By Mike Maloney
What a Preakness. Rachel takes her place in history as Calvin "big race" Borel continues to sizzle. Mine That Bird validates his Derby win with a closing kick reminiscent of Silky Sullivan. Musket Man fires another solid race and trainer Derek Ryan impresses by immediately ruling out the Belmont for the son of Yonaguska. Surprisingly, top contenders Pioneerof the Nile and Friesan Fire are beaten by Wayne Lukas longshots Flying Private and Luv Gov. Bob Baffert and my man Larry Jones candidly admit to being baffled by their horses performances. Not surprisingly, Lukas points toward the Belmont.
All in all, a good day of racing at Pimlico.
Unfortunately the good vibes don't seem to last long in racing today. Barely an hour after the Preakness ended the horses left the gate at Hollywood Park in the Grade 3 Los Angeles Handicap. Jockey Joe Talamo deftly guided Red Arrow to the win and the 2-8-6-3 results were posted on the infield tote board.
The only problem was that the betting windows were still open. That's right, the race is over, the results are posted and you can still make a wager. Hey, who needs Beyer figures anyway?
Let's use this race to conduct an experiment. Let's see if the racing industry is forthcoming and accountable to its customers. By Tuesday at the latest, Hollywood Park should inform the betting public of the failure of the tote system and the possible effect on the pay-offs. I'm sure the California Horse Racing Board was immediately notified of such a serious problem, and since they regulate all racing and wagering in the state, a press release regarding a potential investigation should be issued quickly. The public unknowingly wagered hundreds of thousands of dollars into non-secure mutuel pools, and the CHRB should protect the public's interest.
Let's see if the racing media informs horseplayers about the incident. Will HRTV mention the tote failure, will it be on a TVG newsbreak, how long will it take the DRF to report?
Most of the previous past posting incidents have been swept under the rug by the industry. So keep your eyes on the Hollywood Park race and judge for yourself if the bettor's interests are being protected. And if you aren't satisfied with the industry's response, I have a suggestion for you. Join HANA and help us send the message that today's horseplayers demand transparency and accountability from the industry funded by our wagers.