Stewards Explain Decision in BC Classic Inquiry

by | 11.02.2014 | 2:58pm
The stewards' decision not to disqualify Bayern for interference at the start of the 2014 Breeders' Cup Classic was controversial

Santa Anita stewards met with press Sunday morning to discuss their ruling towards the official order of the Breeders' Cup Classic, a decision which left Bayern on top after a lengthy inquiry into interference at the start of the race.

The eventual winner broke inwards, bumping into race favorite Shared Belief, who then interfered with pace runner Moreno. Bayern inherited the lone lead and kept it throughout the race, fighting off late rallies from Toast of New York and California Chrome to win. Shared Belief was several lengths behind in fourth. Stewards then posted an inquiry into the bumping at the start of the race, but, after a few minutes of deliberation, the result was made official with no change to the order of finish.

The Santa Anita press box posted quotes and information from the press conference on their Twitter account.

“We all agree there was interference,” said steward Scott Chaney. “It (the decision) was about whether the horse cost another horse better placing in the race.”

Chaney said that stewards met with winning jockey Martin Garcia and Shared Belief's jockey Mike Smith about the incident, but not Javier Castellano, the jockey aboard Moreno. There were no claims of foul from any of the riders involved.

“We conferred,” Chaney said. “We all voted unanimously.”

Garcia and Jamie Spencer, the rider aboard Toast of New York, who was also involved in race interference the first time down the stretch, were scheduled for hearings later Sunday afternoon. According to the Daily Racing Form‘s Steve Andersen on Twitter, stewards ruled that Garcia will not be penalized for his ride aboard Bayern.

View a video of the press conference on HRTV.

  • Flag Is Up

    To say that the incident didn’t cost Moreno a better placing seems like a very foolish statement. Here is the official chart of the race: “Moreno was slammed in the jam up at the break.”

    • Caesar

      my girl was slammed in the jam up at her break ……………..

  • Rider

    Spencer’s ride was the more egregious, sometimes things happen in the first jump, but Toast Of New York broke straight, his jockey rode him right down across the chute into Moreno, cutting off Shared Belief. I originally thought that they both should have come down. Martin was clear after the first jump. Bayern shoulda stayed up, but Toast Of New York shoulda got taken down for sure. Jamie Spencer knew it was gonna be his last ride, so he didn’t pull any punches.

  • Needles

    Inconsistency is the issue here. The Santa Anita stewards are the worst in America. If this was not a $5 million race it would have been different. PERIOD!

    • Barbara Bowen

      “This is a big decision. It’s analysis we go through every day. If this was the sixth race on a Thursday afternoon, the analysis would be the same. We were all very confident in the analysis.”

      • gus stewart

        you as many in this business are in a time warp. the fact you are all very confident in this decision means its time to be relieved of your job. Nothing personnel everyone gets older and less able to be accept change or see things clearly. This sport cant tolerate anymore mistakes. This is one was done at the expense of one of the biggest owner media advocates for the game and on the biggest platform… time to leave as the old horse was named in the 70s!!!!

        • togahombre

          if like many out there have said, the order was changed; it would be just as unpopular, what race fans see and feel is different from what stewards see and feel, they can’t assume shared belief would win or that moreno would test bayern as far as he could,they have call it very subjectively and within the framework of how they would normally call that kind of incident, if anyone thinks this kind of incident should be cleared up without a clear set of guidelines, sort of like all the wide ranging explanations that have been offered since it went official, good luck, this ruling isnt a mistake,it’s unpopular, its based on the precedent set in so calif rulings, they don’t call herding fouls, if it didn’t involve an undefeated favorite with a rabid fan base, and a successful controversial trainer, this wouldn’t have gone this far, and saying this was done at jim romes expense is sort of short sighted, nobody twisted his arm to get in, no one guaranteed him it would be smooth sailing, he’s had alot of success, this is another part of the sport, the unfairness of uncertainty

          • gus stewart

            Your opinion, but no if they did what they should of done for all the right reasons the top two finisher would have been dq and cc would be declared the winner… that would be unpopular, I think not. Its never smooth sailing as a horse owner I know this, but the folks who run the biz should be able to market and run the business like its in the year 2014. This business/ sport is still seeing things threw 90s glasses just my opinion. I know a little bit about other sports that have all prospered over the last 15 years. not this one and this is one reason why!

