06/26/2014 10:42AM

NYRA cancels show wagering in Mother Goose Stakes


ELMONT, N.Y. – Despite there being six entrants in Saturday’s Grade 1 Mother Goose Stakes at Belmont Park, the New York Racing Association has canceled show wagering because Kentucky Oaks winner Untapable is expected to be an extremely heavy favorite. NYRA morning-line-maker Eric Donovan has made Untapable the 1-5 favorite.

Besides Untapable, the only other stakes winner in the field is Stopchargingmaria. On Thursday morning, trainer Todd Pletcher said Stopchargingmaria was “not fully committed to the Mother Goose.”

“We might just wait for the CCA Oaks,” he said.

The Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks will be run July 20 at Saratoga.

It also is possible there could be other scratches in the Mother Goose.

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On Thursday morning, Martin Panza, senior vice president of racing operations for NYRA, explained why show wagering was canceled.

“If we offered show wagering, NYRA and the horsemen’s purse account could each lose $50,000 to $60,000 from a minus show pool,” he said. “I don’t think it would have been wise to lose money for NYRA, the state of New York, and the horsemen in that manner. We still could very well have a minus place pool.”

The NYRA racing office drew the Mother Goose hours earlier than the rest of the Saturday card Wednesday to satisfy a New York rule that allows it to cancel show wagering.

“The rule says that if we draw a race more than 72 hours in advance of when a day’s card will begin, we have the right to cancel show wagering,” Panza said.

Canceling show betting in a race in which six horses are entered is rare but not unprecedented.

Patrick Mahony, vice president of parimutuel operations, sent Panza an email, reminding him of the infamous “Chicken Flamingo.” Hialeah declared no win, place, or show betting on the 1966 Flamingo Stakes, despite there being seven betting interests. Buckpasser, the heavy favorite, won by a nose.