When an “Athlete’s” Sudden Death Is Buried in a Footnote

As a rule, the “Comments” next to the order of finish on the Equibase charts provide the relevant information, with the “Footnotes” section at the bottom of the page typically just a rehash. But not, often, with the Penn National charts. In the “Comments” for the 7th last night, 4-year-old Hooked On the Lady was a mere “eased” while bringing up the rear. Apparently, if one were to stop there, fine. Not so, for buried in the chart’s very last sentence, after, that is, all the important stuff – claiming price, purse money, various betting info – we learn this:

“HOOKED ON THE LADY dueled inside the winner into the turn then stopped suddenly, was eased through the lane then collapsed and died just after the finish.”

The sudden death of a supremely conditioned (and, mind you, young) “athlete” relegated to a footnote. In what other “sport” on the planet would this be the case? Footnotes? Hell, had a ballplayer or hoopster “collapsed and died” last night we would have awoken to “Breaking News” and screaming headlines. Further evidence (as if more were needed) that “The Sport of Kings” is no such thing, that the majestic “equine athletes” they’re forever touting are in truth but 1,000-lb hunks of nothing – anonymous, expendable, irrelevant. This is horseracing.

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  1. What’s to be expected here? “In a perfect world, we would have zero breakdowns. … And I’m sure in the National Football League and the (National Basketball Association), they would hope that nobody ruptures an Achilles tendon. It’s the price of the sport when you’re dealing with 1,000-pound or 250-pound athletes.” – Fred Lipkin. Director of Marketing.
    Another example of the kind of truly horrible people who run the racing industry.

  2. Is no one concerned that Brian Boudreau is going to create a new horse race track? It will be called Monterey Downs and be placed on the Monterey Peninsula.

  3. Poor boy. Eased? Doubt it. So. I am surprised, there is nothing from the people in the grandstands. Wouldn’t you think that the sudden collapse of a contender for the prize would cause a big groundswell of public concern? What is going on!?! The jockey should be charged with animal cruelty for overruning the horse. God knows what else his steed suffered at the hands of these ghouls. Who called the sheriff? Any witness can report. The report on the race is. Masterpiece of deception. “Eased”. It does not work if the complaints go to the racing stewards.

  4. Speaking of Horse Abuse

    Ayotte, Warner reintroduce legislation in Senate to prevent HORSE SORING
    Apr 30, 2015

    U.S. Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Mark Warner (D-VA) today reintroduced legislation to protect horses from the abusive practice known as soring – in which show horse trainers apply blistering or burning agents, lacerations, sharp objects, or other substances or devices to a horse’s limb to intentionally make each step painful, forcing a horse to perform an exaggerated high-stepping gait that is rewarded in show rings.

    Sens. Ayotte and Warner originally introduced the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act in July 2013 to prevent soring, an inhumane training practice that continues despite being prohibited under federal law.

    Joining Senators Ayotte and Warner as cosponsors of this legislation are Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Susan Collins (R-ME), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Ed Markey (D-MA), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Gary Peters (D-MI), Pat Toomey (R-PA) and David Vitter (R-LA).

    In 2010, the Department of Agriculture (USDA) Inspector General conducted an audit of the federal Horse Protection Program, which found that show horse trainers often go to great lengths to evade federal law prohibiting soring and requiring them to train horses using humane methods. The USDA Inspector General made several recommendations, including establishing stiffer penalties and abolishing the self-policing practices currently allowed under existing regulations, in which Horse Industry Organizations are able to assign their own inspectors to monitor horse shows.

    “Whether riding, racing, hunting or training, horses have been a part of Virginia’s culture for 400 years,” said Sen. Warner. “However, owners and breeders from across the Commonwealth agree that the deliberate act of inflicting pain on horses has no place in modern equestrian competition. Senator Ayotte and I are proud to reintroduce the Prevent All Soring Tactics Act to give USDA the tools it needs to crack down on horse soring and end this cruel practice once and for all.”

    “Soring is inhumane, and this bipartisan legislation takes an important step toward stopping this abusive training tactic that intentionally inflicts pain on horses,” said Sen. Ayotte. “I will continue to work across the aisle to protect horses from this cruel practice.”

    1. S.1121 — A bill to amend the Horse Protection Act to designate additional unlawful acts under the Act, strengthen penalties for violations of the Act, improve Department of Agriculture enforcement of the Act, and for other purposes.

