As you can see in the race replay, Branding, with Gary Stevens aboard, was making what appeared to be a winning move in the stretch when she was shut off in between the eventual winner, Miss Radiance (Alonso Quinonez), and the loose So She Dances. Track announcer Vic Stauffer said in his race call that Branding was "sawed off by the loose horse...and that you can't claim foul against a loose horse."
However, with the stewards not putting up the inquiry sign and allowing the winners' circle photo to be taken, Stevens claimed foul against Miss Radiance and Quinonez, and with apparent good reason as you can see on the head-on replay that begins at 5:30, it appears that the loose horse wasn't the culprit, but Miss Radiance drifting out into Branding's path under a left-handed whip. The stewards looked at the head-on replay for approximately four minutes, and despite the apparent video evidence that Miss Radiance had fouled Branding, they ruled that "although Miss Radiance drifted out it did not cost Branding a better placing," and allowed the result to stand.
The stewards' decision caused a social media uproar with Branding's owner Craig Bernick, trainer Tom Proctor, and Stevens (1, 2) all disagreeing with the stewards' decision via Twitter. Media members Jay Privman (DRF) and Becky Witzman (HRTV), among others, were also against the call as was owner Samantha Siegel. Horseplayers were also displeased with tweets like this and this representing the general feeling. One person was happy, though, that being television and radio personality Jim Rome, whose Jungle Racing LLC owns the mare.
There are issues with this decision. First, the decision appears to be wrong given the video evidence, and second, the reasoning given, that Branding didn't miss out on a higher placing, is also faulty. Finally, what mechanisms are in place to check this call? If this was the National Football League, a supervisor of officials would review the call, and if deemed wrong, the league would issue an apology and the officials would be subject to discipline. Will that happen in this case?
This final tweet sums up the entire situation for many -
What do you think?
Those Hollywood Park stewards are really on their A-game. #HorseRacingShitNoOneSays— ShitNobodySaysRacing (@NoOneSaysRacing) July 1, 2013