The Abuse of Beeline Express

This past Friday at Gulfstream West, a 3-year-old named Beeline Express was raced for the fourth time this month. Worse, this horse has been put to the whip 12 times in the last 15 weeks. In defense, the apologists will cite her two seconds and a first, or simply assert that some horses thrive on frequent “work.” But it is what it is, and what it is is abuse. The responsible: trainer (and part owner) Walter Rosas-Canessa, owner Robert Levatino, the Gulfstream stewards, the Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering, et al. Just in case some enterprising young lawyer in Florida’s AG Office is interested:

828.12 Cruelty to animals.—
(1) A person who unnecessarily overloads, overdrives, torments, deprives of necessary sustenance or shelter, or unnecessarily mutilates, or kills any animal, or causes the same to be done, or carries in or upon any vehicle, or otherwise, any animal in a cruel or inhumane manner, commits animal cruelty, a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082…


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  1. Law enforcement woulld rather everybody not know there are laws in place to stop injurious treatment of animals.

    Thank you, Patrick. Making people aware we have laws to stop this will bring these issues to court, if the sheriff (or police) do their job. In some states, racing, rodeo are specifically excluded from being accountable under the cruelty laws. All a person who witnesses has to do is walk into their law enforcement agency and file a complaint. We can too – call and demand an investigation based on credible reports. If you do call, you must maintain a steadfast demeanor. The law enforcement have to be encouraged to venture out. You may demand they take a written report, some will forestall proactive reportng. Many will not be aware they have a duty to the public by squelching animal cruelty. Many are locked into the “well, it has aways been that way.”

  2. As a reminder to those who have not read this.
    This is from Patrick’s excellent but tragic post from

    Jacob’s Dream Worked to Death

    August 20, 2013

    The American Association of Equine Practitioners, a professional organization not unfriendly to racing, recommends that “no horse be permitted to race within 10 days of its last start.” This nonbinding “rule” was broken not once, but twice in a fortnight. This is the animal cruelty statute in Massachusetts:

    “Whoever overdrives, overloads, drives when overloaded, overworks, tortures, torments, deprives of necessary sustenance, cruelly beats, mutilates or kills an animal, or causes or procures an animal to be overdriven, overloaded, driven when overloaded, overworked, tortured, tormented, deprived of necessary sustenance, cruelly beaten, mutilated or killed; and whoever uses in a cruel or inhuman manner in a race, game, or contest, or in training therefor, as lure or bait a live animal, except an animal if used as lure or bait in fishing; and whoever, having the charge or custody of an animal, either as owner or otherwise, inflicts unnecessary cruelty upon it, or unnecessarily fails to provide it with proper food, drink, shelter, sanitary environment, or protection from the weather, and whoever, as owner, possessor, or person having the charge or custody of an animal, cruelly drives or works it when unfit for labor, or willfully abandons it, or carries it or causes it to be carried in or upon a vehicle, or otherwise, in an unnecessarily cruel or inhuman manner or in a way and manner which might endanger the animal carried thereon, or knowingly and willfully authorizes or permits it to be subjected to unnecessary torture, suffering or cruelty of any kind shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 5 years or imprisonment in the house of correction for not more than 2 ½ years or by a fine of not more than $2,500, or by both such fine and imprisonment.”

    Did Jacob’s Dream’s trainer (owner) not “overwork” him, “drive [him] when overworked,” “use [him] in a cruel or inhuman manner in a race”? But also complicit here are the stewards, the racing secretary, and the state vet(s) (lameness exams?), all of whom should have remembered this horse from FOUR DAYS ago. His private vet, too, needs to answer. With racing always talking about improving transparency, perhaps we could take a peek at his medical records. In the end, even by racing standards, there is little doubt that Jacob’s Dream was overworked. But beyond that, it is also highly likely that the excess burden caused, or at least contributed to, his death. Any ambitious prosecutor in the commonwealth listening?

  3. I have just sent this email to this group as well re: race horse abuse
    I see nothing about this issue on their website so it would be good to tell them what is going on
    as they have lawyers on board and encourage them to get involved..

    Announcing ALDF’s Animal Bill of Rights Week! Each day this week you can take action to support our campaign for basic legal rights for all animals. Check back every day for a new action! Help us reach one million signatures to tell Congress that animals deserve basic rights.

    Animal Legal Defense Fund
    National Headquarters
    170 East Cotati Avenue
    Cotati, CA 94931
    Phone: (707) 795-2533

    For more than three decades, the Animal Legal Defense Fund has been fighting to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals through the legal system. Founded in 1979 by attorneys active in shaping the emerging field of animal law, ALDF has blazed the trail for stronger enforcement of anti-cruelty laws and more humane treatment of animals in every corner of American life. Today, ALDF’s groundbreaking efforts to push the U.S. legal system to end the suffering of abused animals are supported by thousands of dedicated attorneys and more than 100,000 members and supporters. Every day, ALDF works to protect animals by:

    Filing groundbreaking lawsuits to stop animal abuse and expand the boundaries of animal law.
    Providing free legal assistance to prosecutors handling cruelty cases.
    Working to strengthen state anti-cruelty statutes.
    Encouraging the federal government to enforce existing animal protection laws.
    Nurturing the future of animal law through Student Animal Legal Defense Fund chapters and our Animal Law Program.
    Providing public education through seminars, workshops and other outreach efforts.

