Rainbow 6 DQ: Character Attacks on Gulfstream Stewards, GM Deplorable

by | 02.24.2014 | 12:20pm
The disqualification in the last race at Gulfstream in February cost one bettor a seven-figure payout.

Gulfstream Park stewards on Saturday called an inquiry in the day's final race, a 1 1/16-mile turf event for 3-year-olds carrying a $75,000 claiming price. It was a race that had the potential to produce a life-changing score to the person or persons holding the only live tickets in the track's Rainbow 6 Jackpot bet. The Rainbow 6 is the pick six with a twist: to hit the major prize, you have to be the only winning ticket. With no solo winner, a portion of the pool carries over to the next day's growing jackpot.

There were three horses whose victory in Saturday's 12th race would deliver a seven-figure payoff: Duke of Ritchie, a 159-1 longshot; Pared, a 74-1 outsider, and Collinito, eighth choice in the field of 14 at 15-1. Collinito had trailed for most of the way before finishing 11th in his debut for trainer Gary Contessa in a January maiden special weight race on turf. On Saturday, though, the Elusive Quality colt went right to the front under jockey Luis Saez and opened up a commanding lead down the backstretch. He drifted out from the rail turning into the stretch and came out again with about a furlong to go. Collinito held sway to the end, edging Strategic Keeper – who'd chased from second all the way around the track – by a neck.

The stewards lit the inquiry sign and jockey Paco Lopez, aboard Strategic Keeper, lodged an objection, alleging interference in the stretch run. After a long look, stewards disqualified Collinito from the win and prevented some very, very unlucky horseplayer from cashing what surely would have been the score of a lifetime – roughly $1,663,000 for being the only winning ticket in the Rainbow 6. Whether the DQ was deserved or not, that was a brutal way to lose, maybe the worst beat in the history of betting the horses.

The decision by the stewards was not a popular one, judging from online critics. “Are those stewards for real? That was one of the worst DQs I've ever seen,” wrote Blood-Horse senior writer Steve Haskin on Twitter. Other, less experienced racing observers immediately smelled a conspiracy, suggesting that Gulfstream Park officials wanted to see the Rainbow 6 Jackpot carry over to another day.

These are the same people who think jockeys fill out their pick six tickets together before the races or the track superintendent has a magical method of manipulating the racing surface to induce longshot winners.

It's one thing to allow mind games to be played inside your head, but it's entirely another to start posting vicious allegations of wrongdoing by horse racing officials entrusted to oversee the game. That, sadly, is what happened in the wake of Saturday's disqualification.

One of the stewards besmirched by these reprehensible individuals was Don Brumfield, who rode 4,573 winners during an outstanding racing career that culminated with his induction in the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame in 1996. His integrity as a rider was never bought into question. Yet people actually thought this respected man would flippantly disqualify a horse to prevent someone from cashing a huge bet.

Another steward is Jeff Noe, a third generation horseman who has been a racing official for more than 30 years. To suggest that he would manipulate the outcome of a horse race – because that's what we are talking about here – is beyond the pale.

Then there was the character assassination of Tim Ritvo, the president and general manager of Gulfstream Park. Ritvo was indicted by the loony-tunes gang for being on the telephone in the winner's circle during the inquiry. “He must be talking to the stewards, telling them to disqualify the first-place finisher so his Rainbow 6 carryover can live to see another day,” they said, without a shred of concern for the good reputation he has worked a lifetime to build.

Yes, Tim Ritvo was in the winner's circle during the inquiry and on the phone. According to Gulfsteam Park director of communications Dave Joseph, Ritvo was sharing the extraordinary news with the CEO of The Stronach Group, owners of Gulfstream Park, that pari-mutuel handle was the highest it had been on a non-Florida Derby day since the track was rebuilt.

“Tim doesn't talk to the stewards re: any decisions on inquiries or objections,” Joseph said when asked if Ritvo had talked with stewards about the race.

Was the disqualification warranted? I don't know. It was a judgment call by officials who are trained for this job. It's okay to question their judgment on this particular call.

But don't question their integrity. The unfounded character assassination of people like Don Brumfield, Jeff Noe and Tim Ritvo is one of the most despicable acts I've seen in this game.

  • Andrew A.

    You’ve got to be kidding me Ray. Gulfstream is at fault for not addressing the issues in a press release. He was on the phone but not with the Stewards and it was a horrible call.

    Smart businesses know how to handle social media. Not only was it a bad call but it was minor league PR.

    • kyle

      And now Ritvo is threatening to sue people. The irony. In his interview with Pricci he at least feigns enthusiasm for transparency. Although he comes off as just having heard about the idea of showing in real time the deliberations of stewards. The lack of insight and thoughtfulness from racing management never ceases to amaze me. He then goes on to completely disregard the idea of a lack of consistency from the steward stand, citing as one example a dq of a horse who drifted out when “four lengths clear.” Begging the question of course of why you would dq a horse for anything it did while four lengths clear. As to the general issue of consistency, anyone with a couple hours on their hands could demonstrate the lack of consistency that seems to allude Gulfstream Park’s GM .

  • Jay Stone

    Knowing all three of these people well I have to wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Paulick on this subject. The disqualification whether you agree or disagree is subjective, but to think there is a conspiracy to keep the rainbow six going by taking the winner down is crazy. The first consideration here is that these three have spent a lifetime building up their reputations and now are under intense scrutiny as being part of a conspiracy. The track makes a nice profit on the ongoing pool and the publicity is nice but the negative publicity to the last few days is not worth the aggravation to them. I might be in the minority in believing the dq was correct but most racing people know when humans make a call such as this there will always be people who question the call. If there was no rainbow six involved this issue would never be brought up again. The stewards decision was made without any knowledge of rainbow six payoffs and of this I am sure. Whether you believe that stewards should be making these decisions or that the bettors shouldn’t be penalized in these situations that is an industry wide discussion for another day. The conspiracy theorists and disgruntled bettors that perpetuate the internet{mostly anonymous} should apologize and end the nonsensical character assasinations.

