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Questionable Tactics, Then Big-Margin Win, Spark Investigation


2017 Manitoba Derby |

By T. D. Thornton

A 16-1 filly who was wrangled back far off the pace then ridden very wide in a four-horse stakes field at Assiniboia Downs is the subject of a Manitoba Horse Racing Commission investigation after she dropped into allowance company three days later and won by a geared-down 10 1/2 lengths as the 3-5 favorite.

Track steward Grant Buckoski told “The Insider” newsletter on the Assiniboia Downs website that the ride by jockey Rohan Singh on Tadaa (Going Commando) on July 25 heads “a long list” of complaints regulators received about the $27,500 Winnipeg Sun S.

A review of the stakes race replay shows Tadaa—who had displayed consistent early speed in her previous 11 lifetime starts—tossing her head and fighting a stout rating hold straight from the starting gate in the mile race before being guided widest into the clubhouse turn and settling at the rear about 10 lengths from the top trio. She eventually rallied to be third, beaten 17 lengths.

Amaretto (Going Commando)—an uncoupled stablemate of the eventual winner, Escape Clause (Going Commando)—was under stout restraint in the initial run through the homestretch, and on the turn even the track announcer noted Amaretto was “heavily restrained” through a “snoozer” of a first quarter mile in :25.60.

Escape Clause (Going Commando) won by 5 ¾ lengths as the 1-20 favorite.

Escape Clause and Amaretto are both trained by Don Schnell and owned in partnership by Schnell, Barry Arnason and True North. Tadaa is trained by Gary Danelson and owned in partnership by Danelson and Arnason.

About 72 hours later, Tadaa performed like an entirely different filly when dropping into a $12,700 open-conditioned allowance restricted to Manitoba-breds. She broke straight for the lead under Singh, widened her margin at every call without being urged, and won “with something left” according to the Equibase chart.

The Insider quoted Buckoski as saying that a commission ruling on the matter could be issued as early as Friday.

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