Owner Stews Over Rabbit’s Actions In Sword Dancer, Files Appeal

by | 09.01.2016 | 12:12am
Aaron Gryder, aboard pacesetter Inordinate, looks back toward stablemate Flintshire as the 2016 Sword Dancer field enters the stretch. Inordinate drifted off the rail, making room for Flintshire

The owner of Roman Approval has filed an appeal of a decision by stewards at Saratoga not to disqualify Inordinate for interfering with his horse at the top of the stretch of Saturday's Grade 1 Sword Dancer Stakes, won by Inordinate's stablemate Flintshire.

Roman Approval finished sixth, a half-length behind fifth-place finisher Inordinate, who was part of an uncoupled entry owned by Juddmonte Farms and trained by Chad Brown and served as a pacesetter or “rabbit” for Flintshire.

“Mr. (Kirk) Wycoff (owner of Roman Approval in the name of his family's Three Diamonds Farm) filed the appeal on Monday,” Mike Maker, trainer of Roman Approval, told the Paulick Report. “The rabbit beat us a half a length. I'd say it was a close enough margin to make a change.”

Inordinate earned $40,000 for finishing fifth, while Roman Approval received $30,000 for his sixth-place finish – a difference of $10,000.

The Equibase chart footnotes of the race state: “INORDINATE broke awkwardly and a step slow, moved out while rushing up under urging, advanced to perform his assigned task as a rabbit, went three to four wide on the first turn, moved clear down the stretch the first time, continued under urging in front, vied along the hedge on the final turn, had the rider take a peek behind him coming to the quarter-pole, was pulled off the inside at the top of the stretch, jostled with ROMAN APPROVAL while letting his stablemate FLINTSHIRE through then gave way. ROMAN APPROVAL took the early lead, was joined by INORDINATE while in the two path on the first turn, decided against continuing on the blistering pace, was wrestled back down the stretch for the first time, tracked in hand while traveling in the two path, made a bid with a half-mile to run, vied in the two path on the final turn, jostled with ROMAN APPROVAL when that foe came out at the quarter-pole, then was take up and capitulated.”

Maker filed an objection immediately after the Sword Dancer but stewards made no change in the order of finish.

Florent Geroux, the rider of Roman Approval, did not claim foul against Inordinate, but Wycoff told Daily Racing Form the jockey is “hopelessly conflicted” because he rides many horses for Brown, Saratoga's leading trainer.

If Inordinate had been disqualified, stewards also had the option to disqualify Flintshire from his victory if they felt he benefited from the actions of his stablemate, whether or not the horses were coupled for wagering purposes.

New York State Gaming Commission Rule 4035.2(e)(2) states: If any horses trained by the same trainer race uncoupled in any race, and one or more of them shall be disqualified for violation of the rules of racing, any other horses entered by that same trainer shall also be disqualified if in the judgment of the stewards such violation prevented any other horse or horses from finishing ahead of the other part of the entry. If said violation is without such effect upon the finish of the race, penalty therefore may be applied against the offender only.

Replay of the Sword Dancer

Twitter Twitter
Paulick Report on Instagram