    • jack

      I believe he should have stayed up but if others think he should have come down I can see that as well. I just don’t understand why Tim Ritvo won’t release the head-on tape?

      • RayPaulick

        Jack…I saw the head-on at Twinspires.com race replays following the regular viewing of the race (it showed the head-on and pan at least twice of the disputed stretch run). Gulfstream Park’s Dave Joseph said the track did not withhold the head-on from anyone, so I’m not sure what you mean.

        • jack

          I saw it as well sat. Go there now you won’t find it.twinsires has emailed me and said they have not received the head on.

        • jack

          Ray, go to the top right hand side of the twinspires video. You’ll see a “full view” and “head on” view in every race but the DQ race.

        • Sal Carcia

          The head-on provided at the end of the regular replay starts just as the first incident occurred. It was not easy to make the call at that point. When the second incident occurred, the horse in behind was lugging in. Gulfstream not providing a head on shot or explaining why they didn’t only feeds into the controversy.

      • Andrew A.

        I don’t think he’s holding it back. As someone said TVG has it. MIght have been a problem with putting it up on certain websites.

        • jack

          I don’t get TVG for all I know he’s getting the same Head-on from the pan shot ray saw. Big difference from the head on.

      • Tom Crutchfield

        The head on is available on xpressbet. I’m sure other outlets have it as well.

        • jack

          Just checked Tom still not up. I’m sure Ray working on it.

          • Tom Crutchfield

            Jack, Did you check Xpressbet? That is where I watched it and I just confirmed it’s still there under race replays.

      • Michael Nyman

        I checked the replay machines here at Gulfstream and the head on is avaialbe for that race..For you conspiricy theorists…

        • kmindeye

          I remember losing $54500 on an inquiry that was very questionable. I think something has to be done to be done on big racing days with big jackpots. Perhaps have an independent stewardship review DQ on big jackpots. I lost $240 on the pick 5 but worse yet i felt like i lost $50000 to a call that was very questionable. I guess if i dont like it i shouldnt play but just think everybody would feel better on big jackpot days that and independant off track view would not hurt the sport or fans.

    • Andrew A.

      Just like Umpires at a baseball game make mistakes so do Stewards. This was a big mistake and the criticism is warranted. Social Media is what it is and if a business is slow to respond then the you get exactly what happened.

      • Jay Stone

        Andrew, people are human and these decisions will always be open to criticism. That being said like every steward decision some will agree and disagree but the integrity of the individuals is wrongly being questioned because of the pick six. What would the criticism be if they had put up the winning ticket. My way of rating them is that they be consistent in their decisions. As far as the track not responding to social media is everytime there is a dq do you expect them to issue a statement. I understand the ramifications of this dq to people but standard procedure has never been for a track to issue statements on disqualifications.

        • Andrew A.

          This bad call happened to be on one of the biggest stages ever for a bad beat. If it were on the first race of the day ………….

        • Kcollinsworth

          Sir, in California it is standard procedure at the major tracks for commentary from the track announcer to be provided referencing the steward’s reasoning for any DQ, or non-DQ, along, more often than not, with the vote split (unanimous or majority) on the call.

          • Jay Stone

            That is obviously sop in California . Maybe it should be instituted everywhere but every state has its own rules in this splintered business. That is why there needs to be one group overseeing the whole industry.

    • angelo lieto

      Jay are you saying there has never been a conspiracy in horse racing and from no decorated personality? Just curious, I mean if none of these icons of racing never made a mistake on their life its one thing. But highly doubtful

      • Jay Stone

        Big difference between mistake and conspiracy. I know of what I consider many MISTAKES they have made but I truly believe mistakes can be made from incompetence in some or misjudgements by others but not conspiracy.

  • Tinky

    While I agree that conspiracy talk is nonsense, there have been plenty of calls made (and missed) by stewards that resulted from rank incompetence.

    In this case, however, the call was reasonable, and it’s a mystery to me how anyone could view both angles and not arrive at the same conclusion.

    • Andrew A.

      By the standard set from the DQ on Saturday there would be 50 DQ’s a day around the country. It was a totally irresponsible call IMO

      • Tinky

        a) there is NO doubt that the horse in question drifted out

        b) the second-place finisher clearly lost some momentum, yet was beaten a diminishing neck

        Perhaps you believe that the horse in front was clear, and that Lopez was simply attempting to catch the stewards’ eyes with an acting job. I didn’t see it that way at all. In any case, it is absurd to claim that it was an “irresponsible” call.

        I do agree that there is great inconsistency in various stewards’ rooms, and that is a serious problem. But taken on its own, this call was easy to understand.

        • Andrew A.

          Both horses were tired but the Jock on the natural winner eased up a little nearing the wire when he knew he had it. That happens all the time. I believe it was a totally irresponsible call and I’m sticking to it. LOL

    • Jim

      You can see the head on view on TVG replays. IMHO if the tracking horse would not have surged in the last few strides making the finish closer than looked, they would have let the finish stand. He definitely lost momentum when the lead horse came out twice down the stretch while tiring. The take down was valid.

    • Jay Stone

      At least a few of us agree. For a while I thought everyone disagreed with the decision

  • jack

    Ray,why won’t Tim Ritvo release the Head-on of Sat. DQ race? Every other race has been released but this one.twinspires and Xpress bet say they haven’t received the head on angle from gulfstream.btw I don’t believe in any conspiracy. Incompetence….?

  • I agree with Ray on this one. Besides, the racing establishment tending to be such an “unherdable” array of cats & kittens, the very idea of a racetrack conspiracy – people intending to & CAPABLE OF acting cohesively in concert – sounds utterly impossible. Once in a while, a loner succeeds (i.e., Mark Gerard 1977), but that’s about it.

