11/09/2014 10:46AM

Proud Azteca disqualified from allowance win after being deemed ineligible

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Prompted by an unusual circumstance, Proud Azteca has been disqualified from a recent victory at Churchill Downs because the colt was ineligible for the race.

Proud Azteca, trained by Mike Maker, won a turf allowance Oct. 30 at Churchill. However, according to a stewards’ ruling, it was discovered several hours later that the Indiana-bred colt did not meet the criteria as outlined by the race conditions. A disqualification subsequently was declared, with Hesinfront awarded first amid a new order of finish and the $44,604 purse redistributed accordingly.

The official race chart says the one-mile turf race was restricted to “3-year-olds which have never won two races other than maiden, claiming, starter, or statebred allowance or which have never won three races.” Maker evidently believed that an Aug. 6 victory by Proud Azteca in the A.J. Foyt Stakes at Indiana did not count against the colt in terms of eligibility because the Foyt was restricted to Indiana-breds.

However, the race conditions did not allow statebred stakes (as opposed to statebred allowances) to be exempted – thus, the disqualification.
According to association steward Rick Leigh, Kentucky racing rules say ultimate responsibility for determining eligibility lies with the trainer. Leigh said in the vast majority of such cases, racing office staff typically notices an ineligible horse prior to a race and refuses an entry or orders a scratch, but obviously, this was “an unfortunate exception.”

Leigh said no additional punishment will be given to Maker, who declined comment on the incident.

Proud Azteca, by Kitten’s Joy, is owned by Brenda Tabraue and Jorge Herrera and was ridden in the subject race by Rafael Hernandez. His winner’s share was to be about $24,000.

Pari-mutuel wagering on the race is not affected. The stewards’ ruling (No. 14-0081) was posted Saturday afternoon on the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission website (khrc.gov).

One side effect of the disqualification was that it allowed Robby Albarado, the jockey of Hesinfront, to achieve 1,000 victories at Churchill, making him just the third jockey to hit that milestone at this historic track. Pat Day is the all-time Churchill leader with 2,482 local victories, and Calvin Borel (1,170) is second.

Albarado, who has more than 4,600 wins, was blanked from six mounts Saturday at Churchill. His 1,000th Churchill win will be publicly acknowledged the next time he rides a winner.

