OBJECT…….