Wild Perfection Found Dead in His Finger Lakes Stall

From May through October, 4-year-old Wild Perfection was a full and active cog in the Finger Lakes claiming machine. But then, nothing, a 5-week silence that given the who (cheap horse, bottom-feeder connections), what (running in races that pay first through last), and where (pound-em-often FL) was deafening. That Wild Perfection turned up dead should come as no surprise. The circumstances, however, are most disturbing. According to the Gaming Commission, the Arcadio Lopez-trained horse was “found dead in [his] stall” – reason “unknown” (which because of the who, what, and where is exactly how it will remain).

Other NY racehorses found dead or dying in their stalls this year:

Clawback, April 10th at Aqueduct
Corvo, April 10th at Belmont
Liberty Cruise, May 5th at Yonkers
The Lucky Dream, July 10th at Finger Lakes
Majic Laughter, July 29th at Batavia
Superbe Rulah, August 6th at Monticello

Without knowing the exact cause, we can only speculate. But there is a good chance that Wild Perfection suffered before dying – all alone. Imagine that.

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  1. Did he have a plastic bag over his head….or an electrical cord up his rear?????? Next question, how much was the insurance on him. Rest in Peace baby.

    • Maggie, I doubt this horse was insured. Most in racing can’t afford to feed themselves, much less their horses, especially at the low level tracks and Finger Lakes is definitely low level. We will never know for sure, but, if I had to guess, I would say that drugs could possibly be involved. Drug them and run them is the motto of the racing industry.

    • Usually if the horse is a “low level horse” – like I am assuming this one was looking at the track he was stabled at – he won’t be insured. Only the ones that make the owners lot of money are the ones that are insured. And even then – the unspeakable things they will do to an insured horse to get an insurance payout is sickening. No horse is safe in this industry.

      Like Mary said – we will never know what happened to this guy – racing likes to sweep it’s dead along with it’s many secrets under the rug to disappear.

      RIP Wild Perfection – you were another casualty of this cruel game – I will remember your name, but the racing industry has already forgotten you.

  2. Any horse “found dead” should have an automatic independent necropsy plus there should be an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death. Somebody there probably has useful information. However, breaking the “code of silence” in this business would be no easy task.
    But since the horse had the demeaning designation of “low level claimer” nobody will do anything. That is why racing should not be allowed to police itself. It is an invitation to corruption and animal cruelty without any consequences.
    Is there any other business in this day and age with such outright autonomy ?? I don’t think so !!
    NYRA is complicit in this outrage.
    Gamblers need to stop supporting this corrupt industry.

  3. It appears that the racing authority, NYRA, is not doing its job. This horse’s death should be investigated as a matter of protocol. In my view, the laws of transparency and disclosure are being breached and NYRA should be made accountable. Failing to investigate this horse’s death indicates the total lack of regard for racehorses. In the past, these incidents would be swept under the carpet, however, since the EXPOSURE of
    the abuse and cruelty inflicted on these horses, the racing industry is being shown for what it really is.

  4. All of these horses should have autopsies and all these trainers that are drugging and killing their horses should
    be fined, suspended and not allowed to train another horse. Ever.

    Quarter horse trainer Jose De La Torre, who was excluded from Los Alamitos by racetrack owner Edward Allred last December 31, has been suspended three years, plus 60 days, and fined $160,000 by the California Horse Racing Board for multiple medication violations for the bronchodilator clenbuterol.


    Trainer Jose L. Muela has been suspended for one year and fined $5,000 by the New Mexico Racing Commission after one of the horses in his care, Regal First Moon, tested positive for an overage of clenbuterol.

    According to a report in the Albuquerque Journal, Regal First Moon was one of three horses trained by Muela that tested positive for regulated drugs in the past year. Regal First Moon tested positive for clenbuterol after a race on May 9. The filly was found to have nearly double the allowable amount of the bronchodilator in her system.

    Connections of the filly must also forfeit $22,000 in purse earnings, not only from the race on May 9, but also a subsequent stakes race Regal First Moon ran in May 25.

    In its ongoing efforts to crack down on horse doping, the Racing Commission, which is responsible for regulating New Mexico’s pari-mutuel horse racing industry at the state’s five racetrack/casinos, has begun posting its rulings on its website, http://www.nmrc.state.nm.us.



    • Okay. That’s two trainers. How many trainers are being investigated – Paulick have any of those figures? How many horses have come up positive? Turn it upside down – how many trainers are – everywhere. How many horses are – everywhere. This includes all the illegal back street races. How many jockeys – everywhere.

  5. Before you get too carried away on this get your facts. Clenbuterol does not harbor any ill effects on the horse. Racing jurisdictions allow for its use, the problem comes from not having uniform, nationwide policies on beneficial medication. Clenbuterol thresholds vary from 30 days in New York to 2 days in Pennsylvania. Do you take Advil for a headache or backache, yes of course. What is the difference in a little bute, at sensible levels, to aid a horse. Racing has made great progress in recent years to protect horses from unscrupulous practices; much has still to done. The vast majority of trainers and owners only want the best for their horses, re-homing them when their racing careers are over and funding research to repair injuries and promote horse health in all disciplines. If a horse is found to be abused in any fashion, the guilty party should be barred for life and not slapped on the wrist. I am all for that. In the meantime, concentrate on what is important here and a good start would be to call for the cessation of multiple joint injections. This is the root cause for many catastrophic breakdowns.

