A Golden Gate Fields employee reportedly working on the Northern California track's turf course timing system escaped serious injury in the fifth race on Friday, May 12, after erroneously thinking the race was being run on the outer main track – not the turf course.
The man was positioned in the middle of the turf course near the quarter pole during the five-furlong sprint when the field of eight fillies and mares approached. The Equibase chart stated that three horses checked, steadied or altered course to narrowly avoid hitting the man, and a fourth horse – Spring Heat, ridden by Francisco Duran – hurdled over him after he dropped to his knees and rolled to the side.
According to Daily Racing Form, the employee was taken to first aid but did not require treatment.
Stewards conducted an inquiry but made the race official, citing a California Horse Racing Board rule stating at least half the field must be impeded in order for the race to be called “no contest.”
UPDATE: A stewards ruling issued on May 13 and posted on social media identified the man as Nixon Dang. He was fined $200 for the incident for violation of CHRB rule 1881 (Exclusion of Persons From Race Course).
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