Two Horses Found Dead in Stalls – Same Day, Same Track, Same Trainer

Further details on some of the West Virginia dead.

The final three races for Burton Sipp-trained/owned Slot Machine:
May 31, 2015, $5,000 maiden-claiming at Mountaineer – last of 9, 52 lengths back
June 20, $5,000 maiden-claiming at Mountaineer – last of 7, 33 lengths back
July 14, $5,000 maiden-claiming at Mountaineer – “broke down” – Dead

10-year-old Out Drinkin’ was under the whip for the 86th time when he “labored” and was “eased through the lane” in a $5,000 claiming race at Mountaineer on July 22, 2015. Turns out, the Barbara Price-trained, Paula Zameroski-owned horse had broken his leg – “Humanely Destroyed” the next day.

On September 27, 3-year-old Catana finished 4th in a race at Mountaineer. Eight days later she was “found dead in [her] stall.” On that very same day, another 3-year-old, Temple of Doom, was also “found dead in [his] stall.” He had just been raced five days prior. Now get this: Both horses were trained and owned by the same person – Sara Stanoszek. Was there an investigation? Probably not, and even if there was, nothing ever comes of those – especially ones involving cheap horses. Truth is, Stanoszek and her ilk are never really held accountable for their dead, for in the eyes of the law, racehorses are mere things. And who cares about a dead thing?


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  1. Absolutely pathetic, and heartbreaking. Patrick is absolutely right IF they investigate nothing ever comes of it. I’m at the point where I think they announce an investigation merely as a way to placate the public, but nothing is ever carried out.
    The industry often cites monetary issues that prevent ongoing investigations. Yet, they have owners going out and spending millions on a few racehorses. What kind of insanity is that?
    Then there is the entire issue of non-profitable racehorses being dropped off at kill auctions. Then there is the environmental disaster of a horse slaughterhouse.
    I could go on and on, but the facts are clear: racehorses are being maimed and die on racetracks almost every day. If not on racetracks then in their confined stall where they live 23 hours per day while in training, and racing.
    All this mayhem to run in circles for $2 bets. This is insanity. Are you with me?

    • I am with you and with every individual who acknowledges this RAMPANT abuse and speaks out against it! I am honestly more disgusted with this industry with every post Patrick provides. Isn’t it mind-boggling that there are people who are AWARE of the maiming and death but still support the industry?…I have more disgust for those folks than for those who are fans but are still in the dark. So let’s keep shining the light!

      • So true Joy, the ones that know about the atrocities that are being committed upon these innocent horses leave us in despair and disgust.
        The unsuspecting public who attend race meetings are embraced with the glamour, the alcohol, the lunching, the let’s have fun here today environment and the chance of winning money, also leaves me in utter disgust.
        If only the unsuspecting public knew the ugly side of racing.

    • Pattie g, we don’t know what happened to these 2 horses and the reason for that is because the relevant racing authority, West Virginia Racing Commission, has negligently failed to reveal its findings. We don’t even know if there was an investigation and if that was not carried out then the relevant racing authority (vets included) need to be made accountable for their inexcusable failure and neglect.

      The owner/trainer would know why these horses died.

      Thank you Pattie for expressing your concern and may I suggest that you spread the word about what really goes on with these horses which are sacrificied for $2 bets.

  2. We know that in this industry the racing officials, administrators, vets et al are not looking out for the horse but when the owner is not the trainer, the horse has at least another individual person/entity having a say about the horse, sometimes not much, sometimes a fair bit. It gives me the creeps when I come across horses that have one sole trainer/owner because that person has the power to completely control the animal and is answerable to absolutely nobody. Race it as often as he likes, feed it what he likes, drug it with whatever he likes, exercise it and confine it as much as he likes, decides whether or not horse needs veterinary care and the list goes on….. So many times I’ve come across cruelty incidents that have been reported to the authorities and more often than not the horse had a sole trainer/owner or the owner was a relative/close friend.

