09/17/2006 11:00PM

Charles Town fires placing judges


The Charles Town Races in West Virginia fired the three placing judges who were on duty when the wrong order of finish was called for a race on Sept. 9, the head state steward said Sunday.

The judges - John Desmond, Larry Sanders, and Beth Weatherspoon - had admitted during a hearing on Friday that they had mistakenly placed the wrong horse first in the second race on Sept. 9. After the hearing, the stewards ordered that the position of the first two horses be reversed and the purse be redistributed based on the correct order of finish.

Danny Wright, the chief state steward, said the stewards were contemplating penalties against the three placing judges when the company that owns Charles Towns, Penn National Gaming Inc., fired the employees. As a result, the stewards decided not to issue any penalties.

Charles Town filled the three vacant positions with three existing employees, Wright said. Placing judges are responsible for calling the official order of finish and posting the running positions of horses on simulcast feeds.