Well known horse racing tournament player Jonathon Kinchen has been suspended from NTRA tournaments for two years for violating tournament rules going to the Pegasus World Cup while having someone place wagers for him in Las Vegas at the NHC contest
We originally wrote about the Jonathon Kinchen fiasco HERE, and included what we thought about it as far as if it was cheating or created the potential of an unfair edge or advantage. We think the two year suspension is the right call and proper punishment but the manner in which it was announced was somewhat odd. In a move reminiscent of when then Dallas Cowboys coach Bill Parcells referred to then Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Terrell Owens as “the player” as opposed to by name, the NTRA took a page out of the coach’s playbook with this statement:
NTRA Statement On First Ever Disqualification at the NTRA National Horseplayers Championship
Las Vegas, Nevada, January 31, 2022: The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) issued the following statement after its first ever disqualification during the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC) which took place this weekend in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“The NTRA disqualified a player from the 2022 NHC for violating the official rules. One of the violated rules states, “All wagers must be placed personally, and in-person, by the Contest Player.” The disqualified player was not present at Bally’s during the NHC tournament and his contest wagers were being submitted on-site by an intermediary without authorization. No authorization was given to the player to leave Bally’s or the State; he violated both. The rules of the NHC are clearly outlined and all participants are required to sign them prior to the tournament.”
NTRA President and CEO Tom Rooney said, “The rules are clear that participants must be onsite to participate in the NHC. The NHC is the world’s most prestigious handicapping tournament. The integrity of the event is of paramount importance—not just to us but to the thousands of men and women who attempt to qualify and play each and every year. The NTRA will staunchly and steadfastly follow the rules and defend the integrity of this prestigious event and its participants.”
A few things come to mind here. First, does anyone believe this was not calculated for some reason? We don’t. We think it was certainly calculated. It could be as simple as to not take away from the tournaments winner, David Harrison. Kinchen through his actions during and even after the tournament has already managed to steal some of the headlines from the victor.
We can’t imagine the NTRA whose mantra is “Advocacy, Integrity, Leadership is happy with the unfazed attitude displayed in the tweet but in fairness Jonathon Kinchen didn’t tweet it, and who really knows what he is unfazed about?
What is more to the core of the matter is the other “player” or person who ran Jonathon Kinchen’s bets remains unnamed, and if indeed a player in the tournament to date unpunished. As we previously stated it is our opinion if this other person is a player, then their rule violation could have cost another player a better placing and even a seat at the finals table.
Jonathon Kinchen is apparently not the only one unfazed by his rule violation, disqualification and suspension. Tony Allevato of NYRA seems to think he’s an ambassador of some sort. Yes, the same NYRA who wanted to introduce a Saturday Night Live skit as evidence in the Bob Baffert hearing. Jeremy Balan reported the following for USBETS:
When asked for comment on whether it would take any action against Kinchen, the New York Racing Association — which produces racing broadcasts for FOX where Kinchen is an analyst — issued a statement from Tony Allevato, the NYRA’s chief revenue officer and president of the organization’s advance-deposit wagering platform, NYRA Bets.
“Jonathon Kinchen is an ambassador for horse racing who provides an important perspective on the sport,” Allevato said. “Jonathon remains a valued member of the NYRA television team.”
Jeremy’s complete article can be found HERE
Racing management has shown a disconnect from their core customers for a long time, and this is especially true at NYRA. Considering that Allevato’s comment can’t be surprising.
The best take on the matter probably came from Ed formerly Churchill Downs man and now new Horse Racing Nation (HRN) man DeRosa. Ed had this to say:
We can always count on DRF’s Jay Privman for a dose of sanity and common sense:
Last but not least we have the Wizard:
Integrity and transparency. Who was the runner, and did it affect another player or players? That question remains.
Photo: Giovannina Solevo Twitter Feed