Longshot Winner At Turf Paradise Ran Under Wrong Name

by | 03.30.2015 | 6:27pm
Turf Paradise racetrack in Phoenix, Ariz.

Arizona Department of Racing officials are investigating how two runners from the barn of trainer Dan McFarlane erroneously ran in each other's name in Saturday's seventh race at Turf Paradise.

Cavour, carrying saddle cloth 5, was credited with the victory at odds of 29-1 in the $15,000 mile and a half starter stakes on the turf, but when the horse was identified at the test barn, his lip tattoo matched Sir Searsucker. The No. 7 saddle cloth was assigned to Sir Searsucker, but it was actually Cavour who carried that number to a last-place finish of nine runners.

Cavour was 15-1 on the morning line while the more accomplished Sir Searsucker was 6-1 and went off at 7-1.

Sir Searsucker was coming off a win in an $8,000 starter allowance in his first start for trainer Dan McFarlane, who claimed the Kentucky-bred son of Shakespeare for $6,250 on Feb. 21. Cavour, owned by Filippo Santoro and trained by McFarlane, had lost eight in a row.

The grooms that brought the two horses to the paddock from the McFarlane barn were wearing the incorrect numbered vests, according to McFarlane, and horse identifier Lymon Perren, an employee of the Arizona Department of Racing, failed to catch the error when he checked the lip tattoos of each horse.

“The identifier missed it,” McFarlane said. “He obviously wasn't doing his job. He should have caught this in the paddock.”

Perren wasn't the only one who didn't know that Cavour was really Sir Searsucker and Sir Searsucker was really Cavour. Jockeys Skyler White Shield (who'd ridden Cavour in his two most recent starts) and Chris Russell (who'd ridden Sir Searsucker in his last six starts) didn't notice they were on the wrong horses.

“They both wear shadow rolls and look alike, though one has white on his left hind and the other on the right hind,” said McFarlane.

It wasn't until McFarlane saw the win photo shortly after the race that he realized it was Sir Searsucker, not Cavour, who was the actual winner.

“As soon as I got the win photo, I knew it was the wrong horse,” he said.

Test barn personnel also realized the winning horse was actually Sir Searsucker. By then, however, the race was declared official and it was too late for the bettors who wagered on Sir Seersucker.

A total of $51,084 was bet in the win-place-show pools on that race. By comparison, the day's other WPS pools were: $14,649, $28,153, $36,349, $18,879, $24,850, $27,247 and $37,748.

McFarlane said he was interviewed extensively by ADOR officials about the mix-up, saying he did not bet on the race.

“It's my fault because of the trainer responsibility rule, but the identifier is supposed to catch that,” he said.

Greg Stiles, public information officer for the Arizona Department of Racing, confirmed the investigation of the two McFarlane horses running under the wrong name. He issued the following comment in response to questions from the Paulick Report:

“An Arizona Department of Racing employee notified the stewards immediately following the race when the winning horse was presented at the test barn. Until the investigation by the stewards is completed, the Arizona Department of Racing will not be commenting directly on the matter.

“The investigation is ongoing and will be thorough.  Every  person who in any way had contact with the two horses in question from the backside to the paddock will be interviewed. We are looking into any unusual wagering patterns on the race, but preliminary indications are there were none. All purses have been withheld pending the final investigation.

“The Arizona Department of Racing views this matter as a serious issue, and will take appropriate action based on the facts of the investigation.”


  • guest

    I am so glad my last bet was placed on the infamous “Life at Ten”. Even on racing’s biggest days the bettor takes it in the shorts or panties. Never even tested LAT. To think somebody might have profited from this would be saying cancer is not serious. So sad. Racing can’t figure anything out. I guess I should not complain I have no money in the “game”. Just like the always beautiful Hialeah, racing is really on its final stretch. Anytime money is involved the crooks will show up. Be it a vet, trainer, or jockey(oops the buzzer just rang) gotta run. I know the local OTB does not miss my 4k at least a month run through the till—and frankly neither do I. $$$$$Bank that$$$$$.

    • N.koch

      I did it at Arapahoe park last summer, it got by me the test barn and the identifier . However mine had been switched since purchase and you know what? I messed up! I didn’t blame it on the grooms the seller, nobody . This happens and believe me , it’s the trainers responsibility.

