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Old 10-12-2020, 01:02 PM   #1
tholl
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Keeneland non-starter question

In yesterday's 9th race at Keeneland the gate opened late for the post-time favorite, Sound Money. But despite he ran a huge race to finish second before being declared a non-starter. I don't remember seeing a "non-starter" hit the board before, and it makes me wonder what if he won? Would he still be a "non-starter" ? Seems that would raise some problems.
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Old 10-12-2020, 01:38 PM   #2
v j stauffer
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In yesterday's 9th race at Keeneland the gate opened late for the post-time favorite, Sound Money. But despite he ran a huge race to finish second before being declared a non-starter. I don't remember seeing a "non-starter" hit the board before, and it makes me wonder what if he won? Would he still be a "non-starter" ? Seems that would raise some problems.
Yes he would have still been declared a non starter. Super bad luck for anyone that bet on him. However a faulty start caused by mechancial failure effects all horses in the race not just the compromised one. This is where Stewards must marry to the rule book. Cannot leave a horse in if there was a malfunction.
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Old 10-12-2020, 01:43 PM   #3
Saratoga_Mike
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From NYRA* ...

4009.21. Refund—non-starter.

(a) When a horse starts. Every horse shall be considered a starter when the stall gates open on the signal of the starter, unless the stewards declare a horse or horses non-starters because, in their opinion, the horses’ chances were compromised leaving the starting gate. If so, all bets on the non-starters will be refunded unless the horse wins. For placing and program purposes, the non-starters will be considered to have run for purse only.

*from a 2018 ruling - I guess the rule could have changed since that time
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Old 10-12-2020, 02:05 PM   #4
jay68802
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From Kentucky:

(2) If the stewards determine that the horse was precluded from obtaining a fair start, the
stewards shall rule the horse a nonstarter and shall order money wagered on the horse deducted from the pari-mutuel pool and refunded to holders of pari-mutuel tickets on the horse,
unless the horse ruled a nonstarter is part of a mutuel entry and another horse in the entry is
not left at the post, in which case there shall not be a pari-mutuel refund.

In other words, what Vic said.
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Old 10-12-2020, 02:31 PM   #5
Ocala Mike
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I had the 10/11 exacta (refunded), but of course not the 10/2 exacta (paid out).

Question - Did the purse get distributed 10/11/2 or did the owner of the 11 horse get zilch? Arguably, anything less than WIN money going to the owner of the 11 is actionable, since it was the association's fault for the gate not operating properly. I would look to be made whole again by Keeneland as the horse's owner if I didn't get, at least PLACE money.
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Old 10-12-2020, 02:58 PM   #6
the little guy
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What if the horse had won? Should they have declared it a non-starter then? How would that have been fair to ANYONE?

Sounds to me like there is discretion in the decision.
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Old 10-12-2020, 03:06 PM   #7
jay68802
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I looked and found that if the horse is declared a non starter, he is also running for purse only. So in this case, the horse was awarded the purse money for his finish position, but was not included in the pari-mutuals.
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Old 10-12-2020, 03:13 PM   #8
jameegray1
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This is very interesting. So it seems the outcome and official winner for betting purposes would differ track by track? I've not seen this happen to a winner in the 20k+ races I've watched in the last few years but I guess it must have happened before and will happen again one day.

