Turfway Park to trial live explanations from stewards to increase transparency

POSTED ON  |  29-12-2018

Turfway Park
Stewards at Turfway Park in Kentucky are set to take a leaf from the NFL's playbook in a bid to increase transparency in decisions that affect the result of a race. If a horse is disqualified during racing at Turfway, chief state steward Barbara Borden will provide a voice-over explanation while the track replays the incident in question.
  • "I think it's a responsible way to inform people who are wagering on our races of what's happening," said Turfway general manager and director of operations Chip Bach. "There could be a lot of consequences to a decision like that.
  • "If they don't understand our rules – a lot of people from different jurisdictions may have different rules or they don't understand them – so they think it's a bad call. I think it lends integrity and at the same time informs the betting public of what those infractions are."
Bach noted that a few years ago chief steward John Veitch would go on-camera and provide explanations. Under the new format, Borden will have a microphone and headset to communicate decisions that result in a disqualification.  Explaining how the process will work, Borden said: "What it will entail will be similar to what we put in a stewards' report: 'An objection was lodged by this rider and after reviewing the race replay and interviewing the jockeys this is our determination and why'.
  • "It's not going to be an interview or question-and-answer session, just a brief explanation."
Borden said Kentucky stewards are comfortable explaining their decisions, noting that they routinely field phone calls from bettors or connections. She said they will provide answers to those callers as long as they have time and the phone call remains cordial. They'll provide that approach to the simulcast audience.

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