    Next topic:

    Are statistics are being maintained on the number of DQs for each trainer? If so, which trainer is the Denver Broncos (pun!) of the American race tracks – the trainer with the most lifetime DQs?

    At any rate, this must be getting to be old hat for trainer Gary Contessa.

    From my notes awhile back (the date indicates that this had occurred at Belmont):

    “07/16/08: Diamond Tough (Gary Contessa; 6-1) had it’s picture taken in the WC – the
    connections ignoring the proceedings of an inquiry – & then two minutes later, the ‘winner’ was DQ’ed & placed 2nd (favorite upped to 1st).

    “DQ looked legit. Winning trainer was Galluscio.”

  • Roger

    GM Ritvo being on the phone in the Winner’s Circle during this Inquiry….I may not question his integrity but I certainly can question his judgment as to why the GM is in the Winner’s Circle on the LAST race with a monumental Inquiry still in progress.

  • Trey

    It has nothing to do with the Rainbow PIck 6, but Ritvo did have $100 to win on Paco Lopez at 35/1!

  • Parisella’s friend.

    I’ve been watching races all my life (57 years), and I feel the horse should have stayed up.As far as Tim Ritvo, ……………………………………………………………………………………

  • Angelo Lieto

    Ray we have done a stint together on TVG I’m not sure if you remember .But In any case I want to start by saying I am here to do not attempt to ruin anyone’s credibility . But here are a few questions and thoughts on the situation. I’m sure that in life you have scratched your head and others actions and wondered how in fact could someone you held such a high opinion of, do that things they do, so where I appreciate you standing up for a fellow colleague. I also disagree with things you had to offer on the situation. Yes, many outlandish comments have been made not just on this situation, but others over the years, on the other hand racing, has had its issues that were 100% true especially when it applies to the almighty franklin. Do I think the stewards had a hard decision to make? Absolutely. But facts and opinions are far and few between.
    I do not know what the Facts were other then what I have seen, If you watch the race as many times as I have, and compare these instances to others, there is no way a DQ should have been . As you know at different race tracks, carry different guidelines to warrant a DQ and IMO the pick 6 pool absolutely played a factor.
    Remember Codex’s Preakness? I would love to know your opinion on such a call, many well respected people in the racing business criticized the actions of what I think you would agree had equal reputations as the 3 at Gulf. How about the actions at Saratoga the year they DQed the wrong horse? and the master fixer? the pick 6 at the BC? you know where I’m going with this, I guess what I’m trying to say is, I wish you would agree that there could be more to this, that you do not know about. I have heard one respected member of the horse racing community speak his mind. Kurt Hoover had said it over and over what a bad call it was.
    With all this and so much more I wish to say, I ask for one thing. Please watch the replay again and again and then go back and watch the last 100 inquiry’s and objections and then me there is any sort of consistency in their final decisions. And really watch the contact that never happened, and the fact that the 2nd supposedly time when the winner drifted out, it wasn’t in fact the 2nd place horse drifting in, use the rail and the distance and not the actions of the horses. I have watched it over and over and I’m convinced something just isn’t right , much like Codex and all the other situations I have given you. Thanks for all you do , Angelo

  • Joel

    That was a bad call. Yes… Saez drifted out in front of Lopez, a bit, early in the stretch. Saez then straightened his course. Once Saez straightened out, Lopez drifted in behind Saez then drifted back out and came on again. The head on view clearly shows this. The winner should not have been taken down, in my opinion. As far as conspiracy goes…….I guess the biggest question is: Who stands to benefit from the DQ? I think most us know the answer to this question. The next question is: Why is the head-on not readily available? (I did not know this until reading this article/blog). The stewards “make the call”, but they don’t sign their own paychecks. They have to answer to their own higher-ups. Every aspect of our great sport revolves around money. That’s a fact. Therefore, it’s not at all absurd to question the integrity of this DQ. I do.

  • Chris McCarron

    Ray, I couldn’t agree more with your analysis and interpretation of this situation. Signed, Chris McCarron

    • hype22redux

      easy chris we might bring up that old team of solis and McCarron…remember back when oh well you know what I mean……can you say exotic wood

  • Kcollinsworth

    Mr. Paulick, I have the utmost respect for you and your stewardship of this Web site, but I have to respectfully disagree with the conclusions you drew in this post. I’m sorry to say that there are clear and distinct reasons for the ire we have seen expressed by so many in this matter. The DQ was a horrible one, and considering the track’s interest in keeping a 7 figure carry over alive, you don’t have to be a ‘looney tune’ to express great doubt about the outcome of the inquiry and any possible ulterior motivation involved. P.S.-I sure a track executive like Mr. Ritvo has a on site office where he can make business calls in private. Why did he feel a sense of urgency to make what one could describe as a routine business call from the winners circle, while a decision of huge magnitude was being deliberated by the stewards, two of whom draw their paychecks from Gulfstream Park? The judging/steward systems are indeed better in Japan, Hong Kong and Australia and this incident reinforces that fact.

    • David

      Wasn’t it this bet concept that recently resulted in controversy
      when a late scratch in the final leg shifted a second ticket onto the post-time
      favorite, which negated another bettors’ otherwise winning ticket? Whether it’s the unintended consequence from
      a multi-page set of rules or a debatable call by the stews, this bet takes
      considerable capital (to be competitive), has a tremendously high degree of
      difficulty and has factors totally out of one’s control. Surely the consensus of contributors here is
      that the bet is a good thing but IMHO sucking the amount of $$ out of circulation
      comes at a price, particularly when the guys throwing the party – THE PLAYERS –
      lose again. Just sayin . . .

      • Kcollinsworth

        I use twinspires, and Gulfstream’s ad for the continuing carryover is front and center on the first web page today…not to mention whatever they have on their home business site of xpressbet. For anyone to imply that the track has no interest in a carryover of this nature, now that’s REAL “looney tunes” thinking!

