Recepta Becomes 18th Horse Killed at Saratoga

On August 5, three horses were injured while training at Saratoga; one, 3-year-old Wheels Up Now, was subsequently euthanized at a clinic. Most of the press attention, however, was focused on 5-year-old Recepta. Said the Daily Racing Form at the time, “Recepta…was simply galloping when [the] exercise rider heard something crack” – a fractured pelvis, as it turns out. Career-ending, said her trainer, but not, as it would have been in the overwhelming majority of cases, fatal. Why? Recepta was a $700,000-earning, Graded Stakes-winning horse (in fact she had just finished 2nd in a Grade 1 two weeks earlier). In other words, there was a whole lot more money to be made on this animal, if not on a track, then most definitely in a breeding shed.

Flash forward 3 1/2 months: Recepta, the DRF says, is dead – euthanized last week due to laminitis (which of course can be traced directly back to the original injury). Imagine this poor creature’s extended suffering. After what must have been an excruciating break, she was then confined to a stall. But not just confinement, mind you. Here is what trainer Jimmy Toner said awaited Recepta back in August (DRF): “The main thing is the next 30 to 45 days are crucial. Just stall rest. They have to be standing; you can’t allow them to get up and down. If they do, they can refracture that and cause another problem.” 3 1/2 months later, infection, death. Simply horrible.

By the way, Recepta makes it 18 killed this summer at “the oldest sporting venue in the country.” 21st Century America or 1st Century Rome?

Hadeed Fi Hadeed, May 30, training
Squire Creek, July 16, training
Zamjara, July 23, race 1
Rootformejustin, July 23, race 5
Indian Nobility, July 27, race 3
Domestic Warrior, August 1, race 4
Lebowski, August 2, “found dead outside stall”
Jonrah, August 3, training
Midnight Visitor, August 4, prior to race 4
Wheels Up Now, August 5, training
Recepta, August 5, training (euthanized November)
Prince Corredor, August 20, training
Elusive Neko, August 24, training
Bob Le Beau, August 25, race 1
Ring of Truth, August 25, race 10
Desert Trial, August 28, training
Its Only Fair, September 9, training
Core Competency, September 19, training

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  1. I recall that statement…and the overwhelming sadness I felt for the injured mare and anger towards her “people” at forcing that extreme confinement – THEN IN ADDITION, not allowing her to lay down! Did you at last let her lay down when she was suffering with the agonizing pain of laminitis?!?! I’m sorry but those BASTARDS! How, how, HOW do YOU – racing apologists – defend the suffering Recepta endured?

    Oh I’m so sorry, Recepta…my heart breaks for you, existing with that agonizing pain. Truly, those who put you through that torture are monsters.

  2. Yes, Patrick, we sure are living in the 21st century but insofar as the horseracing industry is concerned it is definitely 1st Century Rome!

    It’s not Christians being thrown to the lions for entertainment but it’s innocent magnificent equines being thrown out there on the racetrack to die for the $2 bets, entertainment, greed and big egoes.

  3. RECEPTA’s sickening INHUMANE treatment enrages me no end. They’re BASTARDS alright, Joy!
    They’re also creepy sadistic curs to put her through that deadly confinement which would’ve resulted in her laminitis, infection, as well as the emotional and physical torture for 3 ½ months. At least 14 bloody weeks of indescribable hell for this mare. And not being allowed to lay down! And then they KILL her. Animal cruelty screams from the top of the mountains on this one and why haven’t those responsible been dragged before the courts and hung out to dry for their inexcusable crime against this mare? RECEPTA has rights but the racing industry seems to arrogantly disassociate itself from the rights of animals. Rest assured, it is kidding itself if it thinks it can continue to get away with it. Self regulation at its worst and the politicians in governments can no longer turn a blind eye to the atrocities committed against the horses in the horseracing industry.

    This mare suffered a fractured pelvis, the rider said he heard the crack so it wasn’t a hairline stress fracture but a severe fracture. I’ve seen a successful well bred mare jump out of the gates and fracture her pelvis (immediately humanely euthanased on the track) purely from the stress of the jump out which puts huge unjustified stress on the horse and not just the pelvis and hinds, it puts stress on their whole body as well and some jockeys dig the spurs in to make them fast out of the gates. It’s just so bloody wrong.

