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No Telling Which Horse Would Have Won the Derby in Florida

May 7, 2019 - 9:00am
Jennifer J.H. Pierce
Jennifer J.H. Pierce

Had Saturday's Kentucky Derby been run in Florida, there's a possibility the winner's growingly contentious disqualification might not have ever happened.  

While most of Florida’s horseracing community went about its business on Jan. 4, 2012, the State of Florida’s Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering quietly repealed a slate of regulations pertaining to Thoroughbred racing under the cover of Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s 2011 Executive Order to repeal regulations that are “unneeded” or “unnecessarily burdensome to small business.”  

The 2019 Kentucky Derby
The 2019 Kentucky Derby
Among those was Rule 61D-13.004, F.A.C. "Maintaining a Straight Course."  So arguably, Maximum Security might still be the winner under Florida's lax regulatory structure had the race been run here.

Delving further into self-regulation, each of the three remaining Florida Thoroughbred tracks (one owned by Churchill Downs) is free to have its own “house rules.”  The question is ... do they?  The answer is muddy. 

Meanwhile, it appears from this Associated Press report that things in Kentucky may not conclude as gracefully as racing's old guard may hope for.

Jennifer J.H. Pierce is a public relations and public affairs specialist, particularly on the subject of Florida pari-mutuels, gambling and casinos. She has also worked at the executive level with property casualty insurance, and municipal issues. She lives in Fort Lauderdale.

Comments

Silly speculation!

The horse violated the rule. I blame Churchill Downs for the infraction, though. Normally tracks run with about 12 horses. Greedy Churchill Downs made the regrettable decision to run with 20 horses in the field, which is too crowed to maneuver effectively. The foul was valid, but only because the horse and jockey had no choice to get through the field.

I agree. Crowded field and a mess of a track has discouraged many of us from supporting the stewards decision. The Florida Derby was beautiful!!

I agree. Crowded field and a mess of a track has discouraged many of us from supporting the stewards decision. The Florida Derby was beautiful!!

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