07/04/2007 11:00PM

Rider pulls up short at Philly


Stewards at Philadelphia Park are expected to issue a hearing notice to rider Pablo Fragoso after the jockey pulled up his mount just before the finish line in Wednesday's $100,000 Dr. James Penny Memorial Stakes.

Fragoso was aboard the 2-1 second-choice Meribel in the 1 1/16-mile turf stakes and had taken a clear lead in the stretch before standing up just inside the sixteenth pole, where he appeared to begin pulling the filly up. He was passed in the final yards by the 10-1 High Moment and the 7-10 favorite J'ray and finished third in the seven-horse field, losing by a half-length.

Stewards at Philadelphia Park could not be reached by telephone on Thursday, a dark day at the track. Fragoso did not return a phone call relayed through his agent on Thursday.

Arthur Hancock, the co-owner of Meribel, said that Fragoso explained that he had misjudged the finish line on the turf course. Fragoso does not regularly ride at Philadelphia Park.

"You know that song 'Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover' ?" Hancock said. "Well, there's 50 ways to lose a horse race, and I'd thought I knew them all before yesterday."

First place in the stakes was worth $60,000. Third place was worth $10,000.

The stewards posted the inquiry sign after the race but did not take any action.