A Sacramento horse owner and the silks custodian at Cal Expo are in trouble with the California Horse Racing Board for allowing a horse to improperly race in the colors of the Confederate battle flag during the state fair meet July 15.
The horse, Mute Rudulph, won the fourth race that day in his racing debut for owners Bill Wilbur, Chris Carpenter, and Bill McLean, who also trains the horse. The 2-year-old bay colt is named after Ken Rudulph, a host for the horse racing network TVG. Rudulph, who is African-American, is coincidentally from Sacramento.
The CHRB alleges that track colors man Tony Baze "received financial consideration and conspired to aid and abet" with Wilbur to substitute the "Southern Cross" for the horse's designated colors. The change in silks was not reported to the clerk of the course prior to the race.
Both men face possible license revocation or suspension "for conduct detrimental to horse racing" under rules pertaining to proper attire for a jockey and for solicitation to participate in a prohibited act. The violations are also grounds for future license denial.
Wilbur, a longtime owner in Northern California, declined to comment on the incident while the complaint is pending. The stewards at Santa Rosa have scheduled an Aug. 7 hearing.
A Sacramento Kings supporter, Wilbur's horses usually run in silks that emulate the NBA team's black, white, and purple colors.
Ridden by Michael Martinez, Mute Rudulph, a son of Sea of Secrets, raced greenly on the front end to score by three-quarters of a length at 10-1 odds in a $12,500 maiden claiming race at 5 1/2 furlongs, according to the Equibase chart of the race.