10/24/2002 11:00PM

Riddlesdown via DQ


Riddlesdown was awarded a controversial victory Friday in the $100,000 John Henry Handicap after the Arlington Park stewards deemed first-place finisher Tap the Admiral guilty of fouling him in midstretch.

Boos rained down from the crowd as Riddlesdown was led into the winner's circle following the John Henry, a 1 3/16-mile turf race. Tap the Admiral, ridden by Edgar Prado, finished first by a length after getting a perfect stalking trip. But Riddlesdown's rider, Jorge Chavez, claimed foul and the stewards decided to reverse the order of finish.

Riddlesdown, the 7-2 third choice in a field of seven older horses, led from the start but was unable to outrun Tap the Admiral (5-1) through the stretch. However, the stewards ruled that when Tap the Admiral passed Riddlesdown near the eighth pole, he came over on him, causing interference.

Riddlesdown, owned by Gary Tanaka and trained by Niall O'Callaghan, returned $9.20 for his sixth win from 24 starts. National Anthem finished third, another three lengths behind Riddlesdown. Cheshire, the 9-5 favorite, finished last. The official clocking was 1:59.83 over a yielding course.

Tap the Admiral, trained by Del Carroll II, was coming off a victory in a third-level allowance at Belmont Park.