9-Year-Old Mare Killed in 75th Start

For the 9-year-old mare Sweet Hot Toddy, the back-breaker came in race number 75. Yesterday, in a cheap claimer at lowly Finger Lakes, she died – “pulled up in distress,” says Equibase; “euthanized on track,” adds the Gaming Commission. And while the latter assures that an “investigation continues,” I’m fairly certain one never even began. For you see, Sweet Hot Toddy was a (relatively) worthless, (prematurely) old horse toiling away for bottom-feeder “connections.” She was a nothing, a nonentity. In other words, no one – in Racing World, that is – cares that she’s dead.

This is horseracing.

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  1. I care. I care so much that what horses like Sweet Hot Toddy endure in their short lives and premature tragic deaths is something I think about every day. It’s incredibly sad, infuriating, discouraging…yet my “discomfort” doesn’t compare to the physical pain and mental distress those horses suffer.

    Racing apologists, are all of these deaths worth your entertainment? If you believe the killing is just one of those things that happens in this “sport” you love, then it’s just as if you were right on that track with Sweet Hot Toddy while she waited for the lethal injection…in a full body sweat, eyes wide with confusion, and wanting only the comfort and safety of a herd – and you’re telling her right before she collapses to the dirt, “My entertainment matters more than your life.” Your selfishness just sickens me…

    RIP, Sweet Hot Toddy – you mattered to US.

  2. Patrick, huge shout out to you for spending countless hours providing us with the deadly facts.
    Thanks to Joy, Mary, Carolyn, Jacqueline, the Booth’s, 20+ Insider et al for backing up these facts with direct examples.
    You see Patrick, I always knew that racehorses died in the dirt for $2 bets, and I was always horrified when it happened. I witnessed it.
    However, I didn’t realize just how many die for this despicable industry.
    It’s important to note that these figures are conservative at best.
    We have racetracks that deny information even when requested via the FOIA – blatant violation of First Amendment.
    Then there are racetracks that will not report racehorses dying during training hours, or in their stalls.
    Anyways, I trained at all levels of tracks from B tracks primarily to the prestigious ones, and almost every day that I was out on the rails watching my horse train – there was at least one that broke down or died.
    I was actually astonished at the high breakdown rate of high level Trainers such as Todd Pletcher, Bob Baffert, etc. because the industry reveres, and protects them.
    They convince us that a racehorse coming from a multimillion dollar breeding farm, commanding high prices at Keeneland, and being trained by the big name Trainers are essentially immune to the dirty aspects of horse racing – they are not.
    It doesn’t matter where they come from or where they have been they are all subjected to whipping/beating, doping, dumping, and/or dying at some point in their career.
    Sweet Hot Toddy – I’m so sorry for you darling. You earned your flake of hay the hard way. You ran your butt off while you probably were repeatedly injected into the joints, into the veins, and whatever else way they could find to keep you running. They probably knew you were sore, knew you were just one race away from dying. Yet, these despicable low life scum bags kept you going, and the industry backed you up by allowing this horse to continue training, entering, and racing.
    Oh, how I despise this industry.
    Sweet Hot Toddy, you were deprived of everything while being confined in a stall, and turned into a profit slave for this cruelty circus, and death camp.
    You pro-horse racing people sicken me. You all SICKEN me – every one of you.
    You all support the ongoing cruelty, abuse, dumping, and dying. You are all guilty.
    Furthermore, you all deserve to be shut down NOW. It come come soon enough.
    I can’t wait until the Native American casino just down the road from Finger Lakes opens up, and takes all of your business away so that this death camp called Finger Lakes shuts down!
    The bottom sucking scum bags backed by their corrupt association called the HBPA are already banging on Gov. Cuomo’s door asking that they provide MILLIONS in compensation to fill the money gap that they will no longer have coming in.
    In fact, they have said that if they don’t get financial compensation they will close their doors.
    Hell yea! Close their doors. Shut them down.
    Us taxpayers and the government/casinos are not entitled to support your cruelty circus and death camp.
    You can all go rot in hell.
    Another thing, there should be automatic animal cruelty charges against both the owner and trainer of any racehorse that dies on a racetrack in North America will full NEUTRAL investigation.
    Haul their asses into court and have them answer to the public not hide in the cobwebs of their stable offices or the almighty racing commissions who are nothing more than smoke screens.

    • There is an ugly side to horse racing. It’s called rotten human beings. Not every owner falls into that category, nor is every horse abused and raced to death. It’s an industry that needs continual oversight and regulations to protect the horses. This has to be pushed for. It doesn’t just happen. There are many advocates for horses in the sport. To say otherwise, is a lie. There are people who care, who push for changes, who donate and volunteer to help with aftercare of retired horses. Yes, bad things happen to these wonderful equines that shouldn’t. It’s not true that no one involved with horse racing cares. Perhaps not enough people care, that would be closer to the truth. Greed is powerful. When money is involved, too many people don’t do the right thing. That is LIFE, not just horse racing. We should be appalled at all these “horse racing wrongs”. I’ve cried an ocean over these horses. They are not going to outlaw horse racing. The fight for the horses has to be through legislation. I hope you are as compassionate about Tennessee Walkers and the unspeakable soring torture they endure. Wild horses are systematically rounded up into pens where they suffer slow agonizing deaths at the hands of our government. Then there is the issue of HORSE SLAUGHTER. If horse racing ended tomorrow, where do you think most of the horses would end up? Like the New York carriage horses, a jobless horse, is a dead horse. That’s the reality of it, there’s no way to candy coat it. Would you rather fight for better treatment and allow them to pull the carts around NYC, or would you prefer they be shipped to Mexico where they will die a gruesome death and be packaged for their meat? The trip to the slaughter house is vicious and inhumane. They suffer injuries, dehydration, and intense fear with nowhere to run. Horse racing is far from perfect, but in the scheme of things, it’s not the worst either. The fight against equine abuse extends well beyond racing.

