On Saturday February 27, at Gulfstream Park the last race was changed from turf to dirt after multi-leg wagers were made. As you know, the jockey's refused to ride the last race on the turf. We certainly respect their decision as horseplayers, because their safety, and the safety of the horses is of paramount importance to everyone. However, we consider the way that multi-leg wagers were handled troubling.
The Horseplayers Association of North America, an advocacy group which represents close to 1,500 horseplayers, asks that changes be made immediately regarding late surface changes.
Turf and dirt are completely different, and most horseplayers handicap them differently. If a race is taken off the turf, a completely different set of mechanics are used by horseplayers to make their selections. Without a doubt, multi-leg bets on races, where the surface was changed prior to the start of betting of that multi leg wager, need to result in an 'all' for the specific race(s) of the changed surface race(s).
HANA urges all jurisdictions which do not current have an equitable remedy in place, to implement such a rule change in as expedient a manner as possible to ensure that horseplayers are treated fairly in future situations. HANA would like to see a standardization of such rules across all racing jurisdictions.
HANA recommends the adoption of a policy changing the outcome to "ALL" for races for that leg in a multi-race wagers which have an announced surface change after the first race of the sequence has commenced.
We would be more than happy to discuss this with you, or any jurisdiction, at your earliest convenience. Working together, we believe we can fix problems like this and help make horse racing a better sport to watch, play and enjoy.
The Horseplayers Association of North America