          • togahombre

            your correct, a certain fan base would be fine with a 1-2 dq, but you’d have alot of screaming that this foul isn’t called, and they’d be right’, thats the problem, the stewards don’t go down to the jocks room, tell them very clearly in the appropriate languages that overly aggressive riding won’t be tolerated, and enforce it, richard migliore thought he should come down, in his day they would’ve, times have changed,your right the marketing stinks, but look at who their depending on for that, yesterday before the classic nbc spent time plugging a soap opera star when they should have used it for the race, last year they used those skaters, they were sorely missed by all this time around,everytime this sport has hit a slump its been a horse to pull it out, you need babe ruth

        • Barbara Bowen

          Thanks Gus. I’ll pass that on to Cheney:-)The SA steward I quoted for you so you would understand that he said that NO, they would not have made a change for any race. Oh, and not even Rome wants special treatment as much as you want to give it to him. He didn’t run 2nd. His horse couldn’t be put up.

          • gus stewart

            I thank you for your reply, I just want changes in the business and by the way sb could of been moved up behind cc thus them getting first and second purse money, That would of been a win win for fans owners and the business. I think Jim Rome has many other things on his plate imore important, I just wish he could instigate some changes.

      • The 8 Belles Fire Brigade would have burned Santa Anita to the ground by 10 p.m. Sunday night.

      • GreyK

        Zenyatta broke so slowly this could not possibly have happened. But you do have a point about subjective decisions and emotional fans.

    • Ben van den Brink

      This interference changed the whole set up from the race, but it did not change the outcome????? I,ve heard many strange things after more than 30 yr in this game, but this one might be on top.

      • lori9999

        the key was the distance from the finish.. too far away to tell what WOULD have happened. If you listen to the entire press conference, Chaney keeps going back to the rule. They have to follow the rule, then apply it in the circumstance. He also warns that going back to “punishing” would make it worse for everyone in the long run. If you bet on this race you have NO objectivity.

        • Ben van den Brink

          The only thing I,am not is an bettor. Iam only interested in the safety from horses and riders. What would have happend when the whole inside group went down because of clipping????

          Ask the trainer and the owners from Moreno.

        • Albany

          Agree with Ben, lori. Many times one of our horses has lost a race at the start because it missed the break or broke slowly. What happens at or near the starting gate very much affects the outcome of a race, particularly with the class of horses assembled for this race (because if they all run their best, only fractions of seconds would separate these great animals at this level). Does that mean that Bayern and Toast should have been disqualified, I am not going to opine on that one, but I can guarantee that the race was over for Moreno and Shared Belief in that split moment when they were impeded coming out of the gate.

          • Vudu

            OK. But horses trip & bump all the time.
            That cannot be controlled. Its even more common in QH races, from my observation (empirical studies to follow).

            Someone needs to explain how Garcia can control that first jump. If its possible, then he’s a pretty remarkable jockey. Also up for unsafe riding.

            Fwiw, I experienced an entire meet one year where I should have been betting that my horse would stumble out of the gate every time it was a live longshot with significant money on it.

            I know some handicappers / bettors control the cosmic forces with elaborate rituals & eucalyptus oil. Others rely on Racing luck.

        • Vudu

          I disagree. I bet the race, though it wasn’t a bundle.
          I did not make money on the outcome, nor would I have, if Shared Belief won.

          There is no winning in this decision. One way or another, somebody would have been pissed, because there’s money riding on the outcome.

          And attitude.

          No one seems to key on Mike Smith claiming that races are won in the first 1/16 of a mile. That’s a little silly to say as a blanket statement, imo, but he was upset at the time.

          Last I looked, they always end at the finish line.

  • Jack Frazier

    The fact that Shared Belief finished as well as he did is a testament to his ability. Slammed at the start and then stopped at least once, maybe twice before the first turn. Second time he has been interfered with in races of importance. As an ex-jockey I can state that, in my opinion, it cost him the race. Had he not been clothes-lined at the start, he would never have had any trouble and would have been in the upper echelon going into the first turn. It cost him a minimum of second and a maximum of winning. Moreno was even more grossly interfered with. Two black eyes on the day: Bo dissing Goldencents and the wipe out in the Classic.

    • Beach

      I’ve also always thought it was a testament to California Chrome’s ability that he was 4th in the Belmont, but only 1 1/2 lengths off the lead, after he got the back of his foot stomped exiting the gate–and 1 1/2 miles on THAT foot–Jeez… :/

      • Jack Frazier

        Good horses overcome adversity. Chrome rain through pain at Belmont and Belief ran in spite of being mauled.

        • Ida Lee

          Right you are….

      • paulprekop

        And running in that gritty sandy surface with that open wound. Give him the outside he can beat anybody. He spook’s on the inside.

    • harry

      I agree, but just have to wonder who was the genius that matched Ms. Derek with a race O’Neil’s barn was the favorite in? Poor planning on the BC, IMO.

      • Jack Frazier

        Obviously a moron. If she had any class she would have requesed herself from presenting it.