      • Unfortunately in our area, most all race horses are run until they breakdown. We have had a very prominent breeders son admit that the horses that didn`t get claimed or sold via the special public auctions conducted after each of the SPECIAL two furlong races at our recently conducted winter race meet ” would all go on a northbound trip to Canada”. Those poor horses had excellent, long race records showing endurance / durability! They deserved more than being slaughtered for oriental markets food animals! Those horses lucky enough to get sold/ bought at these special public after each race auctions were than provided a FREE breeding to a stakes winning stallion standing in our state. The resulting foal next year being registered FREE by a HUB tax supported program administered by our local thoroughbred breed association. Better that the monies be used for out of competition testing for all participants! At our local track one CANNOT even acquire a grooms license unless you first have a position first! Kinda hard to get a job if you not allowed to go on the backside to ask around! When we were FINALLY granted an exercise license after galloping horses for FREE for several months we were told by the approving outrider,”they really don`t want anymore exercise riders licenses at this track anymore” We have recently been provided some info as to how desperate things have become with the association noting that” we would hope that new breeders would aspire to foaling new thoroughbreds that would be better than just those racing at our fair circuits” Our farm has those horses! We proved it by when our horses were not able to win or place at single NW track. We sent them to California, after being bought by a trainer in the eastern part of our state the first time. We sold them to others who raced them at California tracks and other SW tracks who then WON at Del Mar and other SW states.We now also realize this is just a money game with very little true sportsmanship in it. It is strictly about show and tell among rich people and a tax right off too. We don`t operate our farm with any intentional tax right off benefits.We have entirely changed focus of our sales to horses enjoyed by families who have their horses living on their property with them as we do. Sometimes our customers discover that their new horse acquired from us can do surprising things such as jump their 5.5′ high fences as long yearlings! We recently read of another Stronach track such as ours is, that almost went bankrupt except for support by the Ontario government. If the business cannot survive without subsidies of whatever kind then let the market rules apply and let the industry go away or contract to what the entertainment industry will support. As for the horses, if there is no hyped up marketing demand, there will be fewer horses foaled.We have had to have many horses buried on our farm due to old age ,illness.That is the proper way to handle horses when their lives have come to the end.

      • Karen – where to begin?
        How do I begin to address your comment without being rude?
        A large portion of your comment addresses other horse cruelty, but doesn’t divert the focus on the exploited racehorses who get beaten/whipped, doped, dumped, and killed in action.
        Patrick, the owner of this blog has often repeated a very accurate statement:
        you can love horse racing, you can love horses, but you can’t love both.
        You can’t support the ongoing cruelty, abuse, exploitation of the racehorse by perpetrating the delusion that there are “good” folks in horse racing.
        If you were good, and loved horses then you wouldn’t support and/or participate in this cruelty circus, and death camp.
        Moreover, there would be no unwanted racehorses going to slaughter if this industry didn’t exist.
        If you are all so good, then why do you beat them? dope them? run them when sore? zap their legs with electric shock wave therapy? enter them into a claiming race to get rid of them? dump them when no longer profitable? etc etc etc.
        There is not one owner/trainer who has not willingly subjected their racehorse to one of the operating procedures of horse racing in order to fill wages, increase wagering income, possibly pick up a check – not one.
        Anybody that allows a living breathing being to be subjected to such torture is not good – you are all pure evil.
        The only consultation I can give you is that you are living a delusion – all of you horse racing supporters are living one big delusion that you are good for racehorses. You are not good.
        You are abetting the ongoing exploitation of a racehorse while turning them into profit slaves.
        You are all slave masters no matter how good you think you are.
        If you really cared, then you would leave the industry, and start using your experience to educate people.
        This will only happen when you stop living a delusion.
        The first step to any recovery process is to admit there is a wrong.
        Once you admit that horse racing is wrong, then you can start your road to recovery.

    • Dear Gina, your heart is in the right place, but you have blinders on. There are many thoroughbreds who are treated like kings. Top tier mostly, but nonetheless, true. These beatings and doping, the latter is illegal and the sport upholds punishment for it. By “beatings” do you mean during the race with the jockey whip? Even that has had changes implimented. If you think these million dollar thoroughbreds are continually beat and abused, you are kidding yourself. I assure you, they are not. Visit Old Friends, visit Zenyatta, the Mosses love her like a child. You can love horse racing and horses, many do, my father did. Man O’ War was a national hero. Sam Riddle refused a million dollars for him nearly a century ago. He lived to be 30 and was doted on every day of his life. After he died, he was buried like a dignitary. With all due respect, I think you only see what you want to see. The sport is plagued with bad people. There are rotten human beings around every corner in life. I wish I knew how to fix that, but I’m not God. I work with what I have. I was “born” into the sport, but I do not race horses, never did. I consider myself a horse racing historian and collector. Horses have been my heroes from the time I could walk. I acknowledge the dark side of this sport, I absorb it, I’m hurt and saddened by it. You need to acknowledge that every person involved in horse racing is not an evil conspirator out to torture, abuse, and kill horses.

