Horses Left Behind Gate at Both Evangeline and Indy

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Races at Evangeline Downs and Horseshoe Indianapolis both went off without all horses being loaded into the starting gate on Wednesday.

The fourth race at Evangeline Apr. 17, a mile route for $4,000 claimers, was declared a “no contest” by the stewards because multiple horses were involved. The $54,453 in mutuels for the race had to either be refunded or paid out as part of “all” combinations for that leg in multi-race exotics.

Several hours earlier, the sixth race at Indy, a 5 1/2-furlong sprint for Indiana-bred maiden special weights, ended up with the stewards declaring the outermost-drawn entrant, Tremor (Unbridled Express) a non-starter whose bets were subject to refund.

The announcers at both tracks quickly informed the public in their calls that not all horses had loaded before the start and to expect an inquiry.

The Equibase chart described the chaos in the Evangeline race like this: “Paynt Battle (Paynter) unprepared start, rider left without irons, made a mild bid and faded…Gottatakehimto (Speighter Man) had an awkward start and was never close. Callinginthenight (Nownownow) unprepared start and was quickly pulled up. Smoky Topaz (Congrats) unprepared at the start and lost rider. Turn On the Magic (Khozan) not loaded in gates.”

Updates on the riderless and pulled-up horses involved in the Evangeline “no contest” were not available at the time this story was posted. The jockeys on those mounts all rode later on the card.

The Evangeline incident was the second “no contest” at that track in as many racing dates because of an issue involving the starting gate.

On the previous day Evangeline raced, Apr. 13, the second race, a starter/optional claimer at one mile on the turf, had $68,005 in wagers refunded when the starting gate could not be moved out of the homestretch.

Despite the barrier being stuck across the homestretch about four paths off the rail, the race was not called off in progress, and the nine jockeys had to shoot a narrow gap between the gate and the inside rail to finish.

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