“Laid Down and Died” at Yonkers; “Found Dead” at Belmont

Unlike the Thoroughbred version, harness racing operates under no sport illusion – Bob Costas doesn’t do Batavia; Standardbreds don’t make the cover of SI (or win their own postage stamps). Accordingly, there is scant information to be found on harness outcomes. What’s more, the official USTA charts offer only the relevant numbers – purses, odds, payouts. No notes to mine for clues (think “broke down,” “vanned off”), just an order of finish, or as the case may be, “did not finish.” This, “DNF,” in fact, is all the harness people saw fit to share about 4-year-old Apostles Creed’s run in the 11th at Yonkers Tuesday. Fortunately, though, we have the (only-of-its-kind) NYS database, and here is what it had to say about Apostles Creed: “…started race – broke stride – pulled up – laid down and died.” “DNF”? Yes – because he “laid down and died.”

Also, the Commission reports, a yet-to-be-named 2-year-old was “found dead in [his/her] stall” at Belmont yesterday. A 2-year-old horse, a pubescent by any measure, “found dead.” But fret not, for surely the “investigation” will get to the bottom of it.

This is horseracing.



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  1. This is not just horse raceing!! This is killing horses with stillroids , any drug they want too make them run faster!! This needs to be stop, NOW! These horses needs to be checked just like humans! Stopped this Now!

    • Not sure what a “stillroid” is, but racehorses are drug tested-before and after races, and at many tracks are subject to out of competition testing-that means they can be tested without warning on non race days. in fact, human athletes are allowed to take more painkillers than horses.

      • The drug testing process is seriously flawed in horse racing.
        There are multiple steps required for drug testing from drawing the blood, to collecting it, to having it sit dormant for periods of time, to multiple people handling the specimens.
        The majority of the collections process is handled by racetrack personnel/security who are under the direction of racetrack management long before it reaches the labs.
        The process is like a piece of Swiss cheese – full of holes.
        Since the industry manages itself with no NEUTRAL entity, and because there are many cases of hidden ownership; again, self-management doesn’t investigate itself especially when financial interests are involved.
        In human sports the drug testing process is usually controlled by a completely independent drug entity USADA.
        There are people who own racetracks, who have financial interests in both racehorses, and financial interests in wagering companies who direct security personnel during the handling of the drug specimens long before it reaches any lab.
        Just as it doesn’t take a dumb person to figure out “stillroid” means steroids, it sure takes a delusional person to think that the drug testing process in horse racing is not flawed at best, and possibly tampered with.
        When you also factor in the strong influence of wagering companies directly into Trainer’s stalls at the tracks, complete secrecy when it comes to vet records, the handling of paperwork via biased racing commissions who have been proven to own racehorses in many cases, the entire process is flawed at best.
        It certainly isn’t neutral, and provides countless opportunities for cheating especially when Lasix is allowed on race day.
        For starters, there should be no needle allowed into the jugular vein of a racehorse 4 hours prior to competition – period.
        There is no human sport that allows an athlete to summons a Doctor into their dressing room to receive a “shot” 4 hours prior to competition that the wagering public bets on.
        When you eliminate the human factor your left with a sentiment being: a racehorse who under the current system can be doped up, and run on something that no outside agency can investigate under the current system.
        So until the horse racing industry becomes transparent with the very process that is the foundation of integrity, and to protect the racehorse from illicit doping it’s not what it appears to be.
        Moreover, such things as electrical devices in saddles/whips or shock wave therapy are mechanical methods that are not detectable with drug testing.
        Yet, a simple scanner that is relatively cheap to buy, given their outrageous profits, are not at jockey weigh in stations to ensure integrity.
        This business abuses, and uses the racehorse as a gambling pawn, and they pay the ultimate price: they die in the dirt.
        There is no justification for this whatsoever because people can gamble on inanimate objects such as slot machines, or cards where a living being doesn’t have to DIE for a bet.
        The carnage from birth to death is horrendous, unnecessary, and unacceptable in the 21st century.

      • Ms. Eppard, I’m not sure which tracks test before races, but I walked the backside of a low level track for years and never saw, nor heard of, horses being tested pre-race. The winning horse was tested but then other horses were randomly tested such as the third and sixth place finishers unless there was a cause for concern such as a horse, who had run poorly in the past, suddenly lost by a nose. Many drugs don’t show up in the testing and I have been told by a racing official, ad nauseum, that the industry doesn’t have the money to accurately test for the “designer” drugs.

        I personally don’t give a damn what drugs human athletes take. Humans have the ability to make decisions as to what goes into their bodies. Animals don’t. The founder of New Vocations told me that their horses (Standardbreds) were injected “all the time to keep them going.” She then informed me that they had never had a horse with a chip. Of course, in an attempt to deflect away from what she had just stated, she then said that human athletes take steroids all the time so, in her mind, it was okay for her to inject her racehorses. I do believe that this person is one of the better people in racing because she does step up to try to help some of the horses that are exploited for human entertainment but she did incriminate the industry that she loves so much.

        There is a racing owner/trainer, Glenn Thompson, who wrote a book called “The Tradition of Cheating in the Sport of Kings.” I read the book on my iPad. Of course, nothing Mr. Thompson said was surprising and I give him a great deal of credit for speaking out against the industry in which he participates. However, why would someone stay in an industry where cheating is rampant and why do people continue to support that same industry? The answer is elusive.

  2. The supporters of horseracingwrongs are well aware of the “investigation” outcomes – NOTHING!
    After a horse dies, then the attention is quickly focused on filling races to increase wagering profits.
    Just another life lost – no problem – plenty more to come with no transparency to the public or the government who financially supports this cruelty circus, death camp, and corruption pit.
    Further, the connections of the racehorses who die in the dirt or their stall are not held accountable in any capacity whatsoever.
    In many cases, the same Trainers have multiple racehorses DIE under their care with no repercussions.
    Folks, this is legalized, and systematized animal cruelty at the highest levels of the game.
    If this were to take place in any other setting in America a full investigation would follow including access to any vet records, and charges would be laid once the evidence was collected.
    In the case of horse racing, they deliberately block any evidence from being collected by denying vet records (keeping them secret), and by racing commissions who are nothing more than window dressers to ensure that these incidents don’t reach a civil court.
    Like I’ve always maintained while commenting on this blog, there are only 2 types of people in horse racing:
    1. Abusers
    2. Enablers of the abuse
    They even deny the names of racehorses who DIE on their tracks.
    This is enabling the abuse – period.
    This actually protects the connections of the racehorses from ever being prosecuted.
    It’s a very well contrived denial to ensure lack of transparency.

  3. Time to start a “Petition” on behalf of this beautiful animals that have been abused for so long. I will be the first one to sign.

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