      • Ah yes the $million tbs are treated like kings…..American Pharaoh was beaten with a whip by Victor Espinoza 32 times in about 35 seconds in the 2015 Kentucky Derby with visible marks on his flank area which is prohibited by international racing rules. When in front of the cameras the following day for the media the whipped side of him was very carefully not shown. Millions of viewers world-wide were outraged. A few weeks prior, Espinoza was fined for breaking the skin of the mare Stellar Wind after a mercilessly flogging to win a high grade race.

        And FERDINAND was shipped to Japan where he suffered a horrific inhumane death in a slaughterhouse and thereafter consumed.

        Having worked in the industry and coming from a racing family, I can assure you that the inexcusable cruelty continues on. And insofar as the “other” beatings are concerned that you yourself raised, they most certainly continue, especially when a horse doesn’t win.

      • Karen…several questions for you…

        -“treated like kings”…just what IS that treatment that you claim “many” TB’s receive?…what are the characteristics of such “royal” treatment?

        -doping or drugging racehorses is NOT illegal, but can you show us documentation that proves otherwise? But here’s a link for you as an example that it is, indeed, legal – it’s Section 61D-6.008 titled “Permitted Medications for Horses”. https://www.flrules.org/gateway/ruleno.asp?id=61D-6.008

        -since you feel it’s OK to strike the horse with a whip, can we assume you would do the same to your dog? And if whipping the horse isn’t “beating” him or abusive to him, why the changes as you mentioned?

        -I’m curious what visiting OF has to do with supporting horse racing…can you explain that?

        -Jerry and Ann Moss love Zenyatta like a child?..how’s that? So did they NOT love Belonging like a child?

        -how was MOW doted on “every day of his life”?

        Karen, you say “the sport is plagued with bad people” and you acknowledge its “dark side” – do you also acknowledge that this “sport” that is PLAGUED and has a DARK SIDE doesn’t even need to exist?…do you realize that it is completely unnecessary? Why should even ONE horse suffer at the hands of these “bad people” so you can be entertained and the gamblers can get their betting fix? I imagine we can also assume you support dog racing?

        I cannot speak for Gina, but I can certainly acknowledge that every racing insider isn’t out to torture, abuse and kill racehorses – no, that’s not their intent…their intent is to MAKE MONEY and WHEN the horses die, they just write it off as “part of the game”. So who should you be questioning about their “compassion”?
        Lastly, I have no doubt Gina’s heart is in the right place…but she removed her blinders some time ago. It is YOU who keeps her blinders firmly in place.

      • I never said that all horse racing people intentionally abuse racehorses – many do.
        The entire point of my comment is that it doesn’t matter if somebody is “good” or has “good” intentions because in the end it’s the racehorse that is being exploited for profit and egos.
        That doesn’t change if it is “good” intentions or not.
        At least the bad people don’t window dress it – they are just plain heartless.
        The good people whom you keep referring to?
        Well, their racehorses are subjected to the same abusive practices as their “bad” counterparts only they try to make themselves appear “good.” Or, they are so wrapped up in a delusion that they are “good” that they somehow justify the ongoing abusive practices.
        Well, they can fool themselves, but they are not fooling me or the public who is so fed-up with this abuse that this industry is on the way out just like greyhound racing. It’s just a matter of time.
        All participants of horse racing expose their racehorses to the ongoing cruelty, abuse, whipping/beating, doping, dumping and/or dying.
        So in the end they are just as bad as everybody else.
        There is no good way to torture an animal, and that’s exactly what happens to these racehorses.
        I grew up in this business, I owned/trained for years, and I’ve seen it all from the B tracks to the most prestigious tracks all racehorses are subjected to the necessary evils of this industry, and many end up dying in the dirt.
        Yes Karen, the racehorses who made hundreds of thousands of dollars for their connections who dumped them into the claiming ranks when no longer profitable show up in cheap claiming races running for a flake of hay – the “royal” treatment fades fast for racehorses who are no longer profitable.
        You people perpetuate this delusion, intentionally or otherwise, that a racehorse coming from opulence is so well taken care of.
        More often than not, I saw those “rich” racehorses get more doped up than others because the owners had the money to pay for the ongoing doping in order to keep them training, running, and (of course) gaining a competitive edge over the “poor” “working class” owners.
        Back in 2000, a million dollar purchase by Padua Stables, trained by Wayne Lucas, had his last start at Fair Grounds where I was at the time, not only a non-performer, but a broken one as well.
        I stood there while Wayne Lucas’s Assistant Trainer begged for somebody to take the horse off of their hands because the owners no longer wanted to be embarrassed by this non-performer and ordered him gone with the caveat that he was never to race again because they didn’t want somebody else taking the horse and maybe having it perform – a slap in the face no doubt.
        Hours before it was to be loaded onto the truck to take it to a kill auction, a pony horse girl stepped up to the plate (one that made about $10 per hour) and took the horse for a pony perspective. One last slap in the face? The owner who paid millions for the horse didn’t give ONE DIME to this working class pony girl to help her with the expenses, and the expenses turned out to be much more than she could bear. Several days after the dope wore off the horse was lame, and it didn’t have a chance at a second career. One day it disappeared like so many others, but had the “good” “rich” folks given money to get it properly cared for, the pony girl was willing to keep it. So due to the financially irresponsibility from the million dollar owner the horse probably ended up at the slaughterhouse.
        This is an all too common scenario that many OTTB aftercare programs have dealt with. The proverbial gorgeous racehorse upon sight turns out to be a broken one after the dope wears off.
        This is precisely why the industry funded OTTB programs have super strict caveats that pretty much exclude the majority or racehorses coming off the track. They had years of experience with obtaining these OTTB’s only to find out that the expenses are well beyond any chance of being reimbursed let alone find a home for them.
        So even the OTTB aftercare programs are part of the delusion. The racehorses they rescue don’t even begin to put a dent into the unwanted OTTB problem that this industry creates.
        The multi billion dollar horse racing industry doesn’t even take care of their profit slaves when they are no longer profitable for the most part. In fact, many of these industry sponsored aftercare programs have become another window dressing facade.
        In fact, many racehorses are rescued by people who had nothing to do with the exploitation to begin with which is another reason why people have turned against this industry until it finally shuts down or is greatly diminished.
        You know what Karen? A drug addict is a drug addict whether they come from a rich family or a poor family. It’s all the same.
        A racehorse coming from a rich owner is a racehorse who is going to be subjected to the same ongoing cruelty, abuse, breakdowns, and dying just like a racehorse from a lower tier barn.
        Money doesn’t miraculously wipe out problems. It can actually exacerbate them because changes have to come from within, and this industry can’t change the cruel practices because they are necessary in order to grease the wagering machine.
        It’s the racehorses that pay with their lives whether rich, poor, ,good or bad it ends up being the same in the end.
        In fact, I worked the B tracks, and you know what they are for the most part?
        The B tracks are where many of the “rich” racehorses go when they are no longer profitable, or non-performers who don’t live up to the expectations of their “rich” owners, or are so over doped, sore, and broken that they end up on the B tracks running for their lives.
        It’s no secret that rich owners want performers at the top level of the game. By the time racehorses are 3 the majority of rich owners with their big name trainers are well aware of whether their racehorses will live up to their expectations.
        If they don’t then the dumping begins in most cases.
        When I owned my million dollar farm in Paris, KY, when I was part of the delusion, when I socialized and visited the other million dollar farms for Derby parties, there were many empty pastures on those farms despite the fact that the owners bought and/or bred hundreds of racehorses over the years.
        I would often ask, in my naivety, where did all your racehorses go?
        Oh, forget to mention, their walls were covered with win photos, and no sight of these horses.
        So again, I would ask, where are these horses now?
        The answers were not forthcoming because many of them didn’t know or really cared to know.
        Oh, but you know what Karen – they LOVED their horses.
        In fact, they loved their horse so much that they dumped them, got rid of them when they became a liability instead of a profit making machine.
        You see what I’m getting at Karen? It’s a delusion.
        In fact, the industry is so aware of the delusion that they provide claiming races for owners who need to dump in a legitimized way.
        If beating/whipping, doping, dumping, and dying is considered royal treatment then you, Karen, are living a delusion whether you are good or not.

