The California Horse Racing Board and Xpressbet are cooperating in a follow-up examination of a $30,000 win wager made at Betfair Hollywood Park Nov. 9 and canceled a few minutes before the seventh race.
Spokesmen for the regulatory agency as well as the advance deposit wagering company were not referring to the incident as a case of odds manipulation. It may have just been cold feet.
"We've been in contact with Xpressbet and they are cooperating," said Mike Marten, spokesman for the CHRB. "We are exploring various options as to how to proceed."
A spokesman for Xpressbet, who asked not to be identified, added, "We are working with the CHRB and other jurisdictions to see that this doesn't happen again."
Questions arose after the wager was made on Ekahi in a $16,000 claiming race at seven furlongs. Ekahi was a 30-1 shot on the morning line that was 3-5 in the wagering about 15 minutes before post time. The odds rose slightly as the race drew near and suddenly jumped to 14-1 three minutes before post.
By the time the race went off, Ekahi was 27-1 in the wagering. He ran last of nine at every call, with the race won by 5-2 favorite Cast a Doubt.
Marten said there is nothing currently in California horse racing law that specifically prevents the cancellation of such a wager.
The incident was similar to a situation that occurred with an Xpressbet cutomer twice in the same race during the Santa Anita Park autumn meeting Oct. 20. Two bets, one for $15,000 and the other for $25,000, were made and canceled at different intervals prior to the start.
After a review of the customer's wagering habits in consultation with Xpressbet, the CHRB reported at the time that it did not believe the individual was "attempting to benefit from odds manipulation."