EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New Jersey Racing Commission Wednesday upheld a January ruling that declared Park Avenue Joe and Probe co-winners of the 1989 Hambletonian.
However, the winner's share of the purse ($565,500) will go to Park Avenue Joe with second-place money ($282,750) to Probe because of Park Avenue's overall performance.
The decision by the racing commission affirmed the ruling by Administrative Law Judge Thomas Clancy.
The Hambletonian, which was held in August, is contested in multiple heats, with the horse winning two heats declared the winner. Park Avenue Joe finished second and first in the first two heats; Probe finished first and ninth. The two horses competed in a race off, which ended in a dead heat.
Immediately following the race off, officials declared Park Avenue Joe the Hambletonian winner by virtue of his overall performance (2nd-1st-1st vs. Probe's 1st-9th-1st). The next day, Lindy Farms of Connecticut, owners of Probe, appealed the ruling.
Chuck Bradley, deputy director of the racing commission, said either party could appeal Wednesday's decision to the Appellate Court, but it was unclear if they would exercisethat option. Any appeal must be made within 20 days.