Officials announced March 4 that they found no wrongdoing following an investigation into a $100,000 show wager canceled 10 minutes prior to the running of the first division of the Southwest Stakes (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park Feb. 20.
The investigation, which lasted nearly two weeks, actually began before the horses left the gate in the one-mile race for 3-year-olds.
The big show wager was placed on Longview Drive, the 3-1 favorite, at Santa Anita, then was canceled 10 minutes before the start. Longview Drive finished in a dead-heat for sixth in the race.
The Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau, Arkansas State Racing Commission, Oaklawn Board of Stewards, the Santa Anita Board of Stewards, and California Horse Racing Board all scrutinized the wager. Santa Anita stewards interviewed the bettor. All parties found there was no intent to influence the wagering pools for the race.
“We have found no intentional manipulation,” said Arkansas State Steward Stan Bowker. “We understand that this caused alarm for many horseplayers watching the race, but they should feel confident that the system put in place to protect them worked. As soon as we saw the money leave the show pool we decided we needed to look into the matter and got the ball rolling even before the horses had left the gate.”
Santa Anita, which stopped importing Oaklawn’s signal March 1 because of the ongoing investigation, will begin offering Oaklawn’s races to its players this week.
“The atypical nature of this particular transaction justified the scrutiny it received,” said Bobby Geiger, Oaklawn’s director of gaming and wagering. “Fans participating in Oaklawn’s pari-mutuel pools should take comfort knowing the various regulatory and oversight authorities are looking out for their best interests. Maintaining mutuel pool integrity is paramount, the process worked."