    In the case of CATANA and TEMPLE OF DOOM it is far too much of a coincidence for both horses to have been found dead on the same day when owned by a sole trainer/owner.

    The relevant racing authority obviously has an obligation and a duty of care to fully investigate what happened here and to release its findings on its website to meet its transparency and disclosure commitment to the public. The horrific and outrageous number of horses meeting their deaths during their careers is indisputable evidence that the well-being of the horse is most definitely not a consideration but for how long will the general public tolerate this inexcusable number of deaths?

    Any person who bets on horseracing is financially contributing to the continuation of horseracing which is infamously known for its animal abuse, mistreatment, cruelty and death of its “much loved” horses.

    • Jennifer, since you posted this information could you include some details? You must have details if you know that this was done right?
      If this information is correct, then they must release it under the FOIA.
      However, I’m at the point where the only reports and results that I would consider are NEUTRAL ones conducted by NEUTRAL companies who have nothing to do with this cruelty circus.

  3. I’v known about him from way back in nj he was banned from there and also a farm he had for exotic animals also shut down maybe they will ban him for life owning any animal

  4. What I have observed over the years is that the racing commissions have become a management arm for the racinos instead of a regulatory body protecting the health, and welfare of the racehorse.
    Racinos main goal is to increase profits. They want pay back for the money they put out to support horse racing. In fact, most all racinos now want to end this financial requirement by passing an act called DECOUPLING.
    This act will effectively end the huge financial contributions by casinos to racetracks plus it will not be mandatory for casinos to run live racing events.
    This will be a HUGE step in the right direction for a decrease in racetracks, an eventual decrease in breeding, and an overall reduction in the horse racing industry.
    Let’s not forget that just 10 years ago horse racing was in a downward spiral on the verge of completely collapsing and shutting down until they put through this financial lifeline via the casinos.
    So please support DECOUPLING. Florida is the first state attempting to put it through. If successful, then the house of cards will begin to fall from state to state. DECOUPLING will be one of the major contributors to shut this cruelty circus down.
    Racinos, in my opinion, have been a huge contributor to the increase in maiming, and deaths on their racetracks with the racing commissions being their willing partner. The entire goal now is to fill races, provide more betting opportunities, increase the wagering income to pay for cash infusion from casinos.
    The huge increase in purses, fueled by the financial contributions of casinos, has resulted in racehorses being allowed to enter and run, put them in harms way, and basically send them to their deaths in many cases based on the PP’s. The kill list is published on this website.
    So whether it’s an owner/trainer or a large corporate barn, the regulatory racing commissions are failing the racehorses every step of the way literally.
    Carolyn, Corporate barns are held unaccountable just as much as the owner/trainer is. It’s important to note that many corporate barns, that is big name Trainer operations, have direct ties to the casinos whether it’s the casino CEO’s or operations of the casino. There’s really no difference because the result is the same in the end.
    Even when somebody is caught with blatant violations very little is done.
    So this creates an abyss of pain, suffering, maiming, and killing because when there are no consequences for abusive, and neglectful behaviour then it will continue.
    So support DECOUPLING and the cancellation of the Interstate Horse Racing Act.

    • Gina,

      I agree with you that decoupling is the answer. If they can’t survive on their own why should they be propped up? That said, (and I am sure you agree with this) the fact that the industry blames the racinos and the fact that every horse earns regardless of finish is specious at best and dishonest to be sure. It’s like saying that the fact that there if there were no law against beating old people in the street it would be ok to do so, and those who did would be absolved because there was no rule against it. They don’t HAVE to run horses over and over regardless of whether they have ever been competitive. They do it because they don’t care and they hide their inhumanity behind the laws that allow it.

