KY Downs Placing Judge Posted Wrong Finish

Track president said mistake was caused by placing judge.

The president of Kentucky Downs said a placing judge’s error was responsible for an incorrect placing of the horses’ finish position in a Sept. 10 race at the Franklin, Ky., track.

Following the seventh and final race of the day Sept. 10, a placing judge incorrectly declared Heiden the fourth-place finisher, although that horse had finished a nose behind actual fourth-place finisher Night Party. After review, the race order was corrected, with Night Party fourth and Heiden fifth.

“We deeply regret the error that was made by a placing judge who incorrectly called the fourth-place finisher in the race,” Kentucky Downs president Corey Johnsen said in a Sept. 14 release. “Since learning of the error, we have completed a detailed review of the procedures by which our racing officials work with the stewards to ensure that all race placings are correct and fully verified prior to a race being made official.”

Although Kentucky Downs credited the fourth-place purse earnings to connections of both Heiden and Night Party, bettors who had the incorrect Heiden in the fourth position on superfecta exotic wagering tickets were paid, but those with Night Party were not, a decision that the track said was consistent with state racing regulations.

“Once the results of this race had been made official, Kentucky Downs followed the rules and regulations set forth by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission in executing pari-mutuel payoffs to the letter,” Johnsen said. “Unlike sports wagering in Nevada, where individual casinos and sports books may have different sets of ‘house rules’ dealing with changes to final scores of games and how those changes affect wager payoffs, the pari-mutuel rules in Kentucky are crystal clear. While we understand that players who may have had winning superfecta tickets would be frustrated by this incident, we adhered to the rules and regulations and made all payoffs once the race had been made official.”

Although Kentucky Downs races only four days a year and conducts simulcasting year-round, Johnsen said the track has photo finish equipment comparable to that in use at other tracks.

“Finally, any suggestion that the photo finish system at Kentucky Downs is “less sophisticated” than what is said to be standard at other tracks is wholly inaccurate,” Johnsen said. “Kentucky Downs engages American Teletimer to provide the photo finish component of its racing operation.  Representatives of American Teletimer have assured us that the photo finish system in use at our 2011 meet is the same as is used at Ellis Park, Arlington Park, and Churchill Downs and has been used to determine placing in the Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup World Championships.”

Now that Instant Racing, a form of electronic wagering in which the outcome is based on results of previously run races, is being conducted at Kentucky Downs, the track plans to increase the number of live racing days in subsequent years, Johnsen said.