  • Tres Abagados Stupidos

    This is not sour grapes as I did not bet on any of the affected horses……..

    The statement that there could possibly be fines or suspensions is absurd. If a rider did enough to be fined or suspended then his horse should have been dq’d. If I get a fine for speeding it was because I was speeding. I don’t get a fine if I did not do anything wrong and was going the speed limit. If Garcia gets fined or gets days for this incident then it is an outrage PERIOD.

    • togahombre

      actually it happens enough

    • pesposito

      A jockey can ride dangerously but not effect the outcome of a race. Such as bumping a tiring horse, as an example. The stewards do take action because it is dangerous riding. If he hits a horse with his stick, etc., etc.,

  • Charles Smith

    For the “stewards” to imply that fines and suspensions could come about as a result the of the incidents coming away from the gate in the BC Classic makes clear how utterly incompetent they are. This is what their left with-a last gasp try to save face after lacking enough courage to make what should have been a clear cut DQ in the Classic. Let me get this straight, the judges want to give days for two separate incidents where no changes were made after a 10 minute inquiry? There’s nothing those three “stewards” can do to make this right. This talk of fines and days is a self serving, face saving measure, nothing more.

    • Mike

      Your lack of understanding of the process is undeniable.

      • Charles Smith

        Your willingness to defend a distorted, broken process is pathetic.

        • C Hogan

          I agree Charlie. Great post and you nailed it. Stewards should be done away with. They are the worst part of horse racing.

  • gus stewart

    Please Jim Rome do the mommie dearest movie threat about speaking out against coke. use your leverage as an owner with a media voice. All three voted no change what a better time to force the chrb to make some changes stewards medications etc, No one else has the audience to make an impact!!! This has been going on way too long inconsistency following rules not following rules, help the business

  • “The eventual winner broke inwards, bumping into race favorite Shared Belief…”
    The eventual winner SLAMMED into Shared Belief.
    This is a disgrace. Chaney & Company’s sham explanations only make this more disgraceful.

    • Terri Z

      I think it has to do with the horse being trained by Baffert. The stewards are reluctant to judge against Baffert and Pletcher. In that respect, it very much reminds me of the Life At Ten “judgement”.

      • It sure does remind me of the Life At Ten fiasco, as well. Well, eventually, the New York stewards will get a chance to louse up a BC race, as well. EVERYBODY INTO THE POOL!

      • togahombre

        the only thing john veitch did wrong with life at ten was not ordering blood drawn,in the end, he got rolled over by a bunch of bureaucrats

  • Richard C

    It was a slice of old school — Charlie “Mr. Roller Derby” O’Connell surprising a packed Kezar Pavilion by becoming a jammer late in the match to spark a San Francisco Bay Bombers victory over the New York Chiefs.

    • Wot?! Other sports exist in America?!

  • 100Smart


  • Dorothy Ours

    The rule says, “A horse which interferes with another and thereby causes any other horse to lose stride, ground or position, when such other horse is not at fault and when such interference occurs in a part of the race where the horse interfered with loses the opportunity to place where it might, in the opinion of the Stewards, be reasonably expected to finish, may be disqualified and placed behind the horse so interfered with.”

    When Bayern knocked him sideways, Shared Belief lost stride, ground, and position. He still finished only 3 1/2 lengths behind third-place California Chrome and only about 4 lengths behind “winner” Bayern. But the stewards believe that, with a clean start, Shared Belief couldn’t reasonably be expected to finish third or better? I can’t share that belief.

    • Terri Forster

      Exactly right, the rules of racing are very clear……however, the stewards are not…

    • Pebbles

      At the beginning of the race there is no certainty that Shared Belief lost any ground which cost him a placing. You are complaining about the wrong interference. Shared Belief was not hampered by Bayern’s interference. He has hurt by having to almost come to a complete stop in the stretch first time around after Toast of New York interfered with him. If Smith had complained about Toast of New York instead of Bayern the result may have been different because that was the interference that more clearly cost him a possible placing.

  • Fast Filly

    It hurts the horse that does the bumping also, they had a very slow half and along way to go…right out of the gate happens alot…if they didn’t have enough running room to get back on stride it’s the horse that can’t hack it…

  • The winner of Sunday’s 5th race at Santa Anita:
    (Bob Baffert)

  • Cutis C Clark

    Think they call it home cooking, you can’t exactly send all that money to England with Toast of New York…

  • Abe Froman Sausage King

    Text of Official Statement from California Stewards:

    “We reviewed the incident at the start very carefully. When the track hostess serving drinks reminded us that the unofficial winner was trained by Bob Baffert we immediately realized that no change in placing order could be made. Despite what is contained in the rulebook, it is universally accepted that no action can take place in California that adversely affects the interests of either Mike Pegram or Bob Baffert. That being that, we made the race official.”

