How Racing Makes a Hero of a Slave

From the website Horse Racing Nation:

“Horses like Eltoninadress are the heart and soul of Thoroughbred racing, venerable campaigners who love to win. The 5-year-old mare won for the ninth time from 31 starts… It was only a lowly claiming race with a purse of $19,000, but it once again showed the grit and determination Eltoninadress has displayed in her career. ‘She’s got a few aches and pains, but nothing serious,’ said trainer Robertino Diodoro, who has had Eltoninadress in his care three times, but lost her through a $10,000 claim to trainer Rodney Cone on Wednesday, the ninth time she has been haltered in her last 12 starts. ‘She’s got lots of heart,’ Diodoro said. ‘She’s just a solid mare. She’s just a race horse, yeah, a cheaper one, but she runs for everybody. She’s just a hard-knocking mare. She’s gutsy.'”

“Heart, grit, determination – hard-knocking and gutsy.” Really, how do these people sleep at night? To use conventional sports jargon for this horse, any horse, is as debased as it is dishonest. Let’s review the facts:

Racing stripped this innately autonomous being of all autonomy on the day she was born. She was left without family, without herd. Her life now consists mostly – 23 hours per day or more – of a solitary 10×10 stall. When she is “let out,” it is to “practice” – or race. When the latter, this “venerable campaigner who loves to win” is nonconsensually pumped with drugs and whipped for inspiration. In short, Eltoninadress is a garden-variety slave, and her nearly incessant shuffling among barns, obscenely offered above as some sort of honor (“the ninth time she has been haltered in her last 12 starts”), is simply another layer to her abuse. For shame.

Her rotating masters:

Michael Puhich, 3 races
Troy Taylor, 2 races
Puhich again, 4 races
Taylor again, 7 races
Robert Hess, 1 race
Jeff Mullins, 3 races
Adam Kitchingman, 1 race
Robertino Diodoro, 1 race
Steven Miyadi, 2 races
Mike Puype, 1 race
Miyadi again, 2 races
Diodoro again, 1 race
Peter Miller, 1 race
Diodoro again, 2 races
Rodney Cone, current


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  1. Brilliant Post Patrick.

    How do they sleep at night ?

    My answer to your question.

    Without a conscience, without a heart and in danger of losing their soul. What is left of it.

  2. I suppose this comment will not be approved by the moderator but I will say it…the assumptions about all racing lovers on here are just ridiculous. To assume that ALL of us have no conscience, no heart and apparently now we are in danger of losing our souls. Get to know us before these assumptions are made and then you can draw a fair and honest conclusion. And to think this was posted on a website that prides itself on it’s facts…for shame

    • Britto 5

      Patrick states facts.

      I state some facts and some opinions. I say shame on those that abuse horses and kill horses through drugs , through beatings, through horse slaughter.

      I never said ALL people who attend the races fall into the category I was describing.

      Let me clarify and be more specific as to what I meant. In Patrick’s post, it was my understanding that he was referring to specific people that were abusing a specific horse and he was referring to any horse that was being abused and forced to run for their life thereby putting their life in danger every time they go on a racetrack.

      It is of course, a fact that until one dies one has a physical heart and a conscience. In my opinion, many connected to the racing industry have shut down their hearts and conscience and soul to the suffering of these horses.

      I firmly believe that owners and trainers who force horses to run at top speeds against other horses at any age (It is especially horrific from the age of 2 to 6 when their bodies are still being formed) have shut down their hearts and their conscience to the reality of what they are doing to these horses bodies. I firmly believe that owners, trainers and vetinarians who drug horses and whip horses to force them to run have shut down their hearts and their conscience to the pain and suffering of horses and are creating seriously bad karma.

      It is my belief that people can lose their soul by abusing horses and killing horses just as they can by abusing and killing people and it is my understanding that there is rampant abuse going on in the racing world.

      You may be a good person and you may care about horses. I am not here to judge you. I am only stating my opinion on those that drug horses, abuse horses, beat horses, kill horses and gamble on horses and journalists who do not tell the truth about what is going on at the racetrack, thereby helping to keep horse racing alive instead of dead and buried in the past where I believe it should be.

