10/23/2008 12:00AM

Fines given in French false start


Seven jockeys who ignored or failed to see the false-start flag in the Prix de l'Abbaye de Longchamp on Oct. 5 were fined $2,000 each by France-Galop on Thursday.

The race was declared void after the gate of Fleeting Spirit failed to open. Andreas Suborics, who rode the undefeated Hungarian-trained Overdose to to a first-place finish, was fined for continuing to race after a false start was signaled, as were Frankie Dettori, Jim Crowley, Paul Hanagan, Darryll Holland, Adrian Nicholls, and Kevin Shea.

Complicating the incident was that only one of the two flagmen designated to signal a false start raised a flag. Moreover, a flashing light that is supposed to alert riders to a false start never went off. Dettori, who rode Dandy Man in the race, said that he never saw the false start flag raised. He, along with the other six riders involved, will formally request detailed information from France-Galop, French racing's governing body, as to the nature of their infractions in anticipation of an appeal.

In the Abbaye rerun that went without Overdose 4 1/2 hours later, the Freddy-Head-trained Marchand d'Or clinched the European sprint championship with a 1 1/2-length victory.

* Earlier in the week, the France-Galop stewards denied the appeal of the connections of It's Gino, who finished in a dead heat for third in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe with Soldier of Fortune. Owners Stall 5 Stars and trainer Pavel Vovcenko had contested that the finish photo appeared to show It's Gino finishing ahead of Soldier of Fortune.