Zo Sophisticated, Astronomo Dead in NY

Two more racehorses are dead in NY, bringing that state’s 2014 Kill Total to 106:

3-year-old Zo Sophisticated “collapsed and died while galloping on the Belmont main track” Monday. The Thomas Albertrani-trained filly had yet to be raced. On Tuesday, Astronomo, also 3, “suffered right rear fetlock fracture in pool [at Finger Lakes]…euthanized following prognosis.” At Aqueduct in April, Astronomo was raced twice within 72 hours by trainer Michelle Nevin and owners Brian/Kerry Novak; in June, under the same connections, he was a DNF at Finger Lakes. This is horseracing.

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  1. Another disgraceful way to treat your athletes. Races 2 times In 72 hours and that legal ?? Ny racing safety crew step up and make some rules regarding how often trainers can run. This is pure abuse, most trainers give at least 2 weeks between races.

    • Ryan, yes, it is “legal”. I don’t have my notes here with me, and I don’t recall the name of the individual who I spoke with, but I had called regarding a horse that ran back in 3 days at a NY track and I was informed by that individual that there are no rules or policies in place regarding the amount of time between races…the trainer can do whatever he/she chooses. And of course the horse who labors and risks injury has no choice.

    • Ryan, it was Joel Levison with the NY racing commission who informed me that there are no rules at the NY tracks about spacing races. He stated they could run them back in 24 hours if the horse met the conditions and the trainer so desired.
      Love of money versus love of the horse? There’s no question about that love affair – and it’s not with the horse.

  2. Yes, where are the stewards?!? Remember the SECOND sitting on their hands for 10 years while Madoff bilked thousands? This is the same thing. I believe the reasons for ignoring this new trend of racing the horses so often is complicitly allowed. How else could it happen? It is possible that those living local will have to file complaints with their local sheriffs against the tracks for animal cruelty. Overrunning is a common description of animal cruelty in every state. Willful infliction of stress, injury or neglect are as well.

  3. I spoke with the Governor’s representative for gaming (including horse racing) last night 11/5/2014 and he assured me he would look into the 4 deaths in the last 6 days. I am not hopeful any of this is going to change.

  4. Idiot trainers and owners who race same horse twice within 72 hours need to lose their licenses.

  5. I’m a fairly recent reader to this blog, and it tears my heart out each time I read about some other dead horse because they care about the money more than they care about treating their horses decently.

  6. The fact that there are no rules concerning frequency of starts says a lot about the rule makers in this sorry business. Yet, when it concerns money there are lots of rules !
    Jacobson is well known for starting horses with just a couple of days to a week between races and he is lauded in NY because of his high win percentage…lots of money generated ! Also, I noticed a 2yr. old colt is entered in the 7th race at Gulf Stream West tomorrow. It will be his 7th start and he is loaded up with Lasix each time. He is trained by Dorochenko and is being started with just 8 days between races. He already has notched a DNF. I just wonder how long his immature body can hold up…and if that is not enough, he was foaled on the 20th of May, a late foal to boot.
    So when these racing associations say they leave decisions re. frequency of starts “up to the trainer” I wonder if they give a thought to the abuse and cruelty they encourage and don’t even bat an eye. It is a sick business.

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