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Pantaleano, Tharps ousted

January 18, 2004

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Following last Wednesday night's (Jan. 14) card at Northfield Park, Randy Tharps and Jim Pantaleano have been ordered off the Cleveland track's grounds. Although no specific reason was given by Northfield Park's chief operating officer and executive vice president Tom Aldrich, observers believe the action stemmed from the sixth race in which Tharps and Pantaleano, driving the favorite and third favorite, respectively, were off the ticket.

In that race, 60-1 Trot In Harmony was the winner by more than five lengths, followed by 21-1 Fugeddaboudit, with the exact returning $219.60. The top-two finishers raced one-two the entire mile, while Pantaleano, driving 5-1 Arnie's E-Mail, finished fourth, with Tharps and the 3-5 choice, Two AT, sixth.

"Northfield Park, in the exercise of its own independent and discretionary business judgment, has barred Jim Pantaleano and Randy Tharps from our private property indefinitely," said Aldrich. "Additionally, Mr. Pantaleano and Mr. Tharps will not be permitted to participate in Northfield Park's racing program."

Aldrich added that as of Monday morning (Jan. 19) neither horseman has requested any appeal of the track's decision, and that no penalties have come from the Ohio Racing Commission. Horses trained by Pantaleano, who has one of the largest stables at Northfield Park, raced over the weekend but with a different driver.

"The horses which were entered under (Pantaleano's) name as trainer were permitted to race out because we did not change our business relationship with the owners," said Aldrich. "Mr. Pantaleano was not on the grounds."

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