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‘No Contest’ At Woodbine

Published: November 24, 2015 12:47 am ET

Last Comment: November 29, 2015 1:15 pm ET | 16 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

A fallen horse and driver in Monday’s tenth race at Woodbine Racetrack prompted the Ontario Racing Commission judges to declare the event a ‘no contest’.

Claiming pacer Casimir Low Gear, in rein to Scott Young, appeared to choke behind the starting gate and eventually fell shortly after the start. Young was dumped from the bike, but quickly tended to his horse while the rest of the field made its way to the first turn.

Warning lights were promptly lit and the ORC Judges then activated a loud siren before the rest of the field neared the mid-way point of the race in order to alert drivers of the ‘no contest’.

Despite the warning measures being activated, the remainder of the field continued around the final turn and into the stretch while the fallen horse being tended to by driver Young, the starting gate crew and outrider Joanne Colville.

Both Young and the pacer walked off the track with no serious injuries.

Monday’s main event at Woodbine Racetrack was the $34,000 Preferred Trot, and as the majority of the betting public predicted, Il Sogno Dream was the best in the field of five.

Trevor Henry was content to get away last with the Victor Puddy pupil while Exemplar and Burnin Money took turns on the lead through panels of :27, :56.2 and 1:25. Il Sogno Dream came first-over on the way to the mid-way point, and after chipping away around the final turn he eventually used a :29-second kicker to win by three-quarters of a length over Burnin Money in 1:54.3. Exemplar finished third.

Sent off as the 4-5 favourite, Il Sogno Dream won for the eighth time this season and for the 16th time in his career. The four-year-old son of Cantab Hall-Le Reve, who is owned by Bill and Dan Manes along with Len and Randy Christopher, bumped his career bankroll to $741,109 with the victory.

To view results for Monday's card of harness racing, click the following link: Monday Results – Woodbine Racetrack.

November 29, 2015 - 1:15 pmIt would be valuable for

Gord Brown SAID...

It would be valuable for every track to have speakers all the way around the track. This would enable the drivers to hear the announcer clearly.

November 28, 2015 - 10:10 amI will first make it clear I

I will first make it clear I do not know either Mr. Tillotson or Mr. Middelton, but I think I can explain possibly what Mr. Tillotson meant by "The announcer seemed real late in picking it up". If you watch and listen to the race Mr. Middelton did not as he said "turn off his mic", until after the warning siren sounded four times. Is the time lapse between that and when Mr. Middelton announced the judges have declared the race a "no contest" significant? That of course is debatble and in light of what transpired perhaps irrelevant. The bigger and most important issue is future safety and how to accomplish it with reasonable means. One thing is absolutely certain. The time between when the horse fell, and to Mr. Middelton"s credit he announced it immediately, and when the judges declarerd the race a non contest was a full 50 seconds. If the race was to be declared a no contest(and it was), that is incompetence of the worst kind, and before we blame and or fine the drivers let's fine the right people and hold them accountable!!

November 27, 2015 - 9:09 pmMr. Tillotson, With regards

Mr. Tillotson,

With regards to your comment, I saw Scott Young's horse having trouble behind the gate and actually stayed with that horse when the starting gate let the others go. It was quite apparent Young's horse had shut his air off and was going to fall.

I continued my call of the race until the warning siren was activated by the judges. I turned off my mic in the backstretch and actually phoned them at which time they confirmed it was being declared a 'No Contest'.

The warning lights are just that - a warning to drivers, the outrider, the starter and everyone else that an accident or some type of issue on the track has occurred. Once the siren is activated by the judges it means 'No Contest'.

So I'm not sure what you're referring to that I was late picking 'it' up. What are you referring to? I called the horse down when he went down. I contacted the judges when they sounded the 'No Contest' siren. And shortly after my call to them I made the announcement of the 'No Contest'.

Regards,
Ken Middleton

November 26, 2015 - 7:49 pmThe announcer seemed real

The announcer seemed real late in picking it up as well maybe because he was calling it off tv screen and could not see what was happening directly below the announcers booth.
Dale Tillotson

November 26, 2015 - 12:55 pmto Ron Males Rule 15.06 If

Dave Snowden SAID...

to Ron Males

Rule 15.06 If the horse is behind the gate when the race started it has been declared a starter and thus the claim is valid.

If the claimed horse is in the accident and the worst happens (he dies) he is the property of the new owner and the old owner is still paid.

November 25, 2015 - 3:19 pmI would imagine it is hard

ron males SAID...

