Pair of 5-Year-Olds Dead

5-year-old Face the Race “broke down and was euthanized” in the 8th at Monmouth yesterday afternoon. The track, says Equibase, was “sloppy.”

Also, I have confirmed that 5-year-old Oh So Proud was euthanized on the Charles Town track after breaking down in the 3rd Saturday. In his two starts before dying, Oh So Proud was whipped to 9th of 10 and last of 10 finishes. This is horseracing.

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  1. R.I.P. Face the Race and Oh so Proud, your pain and suffering is behind you now. I pray you are in a better place, and that people wake up and stop taking the lives of innocent creatures, who also just wanted to live their lives…

    Marlene Thornley

    Jockey: Cornelio H. Velasquez
    Trainer: Rudy R. Rodriguez
    Owner: Michael Dubb
    Breeder: William Bloom, John Behrendt & Charles Marquis

    a 5 year old gelding 22 starts: $82,271 ($3,740 per start)
    His last 14 starts were claiming races

    In his first start on 17 Oct 2012 he “did not break alertly and showed little” and came home 2nd last (source: Equibase). Then in his second start he was put in a claiming race….. perhaps connections think they’re not on a good thing here….
    Track surface was sloppy – oh such fun whilst being forced to go faster at breakneck speed whilst being flogged with a whip when seriously fatigued. And again no disclosure as to the injury/condition suffered by this horse resulting in his death.

    Jockey: Luis A. Perez
    Trainer: James H. Starkey
    Owner: James H. Starkey
    Breeder: Richard D. Holder

    A 5 year old gelding out of a dam sired by the famous Storm Cat.
    23 starts: $17,020 ($740 per start). He was up for grabs for $4,500 in his fatal race.

    All of his starts were claiming races which included his very first race on 30 Aug 2012.
    One might speculate that owner/trainer was not optimistic about this horse for whatever reason.
    This horse raced poorly in its last 2 starts and in his final race (source: Equibase) he “faded” before breaking down and was subsequently euthanased.
    And again no disclosure as to the injury/condition suffered by this horse resulting in his death.

    And the racing industry has the audacity to call this a “sport”.

  3. I was at Monmouth when this happened. It was my first time ever at a racetrack (I went for a birthday party), and I didn’t know what to expect. Many of the friends and family I was with had never been to the track either. It seemed like good, clean fun at first. Beautiful weather, lots to do, excitement, etc. I didn’t participate in the betting, but many people there for the party did. Some seemed to be “experts” and were betting hundreds of dollars per race.

    Not sure if it’s like this at other tracks, but at Monmouth, they move the starting gates up and down the track to different locations. I’m assuming this is to give the spectators various views throughout the day. For race 8, the starting gates were directly in front of the reserved picnic area where we were having the party, so our group had a great view with the horses about 30 feet from us.

    Many from out group were lined up, right at the fence to watch. I noticed two of the horses did not want to get into the gate, and they kept rearing up and bucking. I remarked to my friend that it was kind of sad these animals are forced into this just for the sake of our entertainment and gambling. The race began and there wasn’t much different about it compared to the other races we had seen throughout the day. It’s all over so quickly! About a minute or so later, they were all coming around the bend. We were cheering along with everyone else.

    Face the Race stopped running directly in front of us. I didn’t see if he fell, but my father pointed out he had dirt all over his backside. A friend of mine said he saw the jockey leap off and the horse “staggered and tripped up a bit.” The entire thing unfolded right before our eyes…in the exact spot the gates had been set up. Handlers were trying to calm the horse down, but he kept rearing up and we thought he would kick someone. They got the equipment off his back very quickly and the next thing we knew, the blockades were up.

    We were discussing the situation and speculating on what was going on behind those big sheets. Nobody in our group actually saw what happened…we all just saw the aftermath. My dad thought they put up that wall to calm the horse down. So a vet can come and check it out , and it will relax more since it can’t see all the thousands of people in the stands 50 feet away. Little did we know. As they rolled out the equine ambulance, we were hoping for the best. We of course had heard the tales of horses being shot when they break a leg…but surely this was a very different situation. Only a poor, old farmer from 1955 would be in a situation to have to do that. Nowadays they must have better ways to do things. These horses are worth so much money…surely they would receive the best possible care. We had no idea.

    We watched as they began to bring down the barriers. Face the Race was now safely in the ambulance and was being carted away. I naively called out, “get better soon” as they drove right past us. We could not see the horse standing in the stall through the window, and I got a terrible feeling in the pit of my stomach. If he isn’t standing, he must have broken his leg. I truly hoped there was something that could be done.

    Not 15 minutes later, the news began to trickle in from the regulars there. The horse had been euthanized. But not only that…it had been done right there, on the field…just 50 feet from us. Everyone we asked said the same thing. “It had to be done. You have to stop the suffering.” All I could think was, “why did this have to happen in the first place?” I cried for Face the Race then, and I cry now as I’m typing this.

    As I said before, I had no idea what was involved. I didn’t understand this industry. I had no expectations, good or bad, for what I was going to experience at that birthday party. It has been about 48 hours since the incident, and I can’t stop thinking about it. I found your website and the more I read, the more disgusted I am in this “sport.” Thank you for spreading awareness. What can I do to help?

    • Thank you, Nicole, for taking the time to share your tragic day at the races. Yes, it’s sick, isn’t it, that horse racing is considered entertainment. Apologists will argue how the deaths of the horses are just accidents, that they happen infrequently, that it’s just a sad reality of the “sport”, and that they are “heartbroken” when it happens. All of it lies.

      Accidents? – it is known that in catastrophic breakdowns, 90% of those horses were racing with pre-existing injuries. Horse racing is a dangerous “sport” and racing insiders know it. In what other “sport” does an ambulance follow behind the “athletes” on the track? And read what the industry and its fans say about their “courageous” jockeys and how they hold them up for their “bravery” for being a participant in what they admit is one of the most dangerous “sports”! Why are racing fans always PRAYING for a safe race?…because the very act is putting the horses and their riders at an INCREASED risk of injury.

      Racehorse deaths are infrequent?…again, a lie. All one had to do is read Patrick’s list of “America’s Dead Racehorses for 2014” and remember that lengthy list is incomplete. Racehorse deaths happen every single day.

      A “sad reality” apologists say…as if, because it’s a reality, it must just be accepted. That pathetic excuse doesn’t need further explanation. There are many realities that need not continue!

      And then they’re “heartbroken” over the deaths of their horses. Oh really?…the horses they love so much they put a price tag on their head every time they put them on the track?…and inject them with any of the 26 legal drugs?…and confine and isolate them?…and put them at risk of injury or death with training and racing? If they’re so “heartbroken” when their “beloved” horses die, then HOW can they remain in this industry? How do they lose their “family members” yet choose to continue in the “sport” that killed them? Lies.

      Thank you again, Nicole. As difficult as that haunting experience was for you, you are living another day and choosing to not support such a barbaric gambling industry….Face the Race didn’t get another day. Please be a voice for the voiceless.

    • I am so sorry you had to witness this Nicole but thank you for taking the time to write about this sickening incident and posting on Patrick’s site. It helps immensely for people to write in and tell their experiences such as this one with FACE THE RACE. Spreading the word is a way to help. Betting keeps racing going and one hopes that the more bettors are made aware of what they’re really betting on (animal cruelty) they will stop and choose to bet on a true sport like football. Emails/phone calls to the relevant Racing Commission is also a way to help the plight of the voiceless racehorse. Any comments you wish to make are most welcome or if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to post on this site.

      PS: the gates are moved due to the various distances of the races.

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