      • Gina…your account of the Lucas horse that was such an “embarrassment” to the owner is heartbreaking to me – that POOR CREATURE NEVER ASKED to be purchased and used as a racing slave…then when he couldn’t do what they were demanding of him, he quickly becomes unwanted and is viewed as a burden. And then these people have the audacity to exclaim their horses are “just like their family members”! Filthy lies.

        Karen, Gina expertly dismantled the farce of “royal treatment” and there’s really no need for further explanation – but I just want to bring up another recent example of the LIE of racehorses being treated like kings (and I’m still wondering just what criteria fits that bill)…Z Camelot. A 550K purchase by Zayat, the gelding probably embarrassed Zayat much like the horse that Gina described embarrassed Lucas’ owner – so he sold him in his 13th race for Zayat for a measly 20K. Now he’s fighting for his life – a shell of a horse after being starved by the Borell duo. Zayat threw his “royally-treated family member” to the wolves – left him unprotected to be snatched up and abused by any one of the bad individuals YOU admit “plague” this industry – when he ran him with a “FOR SALE!” sign on his head. And you question our compassion or lack of it…

      • Dear Karen, the excessive whipping doping, illegal vet procedures may be illegal but what good does all the rules on the books do if the laws/ rules are not enforced. We have seen horses whipped directly in the face by drunken jockeys as hard as they could whip! His comment was “I am trying to wake this horse up”. This abusive jockey hit the horse in the face on the backside of the track where the public couldn`t see him. We our selves have galloped horses who were dead lame at a walk but remarkably could gallop on the track still. That horse received a POWERFUL injection to his left knee so as to pass the pre-race inspection of the track so he could race for his addicted to gamboling owner! We galloped this horse because no one else cared for the horse and we always rode him as GENTLE as we could. His name was This Tune Rocks.We will NEVER forget the uncaring abusive veterinarian who injected a poor horse who really needed to be retired and allowed to heal up from racing if possible.That cruel vet STILL practices his evil methods to this day at our local tracks as well as in private practice at his clinic.That same vet we have also seen hit a horse directly in the face with his fist as hard as he could because he wasn`t patient enough to allow the tranquilizer time to work before doing dental work! That poor horse was a VERY timid horse who the owner and us were the only ones who could prepare him for a race by bridling him without problem. These examples that we have seen and that Gina has written of are only to common within the race track world. That is why we left in July 2005 after being involved within the business since 1977. We don`t see much improvement. Every winter our track has horrific on track breakdowns, sometimes 2 or 3 a week because they are racing worn out horses ending up here after racing on the east coast tracks or California.

