Gulfstream Park plans to enlist its stewards and public address announcer in an effort to provide bettors more information and greater transparency whenever there is a disqualification or objection on any of its races, the track announced Feb. 28.
"We truly believe the bettor deserves a detailed explanation as to why a horse has been disqualified," said Gulfstream president Tim Ritvo in a press release. "We need to continue to find ways to improve the integrity and transparency of the sport. We have not done a good job explaining why our stewards have disqualified a horse, and we're going to change that. We have a few changes we will implement immediately, but we are studying a number of other ideas, including a camera and microphone in the stewards' booth."
Track announcer Larry Collmus will provide a detailed explanation for any future ruling while a replay of the infraction is highlighted and played from pan and head-on angles. A statement by the stewards will be posted on Gulfstream Park's website under disqualifications.
The announcement from Gulfstream comes after a controversial call by stewards in the final race Feb. 22. A 15-1 shot, Collinito, was disqualified from an apparent neck victory and placed second for interference in the stretch. A victory by Collinito would have rewarded one single ticket holder with a $1.4 million Rainbow 6 payoff.
"I have talked to several track officials and respected stewards over the past week and we've discussed several ways of being more transparent when it comes to objections and inquiries," Ritvo said. "Obviously, there's never going to be a 100% consensus whether a horse should or should not be taken down. We want stewards to be consistent, but we also want them to treat each race individually because every scenario is different.
"There will be things we add, maybe a few we eventually subtract, but our decisions will be based on what is best for our bettors," Ritvo said. "If these changes work at Gulfstream, we will roll them out across all Stronach Group tracks."