      • cameo

        In the old days, these two horses would have to been an entry , 1 and 1A, because they have the same trainer. Why not return to that system. It can take some of the “smell” away when something like this happens.

        • Quinnbt

          Great point!

    • naprovniknaprovnik

      Funny, isn’t it, how they cannot figure out why racing is dying, slowly?

      • KY RACE FAN

        Well Said!! Really wonder if they realize how much damage is done. Trust in the industry is at a all time low with the public,no new players. Does anyone wonder why casinos take away the youth of this industry?

  • Hamish

    Could be the ole’ “ringer” trick. Hasn’t been one of those, at least caught and reported, in quite a while. Lip checker missed it, those saddling the horses missed it, the jocks missed it, please.

    • Figless

      If you like a good “Ringer” story check out the book series in that name by Henry Leneau, low profile but run read, think Ocean’s Eleven.

    • Same for “Ringers & Rascals, The True Story of Racing’s Greatest Con Artists,” by David Ashforth (Bloodhorse Publications 2004) – at least for its first hundred pages or so, after which it keels over and sinks.

  • Bob Quinn

    You can’t tell me Shield and Russel didn’t know. Big time fines and lengthy suspensions are in order. And fire Perren.

    • Leslie Navarro

      Seems like flip flopping the jockeys must have made the difference

    • reinsman

      I don’t know if they knew Bob, but they sure rode their horses the way the horses they were named on liked to be ridden. Cavour usually a deep closer, Sir Searsucker usually a stalker… they were both in the same position they would have been on the horses I think they thought they were riding and not the ones they were actually riding. Looks like Sir Searsucker has been dying to be taken back and make one run.

      • tim blake

        No they didn’t ride the horses the same. They knew what they were doing.

    • 4Bellwether666

      Hope you didn’t hold your breath on the big time fines and lengthy suspensions…if you did we can call you Bob Blue now!!!…

  • LongTimeEconomist

    Mr. Perren is in big trouble.

    • JJ

      I was wondering if the trainer was at the Tiki bar.

  • Jay Stone

    Usually if something unusual happens the pools would be excessive in the race. This race had the largest WPS pool but that could be because it was the largest field size and a good betting race.

    • Hamish

      Unless the bets were placed offshore or with private bookmakers not laying off in our parimutuel pools.

  • McGov

    “A total of $51,084 was bet in the win-place-show pools on that race. By comparison, the day’s other WPS pools were: $14,649, $28,153, $36,349, $18,879, $24,850, $27,247 and $37,748.”

    Yeppers….that’s pretty fishy. Not the first time and won’t be the last time either. Excellent reporting by the Paulick Report team.
    In this day of digital trails you’d think the investigation of betting patterns would be made easier. Guess it depends on how many thorns are pricking decision makers as to how serious they will take this.

  • Mike Faulk

    Waoooo I thought only Double Monkey stable and Enrique Garcia were the cheaters… I guess Mr Jerry need money to pay the payroll or he got a flash back when he start on the gambling business..

    • arazi

      So do they get purse money? So many questions. Mc Farlane should be banned for life

  • Bill Niekamp

    Anybody remember Jerry Roman’s (Dale’s dad) doing the same thing on Derby Day, the year Winning Colors won, on the undercard. Two horses-Blairwood and Briarwood. I believe the tattoo guy was paid off. I need to go back and research that as the winner paid big money.



      • 4Bellwether666

        Simple mistake that’s sounds like a Life @ Ten deal @ good old CD…

  • Pat SayJack

    29-1, doubt they bet a dime.

    • JJ

      I heard the owner after the race said that wasn’t their horse in the winnners circle, and the grooms started picking up tickets for the 7th race.

    • Keyne

      Pat has just fallen off the turnip truck.Not saying they did,but if they really wanted to pull off a major coup,they would have bet with bookies off track to maximize their (29-1)price,especially at a track known for its smallish pools.Ag,not saying that’s what happened,but the horse not taking money in no way proves innocence…

      • Pat SayJack

        Hmmmm, speaking of turnips, how much do you think a bookie would hold on some bomb from a small track? Do you imagine they just sit there and take unlimited bets on anything anywhere?

        No , that truck you’ve fallen from was carrying artichokes.

