Owner, Drivers Banned Over Race Fixing

Published: December 7, 2009 10:48 am EST

According to a report, a harness racing owner has been banned from the sport for 13 years after it was determined that he was found guilty of manipulating a race


An article by the Herald-Sun states that Queensland harness racing stewards down under have banned the owner, Lucas Sullivan, and also disqualified drivers Jay Bellamy and David Turner for four years for not letting their horses run on their merits.

Sullivan had been an announcer and provided race tips for upcoming contests.

The report states that Sullivan owned three horses in the race in question and that he had selected one, a pacer named Harkham, to finish third. The article says that Sullivan had placed a five-figure wager on the horse via three separate betting agencies.

Sullivan was found guilty of seven charges in relation to the race.

The article goes on to state that steward Neil Finnigan described the inquiry as "disturbing" and said it would "seriously tarnish the reputation of the participants and the industry as a whole".

The stewards sensed something abnormal in betting trends when Harkham, who had run last at his previous three starts, was backed from about $14 to $3.60.

Click here to the read the Herald-Sun article in its entirety.

(With files from the Herald-Sun)



In the older era. We had two incidents of race fixing in Ontario,one in Barrie and one in Elmira. After a period of time they were allowed back to race. Two were found guilty in Barrie&one in Elmira. All three gentleman are still racing in there 60.s. In my opinion they should never been allowed back

This is another pet peeve of mine...I gather from this story that the three horses owned by this charlatan were not coupled as entries. This makes absolutely no sense to me. This is the kind of thing that can also happen here in Canada (and if I know human nature, already has).

A few years ago all horses of same ownership were grouped as an entry, and before that even horses that were from the same stable wore the same number, but it seems that now in all races with purses over $100,000 no more protection is given to the punters by making them entries. I have yet to get a reasonable explanation as to why these rules were changed.

It is the same old argument once again. If you want people to bet their hard-earned money, you have to give them a reasonable amount of confidence that what they are betting on is legitimate. This is simply not the case, not by any stretch of the imagination. Every neophyte harness racing attendee is certain that cheating by the insiders is going on, and most of the veteran bettors are convinced of it.

The latest rule changes only fortify these opinions. The rule where horses have to move up in class off a claim, the ridiculous whipping rule that has almost no support, and this "entry" fiasco are three that come immediately to mind.

If we want to bring the handle and attendance up, we need to have our integrity be beyond reproach. The only concerns that our "fearless leaders" seem to have is to please the minority, who could care less whether standardbred racing went down the toilet tomorrow, such as animal activists, or selfish, envious and greedy insiders who are in it mostly for the money.

It's a "few" people like this in the industry that give the whole game a black eye. The bans should be for life for any major offenses like this or giving horses non- thereaputic drugs like EPO etc. They are ruining it for everyone!

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