    It appears RECEPTA’s connections intended to make more money out of her in the breeding barn DESPITE THE FACT that she had seriously fractured her pelvis. One only needs to have half a brain to know that a healthy pelvis is required for a mare to carry a foal and then give birth.

    The outrageous cruelty inflicted upon REFLECTA is horrendous enough but worse still is that she is just one example only of many other mares in the horseracing industry that suffer similar.

  4. Not only is the pain, and suffering of REFLECTA heart breaking, but so is the lack of legal accountability for these sadistic animal abusers.
    This business is legitimized animal cruelty conducted under the guise of mint juleps, fancy hats, and party atmosphere.
    The actual human participants/supporters, are either abusers, enablers of the abuse, or both.
    They actually conduct themselves under a delusion that they “love” their horses – classic abuse syndrome.
    REFLECTA is now in a torture chamber being kept alive for abusive practices.
    This is deplorable, but so is anybody who is involved with this business.
    There is no other thing to call this, but blatant animal cruelty, and abuse.
    This business is nothing more than a cruelty circus, death camp, and corruption pit.
    Unfortunately, the racehorses are the victims of it every step of the way.
    This is a pathetic excuse for gambling.
    It’s got to go one racetrack at a time.

  5. When Jo Anne Normile shared Recepta’s story on her book’s FB page, a Tiffany Webb angrily commented that “we” didn’t know what “we” were talking about. A quick check revealed Ms. Webb works for Jimmy Toner, Recepta’s trainer…ah yes, another industry employee, disgruntled when the ugly, abusive ways of the racing industry are uncovered, once again, for all to see. Ironically, the racing publications did the exposing. Even the Saratogian, via quotes from Toner, presented some additional insight; “‘The wind was taken out of our sails there for a while,’ said Toner on Monday, reflecting on Recepta’s injury. “‘For Time and Motion [another Toner horse] to come back and win….it got everybody all pumped up and excited.’” All pumped up and excited. Never mind the suffering Recepta…

    • This is just another ugly element of this business.
      It’s onto the next one.
      Use, and abuse the next racehorse by subjecting it to this cruelty ring, death camp, and corruption pit.
      Top level Trainers have the same mentality, but so do the owners.
      As their horses are maimed and/or DIE laying in the dirt it’s time for the next one.
      Before the next one they have to lend lip service to the one who just died.
      The usual lines: “he will be missed,” “we loved him.”
      Now let’s go back and do it all over again.
      “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Albert Einstein.

    • Webb makes her living in an industry that maims, and kills, horses DAILY. Of course, she is going to get angry when “we” speak out against it. She wants those dirty secrets to be kept behind closed doors!

  6. I didn’t know where to comment about a little 3-year-old TB colt who suffered horribly and is now dead. But he, like Recepta, died months after his last race. His name was Here Comes Johnny…chestnut, foaled March 4, 2013.

    1st race, April 28, 2016; last of 10, owner – Pegasus Stable
    2nd race, June 15, 8th of 9, 24 lengths back, owner – Corey LeBranch
    3rd race, June 24, DNF, “dueled, stopped, distanced”, owner – LeBranch
    4th race, July 22, 6th of 7, 29 lengths back, owner – LeBranch
    5th and last race, September 5, 11th of 12, 23 lengths back, owner – Shelton Zenon

    It’s pretty damn obvious that Here Comes Johnny didn’t want to race – but that didn’t stop his racing connections. He endured change of ownership at least 5 times in his short, pathetic life…and he certainly wasn’t “re-homed’ with care by his last racing owner. He was found starving – literally, to death – a frail skeleton of a horse, foundered in both fronts, with painful-appearing oral ulcers that added to his profound suffering. I have photos of this little colt on my FB page – take a look at what racing industry members did to this sweet creature. His entire life, a short 3-year existence, was nothing but isolation and agony. Defend that, apologists.

    Here Comes Johnny, another racing statistic.

