A confused first-time starter ran the wrong way on the track Friday at Santa Anita Park.
As Spinning Love left the chute, he hesitated and then jumped over the temporary inside rail to his left, unseating jockey Alonso Quinonez. He proceeded to run the wrong way along the inside rail through the Club House turn and into the stretch.
“First-time starters coming out of the one hole going three-quarters, sometimes they do that (veer in),” Quinonez said. “Sometimes we’re able to help them by keeping the stick in the left hand, but when he saw the horses outside of him, he tried to run away from them.”
Quinonez was uninjured.
Santa Anita’s three-member board of stewards, Scott Chaney, Kim Sawyer and Tom Ward, acted swiftly. Here is Sawyer's version of events, as told to media.
“We radioed our outriders and one of them was able to communicate to the jockeys that we had a loose horse running the wrong way,” said Sawyer. We also told Trevor (Denman) and he immediately announced it. As the field rounded the turn, the jockeys could see the loose horse and they stopped riding.
Our outrider, who is positioned at the starting gate, chased the loose horse and was able to herd him towards the outside rail as he headed up the stretch, and at that point the jockeys went ahead and persevered with their mounts to the wire.
It was our judgment, however, that the race be declared a no contest, because it was obvious that the running of the race had been seriously disrupted.”