Danger was averted during the second race at Santa Anita Park Oct. 12 as a result of a loose horse running the wrong way up the homestretch. The race, a six-furlong sprint for maiden 2-year-olds, was declared a no contest by track stewards (VIDEO).
Spinning Love was away in good order from his inside post but as he left the chute he hesitated and then jumped to his left, clearing the temporary inside rail and unseating jockey Alonso Quinonez. He proceeded to run the wrong way along the inside rail through the clubhouse turn and into the stretch.
"First-time starters coming out of the one hole going three-quarters, sometimes they do that (veer in)," said Quinonez, who was uninjured. "Sometimes we're able to help them by keeping the stick in the left hand, but when he saw the horses outside of him, he tried to run away from them."
Santa Anita's three-member board of stewards —Scott Chaney, Kim Sawyer and Tom Ward— made a swift decision.
"We radioed our outriders and one of them was able to communicate to the jockeys that we had a loose horse running the wrong way," said Sawyer. "We also told (track announcer) Trevor (Denman) and he immediately announced it. As the field rounded the turn, the jockeys could see the loose horse and they stopped riding.
"Our outrider who is positioned at the starting gate chased the loose horse and was able to herd him towards the outside rail as he headed up the stretch, and at that point the jockeys went ahead and persevered with their mounts to the wire.
"It was our judgment, however, that the race be declared a no contest, because it was obvious that the running of the race had been seriously disrupted."
Trainer Tim Yakteen reported that Spinning Love exited his wrong-way ordeal in good order.
"He came out of it absolutely fine," said Yakteen of the colt, a first time starter. "He headed straight for the stable area and he's back at my barn now."
As a result of the no contest ruling, full refunds, totaling $267,507, were granted on all daily doubles involving races two and three, win, place and show wagers, exactas, trifectas and superfectas.
For those including race two in their Pick 3s, 4s, 5s, and in the Pick All, the race was considered an "All" race for pari-mutuel purposes and the tickets are live.