      • Dear Karen what good are all the rules if they are not enforced.We have seen horses that were whipped directly in the face by drunken jockeys with one of them saying” I am trying to wake this horse up” This whipping occurred on the backside of the track out of view of the viewing public. We have galloped dead lame horses on the track at a walk that remarkably could gallop fairly well. We were one of the few riders who would ride the horse as most didn`t like him as he was a timid horse.We always galloped him as gentle as possible. We saw that same horse injected with a POWERFUL medication that allowed him to pass the pre-race inspection so he could race for his gamboling addicted owner. That poor horse should have been retired and allowed to recover from his racing injuries if possible.That horses name was This Tune Rocks. We have seen other horses treated by the same vet as Rocky socked in their face because that evil vet didn`t have the patience to allow the tranquillzer to work before doing dental work on another timid horse.That same impatient, evil vet is still practicing today at tracks in our state as well as at his own private clinic. We left in July 2005 and haven`t seen any real improvements. Our local track every winter still has horrific breakdowns weekly, sometimes 2 or 3 at a time each week.Many of these poor horses have come from east coast or California tracks already worn out and tired but are no longer good enough for even the “B” circuits.Our track is considered to be at best a class 3 or 4 track.It has among the LOWEST purses in the country as does our states county fair circuits meets.

  3. We, like you Gina have witnessed horses dying in the dirt, or in the case of our racing season,MUD. We will never forget the sight of a good award winning jockey friend of ours almost dying in the dirt with the poor four-year-old mare that had had shock wave therapy used on her EVERYDAY for the prior two weeks including the very day she raced in April 2004.At the time we were galloping horses for the trainer of that mare and realized almost too late that he was a CRUMMY trainer of horses as he was AFRAID of them, as he was unable to read or understand their language.He was also afraid of our horse we had thought of placing in training. Our horse had been well taught to be ridden in our local neighboring farm country roads and was safe /dependable to ride That poor plain brown mare ended up being hauled to Denly`s rendering plant after being put down right on the track at the top of the homestretch.the next day.

    • Shock wave therapy each day for 14 days prior to her race and on race day as well makes me want to vomit! Just goes to show that this industry expressly condones all sorts of torture used on these innocent horses e.g. whipping, drugging, confined in boxes 23 hours a day, forced to train before 2 years old, racing with pre-existing injuries and forced to do high speed exercise pushing them way beyond their limits. No wonder the brown mare that Joan and Fred speak of died in the dirt and Sweet Hot Toddy was so cruelly killed. These two mares are examples only of the huge number of horses that are so callously abused and pay with their lives, they suffer sickening deaths for $2 bets.

      This is horseracing – a true horror.

      • THEY CAN NOT train OFF OF DRUGS , SO THEY HAVE TO TRIPLE & QUADRUPLE UP ON THE HORSES DRUGS TO MAKE IT TO THE STARTING GATE & THATS THE TRUTH these animals are racing with COPIOUS AMOUNTS of “LEGAL” & illegal overages in their veins – THESE ARE VERY SICK PEOPLE in a VERY SICK WORLD . a closed world that hates outsiders and wants to protect their EVIL KILLING GAME ::: its all about the $$$$$$$$ HORSE RACING EXPOSED : DRUGS & DEATH – THESE ARE THE FACTS IN 99% OF THE BARNS ON EVERY TRACK IN AMERICA https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9TJVA2lwW4A

  4. Yes it is Carolyn – a true horror.
    It’s a cruelty circus, and a death camp.
    Halos And Angels – poor sweetheart is on the verge of a breakdown or just another death statistic waiting to happen.
    She’s entered at Thistledown for yet another round of abuse.
    These people are masochistic slave masters who subject their profit slaves to cruelty, and abuse.
    The racetrack is the slavery ring, and Halos And Angels is about to step into the ring again.

    • Am still monitoring Halos And Angels who races one day after the long suffering Jill’s Reflection set to race at Charles Town on July 8. Shamrock Road has been racing infrequently which is indicative of a racehorse enduring health issues – raced 12 times in 18 weeks early in his “career” as a 2 year old trained and owned by Charles Edward Sexton who sold him on when SR was performing poorly. Wonder what Shamrock Road’s new connections are going to do with him – are they aware that SR was raced into the ground before they bought him………..

  5. These despicable pieces of trash don’t care what happened to the horse before they got them nor do they care what happens to them.
    Anybody who participates, and supports the ongoing exploitation of racehorses are abhorrent bottom sucking scum bags.

  6. Hell is waiting for the people involved in horseracing. They are nothing but the lowest scum this earth has to offer.

  7. Thank you Joy, for sharing the link on Florida medications! Makes for interesting reading! They actually permit Ace in a horse on race day! No matter how small the amount, seems crazy to us.Some of the medications listed are very powerful pain relievers too and can be stacked legally apparently. We sure wouldn`t want to be riding horses there!

  8. I’m very clear that this is not a discussion, this forum is not open to opinions, not open to suggestions for change, or how better to advocate for equines. I get it, you hate horse racing and everyone involved with it. Infortunately, your concept of reality concerning horse racing is laced with many untruths. Someone brought up Ferdinand, questioned Man O’ War’s treatment. I’ve studied the history and followed the plight of these thoroughbreds for 5 decades. I can tell you more horror stories than you can tell me. You left out Alydar, and how is leg was pulled until it snapped, the hell he endured afterwards, and how JT Lundy got away with his death for the insurance money. At the time, I was one screaming for justice, and you were? Don’t mention Ferdinand without also mentioning Exceller. Fact is, hundreds have died abroad in slaughter houses, another issue advocates have been working on to impliment changes, and some positive changes have been made. I can’t change your views. That would be like someone telling me Hillary Clinton is a good person who would make a good leader. Let me end on this note. Every horse who graced the track with their courage and competitive spirit deserves a place in our hearts and memory. Their stories need to be told, they shouldn’t be forgotton. Horses like Phar Lap, Exterminator, Man O’ War, Sea Biscuit, Stymie, Assault, Black Gold, Gallorette, Citation, War Admiral, Twilight Tear, Busher, Secretariat, Reigh Count, Ruffian, Dark Mirage, Twenty Grand, Equipoise, Dr. Fager, Omaha, Kelso, Battleship, and so many more, are immortal. Your hatred for the sport will not change who they were, and what they did. You see them as poor abused pathetic slaves. I see them as equine athletes, kings and queens. They were that, and more. I honor their memory, you wish to erase it.

