01/28/2002 12:00AM

Hearing slated on horse mix-up


The stewards at Beulah Park in Grove City, Ohio, plan to hold a hearing this week regarding a mix-up of horses owned and trained by Joe Martin.

The case involves two bay 5-year-old maiden mares, Seventh Wish and Comic Grey. Three times last year, Seventh Wish raced under the name Comic Grey, finishing third, eighth, and second in races at Canterbury Park, Mountaineer Park, and Beulah Park.

The horse was entered to race again at Hoosier Park on Nov. 17, but the horse identifier noticed a discrepancy in tattoo numbers and markings, and the horse was not permitted to race. Hoosier officials investigated, and they confirmed that Martin had mixed up the two horses after having purchased them from their breeder and former owner, K.K. Jayaraman, and that the horse actually was Seventh Wish.

The real Comic Grey, by Gremlin Grey, is unraced. Seventh Wish, by Many a Wish, has a career record of 0 for 6. She competed under her real name in three starts as a 2-year-old in 1999, and was badly beaten each time.

Buddy Bishop, registrar for The Jockey Club in Lexington, Ky., said Monday the mix-up most likely was the result of an honest mistake.

"They look a lot alike," said Bishop. "One has a star, and the other has a few white hairs. Their tattoo numbers are just one number off. The first four digits are the same, then the last digit for one is a 9 and for the other is a 0."

Bishop said he believes that oversights by the horse identifier at the three tracks where Seventh Wish raced under the name Comic Grey is the reason for the confusion.

"If this had been caught anywhere along the line, this situation would not have happened," said Bishop.

Bishop said that while officials at Beulah are aware of the mix-up, the racing commissions in the other two states where Seventh Wish erroneously raced as Comic Grey - Minnesota and West Virginia - had not yet been notified.

Martin was unavailable for comment Monday.

Running lines for Comic Grey and Seventh Wish have been corrected by Equibase and Daily Racing Form.

A similar mix-up occurred last spring at Churchill Downs. The trainer of the two subject horses, Norman Miracle Jr., was fined $2,000 by the Kentucky stewards.