In the 4th at Monmouth last August 6, Chispita finished 2nd for owner Bonnie Lucas (who also doubled as asst. trainer) and trainer Wayne Potts. Apparently, though, the 3-year-old filly suffered some sort of injury – an injury bad enough that the state vet thought it warranted the ambulance. (In addition, the vet voided a “claim” on Chispita – yes they were selling her – so again, clearly she was injured.) But, according to a NJ Commission ruling in September, Lucas, after consulting with Potts, refused to allow Chispita to be “vanned off.” For that, the pair had their wrists slapped: 30-day suspensions and $1,000 fines. And all this came after Chispita (under Lucas/Potts) was “vanned off” in a race exactly six weeks prior (June 25). Surely, the Commission knew that, and yet…. As for their charge, Chispita has not been heard from since.

The finding:

“As the result of the Administrative Hearing conducted on September 9, 2021, the Board of Stewards finds that: Wayne Potts was the programmed trainer of the horse Chispita when it raced in the 4th on August 6, 2021, at Monmouth Park; Bonnie Lucas was the licensed owner and assistant trainer, as well as the attendant. Following [that race] the State Veterinarian ordered Chispita to be vanned off the racetrack via equine ambulance. After communicating with trainer Wayne Potts, Bonnie Lucas refused to allow Chispita to be vanned off…despite being ordered to do so by the State Veterinarian.”

Out for Justice is a 5-year-old gelding who was first raced in March 2019; through January 11, he has been raced 29 times. Lately, though, those turns under the whip have been coming with an out-of-the-ordinary frequency. He was raced three times in November, three times in December – with all of those in but a 15-day period – and twice thus far in January, those two just seven days apart.

Out’s primary abuser is owner/trainer Alejandro Gomez, who bought (“claimed”) him for a paltry $3,000 on November 16. In that race, by the way, Out finished 55 lengths back. But here’s the thing, because Turf Paradise (Out has been raced exclusively in Arizona) pays first-last, Gomez has every incentive to keep throwing him out there. On January 4, for example, Out came in dead-last – but Gomez still banked $130.

Out for Justice is slated to be under the whip again on January 26, in another $3,000 claiming race. That will make it three straight months of three races per. Here are some relevant phone numbers should you care to voice your opinion:

Vincent Francia, Turf GM: (602) 375-6401
David Johnson, Turf VP, asst. GM: (602) 375-6431
Robbie Junk, Racing Office: (602) 375-6442
John Adams, Association Steward: (602) 375-6445
Arizona Department of Racing: (602) 364-1700
Stewards: (602) 375-6445

Jockey Mychel Sanchez was suspended by Pennsylvania officials Thursday for betting on horseracing. But here’s the kicker: He wasn’t just betting on any old race; he was betting on races he himself was in. And it’s even worse: Sanchez was betting against himself. Talk about scandalous. Still, Alan Pincus, Sanchez’s attorney, says we shouldn’t judge too harshly, claiming that Sanchez is mentally ill; for proof, he points out that Sanchez actually won some of those races. Pincus in the Paulick Report:

“These are extremely weird circumstances. You can never totally understand how the human mind works. People who may appear to be on top of the world…can be suffering from depression. You don’t know. Mychel Sanchez is suffering from some type of depression. I’m not a psychiatrist, but he’s someone who needs help. He started betting. Not in any cheating way, just as a way of coping with the pain he was experiencing. He’s been feeling low for some time and it’s been building up in him.

“It’s inexplicable. He had races where he actually bet against his own horse, then went out and won the race. He’s not pulling horses, he’s not doing it for evil purposes, he’s doing it for crazy purposes, inexplicable purposes. … He is not a criminal. … He’s a person who needs help. Although he needs to be punished and needs treatment, it shouldn’t be fatal punishment.”

To hear Mr. Pincus tell it, we should be offering compassion, not outrage. By the way, PA’s idea of an appropriate punishment for an active participant betting against himself: 60 days. And they wonder why their social license is in such dire straits.

Through a FOIA request to the California Horse Racing Board, I have obtained the following details on 2021 kills. (I will be posting in installments.)

Square Dreamer, Jul 9, Golden Gate T
“open, comminuted fracture of MCIII”
“open fractures, [multiple] sesamoids”
“complete ruptures, [multiple] ligaments”
“chronic gastric ulcerations”
Square Dreamer was four years old.

(Note all the ridiculous redactions – ridiculous because these horses have already been identified by the CHRB on its database.)

Made in Karoo, Oct 7, Golden Gate S
“severe weight loss, rapid onset depression, head tilt with seizure”
“meningoencephalitis with hemorrhage”
“severe, necrotizing gastroenteritis”
Made in Karoo was three years old.

Kakistocracy, Oct 14, Santa Anita T
“Sudden death – post work. Rider stated horse went into trot quickly, was weak behind and then collapsed – abdominal and retroperitoneal hemorrhage.” Kakistocracy was five years old.

Favorite Doc, Oct 16, Los Alamitos R
“Horse jogging back after race, fell and died suddenly – abundant foam in the tracheal lumen.” Favorite Doc was three years old.

Electric Ride, Oct 16, Santa Anita T
“Horse worked this morning…sudden death following IV vitamin administration…flipped over…died.” Electric Ride was two years old.