    • Susan, as to “facts”, why don’t we seek the “facts” on medications used in equines to the veterinarians? I went to renown veterinarian, Nicholas H. Dodman, BVMA, Director of the Behavior Clinic at Tufts Veterinary School and received his response to your erroneous statement:

      “Clenbuterol is not an ingredient of any therapeutic drug approved by the US Food and Drug Administration[1] and is now banned for IOC-tested athletes. In the US, administration of clenbuterol to any animal that could be used as food for human consumption [N.H.D – like 70% of racehorses] is banned by the FDA.

      One of the greatest problems with prolonged, regular use is cardiomyopathy (heart size enlarges leading eventually to heart failure – death on the track?)

      There is also weight loss. And reports like this ……

      Chodorowski Z, Sein An and J

      Department of Internal Diseases and Acute Poisonings, Medical Academy in Gdañsk.

      Przeglad Lekarski [1997, 54(10):763-764] 1997/01

      Abstract Highlight Terms

      Diseases(1) Chemicals(5)

      In the paper we have described a case of acute, unintentional intoxication with clenbuterol, a selective beta 2-agonist. A 21-year-old bodybuilder to improve his physical fitness and to increase his muscle bulk was using clenbuterol in a dose of two tablets (20 mg) daily for a week before poisoning. On a day of acute intoxication he drank orange juice containing 48 tablets (4.8 g) of clenbuterol, which had been placed there by his friends. The patient was admitted to our clinic with tachycardia at rate 160 bpm, headache, dizziness, tremor, sweats, muscle weakness, agitation. Serum potassium concentration was 2.6 mmol/L, blood glucose level 18.7 mmol/L. All the symptoms and biochemical abnormalities disappeared after intravenous treatment with propranolol (1.0 mg) and potassium chloride (60 mmol) within five hour period. This case indicates that more attention should be paid to clenbuterol widely used as a stimulant by athletes, especially by bodybuilders.

    • Susan Richardson, are you kidding me? Are you saying that I need to get my “facts” straight? Perhaps, you dear girl, need to get YOUR facts straight! The pro-racing folks are adept at deflecting from the atrocities that occur in racing and drugs would be included in those atrocities – yes, drugs! Remember that racing has a “love affair” with drugs.

      Clenbuterol is a steroid. In humans, it raise a person’s metabolism and is often used for weight loss. It can also cause hardening of the heart muscles in humans. Sounds like a great drug, don’t you think? You yourself admit that the racing industry should stop multiple joint injections and I couldn’t agree with you more. However, there is a difference between bute and clenbuterol, just to bring you, and your colleagues, up to speed. You state that “clenbuterol does not harbor any ill effects on the horse. Racing jurisdictions allow for its use”. Your words…not mine. Here is what Dr. Davis says about clenbuterol….

      “Because the drug increases oxygen to the lungs, it has also been used illegally in performance horses because some people believe it may make them run faster and perform better if they can get more oxygen. To determine if clenbuterol was effective in increasing performance, several studies have been performed. Dr. Michael Davis from Oklahoma State reviewed this drug and it appears that in healthy horses, clenbuterol does not increase lung function. The drug was given intravenously to racehorses and oxygen levels were found to be no higher than in horses that did not receive it. Although it appears to help horses with diseased lungs, it does not seem to help healthy horses. Also, clenbuterol has an effect on muscle function and causes horses to get tired more quickly than horses not on the drug. It has also been shown that clenbuterol given long term could cause decreases in heart function, performance, exercise capacity, and the horse’s ability to recover from exercise. Therefore, using clenbuterol in performance horses is not a good idea.”

      Again….”using clenbuterol in performance horses is not a good idea”. Just because racing jurisdictions allow for its use does NOT mean it doesn’t cause damage to the horse. Racing jurisdictions don’t give a damn about the horses but they do give a damn about the money that racing generates. Anything to make a buck. Is it any wonder that horses, who are just babies, are dropping dead from cardiovascular events? No, Ms. Richardson, no one, including you, should be surprised.

    • You state “Racing has made great progress in recent years to protect horses from unscrupulous practices”.
      Where’s your evidence to support this ludicrous allegation? Every day Patrick is providing factual evidence of unscrupulous practices. Every day commentators post factual evidence of unscrupulous practices by the racing industry.
      As i said in a previous post – a jockey lost his life because the horse had been abused and ruined by Bute.
      You state “In the meantime, concentrate on what is important here and a good start would be to call for the cessation of multiple joint injections.” Great idea, let us know how you go with this Susan Richardson – keep us posted as to your progess, don’t give up – just stay with it dear and you just might get there!
      In relation to the first sentence of your comment above, perhaps after reading Mary and Jo Anne’s
      excellent responses to your fanciful blog, you might have another think about WHO has got carried away and not got their facts right.

