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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

(Not) Doing Their Job

I guess it is too much to ask people to do their jobs.   At Tioga Downs back in 2008, a trainer, groom, and a horse identifier allowed a horse who already raced on the day's card to go back out and race again.  One has to wonder how so many people couldn't figure out the horse came back for an unauthorized return engagement?  After all, isn't that why horses have tattoos, to avoid any such confusion?

While downright stupid, at least it didn't cost anyone or a horse its life.  This is not the case in the latest installment of 'Is it too much to ask to do your job?', as we learn Kiwi David Fenech has been handed a $2,000 (NZ) fine and a 9 month suspension regarding the death of standardbred Major Post.  How could this happen you may ask?  It seems Major Post had been sent to Mr. Fenech for a turnout and for reasons unknown was delivered to a slaughterhouse in place of another horse which was to be sent.

After trying to avoid telling the truth, the judges of HRNSW held a hearing on the case and handed down the previously mentioned fines.  While I am opposed to horse slaugher of any kind, to send the wrong horse off to its death is inexcusable.  If you are going to send a horse to slaughter, wouldn't you at last check the the tattoo of the horse to make sure you have the right one?

I guess it really is too much to ask someone to do their jobs these days.

However, in at least one instance someone did their job right only to be subject to criticism by a colleague.

So far, regarding the disqualification of the Jimmy Takter's two horses in the Yonkers Trot, most people are siding with Trond Smedshammer regarding his right to file an objection regarding the interference in the race, not leaving it up to the judges to decide if an infraction had occurred.  The latest to voice their opinion is scribe Jay Bergman of DRF Harness who takes Takter (not by name) to task for having problems with Smedshammer filing the objection.

Sadly,there does seem to be an unwritten rule that a driver will never file an objection against a fellow driver because next time it can be you on the other end wanting the same courtesy of silence.  These unspoken rules are a disservice to everyone involved in the game, be it the owner of the horse, the groom who may not get a bonus for their horse winning the race, and last but not least, the gambler who may not be given a fair shake by the driver for failing to point out a violation of racing rules to the judges who may have missed the infraction.

A driver's job doesn't start once the gate opens nor does it end with the horse crossing the finish line.  It is their responsibility to talk to the trainer (if available) before the race as well as talking to the owner and trainer after the race if desired.  More importantly, it is the driver's responsibility to represent the interests of the trainer, owner, and gambler if they were the victims of a violation of racing rules be it a $1,000 maiden race or a $1 million stakes race if the judges missed something whether by filing an objection or having to appear in front of the judges at a hearing.

Apparently Takter has a problem with a driver doing their job.   Thankfully, this was a case when the driver (Trond) did his job.  Hopefully, once the sting is gone, Takter will realize Smedshammer was doing his job and he apologizes to him for what he said.


edge1124 said...

"Gingras, who drove the disqualified Pinkman in the Yonkers Trot, said he knew the judges had a job to do, but disagreed with their call."

After reading this blog and the quote of Gingras above...Gingras and Takter should be embarrassed! They have been in the business long enough to know this was the only call and the right call. In Australia thoroughbreds they rarely disqualify horses based on the fact that the horse they impeded was not going to finish any better than they did (I love these rulings compared to NA judging) Anyway, I could understand that yes Trond's horse may not have finished better than both 1 and 1A but the fact PINKMAN got tried and drifted in on Trond's horse which caused interference with not only him but Billy Flynn too causing a break in stride and a very good chance for BF to finish 3rd but at least 4th for sure. How the inquiry sign was not put up 5 seconds after the race was finished is a joke and embarrasment for the judges. Both JT and YG should apologize.

Pacingguy said...

There is at least a difference between Gingras and Takter. At least Gingras didn't think the act of claiming an objection was unprofessional.