    • Karen…you’re so far off base you can’t even see the playing field. So you want to remember all the greats you listed?…so do I. But where you stop at those well-known and revered horses, I also want to remember and HONOR and hold in my heart ALL of those who died for your entertainment – Brave Miner, Slade, Winds of Love, Storming, Dream Deliverer, Ain’t No Yank, Barbara’s Jewel, Celtic Trick, Buckflanker, Magic Conqueror, Say Yes Dear, Whitmark, Claims My Name, Sunder Bay and on and on and on.

      But where you are dead wrong is how I view the horses…pathetic, you say?!? Are you kidding?!? There is nothing more magnificent to me than a horse – Thoroughbred, TWH, Morgan, QH, Mustang or grade – of those who race, they’re all priceless…stakes winner or claimer. It’s not I who refers to those that run in 5K claiming races as “CHEAP” horses! – no, it’s the individuals of this industry who view them as CHEAP. I see elite owners stating “he’s too nice of a horse to take a chance and not retire him to stud now” and “she’s been so good to us it’s time to give her a break”. Their others?…those that don’t bring the big checks? – drop them in for a cheaper and cheaper tag until they’re rid of them. Kings and queens?!? – you are deluding yourself.

      The industry exploits the horses’ amazing means of survival, forcing them to use that natural gift for their own profit and entertainment – there is no king nor queen who endures such exploitation by someone who rules over them. So yes, most certainly the racehorse is a slave – a slave who should be king, a slave who should have his own kingdom and be free to rule over it and choose his own path.

      Finally, you make claims that have no fact base – they’re just your opinions. I find it very telling that you’ve not answered one question that I asked regarding your claims. And yes, those of us who support this cause detest the racing industry, just as we detest other animal-for-entertainment and profit industries. You question our compassion for other abused equines…I question yours for all animals – a supporter of horse racing must logically support dog racing, marine animal parks, circuses, zoos and the like. I imagine you believe the animals of those industries are kings and queens, as well?

      Working to end the abuse of a living, sentient creature does not equate to wanting to forget those that suffered and died from it! – to make that connection is outlandish, at best! How much more compassionate and humane to prevent any more suffering and death. The memories of the racing-dead are ever present to push us to that end…they are NEVER forgotten.

    • It’s not horse racing.
      It’s a cruelty circus, and death camp.
      Nor is it a sport.
      No sport have their athletes die on a daily basis while being whipped to perform.
      How can anybody love to watch a horse cruelly confined, beaten/whipped when tired or possibly sore, doped to keep going and running, dumped into a claiming race or at a kill auction, or killed in action?
      I don’t know about you Karen, but I’ve never seen a King or Queen treated this way.
      It seems to me that your delusion has taken over your rational thought which is very common for people in this industry.
      Then you made reference to Jerry and Ann Moss who are nothing more than slave masters just like everybody else who exploits a racehorse for profit.
      Even when Zenyatta made millions she has now been turned into a breeding machine which is a whole other abusive aspect of this industry.
      Instead of them giving her a retirement meaning a grassy paddock where she will no longer be exploited for profit, they are now financially exploiting her reproductive system.
      It’s not unlike Seaworld. They not only confine and financially exploit orcas like Tilikum, but they now exploit his sperm.
      About 5 years ago, prior to ex-trainers exposing Seaworld for what it is, people said that Seaworld would never be effected by ex-trainers speaking out – boy were they ever wrong!
      Seaworld is tanking, and laws are being implemented to ensure that the exploitation of orcas will end in the United States.
      Now greyhound racing has ended in 8 states, and will not return. Years ago, everybody in the industry said that the grassroots movement started by Grey2USA would never end dog racing in any state. Pro-dog racing people laughed, and gawked at those who opposed it.
      Look at where they are at now. It’s well on the way to being shut down completely.
      Horse racing will follow. Trust me on that one. It will first be greatly reduced by racetracks shutting down one by one.
      Only the most prestigious boutique tracks will remain, and eventually they will shut down or be mandated to shut down. It’s just a matter of time.
      One thing is for sure, when their never ending money trough provided by taxpayers and/or casinos are shut off – they will definitely close down.

    • The horses you named will always be remembered. Their stories are cemented in history. My greatest memory of Secretariat is not of that legendary run on the track, but when he was on video running free in his paddock. The beauty and grace took my breath away, and that had nothing to do with racing. Now the horses you mentioned, their stories have been told, their memories are sure to live on. So, that is where Patrick’s work (horseracingwrongs) comes into play. The horses on his list, are already forgotten by the racing world. Most have been brushed under the rug, to hide the horrifying end that became them. It is always bittersweet for me to recognize a name on the KIA list. But I am grateful to Patrick for having them on his lists. Because of him (not the racing industry) they will be immortalized here. And I know and realize, that you still support the racing industry. I know this, because of the way you talk. There was a time in my life, that I spoke the same way. Excuse after excuse I made for those in racing, for the trainers I worked for. (Racehorses are treated like Queens and Kings!) that was my favorite line, when showing solidarity with the racing industry. Slowly, living a life in the industry, and weary of all I witnessed and also survived, I left. Those ‘blinders’ that you mentioned to Gina, the best thing I did was to take them off. I see the abuse, the greed, the disregard for the horses (If you want to argue that point, look at Patricks list. LOOK AT IT), and an industry with zero accountability and the determination to hide the horses that are injured and die. I am not sure if you are a racing insider, and if you are, sit back, when you have a time, and really contemplate things you have witnessed. So many of us, have come together on this blog, to speak out the truth. We support Patrick, and we fight for the horses, and against all the racing industry wants cover up, and not be held accountable for.

