03/03/2012 5:02PM

Santa Anita: Bad start causes race to be ruled no contest


ARCADIA, Calif. - The third race at Santa Anita on Saturday was declared a no contest when four of the seven runners in the sprint on the hillside turf course failed to start in a timely manner, the stewards ruled.

Muny broke through the gate a moment before Mr. Bossy Pants, Oak Kye Why, and Sky Cape started without incident. Mr. Bossy Pants, Oak Kye Why, and Sky Cape finished the race, but the other four horses either never started or were being held at the gate by assistant starters.

Lord's Minister came out of the gate but was held by an assistant starter. Circle Drive and Crossing the Line did not leave the gate with the other runners.

Stewards Scott Chaney, Kim Sawyer, and Tom Ward reviewed film of the start before declaring the race a no-contest.

The stewards cited a rule that said, "The stewards may declare a race no contest if mechanical failure or interference during the running of a race affects the majority of horses in such races."

Single-race wagers on the third race were refunded. Multiple-race bets that included the third race remained valid. For example, the $2 daily double beginning with Stirred Up ($8.60) in the second race paid $7.60 to any runner in the third race. The $1 pick three ending in the fourth race paid $9.50, with the combination of Stirred Up, any runner from the third, and fourth race winner Mile High Magic ($3.60).

The amount the track refunded for the voided race was not immediately available.

Jockey Martin Garcia was unseated from Lord's Minister shortly after the start of the third race. Garcia was cleared in first aid and allowed to continue riding. He won the first two races and the fourth race on Saturday.

The track announced 45 minutes after the voided race that prize money would be paid to the first three finishers - Mr. Bossy Pants ($21,000), Sky Cape ($7,000), and Oak Kye Why ($4.200). The other four entrants were paid $875 each.

There was a $32,000 claim submitted for Mr. Bossy Pants, but it was voided because the race was declared a no-contest, stewards said.