  • Guest

    Geezus H Christ! S**T happens!

  • Roger

    As Sgt.Shultz continually said on Hogan Heroes,”I see nothing…..I hear nothing.”

  • Jim Lefferts

    There was a total of $136,351 bet on the “fixed’ race, $69,129 on the previous race and $55,778 the race prior to that. Something smells rotten in Arizona.

    • david

      If that’s the case jail time is in order for someone

    • greg

      why are your numbers so different than the ones in the story?

      A total of $51,084 was bet in the win-place-show pools on that race. By comparison, the day’s other WPS pools were: $14,649, $28,153, $36,349, $18,879, $24,850, $27,247 and $37,748.

      • tim blake


      • Jim Lefferts

        I calculated the amount bet across all pools based on Equibase information. For example the superfecta pool in race 5 was $5,482; race 6 $7,540; race 7 (the one in question) $19,276.

    • Carol Betcher

      Not necessarily. What were the 2 previous races for? Maidens? Cheap nags? NW 2015’s? Was this affected race the ‘feature’? Probably since it was a starter stakes. Such races do tend to get far more bet on them. Also it says there was a total of $51K bet on w-p-s and I don’t see a mention of the exotic bets.

      I can’t imagine a paddock identifier missing this mistake, let alone the trainer not catching it, either…

      • Jim Lefferts

        The previous race was a Handicap with a $35,000 purse. The race in question had a $15,000 purse. I calculated the amount bet across all pools based on Equibase information. For example the superfecta pool in race 5 was $5,482; race 6 $7,540; race 7 (the one in question) $19,276.

    • vinceNYC

      Nope ..this was a “stakes” race and McFarlane has been training a long time with no issues…He is going to risk his career over this….cmon

      • Horse Guy

        The obvious question here is: Did McFarlane or any close associates have a bet on this race? Nice guys often get into situations that seem innocent enough even though someone is leaning on them….

      • arazi

        What is the usual pool for a stakes race with the same # of horses. They have to do some investigating. Sounds like you might be in on this….JK

      • Jim Lefferts

        Actually the race before was a handicap race with a $35,000 purse, this race had a purse of $15,000. It wasn’t an issue of class and it sure doesn’t explain such a variance.

        I never even remotely suggested McFarlane had anything to do with this. I don’t have any idea. But there is certainly enough there to merit a serious investigation – by law enforcement – and there needs to be consequences.

      • Harry

        No issues? Where did you get that info?

    • HorsePower Racing

      So all the other races on the day had 6 or 7 horse fields NOT 9 – except an 8 horse field for $3k claimers. This was possibly the most appealing BET race on the card ?? do yah think ? Would not be so quick to jump on this guy……..lets focus on the bigger issues …this is wrong and needs to be addressed lets just not go to overboard….and let due process run its course

      • Jim Lefferts

        They wagered $55,778 on the 8 horse race, $69,129 on the 7 horse race directly before the “fixed” race. From that you conclude they bet $136,351 because of an additional horse? That’s 245%more than the 8 horse race because of one horse? Without getting into statistics the wagering amount in every other race falls into a fairly tight grouping with a small standard variance. Race 9 was a clear outlier. The correlation to the number of horses is not strong and does not explain such an anomaly.

      • Jim Lefferts

        I meant race 7 was an outlier.



  • david

    Wait, if you see these horses everyday, you mean to tell me you can’t recognize your own horses when you put the saddle on? I’d sure like to know how your employed as a trainer…like most, your passing the buck. Both individuals are responsible for the mix up and the bettors get screwed. The horse identifier needs to fired and the trainer suspended for 6 months, he’ll think twice, about checking his own horses.

    • greg

      anyone who’s trained for more than 2 years can spot their horses in the fog in the dark on the backstretch during a workout, and the trainer didn’t notice as they warmed up prior to the race, let alone while saddling, sorry, not buying that

      • Jocke Muth

        Not nick Zito, he has to ask the rider what horse his looking at.

      • vinceNYC

        And no greg they cannot spot a horse in the fog and many look similar..it simply could have been the groom walking the horse out made a mistake…EVERYTHING IS NOT NEFARIOUS…..Dan is a good guy….everyone wishes they can be as perfect as you

        • greg

          looking at most of your other posts as well it seems you call everyone names and make insulting comments. Maybe spend more time working and less time defending everyone, BTW, defending someone won’t make them your friend.

