Hong Kong Chief Steward: U.S. Should Change Rules On Disqualifications

by | 05.06.2019 | 9:57am
Connections, media await the stewards' ruling for more than 20 minutes after the running of the Kentucky Derby

After the controversial disqualification of Maximum Security in the Kentucky Derby, U.S. horse racing jurisdictions should get in line with the rest of the world and use the “Category One” standard for resolving objections and inquiries, according to Kim Kelly, chief steward of the Hong Kong Jockey Club.

Hong Kong and most other racing countries rely on Category One, which asks stewards to determine whether an impeded horse would've finished ahead of the horse who interfered. Kelly said if that was the guiding principle, Maximum Security would not have been DQ'd.

“He was the dominant horse in the race. No case could be successfully argued that those horses, if not for that interference, would have finished in front of [Maximum Security],” Kelly told the South China Morning Post.

Kelly concedes that because U.S. racing jurisdictions use the Category Two standard, the stewards had every right to disqualify the winner. Under Category Two, stewards may DQ a horse that fouls other horses if they believe the impeded horses were cost an opportunity for a better placing. The offending horse can be placed behind those horses.

Kelly, the chairman of an International Federation of Horseracing committee seeking to unifying rules worldwide, said he contacted an American representative on the committee and has been invited to this year's Jockey Club Round Table in the U.S. to explain why the Category One standard is better.

“I think it's much fairer to punters but also to the connections of a horse,” he said.

Read more at South China Morning Post

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