A year after the Life At Ten Fiasco, the Churchill Downs stewards,
more so than anyone else, needed a good couple of days at the Breeders'
Cup to redeem themselves and to restore the public's confidence in them.
It didn't happen. The one time they were called upon to make a decision
they got the call so wrong that their competence was again called into
Goldikova was penned down on the inside in the Breeders' Cup Mile and
rider Olivier Peslier, desperate for room, made an abrupt move to the
left and slammed into Courageous Cat, nearly dropping rider Pat
Valenzuela. That kicked off a chain reaction in which a bunch of horses
The stewards did not post the inquiry sign, but that happens. There was a
lot going on in the race and the field was a big one -- it's easy to
understand how they could have missed it.
Valenzuela and Courageous Cat finished last of 13, so the rider had
nothing to gain by claiming foul. One can only imagine that Valenzuela
was so irate by Peslier's move that he decided to stick it to the French
rider by claiming foul and having Goldikova come down after she
finished third. He gave the same stewards who did not light the inquiry
sign a chance to redeem themselves.