      • “You may be a good person and you may care about horses. I am not here to judge you. I am only stating my opinion on those that drug horses, abuse horses, beat horses, kill horses and gamble on horses and journalists who do not tell the truth about what is going on at the racetrack, thereby helping to keep horse racing alive instead of dead and buried in the past where I believe it should be”

        I am friends with the people that are considered animal abusers in your opinion – I have been to their barns, seen their horses, heard their stories, sat in a barn with them after one of their own came back from running – to make sure they were walking ok, eating ok, breathing ok – you get my point. They stayed up well after the track had run it’s last race of the day to make sure all of their horses were, fed watered & happy. They are a select group of people who will continue to do what they do, day in and day out – not because they care about the revenue that their horses may or may not bring in – but they do it because they truly want to see their most prizd possession succeed…their horses.

        There is so much more to racing than our supposed “drugging” & “abusing” = there is a good side, no one on here seems to see that. And by someone like you saying “all people in horse racing are “in danger of losing our souls” and have “no conscience” is just absurd – I personally take offense to it because I consider those people my family. I am smart enough to see that there is another side – you people on the other hand will never be open to accepting that fact.

      • Britto5,

        You still are not reading my words correctly.

        I did not use the words ” All ” people in horse racing.

        I do believe that Anyone who abuses their horse by drugging their horse with dangerous drugs and beating their horse and forcing their horse to run beyond their natural capacity and putting their lives in danger and allowing them to be killed are in danger themselves of losing their souls. that is still my opinion.

        How can a horse be happy if they are being drugged, beat and forced to run beyond what is natural ?.

        Are your friends racing 2 year olds ? (not even done until 40 years ago because they believed it was too hard on the horse, even 3 year olds, 4 year olds and 5 year olds is controversial because their bodies are still growing,

        Are your friends whipping/beating their horses to make them run ?
        Are your friends giving them drugs ?
        Are your friends leaving their horses in their stalls up to 23 hours a day like many owners do ?
        are they sending them off to claiming races when they no longer are useful ?
        Are they allowing them to be sent to the slaughter house ?
        Do they retire these horses to a good home ?

        Do you track what happens to your friends horses when they are no longer winning ?
        How many friends are we talking about ? One, two , three , four , five ?

        There are tens of thousands of horses being sent to a brutal slaughter every year that were race horses.
        What about those horses ? Do you care what happens to those horses or just your friends horses ?

        Prized Possession ? I do not see horses as our prize possession but as our friends and companions that we should cherish and love and treat with utmost respect.

        Talking about family members.

        Most of us would not drug and beat our family members. Why is this being allowed to happen to horses ? Why is it acceptable ? Why?

        A horse does not need to run a race to “Succeed” Succeed for who ? Certainly it is not their idea to run. it is for money. for profit. It is not physically good for the horse to be forced to run at such high speeds it can cause them to lose their life.

        No, I do not see a good side to racing horses where there is a high risk to them being hurt and killed and where there is rampant drug abuse and beatings going on to force them to run for their lives.


        Do you think it is acceptable to drug horses to make them run ?

        Do you think it is acceptable to beat horses to make them run ?
        Do you think these horses are happy being beat and drugged and being forced to run in terrible weather on
        terrible tracks ?

        Do you think it is acceptable to put them into claiming races and treat them like slaves where they go from
        owner to owner to owner ?

        Do you think it is acceptable to cast them off and send them to slaughter houses in the tens of thousands each year where they die a horrific death ?

        I do not and that is the Reality for the vast Majority of these horses.

        That is how the majority of horses are treated in racing according to the stats I have read. They are raced and tens of thousands of them are slaughtered. there is something that is terribly wrong about an industry that allows tens of thousands to go to their death each year at the slaughter house.

        I am sure that there are people that own race horses that say they love their horse and believe they can protect them and believe that they are doing right by them.

        IF these same people that profess to love their horses, drug their horses and beat their horses with a whip to make them run, then that to me is not really love.

        Drugging a horse and whipping a horse is abusive and judging from all the race track sheets i have read it looks like most of these horses are being drugged so to me that is abusive and that is wrong.

        Sending tens of thousands of race horses to be brutally murdered at the slaughter house each year is evil

        That is why I am totally against horse racing.