    • If everyone who is involved with horses got behind every bill (esp. Federal) protecting horses, the fight to separate the brutes from their lives would be solidly engaged. The bill to stop soring is useless without being passed and enacted. So is the newly introduced SAFE Act (HR1924). Call you washington reps and demand they support the end of abuse to equines. Pres Obama spromised he would sign if it reaches his desk. I think that is a challenge we should meet.

      • Yes, Janwindsong – go right to the top. And public protests are very effective and often draw media attention.
        Once, a solitary woman protested outside a Government building housing politicians for a whole week, the media got onto it and she finally got her meeting with a top government official.

        The power of one!

  5. Congratulations one and all for backing Patrick in his efforts to not just do away with racing but with thoroughbred horses as well. He has openly commented they are NOT worth saving. So to each of you I say wow you truly aren’t animal lovers but enablers of a persons personal vendetta against a breed of horse.

    • Well, Ms. Prather, that is one (sad) twisted interpretation of my philosophy – “not worth saving, personal vendetta.” As I have already said, you are a self-deluded soul. Oh, and as one who is pro-racing, certainly no friend to equines.

    • Ms. Prather, and congratulations to you for supporting an industry that uses slaughter as a disposal system to get rid of unwanted horses. Some racing supporters, such as yourself, are incredibly dense. I love the TB but I am sick and tired of the abuse. If I didn’t love the horses, I would be pro-racing, not anti-racing. So sad that you are unable to grasp that.

    • Claudia,

      i do not know who you are or why you are on a list for horse racing wrongs.

      Patrick works DAY and NIGHT for free to report on what horses are dying at the race track. Patrick loves horses. My personal experience of Patrick is that He loves all animals.

      Your words of saying that he does not care about thoroughbred horses is truly indicative as to how incredibly angry you are with him for exposing the truth about the abuse in the horse racing world.

      If Patrick did not care about thoroughbred horses he would be Not be advocating for better treatment of them.

      Patrick is against the overbreeding of thoroughbred horses that end up being slaughtered (20,000 thoroughbreds are slaughtered each year) )

      Patrick is one of the most caring selfless people that I know.

      This website is a selfless ACT of LOVE for thoroughbred horses.

      I hope someday you will see the truth about the truly good work he is doing for thoroughbred horses.

  6. I read Claudia’s post and am almost inclined to change my mind. Maybe racing people aren’t horrific and detestable people. Maybe they really are just that dumb. After all, what other industry systematically destroys the very life it is Dependant on to survive?
    Then I realize…stupid and detestable are not mutually exclusive.

  7. Claudia,

    I have no idea who you are, but your comments are absolutely wrong. Patrick dedicates his life to informing the public about the plight of the thoroughbred in racing. His endeavors bring to light the thousands of thoroughbreds that are perishing each year, in your glorious industry; facts that your industry tries to hide from the public. If he didn’t love animals why would he spend so much time speaking for the voiceless, wanting only to end the abuse, mistreatment, suffering, and death, of thoroughbreds each day.

    The voices on this blog want horseracing to cease to exist. That is our intention, objective, and goal. All of us love animals, and want to see them liberated from abuse and enslavement for the purposes of gambling.

    You people amaze me the way you twist the facts. You wouldn’t know the truth if it hit you in the face. Patrick has integrity, which is something severely lacking in you, and your industry. Marlene Thornley

  8. I am trying to find out what happened to a little filly named “Bright Thought”. She is a Florida bred filly. She last raced at Tampa Bay on 2/6/15, and was involved in a spill. She fell over another horse, and has not been heard from since. I checked all of Patrick’s lists of horses that have been euthanized, but she is not on any of them. I would appreciate any information any of you could find on this little filly who I am very concerned about. Thank you all. Marlene Thornley

  9. Marlene…there was a filly by the name of Bright Promise that was involved in a spill at TBD…but I don’t know anything about a Bright Thought (there is conflicting info on Bright Promise…jockey at TBD thought she was euthanized due to a broken shoulder, but then said the next day that he thought she still might be alive but with a very uncertain future).

    Are you certain about her name?…if so, I can ask.

  10. Recently released video with actor/animal advocate James Cromwell narrating…”Horse Racing is a Blood Sport”. The release of this video was purposely timed to come out just before the Kentucky Derby. People need to know that horse racing is NOT what one sees on television on Derby Day.

    WARNING; it’s graphic. I stopped watching but just listened.


    • Thanks for this Joy – heartbreaking to watch.

      Hopefully many people who have no idea what goes on with these horses will see this video.

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