    • hype22redux

      several of my posts have been taken down why…please explain what I said that they needed to come down..

  • C Hogan

    Stewards are the worst thing about horse racing. They should hand out fines and suspensions and stay out of the finish. Stewards should be removed from changing the order of a finish.

  • Andrew A.

    This article is from the old “Shut up and bet” industry playbook. We aren’t going to shut up and bet EVER again. Especially when this call unfairly took a huge payday away from a Horseplayer.

  • TJ

    Timmy Ritvo isn’t the brightest bulb on the tree. But give the guy a break. He has fallen off a lot of horses in his life. His giddy decision to use the phone in the winners circle to call Canada was a poor judgement. I’m sure he has a cell and or an office. He has done good things as the GM but is still naive to a lot that goes on, particularly in business

  • south florida tom

    I don’t believe there was a conspiracy and I also believe that the winner should not have been DQ’d. It was a ticky-tack incident. These 2 horses didn’t even touch. This small drifting in and out occurs during every race at different stages of races. Just like a football referee can call holding on every play, this DQ based on these circumstances can be called in every race in the U.S. Why doesn’t the inquiry sign light up when something ticky-tack like this happens during the run down the backstretch or when the horses come out of the gate. WHY was this horse DQ’d by the stewards(and how many stewards vote?) It was not a conspiracy because these men are reputable after all the years they put in. I believe it was just a mistake.

    • Andrew A.

      Exactly. Now there is a different standard for interference in the stretch than interference on the backstretch. Let’s take another 30 minutes and see who may have interfered with who from the start and remake the total order of finish after every race. Unbelievable.

  • Squibb

    Very easy in the future no one has to know if a ticket is live or not.The last race on sunday was a crime when Prado let the winner come back and just watched him go by.He needs to be called in and given 30 days.Adq is a call not riding is a crime.

    • Jay Stone

      Why blame Prado? He wasn’t on that horse.

  • Ida Lee

    Sure if you don’t like the decision, kill the messenger…poor sportsmanship at it’s worse.

  • David

    Ray, so in your opinion posters that characterize this as a conspiracy, some of whom make their living as professional horseplayers are

    “Other, less experienced racing observers”

    Having seen the replay, including the head-on, a dozen times I thought it could have gone either way but your choice of words re the above quote is poor at best and pejorative at worst. Most professional horseplayers I know have far more knowledge about the game than 99% of those writing about it or officiating it.

    • Jay Stone

      David, as a horseplayer and a horseman for 25 years I totally agree with you. In certain instances, including these the officials making the call have much experience and knowledge. If it wasn’t for Paulick you wouldn’t have a forum to vent your anger as the mainstream racing publications are oblivious to this.

  • RaceFan

    (1) “Tim doesn’t talk to the Stewards” does not necessarily mean,
    “Tim did not talk to the Stewards.

    (2) Just like Jockeys, Trainers, or anybody else, if the Stewards DQ ( alter the finish )
    in a race, for personal or business reasons, should be tantamount to “race fixing”, a serious prosecutable offence.

    May need some sort of official investigation in this case.

  • Andrew A.

    There is one victim here and it’s the guy who got DQ’d. Gulstream had a pretty good day.

  • Soltero55

    I watched the head-on over and over and saw nothing. I wonder if maybe the stewards could show us what it was they saw? I’m thinking it was a terrible call, but if they had a true reason, they should be able to demonstrate what that infraction was.

  • SteveG

    We’ve only been talking about the need for steward reform to eliminate the apparently whimsical, inconsistent stewards’ decision making on the day, from day to day, week to week (ad nauseum) for decades. Yet, everything stays the same. One could conclude that the powers that be, no matter how necessary our gambling dollars are to the sport, simply do not respect it.
    On the point of unsubstantiated, defamatory accusations, I completely agree they are uncalled for and downright ugly. The problem is systemic, not conspiratorial.

    • Joel

      You just touched on the REAL problem. Horseplayers’ opinions always fall on deaf ears, even though it’s the horseplayers’ dollars that make the racing world go round. With regards to your final comment, I respectfully disagree with the “unsubstantiated” part. There is a reason that the call for change (for decades), with regards to the stewards, has never come to fruition. Having those stewards gives each racetrack the power to decide the amount of money they can produce, through carryovers and such, when deciding whether or not a horse should come down. Whether or not the stewards, in this case, based their decision with revenue in mind is irrelevant to my point. Point being: The racetrack itself should NEVER have a say in the outcome of the players’ dollars against their own dollars. That’s clearly unfair to the players. There should be an outside & neutral source making those decisions.

  • mjsc3

    If that had been the heavy favorite and not just a one ticket holder of a race with that much at stake … the fire trucks would still be there trying to put the fire out. In the end I know at least 3 people will no longer be working doing something they have no clue about (even if they are Hall of Fame,third generation horseman) maybe there just old and blind.

  • betterthannothing

    Central racing commission. Uniform rules. Stewards, regulatory vets, clerks of scales and all officials relocated each year at random. Full transparency from horse stalls to steward dens to help prevent some horses from leaning out, inquiries, criticism of stewards, conspiracy talk and a continuous black eye for the industry.

    • Jay Stone

      Central racing commission, uniform rules for all. That is the only answer but each group wants to control their own little fiefdom so this won’t happen. Only hope is federal takeover but not enough reason for their involvement. Good thoughts though.

      • Hamish

        Stranger things have happened.

      • Bellwether

        Been looking for that (Just need Fed tell them where the Bear **** in the buck wheat) for a long time…Maybe one day but don’t hold your breath…We really need to hope it happens sooner than later…ty…

  • Sal Carcia

    First of all, this fan-friendly bet has come about under Tim Ritvo’s leadership. He also listened to fan feedback and made changes to the bet to make it even more friendly to the bettor. I also think the Gulfstream has done a good job preventing the super trainers from destroying this meet.

