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New rule cuts down on scratches at Monticello
Thursday, January 13, 2011 - by John Manzi, publicity director, Monticello Raceway

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Monticello, NY --- A few months ago Monticello Raceway followed Yonkers Raceway's lead and instituted the 14-day rule with hopes to cut down on scratches from the seven and eight post positions.

The rule simply states that if a horse is scratched from an outside position, its trainer must wait 14 days before the horse is eligible to race again. And by all means it seems to be working.

According to Eric Warner, the Mighty M’s Director of Racing, the enforcement of that rule has cut way down on scratches.

"We have a lot of entries at this time of the year and sometimes when a horse has drawn the seven or eight hole we’d get a scratch notice which shortens our fields and causes us to drop superfecta wagering," Warner explained. "But there are stipulations where if a horse goes to the paddock and the state vet deems that the horse is unfit to race, the 14-day rule isn’t in effect and the usual five-days-out rule takes precedence."

Yonkers Raceway Assistant Race Secretary Bob Miecuna recently contacted Warner and told him that they will honor Monticello’s 14-day rule so no horse scratched from the outside at Monticello can enter at Yonkers. And Warner told Miecuna the same will go at Monticello for any horse that scratches from an outside position at Yonkers.

Warner, like Miecuna, feels that the rule helps maintain full fields and keeps the track from losing various wagers because of short fields.

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