07/07/2008 11:00PM

Probe focuses on late bets at Tampa on Philly race

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The Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau is investigating an incident in which bettors at Tampa Bay Downs were allegedly able to place wagers on a June 28 race at Philadelphia Park several minutes after the race was already run, according to the bureau and Tampa Bay officials.

Peter Berube, the general manager of Tampa Bay Downs, said that his mutuel department alerted him to the incident on June 28 after at least $1,000 was bet on Philly's fourth race after the results had already been posted. The bets included a $500 win bet and a $500 straight exacta that paid the bettor $9,100, Berube said.

A total of $2,000 was bet at Tampa on the June 28 Philly race, according to Berube. The typical total for a Philly race at Tampa is $500, Berube said, and the mutuel department also believed that several $20 straight exactas were bet and cashed on the race after it was run. Tampa Bay had a negative settlement on the race of $13,100, Berube said.

In the June 28 race at Philly Park, the maiden Magical American, 5-1 on the morning line, wired the field and paid $9.20 to win. The exacta paid $27.20. The trifecta paid $68.60.

The possibility of past-posting on the race was first reported by the Paulick Report.

Betting at Philly on June 28 was affected by a bet-processing malfunction that also affected the first five races at Delaware Park. The malfunction prevented Delaware from offering betting on its first five races, and Philadelphia Park suspended betting on its fifth race after the malfunction affected the fourth race. The bet-processing network for Delaware and Philadelphia Park is operated by Scientific Games Corp.

Representatives of Scientific Games did not respond to requests for comment.

Curtis Linnell, the director of racing analysis for the protective bureau, said on Tuesday that he has yet to receive information from Scientific Games on the malfunction. Linnell declined to comment about the incident other than to say that the bureau is investigating.

Bet-processing systems are supposed to issue an automatic stop-betting command at the time the race starts. If the automatic command is not issued, stewards at the host track are able to issue a manual command that is supposed to shut down wagering at all sites in a host track's network.

It is unclear if other sites in Philadelphia Park's simulcast network also remained open after the fourth race had been run. Berube said that the all-sources handle on Philly's fourth race was not significantly higher than any other race that Philly might run.

"That's the question Curtis is trying to answer," Berube said. "Was it just us or did it affect everyone in the network? I've been here 14 years and this is the first time anything like this has happened."