    • BEST post on this mess so far and unlikely to be surpassed.
      Please notified that all racing fans with a sense of humor will be DQ’ed, effective immediately.
      No exceptions!

    • Vudu

      Don’t know if SA is any better or worse than anywhere else.
      People can always apply for the job of track steward. Maybe they should hire retired baseball umpires, instead.

      At any rate, I think the horses should be punished, bed without supper for daring to bump in the first place! (stamps foot & marches off with crossed arms).

  • Eye in the sky

    To say that Garcia “mugged” Shared Belief or intentionally “took him out of the race” is a far stretch in my opinion. Pulling something like that can take you and your horse out of the race, as quickly as the other horse. Regardless, it appears Garcia did try to “straighten him out” and correct course.

    The start of any race can be hectic. This race, obviously will be more scrutinized. Obviously, some people will not be happy. I think Smith would have been able to recover, if not completely, certainly much better — after the start — but then he had to steady, pull up, etc. I think that second incident cost him more, and Smith inferred that this morning on the backstretch.

    That said, Shared Belief is one talented horse. To me, he was the best horse in the race. California Chrome had been working great and really seemed to regain his Derby form. He raced really well — all of the 3yo’s did!

    • lioneltrain

      he did watch his actions –he went right over and didnt even try to straighten him out—baffert and garcia planned it no question

      • Ben van den Brink

        IMHO, maybe the horse was able (tought) to go to the favourite place: as fast as can be to the inside rail and on the lead.

      • ptrckj7777

        oh please! if you had ever broke a horse from the gate you would know it’s hard to plan such a move

        • lioneltrain

          I have and you can

  • harry

    If it was the correct decision, no need to explain. It was a horrible call and should be appealed to CHRB. If it had been Baffert’s horse who was eliminated at the break I have to think the outcome would have been different.

  • Mike

    Once the stewards admitted there was “INTERFERENCE”, the rest of the explanation as to why they DIDNT take down Bayern became moot. When there is interference, corrective action HAS to be taken.

  • Michael Castellano

    Bayern severely wiped out 3 – 4 horses at the start of the race, including the two rivals that threatened to run early with him. Virtually giving him the race. To not take note of that fact encourages every jockey in California and the country to do the same. Even with that advatage he was on life support to go 1 1/4. Surely he loses without that advantage. Momentary bumps from the starting gate are ignored and considered part of racing, I get that, but this was no ordinary bump. He was rewarded for his rank interference with a five million dollar purse. And it’s not only this sort of fowl which gets ignored. As a routine, jockey’s being challenged in the stretch come out or in as the case may be to spook horses trying to pass them. They all seem to try this tactic at one time or another as they are never rarely taken down for it. The stewards are actually endangering jockeys by ignoring this stuff. Under tremendous pressure and competition to win, some riders will push the envelope, especially when punishment is rarely met out.

  • Flag Is Up

    After watching the Stewards press conference video everything is very clear.
    In the Stewards stand we have Tweedle Dee, Tweedle Dumb & Tweedle Dumber!

  • Eddie Donnally

    As one who rode races for nearly 20 years, I agree with the stewards’ decision to leave the results as it. It it fairly common practice to not disqualify the winner if the second or third finishers were not affected sufficiently to change the order of finish. However, is seems from the head on view that Jockey Garcia did not try to alter his mount’s course after bumping with rivals inside him and on the contrary continued to allow or even guide his mount toward the inside. I never saw Garcia turn his mounts head to the outside in an effort to relieve the pressure. As I wrote in my book, “Ride the White Horse, ” race riding will be as boisterous as stewards allow and the difference between good and dirty riding lies chiefly in the minds of the officials. I am confident that during the 70s, during which I chiefly rode, had I done the same thing as Garcia, I would have at least received a 10 day suspension, something common then, but, in the days of attorneys and court stays, has gone the way of riders without goggles. To not punish Garcia would set a president that would likely become a standard used in other court cases. Even more important, Ronnie Turcotte, became a paraplegic when two two horse’s came together in the first strides after leaving the Belmont Park starting gate. As we well know riders die in racing accidents. Racing does not need a Tony Steward, Kevin Ward Jr. incident. We are talking about life and death here.

    Eddie Donnally: Ride the White Horse


    • Mike

      Could not agree more.

    • lioneltrain

      –he cost shared belief a couple lengths and position going into the turn –the whole complexion of the race changed because of garcias deliberate actions —he should have come down

    • Quinnbt

      Spot on.

