Things in racing don't always make sense. Consider the following:
Stewards at Oaklawn Park have denied a protest from trainer Robertino Diodoro challenging the eligibility of Danny Caldwell's Chris and Dave, winner of the seventh race at the Hot Springs, Ark., racetrack on Feb. 23.
In denying the protest, the stewards acknowledged that Chris and Dave was not eligible for the race, a starter allowance for 4-year-olds and upward that started for a claiming price of $50,000 or less in 2018 and which have not won two races since Aug. 23, 2018.
Diodoro, however, was informed in writing that his protest was not filed under the time frame permitted by Arkansas Racing Commission Rules. Rule 2359 states: “A protest, except a claim growing out of happenings in the running of the race, must be made in writing signed by the complainant and filed with the stewards at least sixty (60) minutes before post time of the race in question.”
According to steward Stan Bowker, a protest was filed the morning after the race.
Diodoro trains the runner-up in the race, Secret Passage for Lucky Dog Stables, Fitch Racing Stable and Selman Shaby.
Chris and Dave was claimed by Caldwell and trainer Federico Villafranco for $45,000 on Feb. 14 of this year from Diodoro and owners, Lucky Dog Stables, Clayton Wiest and Rick Wiest.
Caldwell, who took responsibility for entering the horse, was fined $2,500 for entering an ineligible horse, according to a ruling posted on the Association of Racing Commissioners International website. The winner's share of the purse from the Feb. 23 race was $30,000.
Ridden by Ricardo Santana Jr., Chris and Dave paid $6.60 to win as the second choice behind favored Secret Passage. A total of $333,559 was wagered on the race in various pools.
Perhaps the Arkansas Racing Commission should revisit Rule 2359.
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