Del Mar’s 10th and final race Saturday was declared a “no contest” by
its stewards when a horse broke through the gate and triggered a
chain-reaction effect by many of the other runners in the 12-horse
field. Only quick actions by assistant starters on the gate
prevented injury to horses or other starters, all of whom escaped injury
in the rare incident.
The horse Indian Spirit – in post 6 -- reared and lunged forward
just prior to the start of the seven-furlong test for maiden claimers,
unseating rider Patrick Valenzuela and then veering sharply to his left
in front of the horses inside him as his assistant starter held on.
Immediately, several other horses also lunged forward, breaking through
Assistant starters and the track’s outriders were able to either hold
on or quickly corral all of the horses that had broken through their
After a quick conversation with starter Gary Brinson, the stewards
made the “no contest” call, meaning for all intents and purposes the
race did not happen and that all monies involved with it were refunded.
They cited California Horse Racing Board rule 1544 that covers such
Brinson reported to the stewards that he never hit the start button
on the gate and video clearly shows that several of the gates never
opened, backing his report.
Del Mar officials reported that $1,002,713 in bets were refunded from
the race on the following bets: win, place and show; exactas;
quinellas; trifectas, superfecta and Super High Five.
The track did pay off its two largest bets – the Pick Six and the
Pick Four. The Pick Six paid $4,671 to 47 tickets that had five winners.
The Pick Four paid $114.50 to 5,279 tickets that had three winners.
Del Mar handled a total of $15,990,976 on its nine races during the afternoon.