Guidopanzini: From Vanned Off to Dead in the Dirt

By now it should be clear that when something bad happens, the Equibase notes are usually less-than-complete, often, even grossly misleading. For the latter, we need look no further than the 9th race at Oak Tree (Alameda County Fair) on July 5th when 5-year-old Guidopanzini was reported as “pulled up, vanned off.” In truth, Guidopanzini was already dead when the ambulance arrived, officially (California Horse Racing Board) – “collapsed and died unassisted on track [of a] possible aortic rupture.” So you see, the only thing being vanned off that day was a corpse.

The other part of this story, of course, is a not-yet-mature equine felled by an “aortic rupture.” But since California requires necropsies for dead racehorses, some enlightenment may be in the offing. Then, perhaps, one or both of Guidopanzini’s most recent trainers – Vod Farris, Michael Lenzini – will be made to answer. But then again, this being horseracing, perhaps not.

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  1. Patrick, my money is on “perhaps not” ! Racing sometimes puts on a show about how the business is being policed. However, it is all for show because even if wrongdoing is identified, and not covered up, the consequences for those responsible amounts to a slap on the wrist.

    I’m so sorry you died this way, Guidopanzini.

    The only way this “sport” will be cleaned up is through it’s demise !

  2. You people are clearly just a problem to the public, you are doing nothing but making horse racing seem like a death wish for all horses, yes there are trainers out there that treat their horses badly but there are also trainers to treat their horses better then their children. All in all your people are useless in every way to be putting this bull shit all over the internet. Its people like you that give racing a bad name. People like you wouldn’t last a week on the backside of a racetrack. You all need to get a life and maybe learn more about racing before you go posting all this absolute bullshit.

    • Heather, step back and reflect on exactly what it is you (the racing industry) do: Horses are exploited for gambling. That’s it. And yes, some are maimed, while others die (more than 24 each week). Again, for $2 bets. It’s indefensible, and down deep, in a place you rarely allow yourself to go, you know it.

    • Heather, it is people like “us” that give racing a bad name? Really? Obviously, you are out of touch with reality. You, meaning those immersed in racing, give racing a bad name. You don’t need any help from “us”, the non-racing public because you are very capable of doing it all by yourself! Also, just to set you, and your racing colleagues, straight, it is because of the atrocities that we have seen on the backsides of racetracks that we are against racing. Perhaps you should follow your own advice and get a life. STOP racing horses with drugs, maiming them, breaking them down, and handing them off for slaughter. Got it?

      • Mary, I don’t think she will ever get it because she is delusional. Also, she did say there were trainers “who treat their horses badly” and I’m wondering what racing does about them ?
        It would be interesting to know what a “defender” of the business considers bad treatment.
        As we know there is no good treatment of horses in this exploitive business.

    • Heather H., is that you? Sounds like your style. If you think so poorly of Patrick and the others, why are you here? Truth hurts? Shall I post your bad tests for all the people you anonymously trash to see? I made my living in this business for longer than you’ve been alive, and darlin’, it’s people like YOU who ‘give racing a bad name.’ P.S. I understand that your literacy level and capacity for critical thinking are low, but with all due respect, “bull shit” [sic] is one word (“bullshit”).

  3. WOW, Heather, you stepped in a pile of shit by defending horse racing as a whole. We can only hope and pray that some owners treat their horses better than what we read about. What Patrick J Battuello post are facts. In the “true race horse industry”, there should never be a dead horse as a results from training or racing. One thing I cannot comprehend is “Why the hell are these owners racing 2-3 yr. old horses”? The problem is not the horses, it’s the greedy owners, lack of experienced trainers, vets and the race tracks. You may feel that 24 dead race horses per week is norm and acceptable in the horse racing industry, but, it isn’t. It’s called animal cruelty, abuse and inhumane. Horses’ leg bones are no different from human leg bones. Those of us who write comments after reading about the deaths of race horses each week are people who truly care, and, we definately don’t wear blinders like you do. There’s nothing to defend, Heather, horse racing is not a sport, it’s a “death trap” for horses as young a 2 yrs old. Nobody has to be an expert about horse racing to know that these deaths are unnecessary, should have never happened in the first place and are promoted from greed by the owners, trainers and vets. Some of the jockeys are no better. California Crome was whipped 20 times in 15 seconds by his jockey, who admitted that he knew something was wrong from the start out the gate. That’s animal abuse. You apparently don’t care about these poor innocent dead horses that never pass their prime to live a life. And, it is sad that you have no compassion of these horses rather defend such a cruel, heartless business. And, no, these deaths are not and will not go un-noticed. So, bring it, there’s no excuse for such cruelty that kills horses and continues everyday.