        • AngelaFromAbilene

          He may be the greatest guy in the world and yes, we all make mistakes. I have CRS in a bad way but I simply can’t imagine NOT knowing which horse I was saddling and NOT recognizing them in the post parade. Good gawd, even if they look alike, I seriously doubt they have identical temperaments and way of going.

          • Janie Rupp


          • Harry


    • vinceNYC

      I am sure David you have NEVER made a mistake in your life but to those of us who are imperfect human beings it happens….To think that someone who has been training for 20 plus years without issues is going to risk his livelihood is asinine…..Just as asinine , but again you are perfect no doubt , to suspend someone for 6 months for a MISTAKE is a severe punishment but again if I lived your perfect life I might feel the same

      • HorsePower Racing

        Thanks Vince for an appropriate response. Sadly all the internet experts have perfect records and cant imagine this happening. I am with you Vince. I have been at this game a long time and I also am not perfect.

  • G. Rarick

    I’m surprised it doesn’t happen more often when trainers have barns so big they can’t even pick out one of their “own” horses in a lineup.

  • Southwest Dude

    Kind of makes a case for putting your horse in the hands of a trainer with a smaller stable , who at least knows what his horses look like.

  • lioneltrain

    Ah lebon or chinzano scandal in ny many years ago comes to mind

    • betterthannothing

      Mark Gerard, DVM wrote the book on that except that he was caught. Secretariat’s veterinarian (and my trainer’s vet), went to great lengths (trying) to pull that ringer coup off, including going to Uruguay to buy a faster horse Cinzano and slow horse Lebon that sort of looked alike, allegedly killing the slow one at his Long Island farm in the middle of the night, disposing of the body quickly, having a death certificate signed by another infamous vet, Alex Harthill, sight unseen. He then accused his wife of being mentally unstable when she spoke out against him. Gerard ended-up at the Palm Beach Polo Club and Wellington, FL (allegedly then still living with the same but now ex wife), treating polo and show horses. As the editor of Sidelines magazine told me, everyone either believed that Gerard had been framed, in any case had served his time and above all… “”Micky” is (was) such a great leg vet”.

      • naprovniknaprovnik

        Yikes. And the stories keep coming…

      • togahombre

        they may believe he was framed but others were led to believe he cashed a large win-place ticket,poor guy

      • lioneltrain

        Racing was a lot more fun and colorful in those days

  • vinceNYC

    Dan McFarlane is an honest guy who made an honest mistake

    • naprovniknaprovnik

      Wow. Being vince New York City, you surely know the workings of the ARIZONA track. And you certainly rush to defend the honor Mr. McFarlane. Do you know him personally?

    • forestwildcat

      Or Dan McFarlane has done this before and finally got caught

    • “There was a celebrated case when a big gambler’s outside man gave the slow pill to the wrong horse, with the result that the supposedly dead one, which had been laid at any price, came in by ten. The outside man afterward insisted, almost tearfully, ‘It was an honest mistake’ ” (p. 232).

      — “This Was Racing,” by Joe Palmer (A.S. Barnes & Co., 1953).

  • Daniel Jividen

    Hey! Number 5? Number 7? It’s close enough for government work.

  • Chuck Seddio

    throw the trainer and his assist out of racing. ringer is what we have here,it happened in of all places back in ny at aqu, when a ny trainer brought over a horse named cinzano,but id’d as lebon,and he made a huge score but was later caught. no excuse for the turf paradise incident, and an example should be made with harsh punishment. this is not a mistake it is a crime.


      I AGREE!

      • Chuck Seddio

        I was at aqueduct when the ny ringer happened and cinzano ran once before and he was stiffed,i wish I could remember who rode,gerard’s wife bet the first time but gerard bet the second time and the horse paid about 70$ in a 5000 claimer 9th race . if I remember correctly they cleaned up on the triple,no superfecta was in effect at that time and no otb. as mentioned below ,I met his wife she was not unstable she went nuts when she lost her cash on the first bet and did not bet the second time her husband lied to her .just an afterthought,gerard killed lebon by setting him on fire, the only way he got caught in the ringer scandal is a black and white picture in the daily ny mirror that the old trainer of lebon I Uruguay saw and said that’s is NOT LEBON it is CINZANO

        • tim blake

          he was also seen cashing winning tickets for over $80k. there was no internet to help with anonymity.

          and it was discovered that he had switched several other horses as well. he was not even charged for those.

          and for all of this, he was eventually given a $1,000 fine and a short jail sentence for a misdemeanor.

          this was big news in the late 70s. is it really that big of a mystery why horse racing has been in decline ever since?

