09/29/2009 11:00PM

Belmont judges suspended


The three placing judges involved in a mix-up regarding the superfecta in the ninth race at Belmont Park on Sept. 24 - resulting in the New York Racing Association having to make two payouts - were each suspended one week without pay, track officials announced Wednesday afternoon.

One judge, Stephen Foster, began his suspension on Wednesday, while Sentell Taylor and Ralph Theroux Jr. will each serve a week suspension before the Belmont fall meet ends on Oct. 25.

Moreover, the placing judges will now take the additional step of reviewing all charts of any order of finish with the photo-finish technician, Don Morehouse, before making a race official.

"It was an honest mistake - they screwed up," said P.J. Campo, NYRA's vice president and director of racing. "Being a costly mistake, we suspended each placing judge a week without pay."

NYRA officials estimated the mistake cost the organization approximately $82,500.

The placing judges posted the number of the 10 horse, Dontquityourdayjob, as the fourth-place finisher when in fact it was the 13-horse, Everybodywantsone, who finished fourth. while Dontquityourdayjob finished ninth. The race was made official with the superfecta combination being incorrectly recorded as 8-14-5-10 as opposed to 8-14-5-13. NYRA paid out on the official, albeit incorrect superfecta result for 2 minutes, 49 seconds, before the error was caught.

By state law, the NYRA is required to pay out on the official order of finish, which resulted in a superfecta payout of $1,072 for a $2 wager. The NYRA announced on Sept. 25, that it would also honor the correct order of finish of 8-14-5-13 which was $800 for a $2 wager.