      • An amazing comment, 20yr+industry insider, so appreciate what you say. Here’s hoping that Karen has a rethink or at least reads your piece, which to my mind is so very beneficial. And yes, Patrick’s lists – absolutely no-one can argue those facts!

      • Thanks 20+ Insider for your outstanding input on this blog.
        I really enjoy reading all of your comments because I feel the same.
        Like you, I defended the industry, and the delusion.
        The usual stuff: “they are treated like kings and queens,” “they love to run,” etc. etc.
        Indeed I had my blinkers on just like so many others that convince themselves about all the “good” in horse racing – I’ve heard them all, and I lived them all.
        You are so right on when you often refer to the unaccountably, and lack of oversight.
        This industry has been virtually insulated from any scrutinization because they do a very good job at public relations, and they use the racehorses to facilitate the delusion that all is well.
        They convince casinos and/or taxpayers/government to hand over millions to support their cruelty circus, and death camp while collecting billions in wagering revenue.
        Many pro-horse racing people laugh at my comments saying there’s no way that horse racing will shut down.
        I beg to differ.
        We are making a difference, and bit by bit (pardon the pun), it will be felt by the industry.
        Once funding is reduced or stopped, due to us exposing this industry for what it is, then racetracks will begin to shut their doors.
        I know there will a day when horse racing will be out of fashion, and people will see it for what it truly is: a cruelty circus, and death camp.

      • And Thank you to both of you. And to Joy and Patrick. And to all of you on this blog. I never dreamed this was possible, that someone would step up. Thank you Patrick…for leading this battle.

  9. Yes Joy thanks always for backing up our passionate comments with brutal facts, and links to those facts.
    We all know that the ongoing doping of racehorses is permitted in horse racing so to say that it’s not is absolutely false.
    I want everybody reading this comment to know something. When they conduct post-race drug testing they must specify what drugs to look for. If they don’t specify a drug that has been used in the racehorse then the racehorse is not tested for that specific drug. This includes both legal and illegal drugs.
    So it’s very possible that a racehorse can be full of drugs that they are not testing for, and the HBPA demands to know the dope that they are testing for PRIOR to the race in many cases, and the racing commissions oblige.
    Moreover, the HBPA demands that the commissions inform them of any new drugs that are going to be tested for, and to forewarn the Trainers prior to the race. This is common operating procedures, and the implications are far reaching especially when the HBPA owns, trains, and monopolizes stall allocations at most racetracks throughout North America.
    They also control the Interstate Horse Racing Act which manages most wagering throughout North America.
    How does this all translate to racehorses dying?
    It’s a fact that the ongoing doping of racehorses to address chronic issues, that usually start on their under developed muscoskeletal system at 1.5 years old, often results in catastrophic breakdowns.
    As long as there is an organization like the HBPA conducting business like they currently are permitted to, there will be racehorses dying.
    It gets worse though.
    Apart from the detectable drugs in racehorses there are such methods as shock wave therapy that is virtually impossible to detect, and is a very dangerous method of covering up chronic issues that can lead to catastrophic breakdowns because it virtually freezes the pain.
    Assistant Trainer to Steve Asmussen on the PETA video specifically stated that shock wave therapy can be done “by any idiot.”
    I’ve seen it done repeatedly on racehorses in many Trainers barns. They taught their grooming staff how to do it.
    The practice of shock wave therapy is permissible, and although some states have tried to regulate it – it’s virtually impossible to regulate because it’s undetectable.
    Both the doping, the doping procedures with advanced warning (compliments of the HBPA), and shock wave therapy is a deadly combination that probably results in racehorses dying.
    Like Joan and Fred stated in their comment, even when these doping and shocking Trainers get caught very little is done about it. It takes years for something to be done about it, and even when it is, very little comes out of it.
    Even when they are eventually suspended, these big name Trainers just put their horses in the Assistant Trainer’s name, and carry on business as usual.
    What kind of industry does this? It’s absolutely absurd, and a recipe for disaster.
    It’s the racehorses that pay with their lives for this despicable industry.
    Even if you are the “good” folks of horse racing that don’t partake in these deadly combinations of Russian Roulette, then you are a dumb ass to stay in this business and subject your horses to these possible scenarios.
    You can’t be good, subject your horse to such brutal practices, and thing that it’s okay.
    It’s not okay, and you are just as bad as those who actually do it.
    Finally, all racehorses are subject to the ongoing practices of this cruelty circus, and death camp whether they come from opulence or not.
    Thanks Joy for providing the details on racehorses that have come from the super rich horse “lovers’ – the Zayat family.
    The Zayat family is no different than the Padua family who often stated they “loved” their racehorses, but dumped most of them after they were no longer profitable or couldn’t live up to their expectations.
    I’ve seen, far too many times, rich families that got into this business, buying up racehorses at Keeneland complete with fancy farms, and eventually all their racehorses were dumped too.
    So it doesn’t matter if the racehorse comes from opulence or from a lower tier stable they are all subjected to the ongoing abuse, cruelty, doping, dumping and/or dying at some point in their life.
    It’s the racehorse industry that is directly responsible for these racehorses because they breed them to run, and they breed them knowing that all of these aspects will catch up to them sooner or later.
    This is the dirty world of horse racing.