      • The thing I don’t understand by the ‘good’ people in the horseracing industry, is why have they not confronted the big names, Baffert, O’Neill, Asmussen, and Jacobson, just to name a few, that have been found guilty of illegal practices and give them a hard talking to. People like them are the ones that are damaging the reputation of this so called sport, and making it difficult for the ‘good’ people, as they keep calling themselves to make a living.
        Supporters of horse racing are coming to sites, such as Horseracing Wrongs, to say stop telling the truths, or stop with the factual events about the bad apples of horseracing. Horseracing supporters are coming to the wrong place to state your cases. It would make more sense, I would think, to go confront the bad apples of your industry that you support and let them know that their greed and illegal practices are ruining, not only the so called sport you love, but your loved ‘family’ and continuing to drain your finances (guessing your are making your living doing this) and livelihood. Coming here to a site that is anti-racing makes absolutely no sense to me. It’s a waste of energy and time for everyone.

        For the record, I am strictly for the end of horseracing, no negotiations, no compromise, nothing. It needs to become extinct. And that is what I want to see. This is why I support Horseracing Wrongs.

      • Debra-Anne,

        I love what you said in your Entire post. I totally agree and your ending sums it up perfectly.

        “For the record, I am strictly for the end of horseracing, no negotiations, no compromise, nothing. It needs to become extinct. And that is what I want to see. This is why I support Horseracing Wrongs.”

    • Britto, you state “get to know us before these assumptions are made”. Your words, not mine. Does your statement apply to just the anti-racing folks or does it apply to pro-racing folks, too? I believe in rules but they must apply to both sides. Right? Now, we know that your colleagues have no trouble with name calling…names such as moron, demented, and goofy. In fact, just today, Ms. Boggs called us “jerks”. Do your colleagues know us? I don’t know them so I would venture to guess that they don’t know us. Are we not entitled to speak for the horses? I know you have vast experience as a racing “wannabe”, but please keep in mind that I have vast experience on the backside of a track observing the atrocities. I have drawn a “fair and honest conclusion” from spending years on the backside picking up broken bodies. Oh, and by the way, running your hands up and down the legs of horses and feeding them peppermints does not negate the drugs, running babies before they are fully developed, injecting joints, nerving heels so that the horse can’t feel pain, racing them with injuries, breaking them down and handing them off for slaughter. Again, feeding peppermints does NOT negate the damage done to these horses. Finally, I am sick and tired of the racing industry expecting me to help them provide for horses that they have destroyed. Tell the racing supporters to put on their big girl/big boy pants and put their money where their mouth is….help the horses that were just like “family”.

    • Britto, how dare you come on this blog and state…”get to know us before these assumptions are made and then you can draw a fair and honest conclusion”. How dare you! I am a big believer in rules but they must apply to ALL of us. Right? In mid-January, I received a private email from Patrick where he conveyed that one of your “good friends” called him a “sick f_ _k” on a public FB page. Again, a “sick f_ _k”. What a filthy thing to say about someone who remembers, and reports, on horses who die in the dirt in an industry that YOU support. Do you know who called him that filthy name? Well, it was none other than Lynn Boggs..yes, Boggs…the same person who called me demented, goofy and girly and threatened to send her attorney after me when I criticized racing. Yes, the same attorney, I would assume, that called us “morons” on another public FB page. Let me be clear. Before you tell us that we need to “get to know” you, you had better tell your “good friends” that they had better “get to know” us BEFORE they call us names and allow filth to erupt from their mouths. I won’t tolerate a double standard. Got it? Also, Boggs seems to have a problem when Patrick shines a light on the dirty secrets in racing. Tell her to get over it even if her industry is running scared.

      By the way, I have drawn a fair and honest conclusion when it comes to racing. I have seen the broken bodies destroyed by racing and I personally knew many of those in racing who destroyed those horses. Therefore, Britto, I have followed your suggestion and drawn a fair and honest conclusion. Unfortunately, you haven’t. For shame!

      • Wow Mary!….racehorse trainer Boggs called someone who tirelessly advocates for animals a SICK F**K?!?!? Doesn’t that just make Britto’s rant that more absurd?…absolutely. But my first thought when hearing she called an animal advocate a “sick f**k” was, what the heck does that make HER? Classy…not.

      • Ms. McGinnis, did Joy or I say that it was YOU who made the comment that Patrick was a “sick f_ _k”? No, we did NOT but someone that you consider to be like “family” did call him that name yet you come on this blog over and over and over and state that we, the anti-racing folks, should “get to know” you and your colleagues (including Boggs) BEFORE we make assumptions. Why would I want to “get to know” a supporter of racing who has an extremely filthy mouth? Frankly, I have NO desire to “get to know” any of you. If you think differently, then you need to get over yourself.