    • Susan – clenbuterol causes cows’ hooves to fall off, when administered to beef cattle (to enhance growth). it has been banned from countries importing beef from the US. Stop passing on industry grade assurances. And how many people in the world will be dying as a result of eating horsemeat from these poor horses. It is a form of genocide. Don’t you get that?

      • Just read your “vast majority” statement. That is not true. Don’t you read the USDA data sheets on breeds crossing the border to slaughter? Only the tiny minority care about their horses. Tiny minority.

    • Susan, I suspect that the dumb asses in racing do think that clenbuterol is a performance enhancer, but, according to Dr. Davis, that isn’t the case. It should be used, therapeutically, in horses with heaves which is similar to COPD in humans. Most of those in racing are always looking for an “edge” in order to “hit the board”. Remember…racing is all about the money, not the welfare of the horses.

    • Susan Richardson, you’re delusional. In 2013, the TDN carried a six-part series on medication and the reform movement in horseracing here in the U.S. called “A Painful Truth”. I have provided a link at the end of my comment that is the second installment in that series – it’s titled “War on Drugs? Vet Records and State Rules Say No” by Ryan Goldberg. I hope you and the other racing supporters that comment here will take a few minutes to read the entire article provided…but if you choose not to, I will provide a few snippets.

      “…nothing epitomizes racing’s drug problems better than clenbuterol…[it] treats lower airway inflammation…but also builds muscle mass. Scollay (Dr. Mary Scollay, equine medical director of the KHRC) and her colleagues found (while comprising a report in response to the 2011-2012 equine fatalities at Aqueduct) that clenbuterol was being used beyond its labeled therapeutic purposes and was as regular as feeding time.”

      “Clenbuterol arrived on the backstretch around 40 years ago. It did not gain F.D.A. approval until 1998, and thus went undetected in the afternoons for almost two decades. Once a test came out, it quickly surfaced in post-race samples.”

      “When anabolic steroids were banned in 2010, clenbuterol became even more popular.” “In 2011, California found the drug in 54% of horses. ‘Clenbuterol is one of the worst things that happened to racing,’ Hall of Fame trainer Jack Van Berg told a forum on drug use [in 2012].”

      “For its Aqueduct investigation, Scollay says, ‘We asked trainers, ‘Do you have a regular medication program?’ All of them said no. And then we asked them, ‘Do you use clenbuterol?’ ‘Yes, we do and we give it on a daily basis.’ The way they described it, she says, ‘was not like a prescription drug, which is what it is, but like a feed supplement you give twice a day.’”

      “The trainers described how, on a regular cycle, a horse bounced back and ate better and looked better – effects of anabolic steroids, Scollay says, not airway medication. ‘We gave them the opportunity to say we need it to maintain airway health (‘the barns are dusty’, things like that…you could’ve given them that). But no, they all described the anabolic effects.’”

      There is no consistency in clenbuterol rulings. For this report, Florida had 34 reported positives. “Not a single one merited a disqualification, and only once a suspension. Most fines were like traffic tickets. ‘If one were inclined to race on clenbuterol, then why not race in Florida?’ asks Scollay. ‘It’s [the minimal fines] the cost of doing business.’”

      Susan Richardson, I believe YOU race in Florida.

      One last paragraph from this disturbing but accurate portrayal of horseracing and its “profound dependence on permissible drugs” – “It seems a trainer would have to be crazy to use illegal drugs when so many legal ones are at his disposal. Before the days of pharmacological drugs, the goal was to “hop ‘em or stop ‘em,” but what the picture looks like now is an everyday practice of using drugs to manage pain and other complications to get a horse to post. Since the majority of horses race for tags, it makes sense. ‘The claiming game does not protect the horse,’ Scollay says. ‘It’s like day-trading on the stock market.’”

      Thank you, Dr. Scollay…and from someone in the industry, that is chilling.


  6. On the subject of Clenbuterol

    I believe this drug is very dangerous for horses.

    A trainer was recently banned for three years for multiple medication violations for the bronchodilator clenbuterol.

    Under CHRB rules, clenbuterol is considered a Class 3 drug in accordance with the classification system adopted by the Association of Racing Commissioners International.

    Quarter horse trainer Jose De La Torre, who was excluded from Los Alamitos by racetrack owner Edward Allred last December 31, has been suspended three years, plus 60 days, and fined $160,000 by the California Horse Racing Board for multiple medication violations for the bronchodilator clenbuterol.

    “(De La Torre) could have prevented the succeeding violations, but instead chose to run three horses in three separate races which he knew or should have known had clenbuterol in their systems,” the CHRB wrote in its ruling. “This pattern of conduct is contrary to the interests over whom the California Horse Racing Board is charged to protect, including, those of the wagering public, the other participants in the races, and horse owners and the horses themselves.”



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