    • Gina,

      I agree with you that decoupling is the answer. If they can’t survive on their own why should they be propped up? That said, (and I am sure you agree with this) the fact that the industry blames the racinos and the fact that every horse earns regardless of finish for their behavior is specious at best and dishonest to be sure. It’s like saying that the if there were no law against beating old people in the street it would be ok to do so, and those who did would be absolved because there was no rule against it. They don’t HAVE to run horses over and over regardless of whether they have ever been competitive. They do it because they don’t care and they hide their inhumanity behind the fact that the “rules” allow it.

      • Thank you Ray. You are spot on.
        There are thousands of small businesses in the USA that collectively support more jobs than this industry ever has or ever will.
        These small businesses have weathered many economical storms, and survived without any handouts. Many have made sacrifices along the way, and have become more creative when marketing their product. Many are family owned small businesses so why this sense of entitlement from these tracks, and wealthy owners who spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on one racehorse?
        This has got to stop.
        Trouble is they have a powerful lobby in Washington, and many politicians in their pockets.
        This is why it’s allowed to continue year after year while middle class and small businesses struggle to survive independently.
        Take away their funding, and see how creative they get or shut down.

  5. I had an argument with a former Parx jockey who consistently held Penny Peace out as an example of “one of the good people” in racing. When I called out her history of testing horses longer commodities she first blamed Pearce’s husband (“he had all the control “) then Parx and the racino game. When I asked her why a ‘good’ person would hide behind rules that allow bad behavior to justify that immorality all she could say was ” I’m disappointed in Penny.” This was the same person who told me that the number of dead horses attributable to this disgusting industry was “unfortunate.” I tell this story not to embarrass this person, but to sorry Patrick’s comment that the racing insiders don’t care.. They see the horses as commodities, and the bar they set to define “good people” is so low that it would make room for Satan. I’ve given up on trying to change hearts that are frozen and minds that are closed. I don’t have the energy to try to change horrible people. My goal is to continue to sit the milk for the occasional track visitor and any potential future fans. That said I think it’s reasonable to continue to lobby governors like Tom Wolf in PA to ask why an industry that needs slot taxes to survive shouldn’t be told to be self sufficient or die? Couldn’t we use that money for schools or infrastructure?
    I also think that the owners and trainers, dirtballs like Penny Pearce, should be fined every time a jockey they throw up on one of their “cheap claimers” acts like the parasite that they are, mercilessly whipping a horse out of greed.

  6. First of all, Barbara Price was the owner of both Cactus Café and Canuki back in 2012. She sold them to Mark Wedig, a kill buyer middleman, for $150 apiece. When we discovered that both horses were “gone” from the backside of Beulah Park, I was able to obtain Price’s phone number and I called her several times begging her to tell me where the horses were located. She never returned my phone calls. Of course, by this time, Wedig had moved them to a nice “farm” here in central Ohio…the nice “farm” being Fred Bauer’s feedlot. Bauer is a contract kill buyer. Price was punished by the racing industry. She lost her license for one year and was fined $1,000. Not much of a punishment for someone who handed off two horses into the underground slaughter pipeline and I would venture to guess that it wasn’t her first time doing so nor was it her last. Price had quite a reputation at Beulah. She was busted for drugs as was her boyfriend, Brian Hollingsworth. She is bad, bad news. My heart breaks for any horse under her care.

    Sara Stanoszek receives lots of accolades on social media but perhaps those who support racing are desperate for a bit of good news and that good news comes when Ms. Stanoszek “saves” a horse and finds it a home. I’m sure the public has no idea that not one, but two, of her horses were found dead in their stalls on the same day and both were just three years old. An investigation should have been on the agenda but this is the racing industry which survives by keeping the majority of their dirty secrets behind closed doors. The horses are mere clogs in a gambling machine. I’m sure both stalls were filled with new horses by the next day. Remember…stalls are valuable pieces of real estate at the track. Dead horses are quickly forgotten.

    For anyone who wants to know what kind of a person Burton Sipp is, just Google his name and a ton of stuff comes up, the vast majority of it is REALLY bad. Oh, and this from an outrider who knows Sipp personally…”electrocutions, cracked skulls of horses, mysterious deaths for insurance mone”… yet Mountaineer allowed the bastard to return to the track. Imagine that! And from another outrider…”Sipp killed many for the insurance and was ruled off for many years”… and let’s not forget that his wife, Bridget, died in a fire that many consider to be suspicious.