    • HorsePower Racing


    • boomer

      Don’t you need to know if this was just a combination of errors or a deliberate act before you decide to condemn anyone here?

  • Lisa Johnson

    There would have had to be something really discernible about an individual horse (and you’d have to be getting on him EVERY day) for most jocks to notice they weren’t on the correct horse. I’m not knocking jockeys, just that likely they were similar enough to not notice. As far as the Trainer, it never said he was actually there tightening the girths….or did I miss that? New grooms in a barn are the likely scenario where they don’t have all the horses figured out yet and this type of accident happens. Having said that, I worked with a guy who confused a big fat, bay, 4 whites and a blaze face quiet gelding for a dainty chestnut filly that was ultra nervous and plain…..
    Obviously these horses looked enough alike (even barring the opposite hind whites).
    To me there are a few different ways to look at this:
    A) obvious gamble trying to be set up
    B) simple mistake (ridiculous in my opinion)
    C) trainer SHOULD know and grooms SHOULD know what they’re leading over
    D) identifier SHOULD have caught it
    E) can’t blame that on the jockey
    F) did each horse get medicated properly prior to be led over?
    G) don’t know how big a barn McFarlane has but clearly, he needs an assistant or a foreman.

    • Guest

      Both horses were in the same race, for the same trainer, and both received Lasix, the only legal race day medication. The veterinarian would have treated both, so even if they’d been identified correctly at Lasix time, this leaves four hours during which to confuse the horses.

  • ivan

    even if you can’t read the tattoo you have the markings to check to make sure it’s the right horse !!!!

  • This is like from something back in the Depression Era of racing. Amazing this happened in 2015!

    • HorsePower Racing

      Generally on the same page Barry but don’t you think there is a little room here ? Lots of us are not perfect and this is plausible – not acceptable – glad its caught – should not happen but lets not go too over the top.

    • horse

      Only if one of his horses wins or is called to the test barn, examined and tested would this have been a story. What investigation would there be otherwise?

  • bello

    ““As soon as I got the win photo, I knew it was the wrong horse,” he said” but did he immediately own up to the mistake? That is not clear in the article. For me this brings back the Parx weight scandal when underweight horses were being intentionally overlooked. How can the identifier NOT pick this up after looking at the tattoo? Not just one person screwing up but five. The grooms, the trainer, the jockeys who have each rode the respective horses before, and the identifier.
    Too many people involved for them all to “make a mistake” around the same event.

    • Tearock

      It does not surprise me that the Jocks didn’t know. They often need to be reminded of which horse they are one. The grooms should know.. but the trainer and the identifier? Come on! Was McFarland not there? He says, as soon as he saw the win picture he knew. …

      • fair racing

        ““As soon as I got the win photo, I knew it was the wrong horse,” he said” But he didn’t know when he saddled, during the race or in the winner’s circle? Hmmmm…..

  • Richard C

    There were probably a few folks who ran faster than Usain Bolt to cash the win tickets on the 29/1 masked racer who hailed from parts unknown.

  • Guest

    As a former rider, how do you not know your horse if you had ridden then before??? NOT!

  • Opps

    That is what happens when grooms saddle horses…

  • Jocke Muth

    Seams like the Valet’s got the saddles mixed up.

  • Mark Fredenberg

    Dan McFarland is an excellent trainer who enjoys an outstanding reputation in Arizona and beyond. It’s easy to rush to judgment for someone that doesn’t know Dan or the circumstances for this unfortunate occurrence. I’m of the opinion the investigation will show no intentional wrongdoing or nefarious activity.

    • tim blake

      I guarantee the investigation will show that. Doesn’t it always when conducted by the local officials within the industry?
      I fully expect that the investigation will start and finish with the interviewing of those involved. And since none of them would ever be dishonest, their statements will justifiably result in complete exoneration for all. Case closed.