    In addition to our national headquarters in the San Francisco Bay Area, the Animal Legal Defense Fund maintains an office in Portland, Oregon.

  4. Oh, my, another horse abused by the racing industry yet I constantly hear the pro-racing folks babble about all the “good” people in racing. Well, racing folks, where are these “good” people? They are nowhere to be found. It is up to people, such as Patrick, to shine a light on the “secrets” in racing. Why is that? The answer is actually quite simple…because the racing folks don’t want their “secrets” exposed. There are no “rules” against racing a horse into the ground. In fact, it is done ALL THE TIME!

    I want to be clear. I would respect the pro-racing supporters so much more if they were honest about the state of racing here in this country. They need to admit that the horses are drugged, and, yes, for the people that aren’t too sharp, Lasix is a drug, they are raced with injuries, their joints are injected, they are put up for sale in claiming races, and, if the horse is non-productive, they might be handed off into the slaughter pipeline. However, the lies come fast and furious in racing. Even those who play both sides of the fence, and there are many of them, proclaim that there are “many” good people in racing. Well, boys and girls, I haven’t seen “many” good people in racing and I have been involved with TB’s for many years. So, if you’ve seen all these “good” people, then tell us who they are. Better yet, reach out to them to help this horse and other horses who are at risk such as Halos and Angels. Help them BEFORE racing destroys them because then you have to babble even faster to deflect from the atrocities that occur on a daily basis.

    Now, just to make the day of those who read this blog, I would like to bring everyone up to speed on the underground slaughter pipeline. Of course, we ALL should know by now that these pipelines run through various states. One starts in West Virginia and northern Ohio (Thistle and the new Mahoning track) and it runs to Oklahoma. The horses might run a race, or two, in Oklahoma, but, if they don’t do reasonably well, they are sent to auction. That info was confirmed by someone that I trust and respect. There aren’t many of those people out there, are there?

    I always get a kick out of people who proclaim that they just “love racing” yet, when I go to their Facebook wall, there is a photo and “story” of this sweet “baby” – Beeline Express. People who have their heads up the butts of those in racing are begging readers to sign a petition to stop the trainer from running this horse. Hey, everyone, the trainer is NOT doing anything illegal. If you are truly disgusted, as I am, STOP supporting an industry that exploits horses on a daily basis. Just say NO….TO ANIMAL EXPLOITATION AND ABUSE.

    • Mary – I am one of those “pro-racing” folks you speak of and I openly admitted to you that there are a bunch of dirty secrets that go on behind the scenes – secrets we’re not proud of – but do exist. There you go generalizing again.

      • Brittany, then it is up to you, and your colleagues, to expose the “dirty secrets” and then “clean up the filth”! My point was that, if there are “many” good people in racing, then we don’t need to worry about Beeline Express. Right? The petition is actually quite silly since the “good” people in racing will make sure this filly isn’t run into the ground and, besides, nothing illegal is occurring in this situation.

        Now, I think I am very confused. Didn’t you state, fairly recently, that you were “done” posting here and you weren’t coming back to this blog? Remember, you are pro-racing and this blog is anti-racing. Therefore, were you speaking the truth or just babbling? Or, better yet, were you just generalizing…..?

    • I guess I forgot to specify – what I meant by “done” is I guess I was done arguing over as issue neither one of us is willing to budge on. I have watched the blog since then and there has been nothing new for me to say. I am tired of all of the anti-racing people grouping all of the pro-racing people together and just assuming we’re all monsters.Why don’t you have one of your “friends” go dig up some more info on me so you can find out the truth?

      • I apologize, Brittany. When you said you were “done”, I thought you were “done” posting. Perhaps you were just “generalizing” when you said you were “done” with this blog.

        I have told you twice (this is the third time) that I have nothing against you personally so I’m not sure why you seem to struggle with that. No, I’m not going to “budge” in regards to my feelings on racing. I spent years on the backside of a low level track and the atrocities I saw would fill the Empire State Building. If you are indeed “tired” of all the anti-racing people grouping all of the pro-racing people together, I have a solution. Stay off this blog. Don’t allow yourself to be DRAGGED back into a conversation centering around a horse, who is just a “baby”, being raced into the ground. I am a huge horse advocate but I actually think the petition is quite silly. The trainer is not breaking any rules. Do I think it is immoral and unethical to race this horse weekly? Yes, I do, but it is not illegal. This is just simply horseracing.

