Abuse at Parx: “In Distress,” “Inexplicably” Whipped Some More, Returned “Lame,” “Vanned Off”

Monday afternoon at Parx, a 3-year-old horse named Rye Frost was raced in the 2nd. This is how Equibase described his day:

“RYE FROST, wide and just off pace, began to drop back after a quarter mile, appeared to be in distress as he dropped back to last in early stretch and then, while far back, his rider inexplicably kept him to a drive and began to rouse him again right handed through deep stretch. RYE FROST was walked back to the unsaddling area lame and he was vanned off the track.”

“…appeared to be in distress as he dropped back to last…then, while far back, his rider inexplicably kept him to a drive and began to rouse him again right handed through deep stretch.” “Lame.” “Vanned off.”

Animal cruelty laid bare for all to see.

This, by the way, was the gelding’s second ever race. His first came on September 22 at that same track: last of 9, 45+ lengths back.

His trainer, owner for both races: Kevin Nichol, Sonia Barr (also his creator). His jockey for both races: Sixto Castro. Castro, by the way, has 17 career mounts – no wins. (Frustrated, desperate?) Wait, there’s more: Castro is slated to wield the whip on 4-year-old filly Sara’s Angel this Sunday at Parx. For Sara’s Angel, that race will come a mere five days after her second-to-last finish in yesterday’s 6th; it will be her 24th race this year, 44th overall. Again, she’s four – still in puberty.

Parx Casino and Racing: 1-888-588-7279

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  1. In the end it’s all about money. To continue to run a lame horse, knowing it will probably cause the injury to get worse, is just an excuse to collect the insurance when the horse has to be destroyed. Cheaper than rehab also!!

  2. Sam Elliot’s (director of racing at Parx) direct phone number is 267-355-2906. I just left him a DETAILED message and await his call back.

    You might want to remind Elliot of the horse “Armani the Won” who broke down during a race at Parx on Oct 4 but whose jockey (Gonzalez) whipped him anyway to continue running…Armani needed to be euthanized.

    Also, other recent deaths at Parx: Star Actor on Oct 30, Quotable on Nov 10, and Empty Backfield on Nov 14.

    Please call Elliot and ask him HOW he is putting the welfare of the “athletes” at his track as his priority. Laughable, isn’t it.

  3. This is one more chapter in the “story of the horse”.
    The Kentucky breeders opening their farms so the fans and potential fans can hear the “story of the horse” need to stop misleading the public and face the unsavory truth. From beginning to end racing is the showcase for the worst of human behaviors – cruelty, cheating, lying, greed, ego at the expense of defenseless animals and people addicted to gambling.

  4. I might have copied and pasted this article from the Paulick Report back when the racehorse Armani the Won broke down at Parx and needed to be euthanized (the gelding broke his knee during the race but the jockey kept whipping him), but I think it bears repeating. When a racing supporter such as Paulick questions Parx, one KNOWS there are problems! And one more thing, I hope Jo Anne Normile can find the time to report her conversation with Sam Elliot…if you have compassion and respect for the horses enslaved in this industry, Elliot’s response to Jo Anne’s concern for the racehorses at Parx will make your blood boil.

    Here is the PR article about Parx – don’t miss the comments.


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