Superbia Est Sum Praemium, loosely translated from the Latin to mean; arrogance is its own reward.
The Keeneland stewards did it again Thursday. The incident became the talk of racing chat rooms everywhere. Fans simply couldn't believe what they were seeing in the third race: Ms Sabbatical, on the inside, was leading at the sixteenth pole. At that point, the rider of rival Lear's Princess, Elvis Trujillo, gained a narrow advantage. Soon afterwards, Trujillo raised up in the irons. Reacting to this, Kent Desormeaux did the same aboard Ms Sabbatical. Fortunately for Trujillo, his filly had the late momentum and reached the wire first by a long nose. But, again, no inquiry.
The incident resulted in the first short comment of its kind describing how the race winner finished first: "won galloping out."
Stewards in this country have a history of showing little regard for the fact that people actually wager money on horse races. Thursday's, of course, was a singular example. And an argument can be rightly made that, like the non-foul Blue Grass foul, the incident would not have adversely effected the outcome which is, of course, way beyond the point.
The disregard racing officials show for the betting public usually surfaces when a rider, the victory seemingly lost, does not persevere for second, third or fourth, as if there were no such wagers as exactas, trifectas and superfectas. Since there's no central racing authority to correct this and since there's no apparent interest from the tracks that employ them, stewards are allowed to continue adjudicating official outcomes in a non-professional, lackadaisical fashion.
Stern tongue lashings from stewards to apathetic jockeys behind closed doors doesn't get the job done. These kinds of offenses--failing to ride out a mount to the finish--should result in suspensions, not just when riders overzealously try to win.
In the 1980s at Saratoga, three stewards lost their jobs for taking down the wrong horse. In their defense, at least, it was an honest mistake. I know that first hand. They were doing their jobs and got it wrong. Unfortunately for the bettors of Allumeuse, stuff happened. But Thursday's incident and others like it are much different.
And so, to the Keeneland stewards and all racing officials that don't believe it necessary to take horseplayers seriously, I say this: If you don't like what you're doing enough to give it 100 percent, please just get the hell out of the stand.