    • Jean

      Photo shows Bayern’s nose definately tipped to the right by a tight rein

  • Terri Z

    There are two standards for judging trainers and their charges at the Breeders Cup; Baffert and Pletcher are in one category versus everyone else. With Baffert and Pletcher, the stewards look the other way. The Life At Ten incident and the Bayern mugging of Shared Belief illustrates this point. This needs to change.

  • Here is the given: stewards main focus in life is keeping their job. So any decision that might wind up in court, for example, is one that will not be made. Until such time as a steward has the job security of, for example, a Supreme Court justice that cannot be fired, they will rarely if ever take a courageous stand on anything that might cost them their job.

    • Mike

      Perfectly stated.

    • Jeff

      just so I understand: you want the racing stewards to be lifetime appointees?

    • paulprekop

      Your a genius Barry !

  • Anonymous

    Every day horses bump when they come out of the gates. Seldom is a horse taken down. We saw the damage to California Chrome’s foot after the Belmont. We all know that getting bumped at the start cost California Chrome a Triple Crown. There was no uproar about the stewart’s decision. The way the BC Classic was run even if nothing happened to Shared Belief he would not have caught Bayern.

    Racing stewarts have to let the horses run. We cannot have the stewarts taking horses down over bad racing luck.

    • lioneltrain

      it was on purpose no question about it–that wasn’t a bump it was a mugging

  • I am running out of words to defend this sport to my friends and family. Trainers are suspended and fined if the lab finds 1 nanogram over the limit of a restricted drug in the blood of a horse on race day – a good thing – but the eventual winner wiping out the most likely pacesetter and the favorite right out of the gate in America’s richest horse race is A-OK. All I can say is that the stewards at Santa Anita must not feel that they owe the wagering public much less the actual participants anything at all, not even safety. I think that the BC should pull their show out of Santa Anita in 2016 for non performance. And why .. why .. why is it that we see camera angles from every which way except there doesn’t seem to be any cameras on the starting gate looking down on whatever shenanigans are pulled at the break where apparently so many jockeys feel that they can’t be called on what happens in the first few jumps. If there was ever a sport crying out for federal oversight … this is it.

  • Vickie

    Politics be damned – he took Shared Belief and Moreno and others out of their race – DQ should have happened -I call BS – he came over on Shared Belief hard – watch the start – Garcia has a hard hold on the left reign – and a loose hold on the RIGHT – no wonder Bayern went left and Garcia did NOTHING to put him straight in time – The whole race changed =VE Day Moreno and Shared Belief were taken out at the start – Garcia put riders and horses at risk and no penalty – yet Victor got 7 days in a past race simply for holding his position and taking Shared Belif wide… COME ON stewards – you cannot possibly believe this did not impact the race and other runners
    Like ·

  • Chromie

    Bayern should have been placed fourth, behind Shared Belief. Toast of NY should have been placed last, behind Moreno. Chrome wins. Simple. Elegant even.

  • clemclemson

    The decision by the Stewards was nothing short of absolutely disgraceful. The Breeders Cup should not hold the event again at Santa Anita until each and everyone of those totally gutless stewards is gone. If Bayern had not been trained by Bob Baffert, it would have been a completely different outcome. By the way, Trakus showed that Chrome travelled 81 more feet than Bayern and only lost by a neck. The best horse in the race was Chrome. The worst demonstration of home courting I have ever seen goes to the Santa Anita stewards. I will never play another race at that track. What a bunch of flagrant cheaters.

  • Matthew Martini

    The main problem with the ruling is that anyone who follows racing with regularity has seen horses being taking down for similar infractions frequently. So what was different about the BC Classic?

    Well, it was a $5 million race, on national TV, and it would have been a mess for the parties involved as well as to have to explain it to the public over the airwaves in real time. The stewards chose to sweep it under the rug and explain themselves the day after. It was easier.

    The race starts when the gates open and everything counts. That is the way it normally is, except for yesterday. It was the only time that I’ve ever heard commentators saying that what happens in the first couple of steps doesn’t matter. What?!?!?

  • Francis Bush

    Sorry I read the steward’s explanation about the incident. His kind of reasoning leaves me with a cold feeling about racing officials. Bayern’s trainer races most of his horses in California and might have gotten some extra consideration on the decision. I found it peculiar that the rider and trainer of Shared Relief did not lodge a foul. I would not hire either again if I had been the owner of the horse. I’ve ridden some tough horses to ride and have never had one break so wildly as Bayern. His professional rider is supposed to know how to manage a horse better. He should receive additional training on managing difficult horses, His explanation about the ride did little to clarify this outcome. Wish I had my wagering money back.