  3. Fantastic post, Debra-Anne! I, too, find it perplexing that anyone who supports this gambling industry that destroys countless horses would come HERE and comment. It’s obviously out of desperation…frantic attempts to convince those who’ve seen the realities that racing’s “not so bad”. Or maybe they’re trying to convince themselves. It’s neither here nor there…the truth is, any compassionate person who values the lives of sentient brings would never accept using an animal in a manner that greatly increases risk of injury or death merely for entertainment purposes. Exploiting them so one can have a job is pretty hideous, as well.

    Keep educating and letting folks know about Horseracing Wrongs! The numbers are growing, giving the horses a more powerful voice!

  4. The core of racing is exploitation of the horse. The fact that some in the business are more ruthless than others is immaterial. The “good people” in the business would do something about the blatant brutality if they truly cared about the horse. I do not understand how these “good people” can be part of this brutal industry. Their silence in the business gives consent.

  5. There is a mare that I follow religiously she is 12 years has been basically racing every three weeks or so since she was 3 her record as it stands is 136 starts 24 wins 35 seconds 20 thirds for an earni g record of 203,977 she is bread by Tierra firma farms her trainer for the longest time was joe toye she has now been claimed transverse whatever to debbie van horne for her last few races I pray for her ever time I see her entered on equibase n watch the race I know very little about horse racing live very close to penn national racecourse n just wish more could be done what steps to take hasn’t this horse done enough to be retired to live a happy normal life 136 starts 8 or 9 years of racing when is enough enough what I would do for 2500 bbucks which is the claiming rank she races a trip to Washington where she races n a nice fenced in backyard for this beautiful creature to live the rest of her life in freedom wish you well sun city hope n pray you are retired to roam n be free you deserve it so much

  6. She races January 25 2016 race 8 portland meadows if someone would love to go retire .a beautiful girl

    • billy, I would love to retire this sweet girl. Unfortunately, I now have eight “retirees” but that doesn’t mean that we can’t help. Is her name Sun City? We will keep an eye on her and put her in our Virtual Stable. Don’t give up!

  7. Billy, I get so angry when I come across horses like SUN CITY.

    This mare will turn TWELVE (12) YEARS of age in May 2016. She has had 131 (yes, that’s right folks one hundred and thirty-one) of her race starts at Emerald Downs and Turf Paradise since April 2007, so she has more or less been a “FIXTURE” at these two tracks. She has placed 1st, 2nd or 3rd in more than one-half of her starts. However, she is high risk given the mileage she’s clocked up for nearly NINE (9) YEARS and I’m surprised she’s lasted this long and she’s very lucky to have escaped serious injury over this very long period of time of high speed exercise and this is rare (in my experience).
    It looks as though she’s done a bit of travelling as well between Arizona (Turf Paradise) and Washington (Emerald Downs) for most of her career. ALL of her starts have been in the sinister Claiming races with the exception of about 6.
    You say Billy that she’s had the same trainer for most of her career, Joe Toye, who would know her very well and no doubt was attached to her. Last 5 starts have been at Portland Meadows (Oregon) and she has changed hands very recently and I fear her breaking down. The fact that she won her last start means nothing.

    Racing career 136: 24-35-20 for $203,977 (average $1,500 per start).

    You are so right, Billy, “hasn’t this horse done enough to be retired to live a happy normal life 136 starts 8 or 9 years of racing when is enough enough”?

    Perhaps her BREEDER and former OWNER (who by the way has owned her since the date of her foaling until just a few starts ago) TERRA FIRMA FARM could come to the fore. They could claim her back and put her in one of their paddocks to finally live the life of an equine which she so richly deserves and as a thank you for the money she earned for them….. or is that too big an ask?

  8. Carolyn, you took the thoughts from my mind…Terra Firma Farm, will you give your mare a home? Let her be done? Has she not YET done enough for you?

    That being said, the fact that TFF “sold” her (via claim) speaks volumes, does it not? Years of forced service, thousands of dollars earned for TFF from HER labors, yet they sell her. SELL her. All these years, all of those races, and still no loyalty to Sun City. Picture her face, her expression, her eyes…bewildered in her new environment, with new handlers and a new routine…I’m so sickened by their callous treatment of Sun City. Such is the life of the countless claimers across this country.

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