D More than 1 year ago
People complaining about how the "gamblers were cheated? Please I scored on this horse BECAUSE I am a gambler and the first rule to handicapping is reading the conditions of the race. I thought all along based on the conditions this horse was classier then the rest in the field and at 5-1 I put him on top of Ex's, and Tri's and bet Win/Place real good on him. I mean I know we live in a world of hurry up and when is the next race but, REALLY?? We look for edges all the time as gamblers when at the races and there was one right in front of you and what happens of course... sour grapes, when you missed the boat. No one smart enough that bet the horse like myself is worried about it. Mistakes happen and the owners of the horse that was second got their money. Stop being mad that you were not smart enough to READ THE CONDITIONS of the race before you bet. People acting as if this happens all the time and people that work hard everyday to support their families should be fired or fined, lol get a life!!
Dennis Geier More than 1 year ago
So your a genius now because u bet on a horse who was not even eilgible for not knowing he should not have been in there anyway to me that makes you as stupid as those who let him run just a typical loser bragging on his one winner on the day
Jamie Murphy More than 1 year ago
they absolutely should be fined. when I read conditions of a race and I see a horse is wheeling back in a few days and won the race a few days earlier, I know they are not elgible, so I ignore them. I handicap the remaining field, go to work and wager the numbers I came up with, with that horse excluded. Not everyone can sit at the computer all day buddy! The racing office should be fined. to what extent and where it goes, that is the question. pdjf maybe?! PS A LOT OF PEOPLE CANT EVEN UNDERSTAND THE CONDITIONS THESE DAYS, CANT FAULT THEM FOR THAT! OTHERS DONT LOOK AT THEM AND OTHERS FOLLOW CERTAIN ANIMALS AND WAGER JUST ON THEM.
Jamie Murphy More than 1 year ago
you shouldn't need a lawyer to review the conditions of a horse race and that is what it is leading to.
Speedjama More than 1 year ago
Good job D!!
Dan Cronin More than 1 year ago
Reading the condition I side with Maker I think they got this one wrong.
DavidM More than 1 year ago
How can you say that? There is no gray area here, the horse was not eligible.
Jim Bills More than 1 year ago
And the bettors pay the price to
Lawrence Redding More than 1 year ago
Not really. They had the opportunity to wager on the horse. Why question the conditions . Take the advantage.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
That public acknowledgemen for Albarado may take a while...
Shawn Britton More than 1 year ago
Anonymous= dis concerning troll
erika More than 1 year ago
Pardon my digression. Does anyone know why there isn't phone betting in Arizona? According to Turf Paradise, it was legally approved on 10/9/14 and was supposed to be ready by the start of the current meet, but it still hasn't been implemented.
Crystal David More than 1 year ago
The law was actually signed by the governor in May 2014. However, evidently when the law was passed, the racing commission had not established the "procedures" for the betting so could not implement it immediately. When I contacted TVG back in May to ask when it would begin, they said they commission told them probably the beginning of 2015. The week of the BC, I called the commission to ask what is going on and was transferred to a voice mail where I left a message and did NOT receive a return call.....nice huh? I will be calling again this week - maybe you want to also.....
Lauren Leving More than 1 year ago
While it may be the intent of the racing secretary to prevent state restricted stakes winners from remaining eligible to his allowance contest, the semantics of the conditions do not specifically accomplish this, and are up to interpretation. The condition indicates “state bred allowance”. ______________________________________________________________________ FOR THREE YEAR OLDS WHICH HAVE NEVER WON TWO RACES OTHER THAN MAIDEN, CLAIMING, STARTER, OR STATE BRED ALLOWANCE OR WHICH HAVE NEVER WON THREE RACES. Weight, 122 lbs. Non-winners Of $26,800 Twice At A Mile Or Over On The Turf Since August 30 Allowed 2 lbs. $23,400 At A Mile Or Over On The Turf Since Then Allowed 4 lbs. (Races Where Entered For $50,000 Or Less Not Considered In Allowances). (If deemed inadvisable by management to run this race over the turf course, it will be run on the main track at One mile.). ______________________________________________________________________ Factually stakes races are varied. The Fall Highweight Handicap is a handicap stake (HcpS), The Kentucky Derby is a scale weight stakes (ScwS), The Jockey Club Gold Cup is a weight for age stakes (WfaS). The A. J. Foyt Stakes that Proud Azteca won is a state bred allowance stakes (AlwS). Weights: Three Year Olds, 117 lbs.; Older, 122 lbs. Winners of a sweepstakes in 2013 - 2014 2 lbs additional. Non-winners of $25,000 in 2013-2014 allowed 2 lbs; of $21,000 twice in 2013-2014, 4 lbs; of a race other than maiden or claiming, 6 lbs. The operative words involved are “state bred allowance”. Resultantly, by my interpretation Proud Azteca was eligible to race. Intent matters not, what is written should win out. The fact that the conditions set forth made no mention of “stakes” is inconsequential. Added money race or not, Proud Azteca won a state bred allowance. The stewards have adjudicated a decision based on their interpretation, that is what they are employed to do, but it in no way makes them infallible. If their decision was appealed in open court, Mike Maker’s victory would likely be reinstated.
P More than 1 year ago
You're wrong, Lauren. Through long established, agreed upon understandings of such terminologies, those who work in the industry clearly distinguish "Stakes" races from "allowance" races, no matter how the former may be written. To further underscore the point, some people refer to certain Maiden Special Weight races as "Maiden Allowance" races, and they may well be technically correct. But no trainer or racing office official would count such a race against an entrant in a "Non-winners of a race other than maiden, claiming or starter" condition. In other words, while the "maiden allowance" winner may have, by Lauren's definition, actually won an "allowance" race, it wouldn't be viewed that way by a single professional in the industry.
