There is a similarity between the OJ Simpson trial and the Inquiry result of the 2011 Santa Anita Handicap, both OJ and Chantal Sutherland were proclaimed not guilty. However, unlike OJ, Chantal Sutherland was innocent as well.
It took Chantal Sutherland winning the biggest race of her career for me to watch an entire race from California this year (ahem the takeout hike), though I didn't watch it live, I was still interested enough to view it on Youtube after the fact.
My first reaction was to side with DQing Game On Dude because Sutherland whipped the horse with the left hand at the time of the alleged foul. But thanks to Youtube, and the ability to stop the video frame by frame, you can clearly see, that although Game On Dude carried the competition a little wide around the turn, during the stretch run, Game On Dude did not even move out an inch. Don't believe me? Check the distance between the horse and the rail, or check the tractor tracks on the race course. It was Twirling Candy who came in ever so slightly, knocking Game on Dude off balanced. This made the second bump, which was more noticeable during the race, a non factor.
Here is the race with the full inquiry film:
Admittedly, I've always been a Chantal Sutherland fan. But I am not being biased here at all. The Stewards got it right.
I'm also a strong believer that if the Stewards can't make a conclusive call within around 3 minutes, the results should stand. I also now think that their results should never be overturned, even if new evidence is presented.
I read a comment, by a knowledgeable horse racing enthusiast (it might have been on The Paulick Report), that stated calls like this should be deemed no different than calls made by the referee under the hood in an NFL game. If there is not enough evidence to overturn the play or the race, the result on the field or track should stand. Even though referees have been known to blow the call under the hood, the results of the play still stand forever, as does the score of the game, etc. And there is probably a lot more money on the line during some of these calls than any horse race, even if it has a million dollar purse.
Back to Chantal. She is back on Twitter (JockeyChantal). Her Tweet the night before the big race:
So excited to ride for Baffert tomorrow in the Big Cap! Watched the re-plays and I'll be tuff.....put your running shoes on :*) 8:17 PM Mar 4th via Twitter for iPad
Her last Tweet, she compared herself to Charlie Sheen:
Felt a little like Charlie Sheen when the crowd was booing me during the post race interview...but "I'm a winner" 11:23 AM Mar 6th via Twitter for iPad
Up to the big race, Chantal has been a little off this year. I checked her stats last week, and she was only hitting around 5%. She is definitely more of a Poly or Turf jock.
Oh, and if you still haven't had enough of Ms. Sutherland. She does have her own website: Chantal Sutherland Jockey/Actress/Model.
Too bad Two And A Half Men (Chantal's favorite show) looks like it is toast. Imagine Charlie Harper (Charlie Sheen) picking up "actress" Chantal Sutherland (playing herself as a jockey) at the track and then taking her home. The jokes would write themselves. It might not be realistic though, because at 35, Chantal is too old for Charlie.
Her age doesn't seem to hinder her true fans though. I still get a lot of blog hits on my Chantal Sutherland Nude...Not Yet post from a couple of years back.
Pull The Pocket has a very good post up "Will We Ever Have Customer-Focused Policy In Racing?"
The Thoroughbred Times has a free preview of their new Canadian horse racing edition. There is an article on Fort Erie by Perry Lefko. The Editor (at the start of the issue) states Fort Erie is located in Eastern Ontario. Could be worse. He could have said it was located in Eastern Canada. For those who don't know where Fort Erie is located, Sarah Palin could say she could see Fort Erie from her backyard (if she lived in Buffalo NY), and she wouldn't have got any flak for it.
Horse racing isn't about to lower takeout collectively anytime soon. At least many astute Horseplayers have some options.
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