  • lioneltrain

    these guys are absolute morons—a horse and mind you it was the undefeated favorite–gets deliberately mugged coming out of the gate–wind knocked out of him almost goes down loses at least a couple lengths and position going into the first turn –and it doesnt change the race completely? are you joking? these guys were in the satchel for baffert no question about it—

  • togahombre

    My biggest disappointment is that we didn’t get to see what each horse had, but that happens, racing isn’t perfect, as well as the stewards judgement, in this case they had a balancing act to deal with, but their not perfect either, what’s really apparent is that a very vocal group is not willing to accept the outcome of this or other contests without smearing the winner or other participants, or better yet; claiming conspiracy(at times can be pretty funny), sometimes I think some of those folks are better suited to pick academy award winners than following racing, you follow racing you better be suited for some disappointment, it can’t be avoided, if not, rant on, and when the sport doesn’t change just for you, claim conspiracy, it’s always good for a laugh

  • Andrew A.

    People who watch and bet on Southern California Racing can tell you that over the last year and a half the Stewards have been fairly consistent on what warrants a disqualification. Mere contact while moving out a lane or two in the stretch has been grounds for a DQ. Not a hard bump but mere contact. That’s why most of us who watch California Racing were shocked
    by the decision not to DQ Bayern or even Toast of New York.

    The best thing Scott Chaney could have done yesterday was to say “WE BLEW THE CALL”. But as usual in California they dig in and dig deeper holes. Yes, admitting that they blew the call would create another firestorm of sorts but above all they should be concerned about integrity and consistency in their calls. Now this group of Stewards is forever tainted. Imagine trying to explain what happened to someone who is new to the game after they’ve read Scott Chaney’s explanation.

    We need to see frame by frame video of the start from all angles. There is one picture from the gate showing Martin Garcia with the whip cocked in his right hand and then there is another from more of a head on showing a tight right reign with no whip visible. That helps determine whether or not Martin Garcia tried to straighten Bayern out. The video shows that he stayed on a straight line to the rail.

    California Racing can be so much better than it is with the right Leadership. But don’t hold your breath.

    • togahombre

      they didn’t blow the call’ they made an unpopular call, the contact was made in the neutral zone, after that it seemed to me as an attempt by garcia to herd moreno but he wasn’t there, without anyone in his path thats not a problem, if your looking at the same frame sequence thats posted look again, no conspiracy just a tough, no-win call

      • Andrew A.

        Neutral Zone?

        • togahombre

          first few strides from the gate, how often do you see contact then and how often do you see a foul called then

  • GAK

    How did the stewards do a proper investigation without interviewing Javier Castellano, rider of Moreno? He lost all chance at the start and it was a direct result of the winning horse Bayern who was misguided by Martin Garcia. Bombard Craig Favel of the Breeders Cup by calling 800 722 3287 for their public statement.

  • John Davies

    Firstly I live in a State where betting is illegal so I had nothing on this the outcome. I thought that at its inception the BC was supposed to be for everyone to enjoy horse racing across the country, they destroyed that by succumbing to the lovely weather in CA, I have been to six BC’s stopped going after one visit to SA. I live in Georgia so its not cheap flying and buying tickets for these things, I will try and go to Keeneland next year, but only 28,000 tickets, that does not leave a lot of room for us peons does it. The other main goal of the BC was to surely attract new fans, and especially younger fans, now its hard enough to do that when a horse who got beat last time wins and pays $100 plus, but many of those so called fans might have those horses, as most of us who follow form would never pick one of those unless we hit the wrong button, and we know that outsiders win, hell that’s horse racing. But what happened Saturday night was unbelievable, and then to follow it up with did not affect the outcome are you freaking kidding me, even people who have no idea about the sport knew that the horse coming across bumped the horse to insides, who nearly knocked the horse to its inside over. I am sorry I love horse racing and don’t like any sports where humans sitting in a box decide the outcome, but in my opinion that bump knocked out three horses and gave them little or no chance to recover, for me it was a no brainer DQ, and did more to deter those same fans the sport is trying to attract. Another thing that annoyed me was HRTV and DRF’s so called experts totally dodging making calls on it, wimps.

  • tomp

    According to Cal stewards anything go’s at the beginning of a race, but not at the middle or end of a race. Shame on them,for you now lost all your newest fans to this great game. Sometimes common sense is better than a literal interpretation of the rules.

  • david hock

    Someone should ask the stewards what at-the-start infraction (if any) WOULD result in a
    disqualification. Flipping a horse over the infield fence? Knocking him to the ground and
    stomping on him? This foul was egregious. We don’t need to change the rules, we need
    to change the stewards.

