I will never forget the gloomy pall that settled over my group of friends and me after that race. We'd been so looking forward to this race as we watched morning workouts all week and talked with others we knew at the track. Some of our most favorite horses were going to go head to head, Shared Belief and California Chrome in particular, what could be better. Then it was over as soon as the gates opened. We left the track immediately in disbelief that there was no DQ.MR-W wrote: ↑Mon May 13, 2019 9:48 pmNot only was Shared Belief hammered at the start, but Moreno, the legit front running speed in the race was interfered with. Bayern had a free run at that point and should have come down. It might have upset certain bettors and connections but it would have been the right call to make.Sparrow Castle wrote: ↑Mon May 13, 2019 5:41 pmHovdey: Weathering a Category 1 storm of controversy
“Had we taken that horse down, I think there would have been just as much controversy as there was by leaving him up,” Chaney said this week. “Clearly there was interference at the start. The subjective application of the rules comes after that. When we polled some international stewards afterwards, 70 percent of them thought it was ridiculous even to consider interference at the start of a mile and a quarter race, much less disqualify a horse.”
More: https://www.drf.com/news/hovdey-weather ... s/all-news
Sure, just wipe out the speed horse and start a chain reaction right out of the gate in order to steal the win for yourself, and there will be no consequences. Just look at the running lines and try to tell me that dangerous move by Garcia didn't influence the finish of that race. No, I'm actually not still bitter, but I will never forget that race and how it made me feel.
A horse race is an athletic competition, not a free-for-all anything goes demolition derby. Our favorites came back battered, but I'm grateful they came back alive. That's how I feel about this Derby too. I'm glad these stewards were forced by several jockeys to make the right call and hope this is the beginning of a new trend, one that actually puts the emphasis on the safety of horses and jockeys and a fair chance for all, even if that's a subjective ruling under Cat 1 or 2.
At Emerald Downs this weekend, our favorite horses all won and the breeder of one, a now 8 year old mare, came from Montana to check up on the last baby he foaled on his farm. He was delighted to see her happy and healthy, pampered and well-loved, and winning with her ears straight up. It warmed hearts to meet this breeder who still cared, and to show her off to him. That's the kind of horse racing I'm in love with.