It is well established that many in and around Racing are self-deluded, maintaining that what they do/follow is “sport,” their “athletes” pampered – and loved. But every so often a comment catches my eye and compels a response. In the wake of Flatterfly’s death Sunday at Aqueduct, came this on Facebook:

I would like to thank the NYRA veterinarian , Trainer Rudy Rodriquez , the Nyra Ambulance, the horse Ambulance driver, Gary Contessa groom all for caring so much about horse racing. These heroes go unknown by most of the Horse Racing world . I was standing today at the 3/16 pole when the 4 horse Flatterfly snapped her leg throwing Jockey Junior Alvarado.i saw something on the spot that I pray no one will ever see in their lifetime. The veterinarian was talking to the horse girl I’m here for you don’t worry . Telling me with tears in his eyes I have to put her out of her misery. Then the groom a slim blond lady came running towards me crying my baby girl please save my baby girl I tried to comfort her but I just couldnt . she said that’s my baby girl I take care of her. Then The ambulance took Jockey Junior Alvarado away on a stretch but he was sitting up. the vet gave the horse the shot and then they put the black screen around the brace horse and they all helped lift her in the horse Ambulance .

The most amazing thing of the whole shocking time was trainer Rudy Rodriguez had just won the race with his first time starter the 8 Bluegrass hip hop and he ran from the finish line to the 3/16 pole to help them out. Now that’s a class act. I dont want to hear anyone bad mouth horses, trainers, jockeys because you will have to answer to me.i saw something today that I pray none of you ever will see a horse giving her all for our pleasure ending her life but I also saw this world does have people that care the Nyra Vet, the Nyra ambulance drivers, The nyra Horse van driver , the groom for Gary Contessa and Trainer Rudy Rodriquez. (full post)

The preceding, of course, is absurd. But it is so much more. Captive-bred, tightly confined, socially isolated, drugged, and beaten to perform, Flatterfly was but a medium for gambling, a thing to be used, nothing more. That the very people responsible for all that and, ultimately, her death (including, obviously, those like this poster who sustain racing with their bets) would attempt to claim honor – “heroes go unknown,” “trainer ran to help them out…now that’s a class act” – and elicit sympathy – “i saw something that I pray no one will ever see” (though he was probably right back at the windows the next day), “with tears in his eyes,” “came running towards me crying my baby girl please save my baby girl” – is, in a word, obscene. Obscene.


  1. This is the catastrophic injury known as the “snow plow” effect: that i am trying to raise awareness to prevent. Patrick…you are just as guilty…you only mock…you do nothing! You cannot stop racing…this blog only shows your anger…not your brains. Help me to stop this!

    • We will stop racing, in the same way that Ringling and SeaWorld have been stopped – by exposing the cruelty and, in the case of Racing, killing. You are on the wrong side of history here. No reforms, no compromises – Racing must go.

    • Mr. McNeill, how do you propose we “stop” the breakdowns? Even the “hot shots” are incapable of cleaning up the filth. The ONLY thing that the racing industry understands is MONEY. You simply must hurt them where it hurts the most…in the wallet. In my opinion, if racing wanted to make changes, it would have done so years ago. Those immersed in the industry like things just the way they are. Anyone, with minimal intelligence, knows that you simply can’t mix MONEY and animals because the animals end up losing 99% of the time. Seems incredibly simple to me.

    • Bruce, “trying to raise awareness?”
      Are you kidding me?
      People are very much aware of racehorses dying in the dirt, and the fact that this industry does nothing about it.
      It’s incumbent upon the industry who uses, abuses, and kills horses to do something about it.
      We know that the only way to stop these egregious acts of violence on a living being is to shut down these tracks.

  2. Well said, Patrick.
    The poster is attempting to justify yet another sickening racehorse death by praising those who are guilty of this innocent filly’s death.
    FLATTERFLY suffered an excruciatingly painful catastrophic injury resulting in her undignified public death for $2 bets.
    Does that seem right, folks?

  3. All about the wonderful caring people who came to the aid of the mortally wounded horse. These are the same people directly and indirectly responsible for the excruiting and terrifying death that filly suffered. They care so much that they drug and push these horses to their limits and beyond . And, yes, they kill , maim, and dump them.
    Sad to say these gambling addicts will never get it. Their admiration for the like of Contessa, Rodriguez et al says it all. Not much ccompassion expressed for the young filly writhing in the dirt..
    Obscene is right, Patrick.

  4. And this would probably be the same Rudy Rodriguez that has been suspended and fined for drug violations with his horses??What a hero.

    • Exactly…never mind the drug violations, ole’ Rudy is a class act, so says the industry that overlooks drug violations in the horses they run.