  • davidinD

    In other news, California Chrome could not have had a better trip. Bayern knocked out the other pace horse and Shared Belief was eliminated from contention in the first 100 yards; Tonalist, VE Day, & Zivo all were eliminated by the slow early pace. Chrome had the race served up to him on a silver platter and was proven to be inferior to both Toast of NY and Bayern. I think we can now declare that CC was an early developing 3 YO with talent (any horse in the KY Derby has talent) but not greatness.

    Does anyone disagree?

    • race

      David–yes, early developing, and Saturday, good trip or not, he still showed up, going four wide most of the way, with a blanket finish in the BC—in the Belmont, with everything going against him, gets beat by less than 2 lengths—beat him up if you will, let’s just hope that he runs as a four year old so you can bet against him, but enjoy his heart if you will—

      • davidinD

        I totally hope he runs as a 4YO and develops a little more. I’m not beating him up, I’ve been a fan. But, if you closely watch back the Derby and Preakness he had a lot of racing luck working for him; that same luck was in effect on Saturday. My point with the post was that, as of Saturday, both Toast of NY and Bayern squarely beat him. We didn’t get to see Shared Belief run (due to bad racing luck) and the pace was just too soft for us to make any significant comments about Tonalist, VE Day or Zivo who were, in my assessment, the next most talented horses in the field after Shared Belief and Bayern (that was my trifecta right there: Bayern, Tonalist, Shared Belief in all spots; VE Day and Zivo in for 2nd and 3rd).

        All that being said, I hope the owners decide to forgo any breeding opportunities and run him as a 4YO. I think he could win a couple of G1 stakes races next year and earn some additional respect if properly managed. Following a solid 4YO campaign I’d then (if I were the owner) look at his breeding opportunities. With his pedigree it might make sense to run him again as a 5YO. But then again, maybe oversees breeders will be lining up for a Derby and Preakness winner.

  • huskertlg

    Stewards need to go back to stewards school, if they think that the interference did not cause cost another horse a better placing in the race. the horse Moreno a speed horse was out of it at the very beginning, he would have been close or on the lead giving the winner a run at the start, it changes the hole complexion of the race. It could be said that with Moreno out it, that gave Bayern a better placing in the race, as past performance indicates he runs better with a uncontested lead. Just saying if were playing the hypothetical game as the stewards are, then Shared Belief could have been better than 4th, Moreno maybe could have hit the board. One thing also I did not see Garcia correct Bayern after the initial jump usually a horse head will turn when a jockey is trying to get him off horses at the break, it seemed to me once the gates opened and Bayern veered left Garcia just let him get his legs under him and shot down the 3 path instead of immediately correcting.

    • race

      Uncontested lead—geez he definitely had that–Would have loved to have seen Moreno go head to head with Bayern–and have that competitve Ghostzapper blood flowing and racing by him–would have been great to see—

  • swiss305

    1) When interviewed after the race, Bob Baffert said he told Martin to “do whatever he had to to get the lead.” It’s on the NBC after race coverage. 2) Steward Chaney said that they didn’t look any deeper into Moreno’s last place, pulled-up finish “because we think we knew what happened there.” What does that mean? He didn’t explain what they surmised had happened. They didn’t talk to the jockey (Castellano). 3) According to the steward’s explanation, if the interference is found to have been intentional, the race result doesn’t change, they just punish the jockey more harshly. So, in a race worth $1.5 million to the winner, the jockey could recklessly do “whatever he had to” to win, take out the competition and still leave the connections with a win, taking the hit on himself for probably a suspension, maybe a fine at most. Something wrong with this picture? Chaney also said that if it had been in New York, because of tighter rules, Bayern probably would have been DQ’d. All the fans and gamblers in New York must think we’re truly nuts out here.

  • john

    I bet Toast of New York but I knew I had no chance of a take down. The rules in California are quite simple. 1/ If it is a Baffert horse it doesn’t get taken down, and 2/ if the winner is chalkier than the second place horse it doesn’t get taken down. I was a dead duck on both accounts.

  • david stevenson

    Voting unanimously is not convincing relative to the final decision. Chaney infers that only the jockey is relative to an infraction and the fact that jockey and horse are a unit in running of the race. We have had a great many disqualifications where jockeys were held blameless if in fact they thought that the rider attempted correction. in this case we had a horse with possible 200 lb bodyweight advantage eliminate eliminate an expected contender, let alone a horse with no chance. the event did effect the outcome of the race in denying other horses to display form.
    This rethinks the advantages of having ex jockeys (at least one) in the steward stand of America.

