by Tom LaMarra and Leslie Deckard
The Kentucky Horse Racing Authority will form a subcommittee to investigate an incident in which wagering on a Fair Grounds race at Keeneland remained available while a race was in progress, officials said Dec. 17.
The situation, commonly referred to as past-posting, was made public Dec. 6 during the University of Arizona Symposium on Racing and Gaming when Mike Maloney, a high-volume bettor who frequents Keeneland, discussed his experience during the third race at Fair Grounds Nov. 25. Maloney said the “window was still open” at least 55 seconds into the 1 1/16-mile race.
Maloney said he kept making bets each eighth of a mile to see if the tote system had finally locked. He said he was able to make four bets during the race. It isn’t known if the race remained open at other wagering outlets as well.
“It hurts the integrity of racing,” Maloney said at the time. “We have to secure these pools or eventually we won’t have a game. Where’s my (Securities and Exchange Commission)? This shows the level of accountability we have in our industry. It’s going to blow up.”
Churchill Downs Inc., which owns Fair Grounds, said it is conducting its own investigation into the situation. The KHRA will do so via the subcommittee, which will include racing officials and bettors.
KHRA executive director Lisa Underwood said during the authority’s Dec. 17 meeting the incident underscores the need for a director of pari-mutuel wagering, which the KHRA hopes to hire. Underwood said she has attempted to contact officials at the Louisiana State Racing Commission, which governs Fair Grounds, but has had no success to date.
Rogers Beasley, director of racing of Keeneland, said officials contacted the KHRA after being told of the incident by Maloney. Beasley indicated there was no tote malfunction at Keeneland.