    • Joy, thanks for providing this information that I did look into.
      It’s so sad that Here Comes Johnny was yet another abused victim of this cruelty circus, death camp, and corruption pit.
      On another post Joan and Fred Booth provided the link for:
      This site alone tells a tale of ongoing cruelty, and abuse of racehorses by top Trainers who repeatedly break the rules, break the law, and are never suspended for life.
      The ongoing use of potent drugs often equates to multiple racehorses dying in their care.
      However, these Trainers who smile for the cameras and say how much they “love” their racehorses, are the same Trainers doing just about anything to win.
      That usually translates to racehorses being turned into a pin cushion to mask chronic issues, increase performance, and/or gain a competitive edge which often leads to catastrophic breakdowns.
      Another pattern on this site reveals the laughable penalties for these Trainers.
      In many cases, the fines were 5% or less of the money they earned cheating.
      If the Trainer agreed to “waive their right” to a hearing then the horse was not disqualified from the race.
      So they collected the purse money by paying the fine.
      It doesn’t take a mathematician to figure out that winning $20,000+, and cheating to win garners a $500 fine.
      I suppose the rest in the field, who followed the rules + regulations get screwed again.
      It’s important to note that this site only became effective in 2005, and many of these cheating Trainers had a rap sheet long before 2005.
      So many stood out, but just check out the rap sheet for Mike Maker – inexcusable abuse.
      Tom Amoss – how can this Trainer still have a license to cheat, and kill racehorses?
      Maggi Moss, used (or still uses) these 2 Trainers on a regular basis.
      Maggi Moss, the attorney, has often defended these Trainers or hires elite legal representation for them when they are caught cheating in most instances.
      She defended these positives by claiming “contamination” in some instances or a “flawed” drug testing process.
      It’s important to note that both Trainers have strong allegiances with the wagering outlet TVG.
      What a joke.
      Does the super intelligent Maggi Moss think that everybody else is plain stupid?
      Or is she just living the delusion like the others?
      Perhaps both, but this so called horse “lover,” who treats her horses like a “family member,” has no problem with a Trainer giving potent drugs that mask pain to keep horses running sometimes resulting in career-ending or catastrophic breakdowns.
      Moreover, many of these potent drugs lead to maiming of the horse necessitating its precipitous decline into the claiming ranks where the highest potential of abuses usually occur.
      This is just fine for her because she continues to do it, and racehorses owned by her are usually dumped when they are no longer performing, dumped to be claimed, and further abused.
      Oh, but she follows them – every one of them she claims to ensure they get a good home.
      One thing is for sure, the pattern of doping, cheating, winning, dumping, results in her making tons of money.
      Todd Pletcher is right up there with these cheating Trainers.
      TALES OF GLORY, as revealed through Pletcher’s rap sheet, is a story of cruelty, and abuse.
      Purchased for a mere $260,000 Tales of Glory was being given a POTENT analgesic to completely NUMB out any pain sensation in his legs. This is criminal. There’s no other way to view it.
      This not only puts the racehorse at risk for losing its limbs and/or life, but everybody else as well.
      For a Trainer to approve such a potent drug to be administered to a racehorse in their care reveals a low life sleaze bag that cares nothing about the racehorse.
      Tales Of Glory was eventually rendered to the upper claiming ranks, but the writing was on the wall.
      This poor gelding was raced consistently every 2 weeks for years, and his precipitous decline into the lowest claiming ranks all there to view.
      His back class made him vulnerable to many claims and he changed owner/trainers many times.
      In his last start he “stopped” while running for a ham sandwich at Penn National.
      He then disappears off the radar.
      We attempted to contact the last connections who didn’t return calls, and could not confirm his whereabouts.
      Now if Todd Pletcher “cared” about racehorses as he does on camera, then he wouldn’t be part of this common scenario in this despicable business.
      I’ve focused on the Trainers, but it’s also the owners who are just as guilty of this ongoing cruelty, and abuse.
      The top most richest owners in this country send their horses to these Trainers knowing that they have cheated, knowing that they have administered potent drugs to their racehorses to mask issues, knowing that their racehorse is being put at grave risk.
      Yet, they have no problem with this because they send their horses to them.
      So like I’ve said on previous posts they are all just abusers, enablers of the abuse, or both.

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