  4. I’m Vod Farris’ wife. Guido was very loved in our barn and we both are deeply grieving over his loss. He was very special to us and very well taken care of. We do NOT abuse our horses and have nothing to answer for. Perhaps Lenzini who not only worked him several times but ran him 3 times three surfaces three distances should answer. He took a perfectly healthy and fiery horse from us and killed him in two months. I am distraught over losing guido. He is remembered by me every day.

    • But don’t you see, Alexis, he was able to take Guido from you because Guido was a piece of property. Property, by its very nature, has no rights – it can be bought, sold, traded, or dumped (often at a kill auction) virtually at will. While I’ll take your word on being upset, your husband did allow Guido to be claimed (bought) on April 27th. Perhaps Lenzini is an abusive trainer. Perhaps not. But in the grand scheme of things, racing – your husband’s chosen industry – killed this young horse.

    • Vod is not responsible for this horse’s death. LENZINI KILLED GUIDOPANZINI, AND WE ALL KNOW HOW HE DID IT. Sorry, but I still believe that there are a few good men left in racing, and I believe Vod Farris to be one of them. Alexis, if you read this, please accept my condolences and give your sweet hubby a hug on my behalf… I was raised in this business and have watched it devolve to the point where we are now. It makes me sick.

      • But Lenzini could not get his hands on this horse and kill him if the horse wasn’t offered up to any scum out there via a claiming race. None of my horses will EVER die at the hands of an abuser…because I will NEVER leave them unprotected. But that’s horseracing…and if you’re in it – supporting the industry and yourself on the backs of the racehorses – you bear responsibility for their miserable lives and tragic, premature deaths.

  5. Help us understand this, Alexis…you offered up for sale this horse that you stated was “very loved” and “very special to us”?…that’s what you do to creatures you “love”? That horse was an OBJECT to you and your husband, and when this object could no longer perform to your satisfaction, you put a price tag on his head and offered him to ANYONE. Your husband left him unprotected and threw him to the wolves.
    Finally, since your claim is Lenzini killed this poor animal, why don’t you do the right thing for Guido and pursue justice for him?…or is it simply acceptable for owners and trainers to KILL their racehorses?

  6. In this business there is no justice for the horse no matter how well “loved” he is. Horses are shunted from barn to barn and trainer to trainer because money is much more important and “loved” than any of the horses.

    As always, actions speak louder than words !

  7. Unfortunately we did NOT own him. We were trying to put together a way to claim him back and bring him home. I have several horses taken from the track one rescued from a horrible owner. We try to do right by our horses. A necropsy is being done and I sincerely hope that if the trainer did something he’ll be held accountable and yes I absolutely will pursue to make sure of it. We aren’t all bad.

    • Alexis, I don’t know how you can stand all the brutality that goes on in racing. It must be very stressful to watch as the horse descends in the downward spiral of the claiming game, but only if the person has any human decency and a measure of compassion.

      You must know it is highly unlikely Lenzini will be held accountable, no matter what he did to Guidopanzini. There is no accountability in racing, especially when it comes to the horse.

  8. Maybe, you speak the truth, Alexis. However, you and your husband must be knowledgeable of the daily race horse deaths, and, if knowing that, I would have expected that you and your husband would have made sure that Guidopanzini and other horses you sell go to people who have a reputation of being decent, compassionate and treat horses humanely, rather inhumanely. If you don’t know what type of person you are selling these horses you loved so much to, the odds are against the horses living past their prime. I pray the owner and trainer of Guidopanzini are charged for the brutal crime of animal endangerment, animal abuse and animal cruelty. What a horrible death for these innocent and majestic creatures.

