02/06/2011 7:23PM

Master Dunker wins Hallandale Beach on disqualification

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Bob Coglianese/Gulfstream Park
King Congie finished first in the Hallandale Beach on Sunday at Gulfstream Park but was disqualified and placed third for interference in the stretch. Master Dunker was promoted to first by the stewards.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – When somebody finally writes that book titled “100 Ways to Lose a Horse Race,” Sunday’s Hallandale Beach Stakes at Gulfstream Park and trainer Tom Albertrani must be included among the first few chapters.

Albertrani sent out West Point Thoroughbreds’ King Congie to an apparent head victory over Master Dunker in the $100,000 Hallandale Beach. But following an inquiry that took the stewards nearly 10 minutes to adjudicate, Albertrani lost his stakes win after King Congie was disqualified and placed third for interfering with his own stablemate, Brilliant Speed, who crossed the finish line just another neck further back in third.

The turn of events made Master Dunker, a 12-1 chance trained by David Fawkes, the winner of the Hallandale Beach as Albertrani had to settle for second and third money with Brilliant Speed and King Congie, respectively.

The start of the Hallandale Beach was delayed several minutes when Winchill was scratched at the gate and Liberty Cap proved troublesome to load. Once the field was dispatched, Stormy Going sprinted to a quick lead, with jockey Javier Castellano reserving King Congie within easy striking distance in the run down the backstretch.

King Congie angled three wide and joined for command turning for home while drifting wider entering the stretch. He continued to bear out – much in the same manner he had during his victory in Calder’s Tropical Park Derby five weeks earlier – forcing Brilliant Speed out with him while rallying past the sixteenth pole. He then out-kicked Master Dunker to hit the wire first.

Master Dunker eased out between horses with his bid into the stretch and surged right at the wire to narrowly best Brilliant Speed for the all-important second spot. Brillaint Speed raced four wide with his rally exiting the final bend, and while jockey John Velazquez never stopped riding at any point, he was carried out by the winner in late stretch.
Association steward Don Brumfield explained the reasoning behind the disqualification.

“Turning for home, King Congie kept coming out and took Brilliant Speed out three or four paths,” said Brumfield, a former rider. “There’s no way Brilliant Speed could have got by King Congie the way he was carrying him out.”

Master Dunker paid $26.80.

“This is a lucky meet for me,” said Fawkes, who trains Master Dunker for Get Away Farm Racing Stable. “I had the same thing happen to me once in an allowance race at Calder. I lost a victory for fouling my own horse. I wound up losing both clients. My horse ran great today and has definitely improved since getting on the turf.”