No Pony People, No Jockeys, No Race: Presque Isle Downs Cancels Tuesday Finale - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

No Pony People, No Jockeys, No Race: Presque Isle Downs Cancels Tuesday Finale

The final race on Tuesday's card at Presque Isle Downs in Erie, Pa., was cancelled after a series of events that led to jockeys opting not to ride.

Todd Mostoller, executive director of the Pennsylvania Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, said he was told one of the pony people was informed by a Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission employee before the final race that he was not properly licensed and could not escort horses to the post for that race.

In an apparent show of support the other pony people said they wouldn't work the race, either, leading jockeys to decide whether to ride without being ponied to the gate or sit the last race out. They opted not to ride.

“He ponied the first seven races,” Mostoller said of the pony person. “I don't understand how it was OK for him to work the first seven races but not the last one. They couldn't have had him come in after the last race and tell him to renew his license?”

Mostoller said the HBPA will ask Presque Isle Downs director of racing Matt Enniss to  divide the $14,000 purse nine ways, so that each owner receives about $1,500.

The race was a $7,500 maiden claiming event, with three of the nine starters shipping in from out of state.

“I don't understand it,” said Mostoller. “It was an extremely poor decision and we've asked for this corrective action to be taken. We're doing the best we can to make the best of a bad situation. It's pretty unbelievable to me a decision like that was made.”

Efforts to reach the Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission were unsuccessful at time of writing.

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