  5. Obscene is one appropriate word, but I can think of many others not suitable for public consumption.
    This comment clearly shows the delusional nature of this industry, and the people who support it.
    They actually have people convinced that maiming and/or killing is a “class act.”
    They are a sickening bunch.
    I’ve worked with them, and I’ve seen them on a daily basis for too many years.
    They grow immune to the pain, and suffering as they pat themselves on the back.
    There was only one class act on the track that day and it was Flatterfly even when he laid DYING in the dirt with his leg snapped-off for this horrific business.
    You supporters are all pathetic, demented, classless bunch of morons,.
    We will continue to be a voice for these racehorses, and we will shut you down one racetrack at a time.
    I’ve already witnessed 10 racetracks close down, and there will be several more.
    Your cruelty pits, and death camps need to go down in the dirt just like all your dead racehorses.

      • I’m part of this network blog, and Tuesday’s Horse.
        I’m a regular blog contributor.
        There are no secrets behind me since I voice my comments, based on my experiences, here.
        As for shutting down racetracks?
        We have outlined the plan just like Grey2K did, and it was very effective.
        It’s no secret that racetracks can’t financially survive on their own so they are completely dependent on casino money, corporate welfare in the form of tax breaks, and have a monopoly of gambling profits via the Interstate Horse Wagering Act that was introduced years ago to save this failing industry.
        It was supposed to be temporary, but has flown under the government radar for a long time.
        1. Support Decoupling. This will essentially stop financial support from casinos neither will it be mandatory for them to run Live Race Meets. It will end racinos as we know them.
        2. Don’t watch or wager on a horse race.
        3. Gamble at casinos NOT racinos.
        4. Make your voice heard with local politicians and demand that they review the Interstate Horse Racing Act.
        5. Call your politicians and tell them to stop using taxpayers funds to support horse race breeding.

        Ex-trainers of SeaWorld launched an education process with the public, and look how effective it was.
        Once people know what they are financially supporting then they can make an informed choice.


  6. Listen — it MUST be all about the horses, IT MUST — Running for fun is one thing, BUT running to the death is quite another — all this brutality is at the hands of the humans — if you’re unable to have fun for all : the audience, the bettors, the riders, the groomers, the reporters, the trainers, et al., AND — especially the horses included — then this industry must be shut down — you’re cruelly abusing the horses — this is unconscionable, sadistic, hateful and immoral AND it should be illegal — LET THE HORSES HAVE A HAPPY LIFE — stop working them to death!!

  7. Racing horses will die. It is NOT a sport. It is animal abuse disguised as something else. We will keep exposing this corrupt industry and expose those who participate in making blood money to stuff their dirty pockets. This will end soon, that I know.

  8. Gina Powell and Patrick Battuello and Ellen Ericksen are so right. They are on the side of the horses, not the “reformers” who think horseracing would be so wonderful if we stopped the drugs, or stopped the whips, or…
    You can’t clean up an industry that uses live animals for gambling. Apologists are just shills for a dying industry that would be dead if not for the subsidies.

    • Well said Jean.
      There is no reform or it would have already happened.
      There’s just lip service, and public decoration to keep this legitimized animal cruelty going.
      Thank you to Patrick, the educators on this blog, and a special mention to the brave warrior Ellen who is out there peacefully demonstrating.

  9. Gambling is everywhere…football, baseball, basketball..no one blames gambling for athlete injury or wants to stop these sports. But I’m sure your argument is the horses are innocent victims. My guess is most of you are pro-choice… with no care for the other side of that argument. You will never change anything for the animal while you sit in your basements and hate.

    • So the fact that other horrific things are going on in the world doesn’t make it any better.
      This is not a pro-choice blog that’s why its called horseracingwrongs.
      I think the word horse should be a clue.

      Horses are non-consenting, voiceless, victims of this animal abuse whose sole objective is wagering profits.
      Human athletes are completely different.
      They are consenting people with voices, choices, and huge pay checks.
      When was the last time you saw a human athletic professional football player standing at the local kill auction with some broken bones, and a broken spirit to boot?
      Any injections they may receive is done under a consenting person who can say “no.”
      They also get their money in the form of big fat salaries unlike the profit slaves called racehorses whose performance generates billions in profits for the wagering companies, and certainly not for them.
      They are used, abused, and dumped in either death pits or at kill auctions in many cases.
      This doesn’t happen to human athletes so the comparison is not accurate.

      The ongoing cruelty, abuse, and inhumane treatment of racehorses generates strong emotions, and it should.
      It’s not so much hate, but a strong desire to end this legitimized animal cruelty now.

    • Mr. McNeill, you have the audacity to accuse me, and others, of sitting in our basements and hating. I work my ass off caring for the rescues that I have brought into my barn over the years plus I donate to other causes that I feel are worthy. Oh, and did I mention that I have a family and work full time? Yes, gambling is everywhere and I don’t give a damn if you gamble away your life savings. Have at it! What I have an issue with is the gambling that involves non-consenting sentient beings. Do I feel bad when a race car driver wrecks and dies at a race? Absolutely, but that driver CHOOSES to put his or her life on the line so that humans can be entertained. The animals have NO choice but to run for their lives. It is animal exploitation, plain and simple. Got it?

