03/04/2011 6:44PM

Aqueduct: An eventful end to Friday's card


 It was an eventful end to Friday's card at Aqueduct, with the favorite being scratched two minutes to post and the eventual second choice breaking through the starting gate a fraction of a second early, then, without a rider, that horse impeded another horse at the start.

 In the end, after Zone Breaker won and returned $20.20, the stewards looked briefly at the start but made no change.

 First things first; Doast, who was 7-5 with two minutes to post, was scratched by the vet. Somehow, that horse found himself between the two rails that separate the inner track from the main track, and the race could not start until he was removed from the track.

 Idol Image became the 6-5 favorite followed by Talk to Nick at 8-5. Talk to Nick, under Junior Alvarado, broke through his stall before the gates were officially opened. Alvarado bailed immediately, landing on his feet.

 Talk to Nick took a left-hand turn, basically eliminating Full Tilt Noogie from the race.

 The riderless Talk to Nick circled the field, fortunately not intefering with the other horses.

 Though replays showed that Talk to Nick was in the hands of an assistant starter, the stewards elected not to declare him a non-starter because, according to the stewards, the horse created his own problems. The stewards said had Alvarado stayed aboard and the horse had finished ahead of another horse, he would have been disqualified from that position and placed last.

 Due to the scratch of Doast, those alive in the late pick-four were put onto the post-time favorite, Idol Image, who finished a distant second to Zone Breaker. There was a consolation pick-three payoff.