WHAT IF SUCH DECEPTION HAD OCCURRED IN THE KENTUCKY DERBY?

Instead of American Pharoah winning the Kentucky Derby, suppose that he had run out-of-the-money after going off as the favorite.  Then, the following morning, it was revealed that his trainer Bob Baffert and his owner Ahmed Zayat had for several weeks concealed a significant injury to the colt, but they had decided to run him anyway.

Can you hear the allegations that horse racing is not on the up and up, and justifiably so?

In this hypothetical, the betting public would have placed their bets on a horse that would be unable to perform up to the level indicated by his past races.  This kind of subterfuge was seemingly what happened in the May 2nd title fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.

Millions of dollars were bet on both fighters, and some wagers were reportedly as large as $1 million.  Yet, after the fight, Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach said that Pacquiao suffered a right-shoulder injury three or four weeks ago when he threw a right hand while sparring.  Fight promoter Bob Arum explained that the injury was identical to the torn rotator cuff incurred by Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers, which ended his 2014-2015 season.  According to Arum, he and Roach considered postponing the fight but opted for physical therapy.

Nevada boxing Chairman Francisco Aguilar commented that he did not hear of the injury until less than five hours before the fight when he came to Pacquiao’s locker room and was asked for permission (which was denied) to administer an anti-inflammatory shot consisting of Bupivacaine, Celestone, and Lidocaine.

Most observers would surely agree that bettors were denied highly relevant information bearing on the outcome of the fight.  An insider with such information would have bet on Mayweather and avoided betting on Pacquiao.

The view here is that people who bet on Pacquiao were deprived of pertinent information about his diminished chances.

In the 2010 Breeders’ Cup, bettors are likely to have wagered on a physically compromised entry in Life at Ten in a case that still has not been fully resolved and may never be.

Whether it is the stock market or athletic competition, investors and bettors deserve the same access to information as insiders.  Otherwise, the idea takes hold that the game is rigged…and that is real bad for business.

Copyright © 2015 Horse Racing Business

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