ORC Rules On Gillis/Jamieson Appeal

Published: June 17, 2010 12:21 pm EDT

The Ontario Racing Commission today released its ruling in regard the appeal of trainer Jeff Gillis and driver Jody Jamieson stemming from the 2009 edition of the

William Wellwood Memorial Stakes.

The William Wellwood Memorial was held Sunday, September 20, 2009, at Mohawk Racetrack. Ten horses competed in the race. Newport Volo was driven by Jamieson and trained and owned by Gillis.

Another horse in the race, Temple of Doom, was driven in the event by Dave Miller and trained by Jonas Czernyson for owner Robert Rosenheim Stables Limited.

During the stretch drive, Newport Volo broke from its gait, from trot to pace. Newport Volo continued to pace, for approximately five to seven strides, to the finish line.

Newport Volo did not continuously lose ground while on the break, as required by Rule 22.27 (c) of the Rules of Standardbred Racing.

The original order of finish was Il Villaggio (first), Newport Volo (second) and Temple of Doom (third).

The panel of track judges for the race consisted of Jeff Minler (Senior Standardbred Judge), Tom Miller (Associate Standardbred Judge) and Chuck Fraleigh (Associate Standardbred Judge).

From their viewing stand, the track judges observed the break from the trot to pace by Newport Volo in the stretch drive. It also appeared that Newport Volo was not pulled to the trot gait by the finish line and further that Newport Volo may not have continuously lost ground while on the break. The judges lit the INQUIRY sign.

On Monday, September 21, 2009, following a hearing for Jamieson and Gillis, the track judges issued a unanimous Ruling, SB 41343, for violation of ORC Rule 22.27 (c) of the Rules of Standardbred Racing as follows: “The Judges did place the horse ‘Newport Volo’ from 2nd to 3rd for failing to continuously lose ground when off stride in race #8 at Mohawk on September 20, 2009.”

On Monday, September 21, 2009, Jamieson and Gillis filed a notice of appeal against the Ruling. On Wednesday, September 23, 2009 the placing of Newport Volo was stayed “until this appeal is heard.” As an interim measure, third-place monies of $61,800 each, have been released to the owners of Newport Volo and Temple of Doom. A hearing will, inter alia, determine the distribution of the remnant of the second place purse monies of $66,950.

On June 10, 2010, an ORC panel, consisting of Commission Member John Macdonald, as Chair, Commissioner David Gorman and Commissioner Dan Nixon, was convened to hear this matter.

Jamieson appeared in person. Jamieson and Gillis were represented by Jean Marc MacKenzie as counsel. Robert Rosenheim was represented by D. Larry Todd as counsel. The ORC administration was represented by Anthony Williams as counsel.

Following a review of the exhibits filed and after hearing the evidence of Jeff Minler, Acting Senior Standardbred Judge, Thomas Peter Miller, Associate Standardbred Judge and Jamieson, driver, and after hearing submissions of the three counsel, the panel ordered as follows:

(i) the appeal by Jamieson and Gillis is dismissed;
(ii) the placing of Newport Volvo by the Judges from 2nd to 3rd is upheld;
(iii) the remnant of the purse monies ($66,950) is to be distributed to Robert Rosenheim Stables Limited.

A transcript with the Panel’s Reasons for Decision can be read by clicking here.

(With files from the ORC)