Last Thursday, on the VFTRG blog site, the author talked about a race from The Downs at Mohegan Pocono Downs where the starting gate wasn't properly deployed before taking the field to the gate. Best guess would be the outside portion of the gate would have been roughly 50% deployed at the start, never moving to get any better as the field got to the starting point. To make things even worse, two beneficiaries of the incomplete deployment of the gate were leavers. Sure enough, the field reached the starting point and the two leavers were well on their way, one leading the field until it tired, only to be overtaken by the other leaver who sat right behind the other horse around the track and then went on to victory.
Now to be fair, perhaps these horses would have left anyway and the final results as to the race winner wouldn't have been any different but should they have benefited from the advantage given to them?
As you have read in the original article, the starting gate judge supposedly was disturbed when the judges called down by a horse hitting the gate and when all was said and done, all the judges in the stand voted to let the result stand (there was no inquiry). That's all and good, but the judges had plenty of time to call for a reformation to allow the problem with the starting gate be corrected. Better yet, why did the starting gate begin moving until the gates were fully deployed?
I realize any big time gambler avoids Pocono Downs like the plague with their low handle and murderous rake, but is this an excuse for what happened? Aren't the judges supposed to protect the gamblers' interest besides ensure the race is conducted correctly? Last I checked, the $2 gambler is entitled to the same protection a $500 a race gambler is.
From my view, the gamblers (except those who had winning tickets) were cheated. Do you agree? Were the judges and track management concerned with getting the races done on time or did they just not care (the option of declaring the race 'no-contest' was available to the judges)? Perhaps more importantly, the question may be have the punters been so abused by bad calls of judges in the past that they just shrug it off as 'being part of the game'?
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