Tioga issues statement regarding wrong horse racing in Open
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Tioga Downs has issued a statement regarding its 11th race last Sunday, where a horse who raced in a conditioned race early on the card came back and raced again in the Open Pace in place of a programmed horse.
The incident involved Always Lucky K, a 10-year-old No Nukes gelding with career earnings of $214,000 who finished second in the afternoon’s first race, a $4,200 conditioned pace for non-winners of $1,500 last five starts, at odds of 33-1 for trainer Luke Plano and driver Rick Plano. The time for the mile was 1:56, with Always Lucky K finishing 1 ½ lengths behind and race-timed in 1:56.1.
Always Lucky K then came back and raced in the $14,000 Open Pace from post six instead of programmed Silver Flash, a 7-year-old Hi Ho Silverheel’s gelding with $378,452 earned and coming off a victory in the weekly Tioga Open Pace at odds of 9-2. In Sunday\'s race, with bettors believing they were wagering on Silver Flash, Always Lucky K went off at fourth-choice odds of 5-1 for driver Howard Parker and trainer Paul Szalay Jr., finishing last in the seven-horse field, beaten nine lengths in a 1:54.1 mile.
The following is a statement released Wednesday afternoon by Tioga Downs’ regional vice president of development and simulcasting Jason Settlemoir:
We are aware of the fact that on Sunday, August 10th at Tioga Downs in the 11th race, horse number six, Silver Flash did not race and in his place was Always Lucky K who earlier raced in the first race on Sunday afternoon. The New York State Racing and Wagering Board is thoroughly investigating the situation. In the meantime we have conducted our own internal investigation based on a review of the surveillance tapes from the paddock which appears as though this was an unfortunate mistake where a misidentification of a horse took place, and there was no intent to deceive the public by anyone. There was also an internal review of the betting patterns which shows no irregularities that we can speak to, but we await the final outcome and decision from the New York State Racing and Wagering Board. In the meantime we appreciate your patience and business as we continue to work through the situation with the state and we will continue to produce great racing at Tioga Downs with integrity as our cornerstone of the business. We have no further comment at this time and will continue to work and cooperate with the New York State Racing and Wagering Board throughout the course of their investigation.