    The stewards and Ritvo blew this one in the end. With the jackpot hanging in the balance, there was no way that takedown should have ever taken place. It was a marginal call on the stewards part that would only lead years of bad will. I suspect they were oblivious to the status of the Rainbow. It is so typical in this game to completely disregard the customer.

    With respect to Ritvo, it was not the decision that I fault him with. It’s the misreading the fact the Gulfstream needed to get out in front of the fan reaction. Coming back and blaming the angry fans will only make things worse. I have always praised Tim, but he made a mistake here.

    • Andrew A.

      Sal you are consistently consistent and fair. Great comments.

      • Sal Carcia

        Thanks. I feel Tim is on our side. I hope he gets the right message from this experience.

        • Andrew A.

          I spoke with him this morning for a while. We had a good conversation and he gets the takeout part of the game. He told me he was on the phone but it wasn’t with the Stewards. I believe him.

          Got to work on the Social media skills though.

    • south florida tom

      Just curious, but how did GP do a good job preventing super trainers from destroying this meet?

      • Sal Carcia

        Tom, I don’t know other than to observe that there are fewer starts for them and their winning percentages have been tempered since the start of the meet. Maybe, it is just a coincidence.

        • south florida tom

          Maybe because GP has a lots and lots of races for cheap horses,i.e. CLM6250 NW2LT, that there are less races for high profile trainers.

  • jack

    jeremyclemons “Hey Jack. We have head-on now. Can get there in TwinSpiresTV by selecting by date vs. by
    track”. People take a look it will amaze you why he got disqualified.

    Steve Byk said this morning it was a slam dunk and the #12 veered 3 paths. You decide.



  • thoughtsonracinglifeandmore

    It’s pretty crappy to call the people who disagree with the ruling and questioned the integrity of the stewards “less experienced” whether or not the ruling was right or wrong. A lot experienced horseplayers are out there, and some of them don’t need 40 years to know right from wrong in this game. In addition, a lot of horse writers are only writers because they know people in the business, not because they’re a better journalist or handicapper.

    • stevechambers

      There are way too many self proclaimed Kings and Wizards of the Turf who think that they are Pro’s when in reality they are rank incompetents concerning the paddocks stewards, and tracks in racing. Knowledgeable racing individuals cover the sport Wire To Wire and respect the integrity of the racing officials who in many cases devote their lives to the advancement of the sport of horse racing.

      • thoughtsonracinglifeandmore

        Well by all means, we should all bow down to them. Ridiculous. Without any checks and balances in any system, there will always be tyrants.

  • Hoops and Horses

    As said in other posts on this, while the call was ticky-tack, it actually WAS the correct call. The first finisher did come out and did impede the path of the second finisher, who likely would have won if the first finisher did not come out (though the rider of the second finisher should have seen that and gone inside of him, where he would have won anyway).

  • jake

    It’s no worse than she’s a tiger being dq’d in the breeders cup. The connections got screwed out of about the same amount od f money. That’s horse racing get over it

    • Andrew A.

      At least there was contact in that one but I don’t think She’s a Tiger should have come down either.

  • Mark Evangelisti

    I just wonder if Mucho Macho Man would have been Dq’d under the same exact circumstances?

    • Andrew A.

      Hell no. Not in a million years.

    • Joel


    • rpdflyer

      In a big race , stewards are much less likely to interfere with the result which is part of the problem. They should treat every race like a big race.

      • Mark Evangelisti

        I agree. As a bettor, I want every race treated the same. I am as excited when I win 600 on a maiden 25 race or a grade 2 race. We need the same set of rules. And the reason I used Mucho Macho Man as an example is because he is trained By Tim Ritvo’s wife!

    • hype22redux

      very funny,very funny

  • south florida tom

    It’s hard to get things right when decisions are based on human beings’ opinions. The only way to make things definitive is to leave the payoff results as the horses cross the finish line no matter what bumping occurred at any time during the race. Discipline the wrong doers with fines and days off. Adjust the purses later. If the same jockeys keeping practicing rough riding, the track can tell them to stay off their property. Go work somewhere else. This has been going on for decades and decades. Nothing in life stays the same this long. The inflexible, crusty higher ups in horse racing should start changing what needs changing. JEEEEZ!!!

  • Robbie Rodriguez

    I have a lot of respect for Tim Ritvo. After calling the horse identifier day after day for Gulfstream Parks ‘First Time Geldings’, then getting hung up on after about a week. I called Mr. Ritvo and informed him of my situation. Mr. Ritvo is the one that implemented that listed First Time Gelding info be added to the early entries. Even though trainers do not always ethically report this information, the ones that do now get published early thanks to him. I am confident Mr. Ritvo had nothing to do with the controversial dq decision.

  • Carmel Spaulding

    People couldn’t make comments, allegations and innuendos, if they were made to post under their real names…..Just saying….And some of that applies to this website

    • Jay Stone

      Good point. I’ve long said that a post by a fictitious name is worthless and one of the problems with forums.

  • Fast Bullet

    Anytime the human element is involved there is a potential for corruption, no matter who the human is. This is no different. That doesn’t mean anything corrupt DID happen, but it’s just as short-sighted to assume nothing wrong happened as it is to assume something did.

    Pro athletes have cheated by using illegal/banned substances. Referees and players have cheated by betting on games and/or shaving points. Jockeys have cheated by “stiffing” horses. Trainers have cheated by treating their horses with illegal drugs. Bettors have cheated by past-posting. So why is it so wrong to think that it’s possible for stewards or track management to cheat?

    Personally, I don’t think they did. I don’t agree with the DQ, but it was a judgement call.

    There’s a big difference between thinking it’s POSSIBLE for someone to cheat and actually ACCUSING them of cheating.

