05/11/2004 11:00PM

Rolled Stocking DQ reversed


MIAMI - The disqualification of Rolled Stocking from first to second in the eighth race at Calder on May 1 has been reversed on appeal. The decision was made Tuesday by Calder president Ken Dunn, who acted as hearing officer on the appeal filed by Rolled Stocking's trainer, Tim Hills, on behalf of owner Tom Roach.

It is the second such reversal in recent weeks. On April 27, the Arkansas Racing Commission overruled a decision of the stewards at Oaklawn Park and disqualified Wild Spirit from second place in the Grade 1 Apple Blossom Handicap, run April 3.

Rolled Stocking rallied from mid-pack to an apparent easy victory over the pacesetting Balance the Books in a first-level optional claiming and allowance race on the turf May 1. Balance the Books ducked out under left-handed whipping by jockey Gary Bain and bumped Rolled Stocking after being overtaken for the lead inside the sixteenth pole. Following a stewards inquiry and an objection by Bain, the order of finish was reversed, making Balance the Books the winner - until Tuesday.

"After viewing the films it appeared to me that one horse had come out and the other came in, although Balance the Books was definitely under left-handed pressure, which caused him to drift," said Dunn. "Since both horses contributed to the incident, I felt there was not sufficient reason to change the original order of finish."

Dunn said this was the first stewards' ruling he has overturned in the last five years, while acting as hearing officer on an appeal.

Under current statutes, an official of the home track is designated to serve as hearing officer for all appeals filed at Florida Thoroughbred tracks. But the law is in the process of being changed.

"The Division of Pari-mutuel Wagering has expressed the desire to take over these hearings," said Dunn. "Legislation changing the rule was supposed to have gone into effect for the beginning of this meet but has been delayed due to some technicalities, although we expect it to be in place within the next 30 days."

Hills was delighted by the decision.

"The pan shot looked bad, as if the other horse had clipped heels," said Hills. "But the more and more you watched the head-on, it was obvious the other rider hitting his horse left-handed is what caused him to duck out and clip heels with mine. In the end, I believe justice was served."

The change in the official order of finish does not affect the wagering on the race.