Chief Steward Resigns In Illinois

Rene Riera Jr. has resigned his post as chief state steward following an investigation into his role in distribution of a misleading workout time at Hawthorne Race Course.

The May 19 workout by Tender Hearted reportedly was clocked at about 46 seconds, but was announced to track patrons as a late workout at a computer default time for three furlongs at 40.99 seconds. In a subsequent race, Tender Hearted finished eighth as the favorite.

The Illinois Racing Board report on the incident cited "miscommunication." But it also said Riera was aware of the inaccurate time for the workout and "exercised poor judgment in a number of areas relating to this matter. As such, Mr. Riera tendered his resignation, and the board accepted it."

The incident also resulted in a $500 fine for trainer Ron Andersen because a lab sample taken from Tender Hearted after the race was found to contain a higher-than-permitted dosage of anti inflammatory medication.

The board said track veterinarian Jane Richardson examined Tender Hearted twice just prior to the race and found the mare fit to run. In addition, chief state veterinarian tephen Seabaugh examined Tender Hearted at the starting gate and determined she was fit to race.

The IRB did not immediately name a new chief state steward.

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