First, the facts:

Holding Aces was born (made) on April 4, 2012. His first race came in September 2015. He “won,” earning $22,920 for his first set of “connections,” trainer Wayne Catalano and owners Gary and Mary West. Four more races followed for this team and then Jason Servis (yes, that Jason Servis) came on as trainer for two races. He was then sold by the Wests. In all, they (and the two trainers) banked $41,680 on Holding.

Holding, as a “yearling”:

On December 17, 2016, Holding was raced for the first time by trainer Domenick Schettino and an ownership group led by Salvatore Como. He finished 2nd, winning $6,800 for his people. Prior to that race, however, he was sold again – new trainer, Chris Englehart; new owner, Island Wind Racing; 12 races followed, with Holding earning $69,540 for them. Then, sold again.

On March 31, 2018, Holding finished 1st in his first race under trainer Randi Persaud (yes, that Randi Persaud) and owner Guyana Rocky LLC – payday, $33,000. In August, a new trainer, Otis Henry. A few races later, it was back to Persaud. At this point, Holding was consistently finishing far back, but because he was being raced at racino tracks, he was still bringing in cash. In December, Guyana changes trainers again. Enter Joey Martinez. This is the pairing that would have Holding till the end.

On April 11, 2019, Holding finished 6th, almost 18 lengths back in a cheap “claiming” race (“For Sale” at $4,000 prior to). It was to be his final race. Adding the $54,070 for Guyana (and their three trainers), Holding grossed $172,090 for the various human beings who had used him. You would think he had earned a peaceful retirement ambling about in an open pasture. Alas, not from these people, not from this industry.

In September – just five months after his final race – Holding Aces was found in a kill pen. Yes, this “athlete,” so recently cheered and celebrated by “connections” and “fans” alike, was headed to equine hell – the slaughterhouse. Here was his condition…

Holding was rescued from that pen. One report said this: “His feet were rotted [and] three were abscessing badly,” and he had “advanced laminitis” (perhaps the most painful equine affliction there is). And now, if you dare, imagine that this animal, in this state, was to be shipped (a horror unto itself), shot, shackled, hung upside down, slashed, bled out, and butchered. Regrettably, less than two weeks after rescue, Holding was euthanized, his unfathomable suffering at last at an end.

Horses are, of course, fully sentient beings – intelligent, aware, sensitive, loving, affectionate, the capacity (and desire) for pleasure, the capacity for (and aversion to) pain. To do what these people – including all of the named herein, and, of course, whoever dumped him at auction and left him to waste away in unspeakable terror and agony thereafter – did to this poor, poor soul is nothing short of evil. Evil.

Kaliche Gold, three, was euthanized today at Finger Lakes for what the Gaming Commission is calling an “unresolved training injury.” Since his last timed workout was two weeks ago, it’s safe to assume the injury was incurred then. His trainer was Jeffrey Englehart; his owner, Top Hat Thoroughbreds. To date, 76 horses have perished at NY tracks in 2020.

The chart note for the 3rd at Thistledown yesterday says it all: “Candy Classic…suffered a catastrophic injury near mid stretch, completed the course and was euthanized.” Yes, that’s right folks, this poor horse fatally broke down but his jockey – David Haldar – pressed on to the wire. Incidentally (or maybe not), for finishing the race the soon-to-be-dead 5-year-old “earned” $146 for his people (in addition to Haldar, trainer/owner Jerry Sparks). One final act of “service.” Vile.

The replay, with Haldar whipping Candy – in slop, mind you – right up to the moment of “catastrophic injury.” Candy is the 7 horse. Pick up at :45 mark and again at 1:55…

The NYS Gaming Commission reports the following for It’s Cold Out at Finger Lakes Saturday: “horse was found deceased in stall 9 after being treated for digestive issues.” She was six and had been raced 17 times. But – her last race was well over a year ago, in July of 2019. Apparently, trainer Chris Englehart and owner Sheila Englehart could not just let her be, deciding there was still cash to be had from this poor girl. Vile.

Last week on U.S. flat tracks (racing only).

“Vanned Off”: horse unable to walk off the track; while not all end up dead, most do, as borne out by my FOIA reports. “Bled”: indicates pulmonary hemorrhage.

Royal Duke “vanned off” at Gulfstream W
Uncle Momo “bled” at Indiana
Field Reality “vanned off” at Presque Isle
Dreams N Nightmares “fell, vanned off” at Zia
Im a Chillin Streak “hit rail, DNF” at Zia
Acclimated Song “vanned off” at Zia
Stakes On a Plane “vanned off” at Delaware
My Northern Star “in distress, vanned off” at Indiana
A Little Flyer “vanned off” at Indiana
Cinnamon Latte “vanned off” at Monmouth
Hurricane Patricia “vanned off” at Penn
Relentless Albert “vanned off” at Presque Isle
Silver City Blues “vanned off” at Remington
Carbonero Train “vanned off” at Evangeline
Smooth Like Silk “vanned off” at Gulfstream W
Red Moon Mike “vanned off” at Indiana
Do You Bileve “bled, vanned off” at Remington
Courage de Lion “in distress, vanned off” at Gulfstream W
Philadelphia Belle “vanned off” at Penn
Elle’s Town “vanned off” at Belmont
Nathan’s Secret “vanned off” at Gulfstream W