I would imagine it is hard for the drivers to hear when they are in a race so perhaps the warning lights should be different or the starter can alert them as the race is going. Also how can a horse be claimed if it was a no contest race? It is good that the horse was ok and no one was injured

November 25, 2015 - 2:41 pmThank -you.... Feed back is

Thank -you.... Feed back is exactly what is needed right now. I am sure someone that can change this will be reading... Keep your ideas coming.. This has got to change..

November 25, 2015 - 1:45 pmThis is a no-brainer...just

Dave Snowden SAID...

This is a no-brainer...just change the rules and setup more warning lights including using the 1/4 mile boxes as a no-contest box. When these lights go on all horses pull up at a controlled pace, no questions, no announcements etc. They do it in Europe all the time.

November 25, 2015 - 12:44 pmMaybe different coloured

John Hill SAID...

Maybe different coloured lights would help, yellow for an accident caution, red for no contest pull up

November 25, 2015 - 10:31 amI would have to agree with

Joe Riga SAID...

I would have to agree with Mrs. Henry
I have often been tough on drivers but in this instance I would have to side with them. I cannot possibly fathom that any driver would purposely risk injuring a fellow driver or horse just to earn a few bucks more.
There must be a communication gap here somewhere. While I agree that Mr. Middleton did say I wish these drivers would pull up perhaps he should have very loudly said Drivers please pull your horses up. Driver down. Not saying it's his fault but he should have been louder and more direct as soon as he knew it was a no contest. That might've helped perhaps. Also maybe the warning lights and horns need to be more visible and louder.

As Mrs. Henry says I have never sat in a bike during a race but I seriously doubt these drivers purposely risked more injury.

November 25, 2015 - 8:48 amYes the warning lights were

robert erie SAID...

Yes the warning lights were on and yes Ken Middleton announced that. The drivers may have/have not been alerted but coming into the stretch the situation at hand became very visible and "SAFETY" was completely ignored by all drivers. When you see a car on the road with a driver on the road, you stop to help or pull over as safety comes first. Horses and drivers well being Trumps all.

November 24, 2015 - 10:16 pmDo you drive on or not.? Why

Do you drive on or not.? Why is there even a question of doubt if it is no contest or not when a horse and driver hit the ground.? Why is it not that if any horse or driver hits the ground it should be declared no contest immediately.? Why do the drivers have to debate wether to drive on or not.? Is everyone aware that not ALL downed horses and drivers warrant a "no contest".? Which then means... That a flashing warning light is just that "A warning Light"..Sometime's meaning "keep driving"... Easy to judge any of these driver's and their abilities to drive and make this bad decision all about them. Although ,Trevor said he will take the heat on this one, he did not hear the "horn" and continued to drive with everyone following. Fine them all.. How many of you have been in a grandstand and looked at each other and said "what did the announcer say.?" And you expect these guys going the speeds they are going in full winter gear to hear the announcer.?Did they hear the sirens.? Full winter head gear can make it hard to hear anything. Don't judge any one of them until you get out there and sit in their colors. The only way to prevent this from happening again is to make every race when a driver or horse goes down ... NO CONTEST... That way everyone knows..IT'S OVER.....

November 24, 2015 - 4:11 pmEvery driver should be fined

jim morgan SAID...

Every driver should be fined for ignoring the lights, siren and the announcer for not pulling up their horses.

November 24, 2015 - 3:04 pmI can't believe what I saw

Diane Bryant SAID...

I can't believe what I saw last night in the tenth race. Is the drivers percentage really worth someone/horse life? You could clearly hear the announcer wish they would pull up also they had to have saw the warning lights. I know you just can't stop a horse on a dime but there was lots of time. I agree with the other two comments that all the drivers should be fined. I remember the accident at Flamboro downs that took the lives of two horses, the drivers had a lot to say than about the judges and the rules in place when accidents occur. If I remember correctly they did review and put in place new measures so this would not happen again.

November 24, 2015 - 10:31 amThe race was declared a "No

John Evans SAID...

The race was declared a "No Contest" and the warning lights were on.
The announcer said he would like the horses to pull up.
It would appear to me that if the rules state that they should have pulled up,
then I think they all should be fined just to show others that if you are
supposed to PULL UP then you better.

November 24, 2015 - 4:02 amThere is something wrong with

There is something wrong with either the warning procedure and or the drivers reactions to it when not a single driver pulled up and several were urging their horses long after the warning siren was activated, the announcer stated it was declared "a no contest and we would love for the drivers to pull up", and the fallen horse and driver were clearly visible!!


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