  • tom foley

    Collinito is our horse and as much as I disagree with the call I don’t believe for a second that any conspiracy is involved here . I was in the winners circle and yes Tim Ritvo was on the phone but it didn’t seem like he was agitated or trying to influence anyone . He actually explained that someone had an even bigger reason than us for wanting the horse to stay up and to me he didn’t seem like he was rooting against us . The stewards made a call and it is what it is . I don’t agree with it but I understand both sides of that coin and it didn’t go our way this time . I do not believe anyone should be accused of any illegal behavior . A call was made and that’s it .. we all have to move on . Our horse came back fine and we will fight again another day .

    Tom Foley

    • rpdflyer

      Gracious, but you got hosed. Every debatable call should go the winner. If there was a significant foul, I am sure you would say the DQ was deserved.

    • Kcollinsworth

      Mr. Foley, you have a posted a classy and straight forward insider’s account of what happened, and for that I thank you. Although I’ve seen posts in social media that view your barn and the horse’s connections as colladeral damages in this whole sad matter, I’ll just say that {A}, from a horseman’s standpoint, it’s never good to publiclly complain about the stewards or track management-that’s burning bridges, and horsemen never want to do that, and {B}, you are right “we all have to move on”, it’s just not as easy to move on for a player who has lost a $1.4 Million dollar pay out under these very odd circumstances.

    • Thanks, Tom. That’s the way to play it. There’s no going back.

  • wayzer

    With all due respect integrity in the horse racing game is an oxymoron….it doesn’t exist…until all the nefarious elements are removed from the game the use of the word integrity in conjunction with horse racing is insulting to those people who actually do have integrity…horse racing is only about making money in anyway it can at the expense of the few fans it has left…if horse racing had any integrity than it wouldn’t need racinos to survive…

  • kyle

    Instead of the establishment getting their panties all in a bunch over a few extreme comments on the internet – Ritvo wants to sue people and Ray apparently wants them committed – how about hearing the message. Overwhelmingly, players want results to stand as the race is run barring incontrovertible evidence a foul was committed and that foul cost a runner a placing. The result to the player is sacrosanct and should not be cavalierly altered. Why can this not be the standard?

    • brussellky

      What you described is exactly the standard in England.

  • mtietze

    You cannot, repeat CANNOT, break the stride of a horse behind you by drifting in front of him, even if there is no contact. This is a universal rule in horse racing. Anyone who couldn’t see that the 13 horse’s stride was broken – not once, but twice – and that he was gaining steadily on the 12 horse, simply doesn’t want to see it. The DQ was a no-brainer.

    • kyle

      It’s far from that clear cut. The leading horse is entitled to ANY part of the course unless another horse is trying to pass ( was the runner up trying to pass at the point the leader shifts out a path?) in a CLEAR opening. Coming up on the leader’s hip – was that a clear opening? Then of course is the lost placing issue. Is it a REASONABLE expectation that that horse would have won the race if the winner kept a completely straight line? To me, it is certainly a possibility, some might say a good possibility – but an expectation? Finally, there is complete steward discretion. Those who commit a perceived foul MAY be disqualified. ( note: these are California rules. If Florida differs in any material way please do correct).

  • Ray, Do you anticipate having the synchronized pan shot and head on available on The Paulick Report?

    • jack

      Would like too see Ray do that. Great idea.

  • bobjonestwo

    Anyone involved with horse racing has seen innumerable bad stewards decisions over the years dealing with objections, inquiries and disqualifications. The problem is consistency, there is none, anywhere, that I have seen. I have also read more times than I can remember, from highly respected trackmen like Brad Free, Dave Litfin and Mike Welsh, amongst others, in their weekly DRF columns, highly critical comments on stewards decisions over the years. calling out the stewards for making stunningly bad decisions on dq’s. I’m sure a very high percentage of stewards are above reproach and make the best calls that they can. Everyone also knows that tracks love the big carryovers, have heard California tracks say that their daily handle is about doubled every time they have a big carryover. One very simple example of questionable race track integrity that is ignored is what happens nearly every time I see a bridge jumper drop a huge show bet on an overwhelming favorite, the 2/5 or 3/5 shot almost always runs off the board and many times doesn’t even finish the race. Nobody wants a minus show pool. Does anybody really think that 2/5 or 3/5 shots are going to run out of the money completely 95% of the time when a someone drops a big show bet on them? All horse fans remember the Breeder’s Cup pick 6 fix of a few years back and have regularly seen “miracle” trainers claim a horse and improve his speed figure by 50 points immediately, and do it with consistency. And we have all seen the endless failed drug tests. Any time there is money involved someone is always trying for an edge, legal or illegal. It’s happened forever and probably always will, especially in a sport with no real oversight, no national overseer, especially one that is based around gambling. Great but still flawed sport.


    I partly agree and disagree with Mr. Paulick….With regard to Tim Ritvo, he is an honest hardworking person who would never violate any rules!!! With the respect to the two stewards, there is a difference between being dishonest and being less than competent…The scratch on Saturday was a 50-50 call at best. The only reason that I could see is that the horse came back and almost won after the so-called infraction. Compare that to the 10th race on Sunday, where a live horse was disqualified for impeding the 8 horse. That was a bull—- call. The disqualified horse blew past the field, the 6 horse kept running and the 2 horse came very late. Nothing that the winning horse did caused the 8 horse a W P or S. Simply put, the stewards may be honest people but they certainly are not competent and their lack of competence puts a black cloud over the sport and allows people to question the integrity of the game. The rules need to be better defined. I find that the stewards in California are far better!!!

