Decision on Indiana Derby Protest Expected Soon

A decision could be made the week of Oct. 29 regarding the protest of a dead-heat decision in the $513,200 Indiana Derby (gr. II) held Oct. 7 at Hoosier Park. The protest was filed by owner Barry Schwartz after his colt, Star Dabbler, was placed first in a dead heat with Cielo Gold in the 1 1/16-mile contest.

"The owner has been asked to submit information, but a deadline hasn't been set," Indiana Horse Racing Commission executive director Joe Gorajec said Oct. 27. "The stewards will review the information and a decision will be made. We would prefer to take care of this sooner rather than later."

Until a decision is made, the winner's share--$195,016 to each horse--will be held by the racing commission. Schwartz and trainer Michael Hushion filed the protest with the IHRC Oct. 9. Their contention is that Star Dabbler reached the wire before Cielo Gold and should have been declared the outright winner.

"Three placing judges and two stewards reviewed the photo-finish image on the photo-finish monitor and unanimously concluded it was a dead heat for win," Gorajec said.

A copy of the image can be found on the Hoosier Park Web site: