13-Year-Old Scratched at Ellis

Sometimes, even I am left virtually speechless. Yesterday at Ellis Park, a mare named Texas Gold Digger was entered to run in the 6th race. Although she was ultimately scratched (reason unknown), her longtime trainer/owner, Robert Winstead, appeared ready to send her into battle (a $4,000 claiming battle worth $9,500). But here’s the thing: Texas Gold Digger is 13 years old. 13. When, Mr. Winstead, is enough enough?

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  1. There is no limit to the abuse of the horse. Interesting to note, in this business it is perfectly fine to enter a 13 year old in a race !!!
    Winstead claimed the mare July 4th 2007 for $5,000 at Ellis Park. She was already 6 and had started 53 times ! Winstead has started her 35 times including 3 times in one month at 11 years old !
    As has been said, every horse has a story. Unfortunately, most of their stories have sad
    Mr Winstead, have some compassion for your mare. Find Texas Gold Digger a home.

  2. This only seems unusual to you because race horses are atarted at such an early age. 13 is not old, the average horse has a life span of 30 years and upwards!

    • PS In the same race, #6 at Ellis Park, a 6yr. old mare, Bristol Song was pulled up and vanned off shortly after the start.

    • Thank you. I do realize a 13 year old mare is not “old” under normal circumstance. But what is normal about the life of the racehorse. They start racing at 2 years when they are still growing and developing their super important bone structure; they are given drugs that are detrimental to the development of strong bones; they languish in stalls for 23 hours out of 24 which in many cases results in psychological as well as physical problems ; they are bounced from owner to owner and barn to barn in the claiming game; they are fed a “high octane” diet which strains the kidneys and live….
      While 13 is not old chronologically, a race horse is very old physiologically and that is what counts. Most race horses are, literally, worn out by the time they are 6 give or take a year or two.

  3. Texas Gold Digger won a race at Ellis last year at the age of 12. I offered this mare a retirement home a few weeks ago. the trainer/owner’s son is attempting to disperse his horses, but they have not yet taken me up on my offer. I heard she was scratched by the state vet.

  4. Texas Gold Digger has a three year old foal who is running Friday. He needs a good home too. He won’t get a bath after the race if Winstead has to do it.

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