Last edited by jameegray1; 10-12-2020 at 03:14 PM.
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Old 10-12-2020, 09:38 PM   #9
westernmassbob
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I looked and found that if the horse is declared a non starter, he is also running for purse only. So in this case, the horse was awarded the purse money for his finish position, but was not included in the pari-mutuals.
No I disagree with this. A purse money only situation would be if there was a dual entry and one of the horses got scratched before the race. Then in that case the entry runs for purse money only. In a gate malfunction type situation or an unfair start then that horse would be declared a non starter with no shot at purse money even if the horse completed the race. This happened not so long ago at Kentucky Downs where an entire race was refunded because all the horses were not loaded into the gate before the race started. All bets refunded and zero purse money distributed.
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Old 10-12-2020, 09:58 PM   #10
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No I disagree with this. A purse money only situation would be if there was a dual entry and one of the horses got scratched before the race. Then in that case the entry runs for purse money only. In a gate malfunction type situation or an unfair start then that horse would be declared a non starter with no shot at purse money even if the horse completed the race. This happened not so long ago at Kentucky Downs where an entire race was refunded because all the horses were not loaded into the gate before the race started. All bets refunded and zero purse money distributed.
The chart was confusing on this point and I assume it is flat out wrong in some way, but I don't know how.
The horse in question finished 2nd in an 11 race field. According to the chart 2nd place money was not awarded to anyone, but they still paid out to 11 places

This is according to BRIS chart.
Edit: on second thought they did not pay second place, and only paid 10 spots.
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Last edited by therussmeister; 10-12-2020 at 10:02 PM.
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Old 10-13-2020, 08:47 AM   #11
fastfasterfastest
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Here are the rules from Kentucky which clearly defined the right choice was made based on their rules. I do think this rule should be amended to let the result stand should the horse win.

Section 10. Horses Left at Post.
(1) If a door at the front of the starting gate fails to open properly and timely when the starter
dispatches the field, or if a horse has inadvertently not been loaded in the starting gate when
the field is dispatched, thereby causing the horse to be left at the post, the starter shall immediately report the circumstance to the stewards who shall:
(a) Immediately post the "inquiry" sign;
(b) Advise the public to hold all pari-mutuel tickets; and
(c) Determine, after consulting with the starter and viewing the race replay, whether or not
the horse was precluded from obtaining a fair start.
(2) If the stewards determine that the horse was precluded from obtaining a fair start, the
stewards shall rule the horse a nonstarter and shall order money wagered on the horse deducted from the pari-mutuel pool and refunded to holders of pari-mutuel tickets on the horse,
unless the horse ruled a nonstarter is part of a mutuel entry and another horse in the entry is
not left at the post, in which case there shall not be a pari-mutuel refund.
(3) Stakes fees for a ruled nonstarter shall be refunded to the owner.
(4) The starter may, in his or her discretion, place an unruly or fractious horse on the outside
of the starting gate and one (1) length behind the starting line. If the horse so stationed outside
the starting gate by the starter dwells or refuses to break with the field and is thereby left at the
post, there shall not be a refund of pari-mutuel wagers on the horse nor refund of stakes fees
paid for the horse.

I was late to the party and just saw that jay68802 already posted the Kentucky rule about this. Sorry for repeating it fellas.

Last edited by fastfasterfastest; 10-13-2020 at 08:49 AM. Reason: saw previous post
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Old 10-13-2020, 08:56 AM   #12
rastajenk
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No need to apologize. The part in Section (4) about starting outside the gate is an interesting tidbit I have never seen or known about.
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Old 10-13-2020, 01:20 PM   #13
dilanesp
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My understanding was always what Vic said. If the gate doesn't open with the others, that's the ball game. The horse is a non-starter.

But it looks like NY has a different rule that permits the horse to win.

Bear in mind, there's no truly fair rule here. After all, if the horse is a big longshot and gets up for second, a nonstarter ruling could result in bettors who used the horse in exotics being denied big payoffs, and second place money in a big stakes race, could be a lot.

So there's no perfect solution for this. It's just a risk of racing horses.
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Old 10-13-2020, 01:26 PM   #14
jameegray1
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Originally Posted by fastfasterfastest View Post
(4) The starter may, in his or her discretion, place an unruly or fractious horse on the outside of the starting gate and one (1) length behind the starting line.


I REALLY want to see this happen one day.
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Old 10-13-2020, 04:15 PM   #15
dilanesp
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Originally Posted by jameegray1 View Post


I REALLY want to see this happen one day.
It's a slightly different issue, but Hollywood Park had a procedure in the 1970's where a 15th horse could start outside the starting gate. I recall seeing a video of a race where they did it at least once.
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