  • Beach

    THANK GOD nobody got hurt. I did just re-watch the first length of the race about 5 times. I just don’t know what can be done about that kind of “mugging” in a big race like this–possibly nothing. Large field, thus everyone breaking very close together, all the adrenaline off the chart(both horses and jockeys), etc. Bayern broke dead left, and I think Martin corrected that as best he could. Then TONY moved over when he appeared to have room to do so, but that either bumped SB or caused SB to also move left again, and it was probably Moreno who took the worst of all the jostling. I think Mike pulled SB back to keep him off Moreno’s heels after all that. Trying to make those kinds of corrections at high rates of speed is literally insane, and why this sport is so dangerous. I don’t know that any of this could have been done any differently, or that anyone should be penalized for what happened. I disagree with Bob Baffert on several fronts–but, in this case, “racing luck”(or not) seemed to rule the day. And if Bayern can set the pace, sprint like he has a torch up his butt for a straight-mile-and-a-quarter, and sustain it–well, then he wins.

  • rhdelp

    The Stewards must have been watching college football and eating pizza instead of reviewing films of the Classic.

    Baffert complains that Bayern’s win is tarnished. It is due to the win at all costs mentality he possesses, while simultaneously whining he is the victim.. Garcia aimed for the rail compromising all inside horses,

    Toast of New York’s slam into Shared Belief causing him to lose stride was another infraction. Small wonder both trainers were so cagey during interviews while waiting for the inquiry, they were aware the interference effected the outcome of the race. Both horses were undeserving of win and place money.

    Mike Smith’s response after the race was totally off the wall after what his mount experienced. Like lawyers, jockeys circle the wagon instead of acting in the best interest of their clients.I hope it’s the last time Mr Hollendorfer gives Mike Smith a leg up.

    Good California Chrome was vindicated, I hope other horses suffered no injuries due to the debacle created by Garcia.

  • “The powerful Godolphin outfit was seeking veterinary advice [about the]… swelling in the leg of Cavalryman… Racing Victoria chief steward Terry Bailey said: ‘They are seeking the best advice possible both here and overseas…’

    “A frustrated Bailey said earlier on Monday he planned to drop his usual pre-race safety lecture to jockeys for the Cup because his pleas had been largely ignored before an “ugly” Caulfield Cup…

    “The chief steward usually gathers the jockeys before the race to impress on them that safety is the No. 1 priority during the running of Australia’s most important race.

    “In the Caulfield Cup two weeks ago, Bailey said there had been ‘needless interference’ throughout the race, with top jockey Luke Nolen later suspended.

    ” ‘I know there’s a lot of money – a tremendous amount of money – at stake in betting and prize money, but that’s no excuse [not] to remember that your fellow jockeys deserve safety.’ ”

    Breeders’ Cup Chief Steward Scott Cheney, at the very end of his post-BC Classic explanatory press conference, stated that he has never heard of Australia.

  • Not A Clone

    Jim Rome (one of Shared Belief’s owners) just said on his national radio show that he asked Mike Smith what he told the stewards on the phone after the race. Smith told Rome “I told them the incident at the start cost my horse the race. I told them THAT. I NEVER said it had no impact on my horse.”

    Did the BC hire a couple of old Nevada boxing officials as stewards for the weekend? Does it make sense to anyone that Smith would have told them ‘nope, didn’t cost me.’ Sure sounds like the fix was in.

    Ray, my guess is Rome would give you a statement if you asked him. Someone needs to get to the bottom of this.

  • J


  • June

    I know that horses don’t run straight and horses are seldom taken down on issues right out of the gate, mainly because it is almost impossible to figure out how it will affect the race. But this case is outrageous. The jockey kept whipping right handed into the other horses. He know it would never be allowed right out of the gate. I have seen horses get seriously hurt and some have been put down. Horses are not bumper cars. There has to be more than one litmus test when determining this issue.

  • sally

    The interference did cause a better placement. Garcia very well knows that the first two jumps do not count. He took advantage of that rule. I was rooting for CC but I wanted to see the best horse win. This was not an honest horse race. I hope CC and Shared Belief can run again on a better day.

  • penquin

    first time at a race book I heard people boo at a decision /it was like a boxing match that people feel was fixed

  • pccimino

    Why everything is wrong with horse racing,This horse cost the 6 inside horses any chance of winning,He took the lead so easy because he took Moreno completely out of the race.If this was any other trainer besides Bob Baffert this horse would of been taken down period.I been watching horse racing for over 50 years and never have seen such a more blatant foul,everyone but the stewards saw it.This race should be considered as a fixed race and the stewards should be investigated by the state of California.There jobs should be lost,there there to protect the public not let there buddy win a 6 million dollar race and prosper from the perks which they will receive.The funny thing of the whole race during the objection of the race at least 6 people laughed at me when l said the horse will come down and all said the same thing it’s BobBaffert in California this horse will never come down.

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