    • You sound like the author of the FB post Patrick wrote about, Mr. McNeill – you “guess” “most of [us]” are pro-choice…Stephen Romano, the FB post’s author who boasted that anyone who disagreed with his post would have to “answer to [him]” (my “answering to him” was 1), having my comment deleted, 2), Romano slipping in a comment to me on a completely different post on my own wall and finally, 3), being blocked by him. What a coward Romano is – he talks big but slinks away with tail tucked when he’s got nothing to come back with.), took issue with a racehorse advocate for having purple hair. You “guess” about our other convictions and values because of our racehorse advocacy – Romano mocks racehorse advocates who color their hair purple. This is typical of those who are in opposition of our cause – attack something else that has NOTHING to do with that cause. It’s so desperate.

      You are not unique – you attempt to disparage with another typical attack – that we hate. Oh yes, industry supporters chose love and positivity…racehorse supporters choose hate and negativity. It’s actually laughable…and in your attempt to insult further, we sit in our basements! Oh, ouch! Really?

      Do I hate what the racehorses endure? – you bet I do…just as I hate the suffering endured by the many other exploited animals in a variety of industries. And just as I hate what innocent children endure at the hands of abusive parents and day-care providers and priests and sex traffickers, etc, etc…

      Maybe if more people hated the suffering that has become so prevalent in our world – and didn’t simply turn away in selfish apathy – we could make a positive impact. Call us haters – I’ll wear it as a badge of honor that signifies I will NOT turn away from the abuse suffered by the voiceless. Verbal attacks by the likes of you and Romano are nothing…especially compared to what racehorses endure in this unnecessary industry.

  10. Are you pro-choice Joy …looks like Gina is…you see I don’t really care or judge if you think it is alright to kill a baby for economic or humanitarian reasons…I just think it’s hypocritical if you do. I agree with you Mary…I just hope your aren’t one of those horse hoarder…thinking you are doing better that the whole world as you collect…I’ve been there and it never ends well. (Mary email me for a link to my farm if you want to see rescues)

    I do rather enjoy pointing out this web-sites ineptness to really have a solution to the problem that you all so detest. Because if you where to stop horse racing tomorrow you sentence hundreds of thousands of horses to death. You have no plan, no vision…you act like crazy people who seem to want to kill to protect? I’ve wasted enough time here…email me if you want to talk more bmc06239@yahoo.com

    • And if you had any rational and reasonable thought, Mr. McNeill, you would comprehend horse racing will never end or be stopped “tomorrow”. Think about it.

    • Mr. McNeill, I am a conservative and a registered Republican although I didn’t vote for Trump nor did I vote for Clinton. I actually wrote in a candidate and, since it was my first time doing so, it was an interesting experience. I couldn’t vote for one over the other because I was uncomfortable voting for the “lesser of two evils.” Because I am an animal rights activist, it is usually assumed that I must be a liberal. How idiotic! However, as I’ve stated over and over and over, this blog isn’t about my political views. It is about Horseracing Wrongs.

      Since you enjoy pointing out this site’s “ineptness,” I will assume you enjoy pointing out the “ineptness” of the racing industry which can’t even manage to monitor the avalanche of drugs being injected into the horses. I could go on and on with the “ineptness” of the industry that I despise, but what is the point? Those involved in racing can’t clean up the mess so how can I when I don’t even enhance racing’s coffers? I am NOT the audience that racing targets since I’m not a bettor and I know way too much about the horrors of the industry.

      As far as your comment that you “hope” I’m not one of those hoarders, no need to be concerned. Go to my FB page and look at my horses. They are ALL in wonderful condition. I have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years to provide for them and I have been blessed financially. Even though I am an animal rights activist, I am also a savvy businesswoman. The two are NOT mutually exclusive although that might be hard for you to grasp.

      Thank you for posting your email but I won’t be needing it. You see, I become exceedingly angry when someone like you attempts to blame me, and my colleagues, of sending thousands of horses to slaughter should racing shut down. First of all, even a “mental midget” should know that the same thing will happen then as happens now. Horses will enter the slaughter pipeline which is part of racing’s culture. I have saved horses from slaughter including Cactus Cafe and Canuki who were inside Richilieu and I brought two Standardbreds home in March, 2008, after we outbid the contract kill buyer, Jaron Gold, who also happens to be a licensed TB owner/trainer. Oh, but somehow Gold manages to keep his racing license. Sick stuff, right, Mr. McNeill? Now, if racing goes bye bye, breeding will decrease rapidly and, within a few years, fewer and fewer horses will enter the slaughter pipeline. There won’t be a surplus of thousands of horses as there are now. For some reason, those in racing seem to struggle with a basic comprehension of Economics 101…supply and demand. Also, there might be a few racing people who decide to step up and do the right thing for their horses….provide them a forever home or euthanize them. It is a possibility!

      You say we have no plan. Either you are delusional or you aren’t the sharpest tack in the box. We want racing to cease to exist and, through education, we are focused on turning people away from gambling on animals. I don’t care if you gamble in a casino or with your buddies on Friday nights. I am vehemently opposed to gambling on animals because the animals end up losing 99% of the time. Anyone, with minimal intelligence, should know that.

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