Star Dabbler's Connections Drop Indiana Derby Protest

A protest filed by the connections of Star Dabbler involving the finish of the $513,200 Indiana Derby (gr. II) has been withdrawn.

Owner Barry Schwartz and trainer Michael Hushion filed the protest with the Indiana Horse Racing Commission Oct. 9, two days after their Saint Ballado colt was declared by stewards a dead-heat winner along with Cielo Gold in the 1 1/16-mile contest at Hoosier Park. Both the owner and trainer believed Star Dabbler had won the stakes outright.

In a Nov. 28 facsimile sent to racing commission legal counsel Robin Babbitt, Karen Murphy, attorney for Schwartz, informed the commission the appeal was withdrawn. The winner's share of the purse--$195,016 to each horse--had been held by the commission pending consideration of the protest. Purses will now be distributed to the connections of both colts.

Star Dabbler was retired after the Indiana Derby due to an injury to his left front sesamoid sustained during the race. Unraced at 2, the 3-year-old finished the season, and his career, with three wins in seven starts for earnings of $319,936. The Indiana Derby decision serves as Star Dabbler's lone graded stakes victory after a runner-up finish in the $250,000 King's Bishop Stakes (gr. I), his first graded stakes test.