The result of the inaugural running of the Kinston Stakes over 1500 meters at Caymanas Park on Saturday was declared a dead heat between Miniature Man under jockey Dick Cardenas for trainer Jason DaCosta and favorite Further and Beyond with Dane Nelson in the saddle for champion trainer Anthony Nunes.
But since then, the photo finish image has been made public and it appears to show anything but a dead heat. It appears to show Miniature Man on the outside with a noseband as a “clear” winner, as opposed to Further and Beyond, who toted a visor.
But the question that has been raging since is how was that decision arrived at based on the evidence presented?
It is understood that trainer DaCosta had lodged an appeal, which was rejected based on the rules of racing, which states in part:
RULE #53 – “The judge shall occupy the judge’s box at the time the horses pass the winning post. He shall announce his decision immediately or after considering the photograph and shall determine the winner according to that part of the horse’s head, excluding the ears, which first reaches the perpendicular plane or the near edge of the winning post, provided that the complete body of the horse passes the winning post with his rider in the saddle, and shall determine the remaining placings in a similar manner. Such decision shall be final, unless an objection to the winner, or any placed horses, is made and sustained – provided that this rule shall not prevent a judge from correcting any mistake after receiving permission to do so from the stewards. But no correction shall be permitted after the official signal is displayed.”
It is understood that the placing judges are content and convinced that their decision of a dead heat is indeed correct, despite what the photo finish image shows, but the Jamaica Racing Commission (JRC) will investigate the matter.
We believe the image is clear that Miniature Man was the winner and that a grave injustice has been meted out to that horse’s connections. And the fact that they have no recourse makes the situation even worse. That ruling appears to be against natural justice.
The sport of horse racing has long struggled to maintain its integrity and what happened in that race on Saturday has done nothing to help the cause. Even worse is that there has been no official comment from the promoters, Supreme Ventures Racing and Entertainment Limited or the regulatory body, the JRC.
We eagerly await the findings of the JRC on this one, as the credibility of the sport hangs on it.