08/25/2016 8:26AM

No appeal in dead-heat ruling


DEL MAR, Calif. – Trainer Peter Miller said he and the owners of Well Measured would not appeal the ruling of a dead heat for the win between their horse and Navy Hymn on Sunday in race 8. The decision came after they viewed the original photo of the finish and were taken through an extensive explanation of the entire photo-finish process on Wednesday.

A photo of the finish between Well Measured and Navy Hymn that was distributed by Del Mar on Sunday night made it appear that Well Measured might have won outright by a slight margin. The images used by Del Mar and posted on the Internet were taken off the television and were of much lower quality than the originals. That process is being revamped in light of the situation created by Sunday’s photo.

On Wednesday, California Horse Racing Board publicist Mike Marten arranged for a meeting among Miller, co-owners Mike and Cory Wellman, media members, and the stewards to view the original photo and go through the mechanics of how the photo is produced and how the placing judges and stewards adjudicate close calls.

Following that meeting, they were taken to the stewards’ booth atop the grandstand, where the photo-finish employees put the original image on a high-definition screen, showing the exact process the stewards and placing judges used when calling the dead heat on Sunday.

According to steward Grant Baker, he and fellow stewards Luis Jauregui and Kim Sawyer all agreed with the placing judges – Merry Young, Bob Moreno, and Sue Brent – that the noses of the two horses could not be separated, and thus a dead heat was the correct ruling.

“I couldn’t separate them,” Baker said.

“We try to separate them, and if we can’t, it’s a dead heat,” Sawyer said.