      …at least that’s what I predict but I’m only guessing, of course.

      • Homer Bazidlow

        It would be helpful if some of these comments were spell-checked. That would make your positions slightly more credible.

        • tim blake

          it probably wouldn’t

  • Michael Infurna

    Wonder how much the connections bet off shore where the money does not go into the pools.

  • Ray Manley

    If the two grooms that led the two horses over to the paddock are the actual grooms for each of the two horses, I am surprised this happened. A groom usually has 4 to 6 in his/her care. And they get to know their horses very well. And you usually bring a horse over with a halter that has a nameplate on it. Guess the halters could have been switched. The real problem with this whole scenario is that the horse identifier did not catch it. I can believe this is an honest mistake. However, the identifier and the trainer are going to need to be fined and/or suspended in some way.

    • togahombre

      the horse identifier would have had to make the same mistake twice

      • Ray Manley

        Yep. You’re right.

      • tearock

        Agreed.. He obviously did not look at the lip.. but some tattoos are faded and hard to read on an older horse but still…

      • 5times5

        Good point.

    • debc

      Not everyone use halters with name plates, and to be fair , not excusing anyone , watch how fast identifiers roll that lip and walk on, I think big fines are in order, wake some people and trainers up , or make them by glasses.

  • Jason Himelstein

    This does NOT pass the smell test.

  • gus stewart

    Now wait a minute, we have a president of all racing right!!!! Response would be, Its was a very foggy day as these horses were walked out of stalls. There seemed to be alot of strange smelling smoke coming out of the barn area at the time of the walk to the paddock!!! The identifier was up talking to the stewards asking if they could move thier car for him just before the last race was completed. The jocks ( not looking at horse) just were happy to get a leg up on any horse since the business is doing so well!!!! So as I see it, we the above leaders of the sport see no reason tto change a thing with this unfortunate situation thank you!!!

  • Michael Castellano

    I’ve never liked the rules that allow trainers to have more than one horse in the same race with separate betting interests, provided they have different owners and it’s a stakes race. It allows a hand full of trainers to dominate the sport, with someone like a Todd Pletcher having as many as four entrees in the same race. Take the rule away and it spreads around the wealth, as some — even most — owners wouldn’t like their horses to be coupled just for betting purposes. These horses were from the same trainer’s stable, an unforgivable mistake that raises the specter of cheating, even if there was none. It obviously shows at minimum a carelessness on the part of not just the trainer, but his or her staff, the walkers, the tattoo reader/ID person, even the jockeys. You would think that a jockey who rode the same horse six times before would know he got the wrong horse? While I think it was primarily carelessness, I don’t automatically reject other theories. And I’d certainly study the betting patterns on the race, especially to see if the winning horse got wheeled in the exotics.

    • Yes, but all too often, trying to stack the deck results in some quite nice prices when all of the formerly-coupled entries run out. Not to mention the glee of seeing a big-name trainer getting his comeuppance for being greedy.

      Besides, coupled entries would lead to us back to the problem that resulted in killing off the rule: Four- and five-horse fields attracting no wagering.

      • tim blake

        so you think blatant cheating that has driven almost everyone away from the game over the last 30-40 years is better than having fewer betting interests in those races?
        if you don’t already have an executive position in the industry, you’ve missed your calling.

  • Here comes the mandatory $5.00 fine and five-minute suspension.

    • tim blake

      unless they appeal. then surely those would be reduced for being overly harsh.
      and especially since the only way to convict someone is to have them on audio AND video discussing the crime before, during and after. logic and common sense have no place in such matters.

  • Live in Phx

    Dan Mcfarlane make a mistake, as everyone else in connection with this horse , never have known Dan to be a big drinker or gambler , mistakes happen and this one sure made some people look incompetent and or stupid , but I do not believe there was any intent of defrauding the public or cashing a gamble.

    • tim blake

      Well, thank you. With a name like Live in Phx, I think we can all agree that your first-hand knowledge is more than proof positive that there was no wrongdoing here. And truly, how lucky it is for us that your knowledge extends to the motives of each and every other person who seemed to make the same mistake that day.

      I hope the good folks of Arizona are reading this so they don’t waste any more time or money on this unnecessary investigation (which no doubt would have been thorough and fruitful).