    Here are some comments about Sipp from The Chronicle of the Horse dated early 2015….

    – Burton Sipp owned my retiree for several years before selling him at a known kill buyer sale that was always held on the track. Luckily another trainer bought him and then I ended up with him. My horse won a lot for him but he raced him very, very frequently. he likes buying cheap horses and running their pants off to see if he can make a buck.

    – I bought a mare from Sipp (through CANTER NE) back in 2005. I had pretty much the same reaction as you did when I googled him back then. Keena had 4 front leg fractures when we bought her–medial condylar, one sesamoid with 2 fractures and another fractured sesamoid on the other front. Basically, she was one sesamoid fracture away from a catastrophic breakdown. This, despite Sipp telling me that he didn’t think she had anything broken, (maybe suspensory?). He did drop his price when I told him about the fractures. Not trying to defend Sipp at all, but she had raced in claimers for 3+ years for numerous trainers, so she may have had some injuries when he claimed her. She’s a real testimony to the quality care that some race horse trainers give their horses. Happy ending: After 4 months of stall rest (during which time she was a model patient), she had healed sufficiently to assume her position as Pasture Goddess in our herd. She has a few bad days, but not very many. Absolutely STELLAR disposition (at least toward people)–probably the best horse I’ve ever worked with. Expecting her third foal (by Ironman) in about a month.

    A couple of months ago, I reached out to Ms. Maggi Moss about a horse she had previously owned (Marchwood) who is now owned by Sipp. Remember, Moss unloads her unproductive horses because the unproductive ones don’t add revenue to her bottom line but she professes to always “follow” her horses. Yeah, right!. Her initial reaction was simply unbelievable. Perhaps it was just one of her “delusional” days but she certainly wasn’t willing to take action. I’ll have to do a follow-up story on the “Good Folks In Racing” because there is so much more to THAT story.

    • Thanks for this, Mary. And especially for contacting Maggi Moss about Marchwood.

  7. Mary, Thanks for some information, and insight into these heartless people.
    That said, I place much of the blame on the racing commissions for failing to protect racehorses, for failing to enact stiff penalties on these Trainers, for failing to RULE-OFF LIFETIME SUSPENSION for these Trainers because even 1 of these examples are criminal acts that should be investigated.
    Again, as you mentioned, dark secrets going on at racetracks all over, and NOTHING is being done about it. Oh, excuse me, something is being done about it and that is: these incidents are deliberately kept from the public. They spend a tremendous amount of time, and money to shield these Trainers (if you can call them that) from prosecution, and this is hair raising.
    I now refer to racetracks as Death Camps. There’s just no other way to describe it.
    The day can’t come soon enough when these death camps close their doors forever.
    The only way to greatly reduce these death camps is to do the following:
    1. Support the Decoupling Act. Contact Florida representatives because I’m sure that when one state passes Decoupling, the other states will follow, and the cards will begin to fall. We all know that the multibillion dollar horse racing industry must financially leech off of other streams of cash. Those avenues must be cut-off.
    2. Cancel the Interstate Horse Racing Act. Again, contact your political representatives, make your voice heard.
    3. Don’t wager on or watch horse racing.
    4. Educate people.

    In the meantime, we will continue to read about all the dead angels that were used, abused, maimed, and possibly die on tracks almost every day.
    This is unacceptable, and it needs to stop. The sooner the better.

  8. Re Sipp – year ago he made a lot of $$ sending horses to the meat dealer – he is noted for running nerved blocked horses to race and then when they break down – surprise – he supposedly has a farm where all of these horses go when they are done racing – was stabled next to him at Suffolk one year – he should loose his license forever and be banned from racing

  9. If you people spent as much time and effort finding the good people in racing that treat their horses better than most people are treated you might have a balanced argument. You cherry pick the worst of the worst and try to bunch everyone else in. It’s unfair and your wrong to do it. Horse racing is a beautiful sport done correctly.

