Trainer Bobby Frankel had plenty to say after the roughly-run Monrovia Handicap (gr. IIIT) on Tuesday over Santa Anita's downhill turf course.
Frankel's 11-10 favorite Rolly Polly was seventh. She and several others in the 12-horse field were trapped without inside racing room during the stretch run.
After Lil Sister Stitch defeated Pina Colada by a head, Frankel blamed the traffic trouble on racing officials for their placement of the portable inner rail, which was set 24 feet from the permanent rail. Frankel claimed that didn't allow enough racing room for a large field.
"Why don't they make it 34 feet if they really want to get somebody killed?" Frankel told the Los Angeles Times. "All they care about is protecting the [grass] course. A jockey or a horse is going to getting killed, the way they do things. The trouble is that none of these tracks care about the horses or the jockeys."
Rolly Polly "was blocked and boxed in, then steadied off heels [of other horses] in mid-stretch and could not recover," according to the Equibase chart of the race. Jockey Victor Espinoza, aboard ninth-place finisher Adoration, was forced to stand up in the irons to steady his mount. Lil Sister Stitch was declared the winner following a stewards' inquiry also involving Pina Colada and third-place finisher I'm The Business.