Sidelines with John Clay

Losing owner calls for investigation into tactics used in Belmont Stakes

Winning owner Mike Repole, left, and winning trainer Todd Pletcher, celebrated after their horse, Uncle Mo, won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs in Louisville in 2010. On Sunday, Repole called for NYRA to look into the racing tactics of Restoring Hope in the 150th Belmont Stakes. Trained by Bob Baffert, who also trains winner Justify, Restoring Hope was ridden by Florent Geroux.
Winning owner Mike Repole, left, and winning trainer Todd Pletcher, celebrated after their horse, Uncle Mo, won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs in Louisville in 2010. On Sunday, Repole called for NYRA to look into the racing tactics of Restoring Hope in the 150th Belmont Stakes. Trained by Bob Baffert, who also trains winner Justify, Restoring Hope was ridden by Florent Geroux. File

Mike Repole, co-owner of horses that finished fourth and last in Saturday's Belmont Stakes, told the New York Post on Sunday he hopes stewards will look into the tactics used by the jockey for the "other" horse trained by Bob Baffert.

Repole questioned Florent Geroux's ride on Restoring Hope, a stablemate of Belmont winner and 13th Triple Crown champion Justify, who is trained by Baffert for owner Gary West.

While saying Justify was the deserving winner, Repole told reporter Tom Pedula he felt like Restoring Hope, a 37-1 shot, ran interference for Justify against other horses in the race. (Restoring Hope ran out of the 5th post while Justify was in the 1st post.)

"It definitely seemed to me he was more of an offensive lineman than a racehorse trying to win the Belmont," Repole said, "and Justify was a running back trying to run for a touchdown."

Repole owns fourth-place finisher Vino Rosso with fellow New Yorker Vinnie Viola. After winning the Grade 2 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct, Vino Rosso ran ninth on a sloppy track in the Kentucky Derby.

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