05/13/2016 3:19PM

Tote error at Belmont wreaks havoc

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An error by Am Tote forced four horses who raced Friday at Belmont Park to run for purse money only, meaning they participated in their respective races, but wagering was not accepted on them.

According to Steve Lewandowski, the steward for the New York State Gaming Commission, Am Tote published on Friday the numbers of the horses who were scratched Thursday. Lewandowski said wagering had begun before the error was noticed, so the stewards decided to allow the horses to run for purse money only, thus not penalizing the owners or trainers of those horses.

“They used the scratches for yesterday today,” Lewandowski said. “Bettors were informed those horses were scratched.”

The horses in question were Daves Gone Bananas (race 1), Son of Oahu (race 4), Dighton (race 5), and More Than Kisses (race 6).

Coincidentally, the stewards on Friday issued a $7,500 fine to Am Tote International for an incident that occurred at Aqueduct in February. On Feb. 11, Am Tote erroneously published the scratch of the No. 3 horse in race 4 when in fact it was the No. 4 horse in race 3 who was scratched. Further, Am Tote “re-livened” the No. 3 horse in race 4 without proper notification to officials, according to the ruling.

Asked if Am Tote could face another fine for Friday’s mishap, Lewandowski said, “We’re going to look at it. Hopefully, it won’t take four months to decide.”

Joseph Donato More than 1 year ago
yeah AM TOTe!!! like the future president used to say"YOUR  FIRED" !!!!!!!
Bob Waitkus More than 1 year ago
Scammers......I get the profit concept ...but not on the confidence of players.....thumbs down to NYRA and Stronach once again
Tom Fleming More than 1 year ago
Aside from the brutal incompetence that was displayed by Am-Tote, it is imperative that if this situation happens again, the horses in question MUST BE SCRATCHED ! It's hard   enough to handicap a race, now in this situation a horse who has no mutual value can alter the outcome of a race in which he or she cannot be used in any pari-mutual wagers. If you like a speed horse, this other runner who is entered for purse money only, can run your horse into the ground, tire himself and set the race up for a closer, and you get beat by a horse who offers NO VALUE due to him/her not eligible for pari-mutual purposes. Some patrons, who by looking at the scratch board see that this certain horse is scratched(from wagering ONLY), will assume that this horse is not running, and will change their wagering strategies as such. The look on their faces must be priceless to see that indeed the scratched horse is indeed competing, and can alter the running of the said race, is unfair and not necessary. Sorry, the owners of the horses must bite the bullet and accept the fact that their entries must be scratched in this situation(as well as a late scratch in a coupled entry resulting in the other half of the said entry running for purse money only, such as rule in New York) to be fair to the bettors and horseplayers alike.
Chas More than 1 year ago
Fine them $$$$$! This is complete and absolute incompetence...how difficult is it for Am Tote to check with either the racing office or worst, the stewards to varifiy who is scratched....And I believe Am Tote is owned by Frank Stronach, which likes to do things on the cheap if it is using its own money...but, using other people's money then it is 'the best money can buy'....
Joseph Donato More than 1 year ago
i didnt understand when i called and got the  same story from the stewards. and i still dont get it?? its sounds like  total  incompetence  with disregard to the betting public , who bytheway keep horse racing relevant. its hard enough handicapping as it is. I never seen this before in 25 years of playing. (especially in new york) !!!!