Cliff More than 1 year ago
Wrong...hardly. It's not likely that Mike Maker was attempting to slip one past the goalie. He plainly entered a horse he thought was eligible, and the racing office failed to determine the horse was ineligible prior to the running. Allowing your horse to put forth a serious effort without any chance of rewarded illogical. So, how can a call for greater condition book clarity be wrong? An analogy was offered, then from it an inaccurate assertion was propounded. While maiden special weight races are colloquially often referred to as maiden allowance races, they are not at all, as is proclaimed, technically correct. Condition books, at all thoroughbred tracks, invariably describe these races as "maiden special weights". Any allegation that the previous post author's definition would stipulate that a maiden race winner is akin to an allowance race winner is a fabrication. It's not at all what they said. This contention only serves to muddle the original truth. The earlier post makes a cogent point. The racing secretary has an obligation to be clear, so eligibility is not open to interpretation. The language used in a condition book is obliged to be precise, without regard to the gobbledygook of: 'long established agreed upon understandings of such terminologies". I think it would be safe to assume that the racing secretary did not foresee this as becoming a topic of discussion, and then again, it was obviously also unforeseen that acceptance of an entry would later be nullified. Summarily, and if you'd prefer to be technical, the race in Indiana was, in fact, a state restricted event run under allowance conditions.
nick More than 1 year ago
Dear Cliff, You are probably close to being right, but that probably only counts in (pitching) horseshoe and hand grenades. The condition from which the horse was disqualified did not include allowance stakes in it. If it had, it would have listed it, it did list all the other type races that it considered. Do you think Mr. Maker went to his owners after last rage and said 'hey gang, we just won an allowance race'? Don't know for sure but I'd probably bet he said 'hey gang, your horse just won a stakes race.' So while.your answer may be.quite eloquent, it is also quite wrong.
P More than 1 year ago
There are so many things wrong with your attempted rebuttal that I'm not sure where to begin. First, this is a straw man: "how can a call for greater condition book clarity be wrong?" My point about Lauren being wrong was obviously meant to address her claim that in a court of law the decision would likely be reversed. The fact that Maker misunderstood the condition book adds zero weight to your position. That happens at racetracks all over the country, yet it would be absurd to suggest that when it does, the condition books necessarily require revision. The analogy with maiden "allowance" races does hold, because just as no one in the industry would consider them to actually be allowance races, no one in the industry would consider a "stakes" race to be an "allowance" race, either. Lauren – I mean "Cliff" – is a apparently a stickler for precision. Well, "language" cannot, by definition, be "obliged" to be anything – only the author using the language can. Racing secretaries did not see this becoming a topic of discussion because an "allowance" race is not the same as a "stakes" race, a well-understood fact that apparently has only come as a surprise to Lauren and (perhaps) Mike Maker. The name of the race in Indiana was the "A.J. Foyt Stakes". It is ludicrous to suggest that it was an "allowance" race, irrespective of how the conditions were written. The elephant in the room that you have somehow missed is that when racing secretaries choose to include ALL state-bred races in a condition, they make it very clear by simply saying "State Bred". They don't qualify it by listing the type(s) of race(s), as there is no need.The fact that the CD race HAD qualified the condition with the word "allowance" implied to all but the willfully blind that stakes were not meant to be included in the exclusion. To use one of countless examples, look up the conditions of the fifth race at Aqueduct on Nov. 16th.
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
The condition itself as written states statebred allowance. Not statebred allowance stakes as is the stakes title of The Hoyt. The terminology says it all. Just a case of racing office either assuming Maker made a legitimate entry or that his competitors are lacking in reading comprehension skills.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dear Ms. Leving, You should.probably look up the definition of the word semantics before trying to use it in a debate. There is no semantic ambiguity in the condition of the race from which Proud Azteca was disqualified. Without being able to read the condition book at IndIana track where the horse won her last race, everything else published about it describes the race as an 'added money stakes race'. The Churchill Downs description of the subsequent race is quite specific in the races it exempts from the condition, and stakes races, or 'allowance stakes ' races are not among the exempted type. Your opinion, that the fact that the conditions set forth make no mention of the word stake ia inconsequential, is wrong. That fact is exactly on point. It describes exactly which races can be exempted from the allowance conditions, and stake races such as the A. J. Foyt are not among them. How Mr. Maker, as well as.the office people involved in checking things of this nature, escape some form of punishment I do not know.
Mike R More than 1 year ago
