Edit ModuleShow Tags

Watchful Eyes

During every race, stewards scrutinize the jockeys and horses.


Your horse finished in the money? Hold your horses—before you collect your winnings, you’ll have to wait for the race results to be declared official on the tote board. The final word comes from the race track stewards.

“We’re almost like the instant replay officials in the NFL,” track steward Scott Chaney says. Along with two other stewards (track rules stipulate three at every race) he officiates at Santa Anita, Del Mar, and Los Alamitos. “We watch the race through binoculars, and we have TV monitors that show us seven different angles during a race.”

Chaney and his fellow stewards are on the lookout for interference during a race, or what he calls oddities. “It could be a horse pulling up in a race, or a horse not pulling out of the gate really strong. Was it a gate malfunction, or was it interference? We’ll talk to the rider and look at our camera angles. And then we evaluate the interference itself,” Chaney says.  “Did it actually cost the horse the chance to make a better place?”

Chaney attended USC law school and worked as an assistant trainer prior to becoming a steward. “We do a lot more than officiate at races,” he says. “Our workday starts at 9 a.m.” He says the stewards conduct hearings on a variety of alleged rule violations, everything from a horse testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs to a trainer’s parking violation. Don’t cross those stewards!


More: Del Mar, Decoded

Horse Betting 101
What to say at the betting window »

6 Things You Didn’t Know About the Races
A little insider knowledge »

Special Events
The 2014 season runs July 17-September 3 »

The Hat Contest
What it takes to win »

How a Horse Knows to Run
What makes horses “break,” or jump out of the gate »

What's in a Name
How horses get those unique monikers »


Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Related Stories

Family Politics Unfold Backward in Time in ‘The Year to Come’

La Jolla Playhouse’s high-concept world premiere is strengthened by a superb ensemble cast—and nearly derailed by its ending

San Diego Ballet Company Stages 'The Nutcracker'

See the 29th annual performance at Copley Symphony Hall December 29-30

San Diego Events Calendar: December 2018

How to be busy and important this month in San Diego
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. Win a Trip for Two to Yellowstone Country Montana
    Win a trip for two to Bozeman, Montana including roundtrip airfare and lodging
  2. Sushi’s Next Gen Is Here at Himitsu
    In La Jolla, a Sushi Ota protégé sticks to an age-old tradition of quality
  3. 10 Hot Plates: San Diego's Top Food News in October
    The latest restaurant rumors, openings, and coming-soons
  4. San Diego Events Calendar: October 2018
    How to be busy and important this month in San Diego
  5. San Diego's Top Doctors 2018
    Our annual list of 717 physicians in 88 specialties, plus five physicians open up about the emotional burdens of their fields
  6. Incoming: The Hold Fast
    One of the country’s top sustainable sushi chefs is opening a handroll bar serving 100-percent local seafood
Edit ModuleShow Tags


Vote Now for Your Orangetheory Winner!

Winners will be announced at our Sweat event on May 12

Not Your Grandma's Orthotics

New year, new – shoe? Staying on your feet for long hours at a time just got a whole lot more comfortable with Wiivv’s BASE custom insoles
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module

Connect With Us:

Edit ModuleShow Tags


Win Tickets to the 41st Annual SDCCU Holiday Bowl

This year’s Utah vs. Northwestern match-up marks the Holiday Bowl’s second straight paring of teams that are ranked nationally in the top 25

Winter is Waiting in Montana’s Yellowstone Country

Win a trip for two that includes roundtrip airfare from Long Beach and a stay at the Element by Westin in Bozeman, Montana
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags