11/24/2008 1:00AM

Ohio probing wrong-horse win


The Ohio State Racing Commission is investigating an incident last Wednesday at Beulah Park in which the wrong horses started in - and won - the fourth race on the card, according to track and commission officials.

The horse who was entered in the race by trainer Enzo Canelo is named Valid Action. Another horse in Canelo's stable, however, Purdy Tricky, ran in the race and won it, paying $8.60. Beulah's track identifier failed to catch the mix-up before the race.

Sam Zonak, the executive director of the Ohio State Racing Commission, said that commission staff members are in their final stages of an investigation, but that he could not comment directly on the matter. Zonak said he expected to present the results of the investigation to the Beulah stewards by the end of the week.

"I can tell you one thing," Zonak said. "The racing commission is not going to tolerate it, no matter what the circumstances. This will be treated with the appropriate disciplinary action."

Canelo, who has 5 wins from 20 starts at Beulah this year for earnings of $13,963, did not return a phone call on Monday.

The past performances of the mixed-up horses were relatively similar. Valid Action, a 9-year-old gelding, had run in seven consecutive $4,000 claiming races for nonwinners of two races in a year before being entered in the $2,500 claiming race at Beulah last Wednesday. Purdy Tricky, a 10-year-old gelding, had run in six consecutive $4,000 claiming races for nonwinners of one race in a year since coming off a nearly one-year layoff.

Before every race, the track identifier is expected to confirm a horse's lip tattoo, in addition to checking a horse's markings against information on the horse's foal papers.