Written by on May 13, 2019

On the TUNNEYSIDE of SPORTS May 13, 2019, #743 REPLAY! After further review… You like video replay? So do I. It is great entertainment! Should it be used in athletic events to determine fouls and/or outcomes? If you watched the 145th Kentucky Derby you may or may not agree with the decision the stewards made. It appeared that Maximum Security won the race by a length and a half. But wait! A complaint was filed against Maximum Security claiming that he moved out of his lane and interfered with other horses.

Chief steward Barbara Borden received an “inquiry” from two jockeys following the finish of this iconic event. Borden conferred with the other two stewards by reviewing the video replay. After 22 minutes of that review, the three stewards unanimously agreed that the #7 horse, Maximum Security, was guilty of “race riding,” which is a racing term for interference. The stewards felt that Maximum Security drifted out of his (yes, he’s a colt), lane and interfered with War of Will as well as affecting other horses at about the quarter pole (some 400 + yards from the finish). Gary West, co-owner of Maximum Security filed an appeal. It was denied!

Save your time, energy and expense, Mr. West. With millions of dollars having been awarded to those who bet on Country House (the awarded winner), there was no way to refund money. Further, millions of dollars had been paid-out in off-track-betting (OTB) as well as online.

My family was in horse racing, so, perhaps I bring a different perspective. My father, Jim Sr., was a steward at Santa Anita, Hollywood Park, and Del Mar, California race tracks for over 20 years. My brother, Peter, was the General Manager at Golden Gate Fields (Albany, California) for more than 30 years. Having this background, I found that these thoroughbreds, who weigh in the vicinity of 1500 pounds and race at 40-45 miles per hour “bump” each other at various times in a mile and a quarter race. Further, the 145th derby was run on a “sloppy” track. As these 3-year-olds, each carrying 126 pounds, round turns with jockeys maneuvering their mounts to get into a better position, bumping will occur. It’s called racing luck!

The more interesting question is how do we judge these kinds of fouls: live action or replay? When one looks at replay in slow, slow motion, bumping looks different than in live-action.

Will you comment on the value (or not) of using replay to determine fouls in today’s sports?

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