        I will reiterate that I was privately messaged about your “friends” and I do know that one of your “friends” was babbling about “outing” the gal who was involved with the undercover PETA video so it seems this “friend” of yours was willing to dig up some dirt on this PETA person. Perhaps your “friend” was trying to help you, Brittany, find out the truth or perhaps she is just creepy. If you want to talk about the “monsters” in racing, let’s point some fingers at those who wanted to destroy this young girl. I don’t care who was responsible for the undercover video. It could have been PETA, Big Bird, or Fred Flintstone, but the video showed monsters who participated in abusing a horse. I have no doubt this goes on all the time.

        I also believe that you, and your friends, peruse this blog regularly because you have admitted that you do. Why? I would never “watch” a pro- racing site. In fact, I am disgusted by the pro-racing folks who are upset about this sweet filly. This is NOT an aberration. This goes on ALL the time. Is this filly more deserving because she is only three? No, they are ALL deserving. Get it?

        Finally, I am going to make a bold statement, but the majority of people just won’t be able to understand this. Whenever you mix money and animals, the animals end up losing 99.9% of the time. Money and gambling are the kings in the sport of racing…not the horses.

      • I was not dragged back into this conversation by anyone but myself, but thank you for reiterating to me how many times you told me that you have “nothing personal” against me – yet you feel the need to babble on and on about those “pro racing” folks (which, yes, does include me) that you have never met. I only know your name and the fact you are anti-horse racing – but I get the feeling you know more about me than my name and the fact that I am pro-racing…and from all of that info you have gathered you have created a very strong opinion against me – from which, I can only assume, is negative – and that to me, is personal.

  5. Just look at this horse’s face – the utter fear in his eye is very telling. Yet the racing industry claims the horses love to race and they are given the very best of care?
    The noble thoroughbred racehorse is just so co-operative and subservient and deserves the utmost respect.
    Yet the racing industry abuses these horses day in day out with no regard that they are living creatures.
    If only these horses knew their strength….
    Most people in the community would expect punishment if they broke any of the laws of the land.
    Yet when it comes to offences under animal cruelty laws being committed by persons and/or entities in the racing industry, they just seem to get away with blue murder.

  6. I have three questions about this filly: 1: What is her entire race record, from her debut? 2. Is she racing on Lasix (and whatever else they allow) every time? and 3. Are there any published works between these races? (I don’t see how there possibly could be, but just curious). Yes, it does seem quite abusive, but I’d like all the information before I jump on the bandwagon. Also, any better photos anyone has, showing the entire horse, would be interesting. There seems to be a huge international following of the petition.

    • Grarick, you state “Yes, it does seem quite abusive, but I’d like all the information before I jump on the bandwagon”.
      The information provided by Patrick is more than enough for me to be of the opinion that this young filly has been shockingly abused. Put to the whip 12 times in 15 weeks implies that she raced on those 12 occasions. If you have your doubts about this information, and you have also requested the answers to 3 questions, may i suggest you look up Beeline Express’s racing record on the internet. You could also contact the trainer and owner and the relevant Stewards all of whom would have the answers to your questions. As a member of the public you have every right to do this because the horse was put on public display. If it was an Australian horse i could give it to you immediately.
      I have a case where a 3 year old filly was having her 17th start (other 3 year olds in the race had about 9-12 starts – 17 is excessive and even the Stewards questioned it). Leading up to her lethal race she had been raced six (6) TIMES IN SEVEN (7) weeks. Literally raced to death. I was near where she broke down and it was heartbreaking. In my opinion she should’ve been euthanased given her catastrophic injury (a severe fracture of the pelvis). But it was one of the big prizemoney races for 3 year olds, big crowd and the powers that be refused to have the green screen put around her because it would draw attention to this “embarrassing” incident. It took an incredibly long time to get her on the float and i don’t know how they did it but you guessed “dead on arrival” at the equine hospital just a few minutes up the road. In my opinion they gave the public the impression that they were going to try to save her. At that meeting i was accompanied by a male lawyer friend. About an hour later i was asked to leave (i hasten to add that my behaviour on the racetrack always has been and always will be exemplary) because someone noticed i was witness to the incident. 6 security men escorted us off whilst 8 Police officers dawdled behind in case there was a problem! Lawyer friend was livid and said they had no grounds to even ask me to leave and when they cited the incorrect legislation, he shot back with the correct one and they looked a bit STUPID!

      • Carolyn…your account of the little filly RACED TO DEATH is heartbreaking yet fills me with rage. That is exactly why they didn’t do the kind and humane thing! – putting her down right there, on the track – to not ruin their facade of an entertaining day at the races! Once again, the horses pay the price so humans can be selfishly entertained! Not a single person will be asinine enough to comment how this filly “loved her job”…”she died doing what she loved”…the usual racing BS. Yet racing apologists spew that idiotic rant so often…just another attempt at making themselves feel better about supporting an industry that kills horses so they can be entertained, I imagine.

    • There are no official works for the filly. She is too busy racing ! I’m a little surprised you don’t know about Equibase . Just google it and enter the filly’s name in the upper right, where it says horse’s name. You will find all the information you want in order to help you make the decision to “jump on the bandwagon” or not. However, I have to tell you, you will not find any pictures !

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