Eight Horses Carted Away by Ambulance Yesterday (a Monday)

Monday is one of America’s two lightest racing days, with only a handful of tracks live. Now with that as background, consider what happened yesterday:

Three horses were ambulanced off at “The Downs Racetrack & Casino” (New Mexico); two at “Mountaineer Casino Racetrack” (West Virginia); and one each at “Parx Casino & Racing” (Pennsylvania), “Presque Isle Downs & Casino” (Pennsylvania), and “ThistleDown Racino” (Ohio). Knowing what we know about the “vanned,” it’s a good bet that as you read at least four of the eight are already dead. In addition, another horse returned from an Albuquerque race bleeding from the nostrils.


One commonality for all of the above racetracks is that each is a racino track – their very existences depend on the corporate welfare they receive in the form of slot-machine (and some table-game) cash. So to our please-don’t-bet-on-horseraces plea, we add: please don’t patronize racinos, for what may seem an innocuous evening playing VLTs in fact has grave – often fatal – consequences for racehorses.

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  1. More voiceless noble horses SACRIFICED – this sickening carnage continues….

    In the meantime people are having a fun time gambling, do they realize that they are directly supporting the inhumane sufferings of these horses?

    • Carolyn, I believe many of the “fans” who place a bet or two – just for fun – have no idea of the sheer numbers of the crippled and dead. Whereas I think the hard-core gamblers know and just don’t give a damn. Of course, the same is true of some so-called “advocates”. That is the most disgusting.

  2. One of the vanned off horses at Mountaineer was Marching Tune, an 8 year-old chestnut cryptorchid.

    In 2008, Marching Tune sold for $240,000 at the Keeneland yearling sale. His Malibu Moon/AP Indy/Seattle Slew sire breeding and Storm Cat/ Mr. Prospector/Secretariat bloodlines on the distaff made him a very valuable baby. I’m guessing they didn’t realize he would be a rig at that point.

    Marching Tune peaked as a 4-5 year-old winning $183,000 those two years.He slid down the ranks to settle at last at Mountaineer. His final race, the 80th in his life, was a $5,000 claimer that he did not finish. He earned his connections $277K over his lifetime, and a whopping $9,058 for his 20 races in 2015. His life was worth $453 per race this year.

    I have made inquiries as to his status, but presume he’s been sold to the KB if he survived overnight. I’m praying he was euthanized and not sold to wring the last few dollars from his broken body.

    • Thank you for the extra details of Marching Tune’s wretched life, Faith. I wonder if he’s still alive, waiting for help. It makes me sick beyond words. And to think he represents countless others. All so unnecessary. SICKENS me.

    • How anyone can read your post about Marching Tune, Faith, and not feel disgust for the people responsible for the sad plight of this horse and countless others. The people responsible are all those involved in racing at every level as well as the bettors. The business could not exist but for the ugly, uncaring and callous side of human nature.

    • Am very sorry to hear of all the van offs. But just want to clarify the ridgling issue. A.P. Indy was a ridgling himself. if a horse is good enough (wins big races) it does not matter to breeders if only one testicle descended.

      • Thanks for clarifying, Maureen. I didn’t know that about A.P. Indy…or any other partially descended stallion. Learn something new ever day.

        Still have no word on his status.

      • Faith, you have very valid concerns about Marching Tune’s safety and welfare…regardless of the fact that ridglings can be used for breeding. Not that a breeding stallion has a wonderful life even at an elite farm, but what kind of existence would be in store for Marching Tune at a farm standing a 5K claimer? I’ve been to those types of farms to pick up their used-up broodmares and while there, observed their stud alone in a dirt paddock -dull coated and ribby, knotted mane and cracked hooves. Although there were very few intact racehorses at the cheap Michigan track where I worked for the rescue, the ones we did come across were usually doomed to such a life when they could no longer race. One such unfortunate horse was a near-black colt that looked very much like his sire, Saint Ballado. He was three-legged lame and I recall needing to bite my tongue when his ruthless owner/trainer boasted about the cheap farm he sold him to for $500. We tried to acquire the horse but the owner was bursting with self-importance that a horse HE had was going on to a “stud career”. It was heartbreaking to look at him – so damaged but yet so magnificent – and know what was ahead for him. I doubt he even lived as long as his poor sire.

        Good luck, Faith. Please let us know if we can help you.

  3. I have only been to a few casinos. The 3 in Detroit, the Indian Reservations in Michigan and I have been to Vegas once in 2001. How do we know if a casino is a racino? Is there a list? Or if there is a casino and horseracing in the same state that means it is a racino?

  4. Lily IS First was recently found to have illegal limit of Clenbuterol on Race Day.

    “Lilly Is First is owned in partnership by R. D. Hubbard, Paul Blanchard and Mike Abraham. Hubbard is owner of Ruidoso Downs, which last fall announced enhanced surveillance and “super testing” for its major races beginning in 2015. Blanchard operates The Downs Racetrack & Casino in Albuquerque, Abraham is a leading New Mexico horse breeder.”

    She is owned jointly by the owners of the two largest Tracks in NM. This “sport” is corrupt from top to bottom. The horses are pawns in a very dirty business. Don’t support it!

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