We don't know all the facts so it is conjecture on our part; but it is still interesting to dissect the situation. Your statement that factually stakes races are varied is true. The facts that make a stakes a stakes are twofold, 1) the horse must be nominated, and 2) some kind of payment is required to enter and/or start. The differentiation between allowance and stakes is in an allowance the competitors are unknown until the draw for the race, in a stakes the list of nominated horses is published prior to entry day, thus the potential competition is known. Sidenote: A gray area exists for the A J Foyt with regard to the above because supplementary nominations are allowed at the time of entry for an increased fee of $850 as compared to $350 for nominated horses, which could conceivably let connections withhold their intentions by not nominating with a horse no one wants to run against because they don't think they could outrun it, but it fits the second criteria making it a stakes race. Just because allowances are made in weight does not make a stakes an allowance race, it cannot be both for purposes of determining eligibility. If weight concessions determined such the Kentucky Derby would be an allowance race because fillies, if entered, receive a five pound concession. The AJ Foyt was a stakes race because nominations and entry and starting fees were required. Proud Azteca was NOT eligible because he has won TWO races (English Channel on June 14, 2014 and the A J Foyt August 6, 2014) other than maiden, claiming, starter, or state bred allowance.This isn't over, is my guess.
M More than 1 year ago
okay, maybe let's use this as a chance to add some clarity into the writing of conditions. I have seen some with such gobbley gook no one could read it. then you add in the state breds conditions and some of the less clear minor/starter stakes, the allowance optional claimings, starter conditions, etc... YIkes. Surprised it doesn't happen more often. Or maybe it does the horse just doesn't finish in the money so no one complains or no one else can understand the conditions either and so they don't complain.
Jamie Murphy More than 1 year ago
exactly M
mikey More than 1 year ago
These entries are made day's in advance.Who ever let this horse run needs to be FIRED.What's racing all about the purses or the betting.Let this so called official make good on all the bets lossed by his or her mistake.Things like this makes the eye only blacker.C'MON MANNNN
Lawrence Redding More than 1 year ago
What a cry baby.You sound like a typical loser. Every body makes mistakes. No body hurt here except the trainer ,who erred and the proof reader of the conditions who made an honest mistake. Of course the owners aren't pleased either. The betters who know what they are doing and read conditions profited. The losers just lost another race because they were not sharp enough . Move on .
nick More than 1 year ago
To answer some of the comments posted here. It is the fault of the Trainer because he entered the horse. When a trainer puts his/her name as the responsible party. It is all inclusive. Hypothetically if a stable hand were to give a horse an illegal substance w/o the trainers knowledge. The Trainer would be responsible for those actions.
Jamie Murphy More than 1 year ago
it is in no way the trainers fault! if I walk into a storeand they let me use a coupon that they shouldn't have, is it my fault that I thought it was a good coupon or is it the responsibility of the establishment who hires and trains their employees to know this stuff? CMON MAN!
Lawrence Redding More than 1 year ago
The rules say, it is the trainers responsibility . Maker was responsible {honest mistake} and paid the price of losing the purse and wasting a good race from his horse .I don't see the controversy?
Dick Fiscus More than 1 year ago
Another hiccup for horse racing!! Secretary, stewards and trainers doing a BAD job and not getting punished. Nobody but the bettors!!!
myjockwon More than 1 year ago
didn't the article say the pari mutuel bet did not change.
Jackson Jackson More than 1 year ago
Yep . That's what it said. They paid off on a horse that wasn't eligible . The players got beat by a horse running where it didn't belong.
Dennis Geier More than 1 year ago
Churchill stewards at their best they might b some of the worst in racing (there r a bunch of bad ones) why not fine the trainer we know he can read also entry clerks if this was a trainer with a bad test there would b 50 posts on here calling him a cheater well this is the same thing and of course nobody did nothing wrong apparently but if it was Joe Somebody he would get fined but not the Maker barn the Ramseys might not like it
Crystal David More than 1 year ago
I agree that the trainer should be be fined as he definitely should know the difference between an allowance race and a stakes race. And you are correct, if this had been Baffert or O'Neil or Asmussen, there would be cries from all over to suspend them or ban them or something because they had "attempted to cheat".
Mike R More than 1 year ago
Maker in a sense was fined, his commission of 10% (industry standard) amounted to $2,700-lost, and he has to answer to his owners that were more than likely a bit peeved at him.
Lawrence Redding More than 1 year ago
No NO No No No NO !! The players did not lose a thing. Only the betters who did not bet on the winner lost .The betters who saw an obviously better horse all cashed their wagers.
MsTBredRacing More than 1 year ago
Doesn't change but what if you bet Hesinfront to win? You don't get the win $ on your wager now that the horse is disqualified. Happens whenever horses are disqualified for infractions found later on. The bettor loses. Period. The stewards and racing secretary are at fault. Not the trainer!
Dennis Geier More than 1 year ago
So u r saying that Maker cant read I think this is first time it has happened to him so up until this race he has been able to read he entered the horse that makes it his responsibility not to say others screwed up too it is TRAINERS RESPONSIBILITY but in this case the public gets punished no one else but we r getting used to that
Jamie Murphy More than 1 year ago
I happened to bet hesinfront. I didn't notice the conditions of the race bc I didn't get to see them. HESINFRONT is in my stable watch and I have bet him the last 4 or 5 times hes run. nothing sizable, but it is going to make me even more gun shy, knowing that a sizable wager will not be protected from such carelessness. A lawsuit needs to happen to get messes like this correct for the future of racing, its really sad!