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US Horse Racing Questions

by S. Baker
(Illinois)

Beholder ridden by Gary Stevens wins the Breeders' Cup Distaff at Santa Anita

Beholder ridden by Gary Stevens wins the Breeders' Cup Distaff at Santa Anita

Answers for U.S. racing by Laurie Ross of Pedigree Power

Why are some horses that have the same owner and the same trainer not coupled?

Answer: It depends on the racing laws of the state where the track is located.

I was under the impression MTO entries are expected to run even when the main track comes up sloppy yet many are scratched. Are they only expected/required to run when the main track is fast?

Answer: It depends on when the race was called off the turf. If the race is scheduled for turf when the day's scratches are declared, then the MTO horse is scratched and will not run if the race is later switched to dirt.

How does a horse become entered in a maiden claiming race as a waiver maiden claimer when others have a tag?

Answer: These events are also called Optional Claiming races. The owners/trainers have the option of not running the horse for a tag. The reason is to run the horse at the correct class level, but not wanting to lose the horse in a claim.

When a horse wins an optional claimer with conditions of N1X (or similar) that was not entered to be claimed, is the win considered an allowance win or a claiming win?

Answer: Claiming win.

Can a trainer scratch a horse due to a bad post draw?

Answer: Depends on the state rules the track is located in, this usually isn't done unless it's a stakes race with a large field.

Why are some 1st-time starters allowed to race without a published gate work? (the published works are less than six shown)

Answer: No 1st-time starters are allowed to race without a published gate work.

Why are positive test results for winning horses that are subsequently DQ’d from prize money not made part of PP’s or made public?

Answer: The procedure for the DQ can take months, sometimes years if appealed, and the DQ for positive is generally made public.

What does the “eye spat” in the comment line of the pp’s mean?

Answer: There was a pace duel, battle or "spat."

If a horse is claimed and tests positive for drugs (by track) can the claim be voided by the new connections?

Answer: Yes.

Are jockeys ever drug tested?

Answer: Yes, but only if there is the reason to do so or probable cause, such as having received a DUI or having been charged with drug possession or use.

Why/when were the mutual pools no longer published in the result charts?

Answer: Mutual Pool = On Track total handle. They are published at the end of the day's result charts.

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