    • hype22redux

      in ca really….it must be the pincay rule you like

  • rpdflyer

    Mr. Paulick, I agree with your defense of the stewards integrity, but they cannot be excused for the decision they made. It was a joke and its embarrasing and its harmful to racing that these activist stewards keep calling the integrity of the game into question, rightly or wrongly. Some amount of interference and rubbing has to be expected in a horse race. The simple rule needs to be that it has to be glaringly obvious in order to change the order of a horse race, otherwise leave it the hell alone.

    if you have to look at replay for more than two minutes , there’s your answer: NO CHANGE – don’t be searching for reasons. When in doubt, stay out.
    Also , the stewards should be compelled to highlight exactly where the foul occurs and explain why they took a horse down in detail. If you take a winner down for any reason you better have a darn good explanation

    Here’s the reason this is so important apart from basic fairness: If I am a first time racegoer and I had $20 on a horse that wins at 4-1 and I am excited and about to buy my friends a drink , and ten minutes later the stewards take that $100 win out of my pocket and most of the people who watch the replay aren’t really sure why , I may very well never come back. Truly. And that is something racing cannot afford.

  • morethanready

    Ray, the best part about these blogs is when we get a decision like this and it creates discussion- the worst part is the cowardly character assassination attempts made on people with a job to do. How do they derive all of that inuendo out of a phone call? Monmouth Park’s stewards fined their GM last year- he has no control over this decision- none.

    • Andrew A.

      Cowardly Character Assassination? Show me. Criticism goes with the territory and is part of the job. These guys aren’t victims in any way. They guy that got DQ’d is.

      • morethanready

        You can criticize the DQ; it’s certainly open to one’s judgment. When people hide behind their keyboard and call the GM dishonest for wanting to extend the carryover…. because they saw him on the phone… that’s not criticism that’s slander.

        • hereatpsu

          No, people are just asking for transparency. There was no reason to hide the head on replays for 2 days. and then claim that he knows nothing about it.

          • morethanready

            TVG always had it up but they may be able to copy it during the telecast. I could see some tech holding on to it thinking he is doing his boss a favor but a GM, particularly this one, no way.

          • hereatpsu

            Gulfstream park’s own website which has all other replays neatly listed, did not have the head on for two days. I don’t use tvg or amwest. However, two of the biggest adws xpressbet and twinspires were also lacking the headon.. mysteriously!

  • Kingturf

    In my opinion the worst DQ….The Wicked North in the Big Cap back in the 90’s.
    Worst non DQ….one of my favorite Jockeys of all time Angel Cordero riding Codex by putting Genuine Risk out on Northern Parkway in the Preakness.

    • 4th Race at Saratoga, on July 31, 1998.

      #2, Admonish; #6, Ly Dawg; & #12 Ima Rabbit all looked good. I preferred jockeys Samyn & Bravo; Dawg was piloted by Pat Day. All were longshots.

      Bravo on Ima Rabbit stole the race – at 53-1! Rabbit started to falter in the stretch of this lengthy turf race, got a 2nd wind, surged & won.

      No other horse had managed to come physically near him until the very end, & at that point, daylight still remained between Bravo & Bailey, who had finished 2nd on the favorite.

      Why? It had been a clean race from start to finish. No one had seen anything out of the ordinary.

      The stewards disqualified Ima Rabbit/Bravo to 2nd & put Bailey up to 1st.

      Avadora’s trainer Bill Mott moved up; trainer Pat Kelly went down.

  • gus stewart

    Lets be real If anyone thinks Stewards that have no one reviewing their decisions, should have that much power on a decision with at best was 50 50( more like 85/15 no Dq) and take away the bettors money and owners money in this case, does not understand the many problems of this sport. Ritvo and the track should make this right, someway for the horse owner and the bettor. That would be a start, then start working on the stewards problem across the country!!!

  • hereatpsu

    Mr. Ray Paulick, so many questions would not have come up if head on replays of this race were mysteriously not available for multiple days on Xpressbet and Twinspires replay systems (only the pan was available till later yesterday). Only after multiple questions had been raised about the headon not available, it appears finally. Why would nt conspiracies rage if transparency seems to be the last thing on the minds of the track, which have a vested interest in ensuring carryovers?

    • jack

      I don’t believe in any conspiracy stuff. But I do think the Head-on angle was intentionally not distributed, who made that decision??

      • hereatpsu

        you think they are going to come forward and admit who made that decision, they are not even willing to admit that they knew the absence of the headon replay for two days

    • hype22redux

      public attention span my friend

  • Dan Camoro

    Just saw the replay, both head-on, and normal view. That was a bad, bad, call by them there
    judges. Heart goes out to the player who possessed the one winning ticket.

  • Tonto

    So called Exotic betting pools are an insult to serious handicappers and an attempt by management to compete with the lottery. Win, place and show , a quinella and daily double should be enough for any track.

    • we’re watching

      U r kidding, right. I want to win 6.80 to WIn on a bet sometimes a day, when I can win a few thousand or ten thousand on a trifecta?? Come on, that’s forty years ago or more. But each has their own opinion.

  • jack

    Ray, have you made an opinion yet now that you had a chance too look at the head-on shot (not from the pan shot). Good or bad call?

  • Mimi Hunter

    I watched the race. I don’t agree with the disqualification, but I often don’t agree. I am very definitely in the conspiracy theory group on a lot of things, or as I usually say it ‘a supporter of the grassy knoll theory’ but not this time. I don’t know the stewards, but that really doesn’t make any difference. I don’t think that there has ever been a decision in a competitive event that everyone agreed with. Why would this one be any different? That’s even why there is usually an odd number of referees for decisions like this one. The public at large has every right to disagree with the decision [we’ve fought wars to protect that right], but no one has the right to personally attack the ones making the decision. It is almost impossible to prove a negative – that is why we are innocent until proven guilty in this country.

  • powaymojo

    Caveat: I have not watched the replay: BUT, I have to wonder how much of the uproar is from Tampa Bay folks wishing Gulfstream a bad image. Now, I will watch.

    A 47-year fan with backstretch experience.

  • jack

    Ray, as Lou mentioned below,why don’t you put up the pan-shot and head-on shot on your website. It will great for business and educational ! DRF would never do it.

