When a Star (Gimme Da Lute) Dies, Racing Press Takes Notice

As a rule, the only deaths deemed newsworthy are those of star horses and/or ones occurring in rich races. In other words, with but a few exceptions, the hundreds and hundreds of dead horses on my site – 2014, 2015 – received nary a mention in the Paulick Report, Daily Racing Form, Blood-Horse, etc. This, of course, is to be expected, for reporting on the mass carnage would jeopardize those publications’ very existences. Ever self interest.

In a related rule, extraordinary measures – e.g., surgery to repair a fracture – are reserved for the valuable assets. In other words, a broken claimer at Charles Town is put down immediately; a broken colt/stallion at Saratoga, not necessarily. Both of these rules were on prominent display this week with the death of 3-year-old Gimme Da Lute. As reported in the aforementioned rags, the multiple graded-stakes winning, $627,000 earning, six wins in nine tries colt fractured a leg bone while training at Santa Anita Tuesday. Post-surgery (screws) on Wednesday, Gimme, according to trainer Bob Baffert, “got up awkwardly, twisted his leg, and broke it.” Euthanasia.

In yet another rule, the reporting on these matters typically includes an execrable quote or two from the connections, usually how sick they are. But every so often, a kernel of honesty slips through. Speaking to Blood-Horse, co-owner/breeder Mike Pegram called this “a gutshot,” but then added: “The good thing is, we still have the mama and the papa, so maybe we can catch lightning in a bottle again.” Imagine that.


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  1. Run free now sweet Gimme Da Lute. You were just a baby. Some of us do care that you are gone. From what Mike Pegram said it sounds like you were just a throw away and he will just breed another to take your place. How sad.

    • Absolutely. Quick to move on from dead stock, ego-inflated owners spill drops of truth after running to the bank with their blood money. Pegram ‘Gotta $ Da $ Lute’ but it wasn’t enough.

  2. Scumbags. Horseracing is indefensible and the people who support it are devoid of even the most basic level of decency.

  3. Mike Pegram –I’m not at all surprised by his indifferent remark about the death of Gimme Da Lute.

    Mike Pegram bred, owned and raced the 2006 chestnut gelding Mayor Marv. MM won the Turf Paradise Derby for Pegram (and Baffert) in 2009. When he finished poorly in 2 more races right after the TP Derby, MM didn’t race again until 2 years later. He ran only twice (both claiming races) when Pegram put him back on the track in 2011 and in the second of those 2 races, MM finished last and “weakened”. OK, maybe NOW Pegram will retire Mayor Marv, who had made 143K up to that point? No…in February 2012, Mike Pegram dropped his six-year-old homebred stakes-winning gelding into an 8K claiming race where he was snatched up by R. Diodoro.

    In 2013, just four years after winning the Turf Paradise Derby, Mayor Marv was running at that very same track – but coming in 5th in a 3K claiming race. A THREE-THOUSAND DOLLAR claiming race. He didn’t get claimed.

    Mayor Marv disappeared from the track again until early February of 2014 – he was now with Roy Ronquillo, at Rillito, finishing 6th in a $1750 claiming race. And then again a few weeks later…second to last, coming in over 21 lengths behind, with a $1750 price tag on his head once again. Not claimed.

    Where was Mike Pegram? He BRED Mayor Marv. He RACED Mayor Marv. Mayor Marv was once considered to be Pegram’s and Baffert’s possible Derby horse. And now he couldn’t even compete with horses in a $1750 claiming race? – the gelding was screaming for help!

    Multiple e-mails to Pegram – via Mike Marten (Public Information Officer of the CHRB) and Joe Morris (President of the TB Owners of California), as both assured me they had forwarded my e-mails requesting help for Mayor Marv to Mike Pegram – went unanswered. (I was, in fact, assured a second time that my e-mails were “passed on to Mr. Pegram” by Morris when I questioned the blatant lack of concern for Mayor Marv)

    Mayor Marv’s last race was the February 22, 2014 $1750 claiming race where he finished over 21 lengths behind. Through a series of further attempts to find and help him, I received the following from a former racing trainer; Mayor Marv was “found near death” and the veterinarian of his rescuer even recommended euthanasia…and this via her FB page about him; “I am not at liberty to say who has him. Suffice to say that the person who has Marv is a friend. He’s being re-fed properly (severe malnutrition). I am amazed that he’s not only alive but that he wants to live. Rest assured, he’s on all the right stuff to bring him back to health…”.

    Two Pegram-bred horses, Gimme Da Lute (dead) and Mayor Marv (almost dead). Yes, as Patrick said…imagine that.

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