06/14/2010 11:00PM

Video evidence helps Marsh Side


Patrick-Lawley Wakelin, racing manager for Robert Evans, has been here checking up on the owner's local stock trained by Mark Frostad.

Lawley-Wakelin also took the opportunity to express his delight with the Ontario Racing Commission's decision to reinstate Marsh Side as the winner of Woodbine's 2009 Northern Dancer.

The ORC had heard the appeals by Evans and jockey Javier Castellano on May 26 and released its findings last Friday.

"It was never about the money," said Lawley-Wakelin. "It was about winning another Grade 1, and the importance for his value at stud."

Marsh Side finished first in the Northern Dancer, which was run last Sept. 23, and offered Grade 1 status and a winner's share of $450,000.

But the stewards disqualified Marsh Side and placed him fourth, ruling that the horse had come in and interfered with both the third-place finisher, Quijano, and fourth-place Champs Elysees in the stretch run.

The stewards did not post the inquiry sign but Garrett Gomez, rider of Champs Elysees, claimed foul against both Marsh Side and Quijano.

Just as Well was elevated to the top spot, with Quijano and Champs Elysees each moving up a notch.

A racing commission appeal panel heard testimony from Castellano; Woodbine steward Richard Grubb; retired jockey Jerry Bailey; Robbie King, head of the Jockey's Benefit Association of Canada; and former steward Bernie Hettel.

Jonathan Sheppard, owner and trainer of Just as Well, was not present but was represented by lawyer Harvey Swartz. Trainer Mark Casse, who had two horses in the Northern Dancer, was called by Swartz as a witness.

The ORC panel, in its written reasons for the decision, found that the onus was on the administration to prove that Marsh Side and Castellano had violated the rules and that fact had not been reasonably demonstrated.

The ruling cited the importance of new evidence comprised of "a split formatted screen video" with "the pan and head shot juxtaposed.

"This vantage point provides a unique and revealing aspect of the race that clearly supports the position of the applicants."

Neither Andrasch Stark, the rider of Quijano, nor Gomez provided testimony.

* Glitter Rox breezed four furlongs in a bullet 47.1 under regular rider Gerry Olguin here Tuesday morning in preparation for Saturday's $100,000 Zadracarta. The Zadracarta, an overnight stakes which will require a minimum of five entrants, is scheduled to be run over seven furlongs of turf.

"Sometimes she works really, really fast but Gerry put a little bit of a hold on her," said Jeff Bowen, assistant to Glitter Rox's trainer, Ian Black.