  9. The problem with claiming races is you have ZERO control of who takes your horse. It sucks. And I do believe there are changes that need to be made and I have been vocal about that in the inner circles. Perhaps I can’t do much but I can try. As for his trainer being held responsible if something is found I will fight tooth and nail for punishment. I promise that.

    • Alexis…it “SUCKS”? Racehorses are claimed by SCUM that we all know exists, and it merely SUCKS? Guidopanzini and countless others are DEAD due to the lethal claiming system…if the racehorses could speak, they would have more to say about what happens to them than how it simply SUCKS.

  10. Sucks is just a word. It’s horrible to watch your horse go to another trainer you don’t know or worse you know is terrible. I don’t have any words for the grief I feel over Guido.

  11. A few highlights from Mike Lenzini’s career:

    12/07/2013 Trainer Mike Lenzini $500 BUTE AND FLUNIXIN (MORE THAN ONE APPROVED SUBSTANCE). Horse, French Dynasty, 1st in the 6th on 10/06/2013. Fresno.

    11/11/2013 Trainer Mike Lenzini. Horse, 4YO unraced filly Petite Miss broke down while being pulled up after a work… EUTHANIZED. Golden Gate.

    06/09/2011 Trainer MICHAEL A. LENZINI, substitute trainer for the horse DINNR WITH NIKKI C, second place finisher in the second race at Golden Gate Fields on April 1, 2011, is fined the sum of one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) … FLUNIXIN AND PHENYLBUTAZONE.

    01/15/2011 “Trainer MICHAEL A. LENZINI, who started the horse BLENDED ROCKS, winner of the third race at Golden Gate Fields on November 6, 2010, is fined the sum of five hundred dollars ($500.00)… More than one approved substance – PHENYLBUTAZONE AND FLUNIXIN.”

    06/11/2009 “Trainer ALBERT M. (Mike) LENZINI, who started the horse MEAN JOLEENE, winner of the fifth race at Golden Gate Fields on March 11, 2009, is fined … $2,500… METHOCARBAMOL CLASS 4, THIRD OFFENSE.” GOLDEN GATE.

    12/13/2008 “Trainer ALBERT M. LENZINI, who started the horse WAY SPEED, third place finisher in the third race at Golden Gate Fields on October 17, 2008, is fined the sum of one thousand dollars ($1,000.00)… BUTE OVERAGE 5.56 µG/ML – SECOND OFFENSE.”

    09/18/2008 “Trainer ALBERT M. LENZINI, who started the horse BEAMER BEE, first place finisher in the fifth race at the Alameda County Fair (Pleasanton) on July 3, 2008, is fined the sum of five hundred dollars… more than one approved NSAID – BUTE – 1.08 µG/ML AND FLUNIXIN – 28 µ/ML).”

    03/21/2008 “Trainer Albert Michael Lenzini, who started the horse LADY WOODMAN, fifth place finisher in the third race at Golden Gate Fields on September 17, 2006 is fined the sum of three thousand dollars ($3,000.00) (TOTAL CARBON DIOXIDE TESTING: IN EXCESS OF PERMITTED LEVEL).”

    12/30/2005 Trainer ALBERT M. LENZINI, who started the horse MISTER COSMI, winner of the fourth race at Golden Gate Fields on November 30, 2005 is fined the sum of four hundred dollars ($400.00)… FLUNIXIN in excess of permitted level -192 ng./ml.


  12. Why is this bad actor still training, I mean drugging, horses ! He, obviously, is not a horseman. He pays his fines and then it is business as usual. I wonder what he did to Guidopanzini . The CHRB needs to be inundated with inquiries re. what the truth is about this horse’s demise. Also, people need to voice their well founded complaints about how this guy is drugging the horses and why he is allowed to continue. Unbelievable !
    The board needs to be accountable and feet need to be held to the fire.
    The lack of accountability in this business is astounding, to say the least !!

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