11/15/2015 9:38PM

Canceled big bet at Del Mar sparks investigation

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A large wager that was canceled just minutes before the first race on Saturday at Del Mar prompted an investigation by officials from the racetrack, the California Horse Racing Board, and TVG, through which the wager was placed and then canceled.

 The subject of the bet was Tale of a Champion, a former graded stakes winner who was returning from a layoff of more than two years in a $40,000 claiming race. He was 3-5 in the early betting, was 2-1 just minutes before first post, but so much money came out of the win pool on him as the horses arrived at the gate that his odds jumped to 10-1 at the off. He finished last.

TVG reported to the CHRB that a customer made five $1,000 win bets on Tale of a Champion just after 7 a.m. on Saturday. According to the report provided by the racing board via TVG, “wagers of that size are not unusual for this customer.”

 The customer canceled all five bets at 12:28 p.m., two minutes before post, and, according to TVG, did not make any other bets on the race.

 The report said the customer “occasionally cancels wagers, but not disproportionately when comparing to his overall activity.”

 Jockeys appeal suspensions

 Santiago Gonzalez, the meet’s leading rider, and Felipe Valdez both have appealed suspensions handed down last week for careless riding and will continue to compete for now.

 Gonzalez was suspended for three days for his ride on Exactamente in the third race on Nov. 8. They team up again in race 1 on Thursday.

 Valdez got a seven-day suspension for crossing over severely on Di Giorgio, causing interference to several rivals, in a turf sprint in race 7 on Thursday.

 A roughly run turf sprint yielded another suspension, this one for three days, to Kerwin John for his ride on E Storm in race 6 on Friday.

◗ Jackie King, the director of group sales and an employee here for more than 30 years, was honored by Del Mar between races on Sunday. She is retiring at the end of the meet.