Inquiring minds stew over Hollywood Park flubs

May 7, 2002 9:45 AM

Inquiry, I say.

The Hollywood Park stewards should be under an inquiry for either being biased, blind or stupid. In any sport, all that bettors want are fair and balanced decisions by officials.

It is almost ludicrous how bad the So Cal stewards have become, but last week was the icing on the cake. Last Wednesday, with a $3.5 million Pick-6 up for grabs, they took down a horse ridden by their whipping boy Pat V. (they take Pat down if he blinks wrong) for brushing against a tiring rival that had no chance to win.

This horse was best and should have never been taken down. As I was sitting there and the inquiry light came on everyone around me, all hardened horseplayers, said that there was no way he was coming down. Everyone was wrong except the So Cal stewards.

Then the very next day, they take down another horse this time a 2 year old who shot to the lead, cut over to the rail and the horse inside of him and also behind him took a bad step and fell. We all thought it was just a general inquiry because of the spill.

Every time they showed the replay it was very apparent that the horse took a bad step and the horse they took down had nothing to do with the fall. Then it really happened. Just three races later, a horse called Fair Bianca absolutely wiped out a horse in the stretch called Braids and Beads ridden by L Pincay Jr.

The pirate did all he could just to stay on, as he had to pull his horses up as hard as he could. Then FB continued to drift out 10-wide. This was a blatant foul and everyone in the race book agreed this guy should come down, including me. And, I had bet on the winner!

After a short look, the stews did nothing. Unbelievable. I guess with these stewards it’s the status of the bettor, rider and trainer that makes the difference. It’s hard enough to get a winner and you have to put up with this wrong.

Inquiry, I say. We need some kind of a change, especially in a sport fighting for survival. All we ask is a fair shot.