    • Mr. Gallo, horseracing is a “beautiful sport done correctly”? Is racing done without drugs (both legal and illegal), done without joint injections, done without running horses as “babies”, done with turnout because, as we all SHOULD know, horses are herd animals, done without running injured horses, and done without using slaughter as your disposal system? I don’t think so. In fact, I think YOU are unfair and wrong to try to defend an industry that is rotten from top to bottom. Anyone who thinks horseracing is a “beautiful sport” is either incredibly stupid or delusional. One only has to spend some time on the backside of a track to witness the atrocities that occur daily. Take off your rose colored glasses. Racing is hell on earth for the vast majority of horses.

    • Horseracing is a corrupt gambling business. It is not a sport. It is structured to facilitate horse abuse through “legal” drugs, claiming and the absence of a national commission. There are no rules to protect the horse. Two of the most glaring examples are horses started every week (sometimes every few days) and horses placed on the vet list in one state taken to another state to race, all “legal” in this “sport”. Of course, there is much more as you well know, Mr. Gallo.

      You say the “good people” in racing ” treat their horses better than most people are treated”. I beg to differ. Standing in a stall for 23 hrs. each day is wrong and bad for the horse and that is just for openers. I will not go into the whipping and the “supplements”, etc. that even these privileged horses are subjected to. And you know the “good” treatment of horses lasts but a short time. As soon as they are off their game and underperforming they become claimers and start the downward spiral. How do the “good people” feel when their pampered horses are claimed and why do these “good people” tolerate “the worst of the worst” in this business ??

      Evil by it’s nature, is wasteful and destructive. It breaks kills and disrupts…

      People end up supporting evil because they avoid making up their minds. They hold to the middle ground and avoid criticism and perhaps worse.

  10. Louie, you are in a state of perpetual denial like most supporters of this cruelty circus. First of all, it’s not a sport. It doesn’t qualify for a sport for many reasons. Second, by supporting this antiquated, cruel, and abusive industry you are contributing to this. You are part of it. Third, you can’t be “good” while participating in a cruelty circus. Fourth, racetracks are death camps. The death statistics speak for themselves. Fifthly, like Mary said it’s YOU that’s being unfair especially with the racehorses who are nothing more than profit slaves, another number to wager on, possibly another death statistic.
    After all this, many get dumped either at kill auctions, abusive homes, or directly to slaughter.
    Let’s get down to the raw tactics of this industry which includes breeding a living, sentient being only to be responsible for this living creature for about 3 years. After that, dumped.
    If this industry was held legally, and financially responsible for the thousands of thoroughbreds it breeds, then it wouldn’t be in business.
    So in other words the very fundamental business model is a recipe for death. This is immoral, cruel, antiquated, and unacceptable.
    There isn’t anything “good” about horse racing, and there isn’t any person “good” who participates and supports such cruelty to animals.

  11. Thank you Patrick, Mary, Gina and Rose for your spot-on responses to Louie Gallo. One last comment to Gallo – if we spent AS MUCH time and effort finding the “good” as we do the “bad”?…we don’t have to go looking for the bad – this industry is permeated with them and we see the evidence of that every day.

    • Question for Louie and all the “good people.” When you are at the track, and a horse breaks down and is “humanely euthanized,” just because some people wanted to make a bet, or get their adrenaline rush, or just take in the “beauty” that you mention, how do you defend that? I’m willing to be swayed if you can give me 1 reasonable defense for that.

  12. Oh, so very well said by Mary Johnson, Rose Smith, Joy Aten, Gina Powell and Patrick. These selfless people with all their experience, knowledge and investigation of and in the racing industry without a doubt say it as it is, the truth is told by them and they leave the horse racing industry hanging its head in utter SHAME.

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