  • These events are such a shot-in-the-arm for the PR’s contributing kabbitzers (myself included), one wonders if they can be manufactured on a regular basis — only if to counteract this hopelessly deadly dull Kentucky Derby trail of 2015, which not even the birds in the barns in the early morning are singing about.

    • tim blake

      this is true. and i think they ARE manufactured on a daily basis. we just don’t hear about them because most people don’t get caught…because no one wants to catch them.

      • 4Bellwether666

        that’s because a bunch of them are in on it…

  • Ben Cheese

    It might not have avoided the switch in this case but it is beyond me how this sport, so mired in the past, has not switched from lip tattoos (which are barely readable) to microchips for every registered thoroughbred.

    • Quinnbt

      Technology is a great thing but tradition trumps it in racing.

    • boomer

      I had a 33 year old gelding who when I hauled him they were still able to read his tattoo..

    • debc

      The chips migrate , they would not be fiesable.


    I picked Cavour at TUP to win for me and for our Fraternity . Which horse’s pp have I used ?

  • Jay Romig

    as a hands on owner, this would never happen to me, I know many owners don’t have a close bond with their horses, but this is absolutely unacceptable

  • lioneltrain

    Fat Tony Ciulla must have risen from the grave to orchestrate this ( had to have been in racing in the 70’s to get this one) maybe con erico too

  • Janie Rupp


  • Janie Rupp

    That’s why you need to spend some money on an assistant or foreman that makes sure the right horses get to the paddock,
    trainers that are sitting at the races

    • boomer

      Dan McFarlane has an assistant.

      • pinkdiamondracing

        No…he doesn’t. He used to, but no longer does. I work for him….I was out if town when this happenef

  • 7cents

    What everyone seems to be missing is that the right horses made it to the paddock. The mix up came when the grooms’ smocks were handed out and put on. Seldom are the grooms asked their horses name. It’s “Number 5,” “Number 7.” I have seen a few instances where the wrong horse was brought to the paddock, the identifier caught it, and the horse was scratched and trainer fined. The identifier “probably” should have caught it. That being said, the identifiers are in a bit of a time crunch, horses are fidgety, and they are reading off of a narrow sheet of paper, easy enough to “ok” a tattoo that is listed right near the other.

    • Bill O’Gorman

      That seems reasonable. And the valet may well have saddled the horses – in fact it’s perhaps a miracle that it doesn’t happen more often.

      • Pat SayJack


    • boomer

      At Turf Paradise the grooms get their numbers ahead of time then they bring their horses over. Almost ever stable I have ever trained or worked in grooms are assigned certain horses so they SHOULD have know what horses they were bringing over, and also Sir Seersucker was a brand new horse do Dan McFarlane’s barn so someone should have known this. The valets would not have known that the numbers were switched. Would the riders have known? No not necessarily because they ride a lot of different horses. It is the Identifiers one and only job to check the horses tatoos- which he failed to do properly- no excuses-!!! This is not just a case of one wrong horse being brought over to a race.

  • Mimi H

    I’m not real clear on a point or two at least: Just who saddled the horses? So did the horses and their grooms all have the wrong numbers? The horses had the wrong saddle cloths on, so did the grooms match the horses they were tending? And the jockeys didn’t know either? That is a lot to take on faith.

  • Harry

    Having been in this business over 50 years, not one part of this story passes the laugh test! How stupid do they think we are?

  • Pat SayJack

    people.,stop your fantasizing that some giant score was made here. that’s not how it’s done. dont waste your energy thinking this was a plot.

  • Harry

    What about the gamblers? Where do we go to get a refund?

    • 4Bellwether666

      Like always the gamblers got bent over again!!!…On a fixed Horse race…

  • aquagym

    There now seems to be more coming out about this story. Cameras and video from the wagering areas (HAVE BEEN RUMORED) to been taken for examination also?
    This was a very serious issue because there were also live pick 6 tickets involved.

    But if you want to check out probable betting coups, take a look at last weekends race at Golden Gate where a 38-1 shot wins, a 26-1 (or near that) shot runs second. The exacta paid less than what your neighborhood bookie would pay for a 1$ quinella?? $229 really !!

  • 4Bellwether666

    Rotten…top to bottom…check the wagering pattern on this fiasco…

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