05/04/2011 2:09PM

Indiana Downs: Six in 12-horse field ruled non-starters

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A gate malfunction in the fifth race Tuesday evening at Indiana Downs resulted in the stewards declaring six horses horses in the 12-horse field non-starters.

When the gate opened for the six-furlong allowance event, six of the stall doors opened significantly later than the others, with those horses spotting the rest of the field approximately five to six lengths.

The stewards – Stan Bowker, Tim Day, and Bill Troilo – ruled the six horses who were away slowly would be non-starters for parimutuel purposes only, and all money bet on them was refunded. Two of the hindered horses were T Bone Tyler and Ock Man, who finished third and fourth, respectively.

Bowker, the senior state steward, said that declaring the entire race a “no contest” was an option that was considered.

“We wanted to be fair to the bettors who selected the first two finishers and to the horsemen that participated,” Bowker said. “We decided that this was the best way to protect the bettors and horsemen.

“Although the bettors who had the third- and fourth-place horses were not paid, they would not have been had we declared it a “no contest” either, they would have been refunded their money either way.”

Purse money was distributed as it normally would be. The winner, Rapid Warrior led from start to finish and returned $2.40 to win after the refunded money was subtracted from the win pool.