It was a good week to have a Hall of Fame jockey on the TDN Writers' Room, presented by Keeneland, as the Green Group Guest of the Week and especially to have that jockey be Jerry Bailey, who knows a thing or two about analyzing a race for an audience. Bailey pulled no punches when asked about whether or not he felt Forte (Violence) should have been disqualified in the Jim Dandy Saturday at Saratoga.
“I thought it was a bad call,” said Bailey. “I thought he was the best horse in the race, but I thought he should have come down. The rules of racing state that even if you are not clear of somebody and you change paths and you interfere with their progress, which you clearly did, then you should be disqualified. I mean, if you look at the chart, even the chart says he forced his way out. I'm paraphrasing here, `repeatedly bumping with the outside horse.' And then he came back in and it was negligent. So, yeah, I thought he should have come down.”
Bailey said that the danger went beyond this one race. “Look, you want a safer product out on the track as you can possibly get for both horse and rider. And I'll tell you from experience, I went through it myself. I won't name the riders, but there were two or three in New York that the stewards let get carried away and go over the line repeatedly, and then the line gets farther and farther away and it gets more severe. And what happens is the riders take it into their own hands. If the stewards are not policing the riders and enforcing the rules, then the riders are left to police themselves. And that is not a good situation.”
Bailey also relived his exploits on Cigar, his Derby wins on Sea Hero and Grindstone, and told tales about his days in the jocks' room.
Elsewhere on the Writers' Room, also sponsored by Stonestreet, NYRA Bets, Lane's End Farm, XBTV, WinStar Farm, West Point Thoroughbreds, and the Pennsylvania Horse Breeders, Randy Moss, Zoe Cadman and T.D. Thornton discussed (what else?) the Jim Dandy non-DQ, and the other big races of the weekend, previewed the upcoming Test, Whitney, and Saratoga Derby at Saratoga as well as the Clement L. Hirsch at Del Mar, and discussed the top news stories. Those included Jason Servis's four-year prison sentence, Santa Anita's decisions on improvement expenditures in light of the closing of Golden Gate, and HISA's policy change on provisional suspensions.