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Dead-heat winners dq'd at Monticello

June 29, 2011
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Talk about a scramble.  One of the strangest happenings ever in a harness race took place at Monticello Raceway on Monday afternoon. The result was a rare disqualification of dead-heat winners.
 
It was the ninth race on the card and until the pacers approached the finish line nothing out of the ordinary happened. Then, just as the field approached the finish line, there was interference which caused a rallying horse, Armbro Dasher, to go down and catapult  his driver Bobby Williams Jr. overtop of the fallen horse.
 
Williams got up  and grabbed his mare just after she got to her feet and wasn’t hurt. Armbro Dasher sustained some scrapes and bruises but nothing serious.
 
The fracas happened  as the tightly-packed field approached the finish line. Williams was moving his pacer between horses but they were squeezed on the outside by Hartangel driven by Bob Krikorian, and on the inside  by Success Brings Joy in rein to Roy Marohn. The confluence  of  Success Brings Joy and Hartangel took the legs out from under  Armbro Dasher  and she tumbled to the ground dumping Williams to the ground.
 
What made that event  extremely anomalous was that the two horses who interfered with the fallen pacer continued and they reached the finish line simultaneously. After careful scrutiny of the photo the judges initially declared a dead heat  between Success Brings Joy and Hartangel. Then after reviewing the head-on film of the stretch drive the judges determined that Marohn and Krikorian were both at fault by taking the racing room from Williams’ horse.
 
They then placed both dead-heat winners out of the money and according to many that was a harness racing first.
 
Careful  inspection of the race film was needed for the judges to make to final placings. When the race was finally declared official, l  Winbak Transfer, in rein to Kevin Hough, who was just  a neck behind the dead-heat finishers in third position, was declared the winner in the 2:02 clocked mile. All American Winner, driven by Vincent Ginsburg, was  a nose behind Winbak Transfer and placed second while Bilmar Diva and driver Bruce Aldrich Jr., some eight lengths behind the top horses, was moved up to third place. (Monticelo)
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