05/15/2011 4:37PM

Hollywood Park: Filly in first race declared non-starter


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Dave’s Revenge, who unseated jockey Rafael Bejarano at the start of Sunday’s first race, was declared a non-starter after the Hollywood Park stewards ruled that the mare was not prepared for the race when the gates opened.

Dave’s Revenge was the first mare loaded in the field of five, but became upset and unseated Bejarano, who leapt off behind the gate. Dave’s Revenge was then taken out of the gate, allowing Bejarano to remount the filly, who was then loaded last.

But before the assistant starter who walked Dave’s Revenge into the gate could climb onto an adjacent ledge in the gate, and before the rear doors of Dave’s Revenge’s stall were fully closed, the gates opened to start the race. Dave’s Revenge jumped in the air at the start and unseated Bejarano, who was not injured.

The stewards declared Dave’s Revenge a non-starter after a six-minute review.

“It was pretty straightforward,” steward Scott Chaney said.

Dave’s Revenge was caught by an outrider and did not appear to be injured in the mishap. Malusita ($11.60) beat Church Avenue in the race for $25,000 claimers over 1 1/16 miles. Because only four horses were declared official starters, all show bets were refunded after the running.

Dave’s Revenge was the 5-2 third choice in the betting when the race began. Refunds were ordered on wagers involving Dave’s Revenge in the win, place, show, exacta, quinella, trifecta, daily double pools and pick three pools. Bets involving Dave’s Revenge in the place pick all and pick five were transferred to the favorite, Tripped the Light, who finished third.

This was the second incident of the meeting in which a horse was declared a non-starter after being unprepared for the start.

On April 23, Chokecherymary, who was drawn on the outside, was being guided into her stall when the gate opened. An assistant starter was standing in front of the filly on the ground in the stall the moment the gate opened.

Starter Gary Brinson took responsibility for the incident the following day. He said it was the first time in 27 years as a starter that such a mishap occurred.