I saw something this week that happens way too much at horse tracks across America and it needs to stop. Stewards think they are the Gods of horse racing. In reality, they’re killing the sport I love with bad decisions after bad decisions. For the people who aren’t too familiar with horse racing, Stewards are basically the referees. I’ve been on both ends of their decisions but more often than not, their decisions are totally wrong.
Case in point, October 8, 2020, Laurel Park Race 5. Jockey Jevian Toledo, who was on the #3 horse Benny Havens, made a power move coming around the last turn and his horse was flying. He came across two lanes to take the lead in the race and beat the #6 horse Daddy’s Cozy by a head. The Owner/trainer Anthony Aguirre, Jr was ready to celebrate a well-deserved victory with a horse who was morning line 12-1. This victory would have been Toledo’s fourth win in five races on the card but after about 4-5 mins, an objection comes up on the board and this is where the Stewards are killing racing.
The Stewards disqualified Benny Havens, placing Daddy’s Cozy as winner. No explanation given for the DQ. Not only did Aguirre, Jr not get the win but they DQ’d the horse, which means no place money at all. A total bullshit decision in my opinion and this, my friends, is what’s turning long time horse handicappers away from the game. The payouts for Benny Havens winning would have been very nice. The pick 3-$121.00, pick 4-$397, and pick 5-$3,700. This decision just does not affect the players who bet on Benny Havens but it directly affects owner Anthony Aguirre, Jr. These Stewards need to be held accountable for their actions and decisions. They also need to give the explanation of their decisions.
The biggest and most famous disqualification in horse racing recently happened at the biggest race in the world, the 2019 Kentucky Derby. After a long 22-minute delay, the Stewards disqualified Maximum Security from first place and placed him 17th, giving the win to Country House (big win for Kwasmoney). This led the owners of Maximum Security taking the decision to court. In all other major sports, the referees, umpires, or officials face the crowd when making their decisions and hear it from the crowd but in horse racing these cowards are hidden in a room deciding people’s livelihoods. They should have to face the music and give their decisions; not just have the numbers change on the tote board! The Stewards have total discretion of what is a racing foul and determine the futures for these horses and owners. I’ve seen horses bump, slam into other horses and even cut off horses and its determined that no foul occurred. This is what really pisses me off with horse racing. It’s clear as day that not every decision will be correct. I’m not a dumbass I understand that, but the blatant and obvious fouls need to be called and when no foul occurs, like in today’s race 5 at Laurel Park, they need to let the race stand and make no changes!
Here is the link to race 5 at Laurel and you tell me if Benny Havens should have been DQ’d:
Mr. Aguirre, I hope you see this and know that you are not alone in this fight to get rid of the bullshit these Stewards do to you owners, trainers and fans.