Just when you thought it was safe to get back in the water, the infamous Red Mile disqualification rears its ugly head. Harnesracing.com reports the stewards from the Red Mile released the findings of the November 13 hearing regarding the alleged infraction of Odds On Equuelus in the Bluegrass Stakes on Saturday, September 29 where the judges found Odds On Equuelus was taken up abruptly on the final turn, causing confusion and making two horses go off-sride.
To no one's surprise, the track stewards upheld their original ruling and fined John Campbell $150, ruling Campbell and the horse were both to be blamed for the infraction. Many people were asking what was it the judges saw which made them come to the decision they did. We now have a good idea as Yannick Gingras provided an affadavit claiming "Within 2-3 strides after taking the lead position, John Campbell 'slammed on his brakes' and Odds On Equuleus dramatically slowed down. As a result of this sudden change of pace, I was struck in the back and head by the horse Real Rocker, driven by Brian Sears in the third position at the time."
Well, I see where Real Rocker hit the head of Gingras, but it certainly was not within the 2-3 strides Gingras indicated. Looking at the replay, Campbell cleared at the 1:06 mark on the video while the head butt occured roughly at 1:20. Certainly not within '2 to three strides'. Expect Gingras to be 'invited' to the next hearing to explain his remarks as the video is viewed.
Of course, this hearing was merely a formality so trainer Robin Schadt and Campbell can appeal the judges' decision. It was generally acknowledge by most people if a reversal of the decision was going to come, it as going to be at the commission level. I anticipate a decision either by the end of the year or early in 2013.
Also, on September 29, Freehold Raceway was the host of the first Open Space Day, celebrating the connection between horse racing and open space. The day brought the second largest crowd to Freehold this year (behind the Kentucky Derby).
Here is a video showing the highlights of the day.
Here's looking forward to Open Space 2013.
With news that Peretti Farms is opening a stallion station in Pennsylvania to stand Muscles Yankee, Lucky Chucky, and Rocknroll Hanover for the 2013 breeding season, New Jersey looks to be standing four stallions next year, provided there are no further defections. At the present time, the only stallions still planning on making New Jersey home for 2013 are Muscle Hill, Hypnotic Blue Chip, If I Can Dream, and Philos Hanover.
It won't be long until we have walkovers in the sires stakes unless drastic changes are made to the program.
Things to be thankful for? The annual list of things to be thankful for will be posted tomorrow by 11:00am EST in the morning.