A Closer Look at 4 Florida Dead

While no racehorse death should ever surprise, some could have been more easily predicted than others. Four from Florida…

The entire “career” of 2-year-old Gate Crasher:

10/29/15, Belmont – last of 7 (54+ lengths back)
11/15, Aqueduct – 5th of 7
12/16, Tampa Bay – 8th of 12
1/13/16, Tampa Bay – last of 10 (52+ lengths back)
2/14, Tampa Bay – 11th of 12

Three days later – dead at Tampa Bay. Trainer, LeRoy Jolley; owner, Hot Scot Racing.

The entire “career” of 3-year-old Stardust Abbe:

8/30/15, Mountaineer – 8th of 9
9/9, Mountaineer – 8th of 9
10/3, Mountaineer – last of 7
2/21/16, Tampa Bay – 5th of 7

Two weeks later – dead at Tampa Bay. Trainer/owner at Mountaineer, Danny Bird; trainer at TB, Lori Smock; owner at TB (and breeder), Edward Schuster.

The last four races of 5-year-old Sweet Rocket Man:

3/1/15, Gulfstream – last of 8 (28+ lengths back)
1/10/16, Gulfstream – last of 10 (32+ lengths back, “did not reach contention”)
1/28, Gulfstream – last of 8 (22+ lengths back, “raced in back throughout”)
2/7, Gulfstream – last of 9 (31+ lengths back, “did not reach contention”)

Three weeks later – dead at Gulfstream. Trainer, Daniel Pita; owner, Carlos Oyola.

The entire “career” of 2-year-old Ac Comando:

12/27/15, Hialeah – last of 9
1/9/16, Hialeah – “weakened late, vanned off” – died or euthanized within the hour. Trainer, Rolando Almanza; owner/breeder Armando Cortez.

This is horseracing.



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  1. Can someone give me a credible reason for running these horses into the ground? The owners and trainers must be losing money between board, training and vet bills. Not to forget the cruelty of it all…

  2. RIP Stardust Abbe who was previously owned by the infamous Danny Bird…yes, the same Danny Bird that sold Deputy Broad to Fred Bauer who, of course, sold DB for meat in July, 2011. Now, I hope an apologist doesn’t start babbling how we should be “patient” with racing as horses die in the dirt and are sold into the slaughter pipeline. I am DONE being patient just so some freak can make a few bucks and be entertained.

  3. We know this business does not give a damn about the horse. What is important is the gambling and the money. Horse abuse is rampant throughout the industry. The lack of any rules to provide the bare minimum of protection for these hapless animals is appalling.

    To illustrate what these horses endure before they die in the dirt or in the slaughterhouse one need only look at the “career” of Jill’s Reflection. This 5 yr.old mare will have her 14th start for this year and it will be her 70th since she started in May 2013. She is a “claimer” and is now at Parx. Her 14th start will be in the first race on the 18th. She last started on the 15th at the same track. So she will be raced and whipped within 3 days and nobody bats an eye.

    Further, nobody cares that this mare has had no time off in the 3yrs. of her punishing schedule. She is tough, but in this sorry business even the tough don’t stand a chance. The disregard and cruelty are there for all to see. And yet, some say these horses are treated better than most people. They are delusional, at best.

    • There are many “Jill’s Reflection” in this despicable industry just different names.
      Take for example Ben’s Cat. This 10 year old gelding has made over 2 million dollars, and is STILL running.
      The usual accolades, horse “loves” to run, one of the “family,” – same old.
      They can get away with the delusion, but I can bet that Ben’s Cat would rather be in a grassy paddock enjoying his retirement with the 2.6 million he’s made.
      He’s probably on drug cocktails to keep him “loving” what he does.
      Of course we can’t confirm this since vet records are kept secret so that the abuse can continue and/or the enablers of the abuse can smear the reality of his existence which is probably intense confinement, needles in and out of joints, veins, muscles, lack of socialization with other horses, and ongoing physical issues.
      So I invite any owner and/or trainer who comes on this blog to support this cruelty circus, and death camp – RELEASE YOUR VET RECORDS WITH HORSES NAMES ON IT.
      If you have NOTHING to hide as you claim, and if your horse so “loves” to run then let’s see.
      Stop hiding behind your vet records – release them.
      Until then, go perpetrate your delusion on the ignorant masses.

  4. Well I can’t do much but I’ll be damned if I do nothing. 215 639 9000 this is the racing office number for parx racing ext 3310 is the extension for racing secretary sam Elliott I don’t see how they could let this horse race if we all call

    • Thank you, Billy…you, your compassion for the horses and your efforts are greatly appreciated. As far as Sam Elliot, he’s got one priority – and it’s NOT his track’s horses’ welfare. He made that very apparent when I called him about Armani the Won.

      • Joy, I also spoke to Mr. Elliot concerning Armani the Won. As I said before, he was dismissive and about to hang up when he asked me if I was a reporter ! Obviously he has some concern re. bad publicity but no concern for the horse.

    • Thank you Billy for keeping us updated.
      I suppose some phone calls may have stopped this abuse?
      She’s one accident waiting to happen.

    • Billy, I appreciate your follow up. She was scratched once before but by the steward. I notice she now has a different trainer but same owner.
      Also, the winner of race 1 on the 18th, Heat Seeking, a 4 yr. old filly was claimed but the claim was voided by the vet. She won by 6.5 lengths. I wonder what the vet. found wrong with a 4yr. old winner that prompted him to void the claim ? Could it be a setup or is there something really wrong with the filly ? If it were the latter there must have been drugs or injected joints involved. We will never know the truth. But we do know racing is a corrupt money driven business that does not care about the horse.

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