    • RayPaulick

      We do not have access to racetrack replays other than graded stakes and those posted on Youtube. (And this applies not just to Gulfstream Park but all tracks)

      • jack

        Gulfstream won’t give you access?
        Thanks for the reply.

  • tim blake

    Seems to me it may all be smoke and mirrors. The jockeys have better control of the horses than most people realize. They are the ones who control the outcome. And I have no doubt they did in the last race on Saturday AND Sunday. Both days it appeared that someone came very close to winning almost $2M.
    My guess would be that whoever had the near miss tickets is the same group that will have the winning ticket once they get the jackpot amount even higher. This is all exactly the way it went last February. Get a big jackpot. Then have some days where the consolation payout is over $100k so people will bet even more into the pool. Have some very near misses so people think they might win millions if they just bet more.
    Then have one ticket win $2-3M and never hear who that person is because the group wants to remain anonymous so no one puts 2 and 2 together. I’m surprised Ray has bought into all this. But then it seems every does at some point. Now everyone has no facts can attack my post to try to keep people from asking the right questions.

  • Terri Z

    Thanks for your eloquent defense against the defamation of character attacks on the officials at Gulfstream Park. I have met Mr. Ritvo and many of the officials at Gulfstream Park. They are the cream de la cream of race track officers. They are all experienced and highly competent horsemen and are honorable people. Tim Ritvo has been a jockey and a trainer and is an ethical human being. They are dedicated and honest horse racing professionals.

  • south florida tom

    Where’s Barry Irwin when you need him?

  • larry

    The issue is not the integrity of the people,the issue is a flawed process that allows good people to make unethical or incompetent decisions for the economic benifit of someone else other than those who made the right bet. l don t know how it works in florida but in ontario they would rub salt in the wound by giving the owners of the disqualified horse an appeal to which the betting public is not a part of the final decision.In a time when the bettors are betting on 1. 7 million dollar paydays and the owner of the horses are running ten race cards for 500 hundred grand ,isn t it time to show the bettors some respect and just pay the race out the way it ran on the racetrack.

  • hype22redux

    first stewards should be in separate rooms,secondly their phones should be turned off,thirdly stop talking to the jocks and finally they should vote independently and the bettor should know how each steward voted and they should ANNOUNCE their own decision and not have a track announcer who had no say in the matter have to explain their decision.

  • hype22redux

    if you listened to trevor sunday he had to explain why the first race winner was DQ’D and then had to pimp the pick 6 carryover starting from the next to last race,why money and handle that’s why…so the fact that this DQ happened at GS on the very race that would have resulted in a sizeable payout well given racing’s past and the marginal decisions with varying consequences over the years well did you expect this to go quietly

  • hype22redux

    I just watched the replays and the decision doesn’t pass the smell test,sorry but it was a bad decision

  • Tonto

    The so called ‘exotic pools’ are an insult to serious handicappers and a cheap attempt by the tracks to compete with the lottery.. Win, place and show a daily double and quinella should be enough . Racing should NOT be a game of chance – picking lucky numbers- but a reasonable event with results based on past performances.

  • hype22redux

    Am I to understand that 2 of my posts were taken down,suggestions on how stewards should operate,and comments on who should explain the decision and the PUBLIC should know who voted and why …once again I have respect for you mr paulick but I said nothing but suggestions about stewards operating methods and possible ways in the future the betting public which supports this industry can maybe get better results….and yes trevor did pimp the carryover on sunday …..as early as the next to last race…that is fact…

    • RayPaulick

      Your posts were not deleted by the Paulick Report.

  • hype22redux

    Mr paulick says he did not pull my posts,so lets try this again,stewards need to be in separate rooms,they need to vote and we should know how each person voted,the track announcer should not have to explain a decision he had no part of,stewards need to be on camera while making the decision and stop talking to the jockeys some are more convincing than others and talking to Johnny V is not the same as talking to a 10 pound bug…..

  • Lexington 4

    Very well said, Ray. I am with you 100% on this one.

  • Andy

    just watched this on You Tube….what a bunch of crap to DQ this horse…I feel bad for the player who had the ticket….I declare shenanigans!

  • cvb

    Chaos ensues when horse players never know from day-to-day what does and does not merit a disqualification. This goes for tracks everywhere–not only Gulfstream Park. Inconsistency is what allows these conspiracies to gather momentum, and many horseplayers are so befuddled they may opt for a system in which, at least for wagering purposes, the horse finishing first pays out. DQs would be for purse money only. Jockeys would still be subjected to fines and suspensions, of course, but at least bettors would know the score.

  • hype22redux

    one of todays Gulfstream races decide by these same stewards smells once again….the we move SA and once again a very questionable DQ…and the beat goes on and on,guess what I will be playing tomorrow neither of these decisions affected me but still it is just a matter of time..something needs to be done..period

    • Andy

      I saw the race you are talking about…I had both the horses that were interfered with….not sure how a horse can drift out and bump another and then impede the other horse, survive 2 jockey objections and yet no inquiry from the judges and be left up….cost me my Pick 5 ticket

  • blunny

    Who hires the Gulfstream stewards and cuts their checks

  • hammer817

    100% the track has an interest to carry over the Pic6. drives people to track creates buzz etc etc. the problem is as stated over and over that the is no uniformity consistency etc to this game.. from medication to punishment to racing rules in different juristictions.. a foul is a foul period. this should not change from track to track..in baseball do balls and strikes differ… with different umpires yes, but a strike is a strike.. you know what I am saying. Until all things in racing are consolidated and work together this game is a dying sport period.. you will never bring in new blood, (fans) the way this is today.. Talk to any younger generation people and they could care less about horse racing…Stewards need to be held accountable for their decisions or lack of..( see john veitch)… The rulings should be transparent and fully explained… just my opinion….

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