  10. How many of you train your dogs with choke,prong, or shock collars? If you do, you’re no better than horse abusers on the track. There is a movement toward fear free, force free training, and many horse people have joined it. I hope some day it extends to the racing industry. Imagine – what if we didn’t allow whips at all?

  11. Joy and Gina – re your points on dog racing.

    In Australia, the NSW Government announced 2 days ago that greyhound racing in NSW will be banned, effective July 2017. Of course the dog owners/trainers, breeders, associations, etc. are kicking up a stink, threatening legal action, consulted international lawyers and screaming out about their “livelihoods” – they have no shame. Animals Australia did the investigation and in early 2015 the ABC tv put the program together on its highly regarded Four Corners program – it shocked the nation. The exposure of the animal cruelty in this sick industry showed live baiting (using rabbits, kittens, small piglets and the native wild animal, the possum with one mother possum with her baby clinging to her) dogs living in cages with concrete flooring, locked into cages with walking machines for so called exercise and dogs sold to Macau where they have the most terrible existence – and then being killed when no longer useful in an abhorrent inhumane way being injected with a cheap poison not to be used on any living creature, the footage showed dogs in agony with this slow death and the dogs trying to comfort one another, when one died its mate tried to lick it back to life. In the meantime, the humans were just going from one dog to another with their injections and just watched the horrifying slow deaths and if my memory serves me correctly this took place in Vietnam and they were Australian greyhounds. It still haunts me. This exposure forced the Govt. to conduct a full inquiry which took 12 months (the report is 800 pages). Here are a couple of the key findings:

    • Of the 97,783 greyhounds bred in the last 12 years, between 48,891 and 68,448 dogs were killed because they were deemed uncompetitive as racing dogs – this equates to a “wastage” rate of 50 to 70 per cent.

    • Even by reducing the number of races to the minimum required for the industry to remain viable (593), at that wastage rate there would still be 2,000 to 4,000 dogs killed prior to reaching racing age each year.

    Here are some quotes from the Commission’s report:

    • 1.40. “Important sections of this industry have little, if any, interest in the socialisation of greyhounds. Another answer is the culture of the industry. This is an industry whose members have not only condoned but have participated in the mass slaughter of tens of thousands of healthy greyhounds simply because they no longer are, or never were, able to compete against other dogs.”

    • 1.42. “It is an industry where, as Chapter 17 details, many trainers appear to prefer cheap and sometimes painful methods of treating greyhound injuries instead of using the services of qualified veterinary surgeons.”

    • 1.55. “Even more disturbing than this evidence of participants condoning or turning a “blind eye” to the practice, was evidence that several high-ranking officials of GRNSW believed that live baiting was occurring in the industry. In September 2009 and March 2010, senior officials even prepared documents for meetings of the GRNSW Board which plainly indicated that the practice continued, yet senior management took no adequate steps to investigate and stop the practice.”

    • Greyhound racing is only commercially run in eight counties. The largest of those is the United States where it has been in decline over a number of years with Arizona becoming the 40th state to ban the sport in June this year.

    Greyhound people are vociferating in the media “why doesn’t the government look at what is going on in the horse racing industry”. In Australia, a 15 year study found that 45% of the foals born purely for horse racing never got to the racetrack.

    Dr Peter Chen of Sydney University who spoke on ABC radio news bulletin this morning (and this is not verbatim) said words along the lines that dog racing was regarded as a poor man’s “sport” whereas horse racing was regarded as prestigious and although the Govt. has been aware of the animal cruelty in horse racing for quite some time, it has done nothing.



    • Carolyn, thanks so much for this amazing information. I did watch the video – it was horrific.
      Time, and time again people are exposing business models based on the exploitation of animals.
      Whether it’s a dog or horse the fallout is all the same.
      These facts that resulted from the study are most likely carbon copies of the horse racing industry in terms of wastage.
      There was a study conducted by an individual in the U.S. that looked at the wastage in horse racing, and he concluded that the racing industry takes care of their horses for, on average, 3 years, and then the majority are dumped. I will find a link for this person if somebody requests it. He emailed me recently so I should be able to access that information.
      We also know that they hide under the guise of wealth, but this makes it no more acceptable.
      Whether a racehorse comes from a multimillion dollar farm or a smaller farm they are all subjected to one or more of the necessary operating procedures which are: beating/whipping, doping, dumping, breakdowns, and dying.
      As both Joy and I mentioned both the Zayat’s and Padua families have dumped racehorses, and they are very wealthy with multimillion dollar farms. So there you go. There are just 2 of many.
      We need to write our local governments and let them know that we no longer want to support this carnage.
      Sadly, in Ontario, the horse racing industry convinces our government that they provide jobs. However, the jobs come at a very high cost and many other companies operating in Ontario provides more jobs, and doesn’t have the associated high costs of horse racing from a financial perspective.
      Of course the moral aspect of exploiting, then dumping a living breathing being is unacceptable, and has no place in the 21st century.

    • Carolyn, thank you for the information on dog racing. I was horrified reading it, though…the live baiting, the manner in which they kill the dogs, and the dogs trying to comfort and assist the dying others…oh but the human is a sick animal.

      It all must end – using animals in for-profit-entertainment industries have no business existing today!

    • Thank you for this video. I’ll make sure it delivered to the hands that care, and have the power to make a difference.

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