Wednesday's opening-day program at Bay Meadows was marred by a spill in the day's eighth and final race that was declared no contest by stewards after only four of the original nine starters crossed the finish line.
Crested, a 3-year-old filly by Peaks and Valleys, had just moved to the lead in the six-furlong maiden claiming race when she broke down and fell near the eighth pole, throwing jockey Jason Lumpkins to the ground. Will of Wisp was unable to avoid the fallen horse and also fell, unseating Agapito Delgadillo and striking Lumpkins. A third rider, Joey Castro, fell when Sentinel Rock swerved to avoid Crested. All three riders escaped serious injury. Crested was euthanized. Will of Wisp was returned to her barn and it was not known if she suffered any injury.
"Jason was taken to the hospital, examined, and released," said Dennis Patterson, the agent for Lumpkins. "He wants to ride today (Thursday). He's pretty sore and said his face looks like he's been beat up in a fight, but he said he's OK."
Crested carried an $8,000 claiming tag and was the 7-5 favorite in the race after narrowly losing a $12,500 claimer in her second career start at Golden Gate March 17. She was trained by James Chapman and raced for Carolyn Chapman and Theresa McArthur, the same connections of Caller One, recent winner of the Dubai Golden Shaheen (UAE-I).
According to steward John Herbuveaux, the race was declared a no contest under California Rule 1544, which states that a race can be called off if a majority of the horses do not finish because of interference or mechanical problems. Herbuveaux said no purse would be distributed, and the first-place finisher, Flip the Kitty, would retain her maiden status, unless track management and the Thoroughbred Owners of California overrule the stewards. Two claims in the race (L.A. Polly and Sentinel Rock) will be honored, Herbuveaux said, because a claim is official once the gates open and a horse is considered a starter.