“God Bless Our Riders”

“And we have a fallen horse; God bless our riders.” – announcer at Tampa Bay Downs

“Praying they [the jockeys] are o.k.!! Looked scary!!!” – comment on TBD’s FB page

The fallen horse referenced above was R Kinsley Doll, four, and she is dead – killed in the 2nd at Tampa yesterday. How telling that the announcer’s first instinct, after witnessing what he surely knew was a catastrophic breakdown, was to petition the almighty to “bless our riders.” How equally telling that a “fan” prays for the jocks but utterly fails to acknowledge the dead animal (and uses five exclamation points, to boot). Disgusting, but honest. Fact is, their occasional declarations of familial love aside, this industry sees the common racehorse as a thing to be used, a vehicle for making and winning money. If one should happen to die, it’s bring out the van, clear the course, and on to the next race. All’s good, so long as the humans are okay.

I’m out of words.

http://www.tampabaydowns.com/racing/fan-central/track-side-video-and-replays (“Replays”; “Sun 28”; race 2) (breakdown occurs around :50 mark)


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  1. How very true that these beautiful horses are used as vehicles for greed. No one cares that day after day horses die. Other cruel owners and trainers don’t care about horses when it comes to soring for the big lick. I am so very disgusted with these so called sports people. I view them as those who murder for the almighty dollar and their own vanity. They are guilty of premeditated aggravated animal cruelty. Lock them up and outlaw any “sport” that involves horses

    • First off,I have to say this was an unconscionable comment coming from a clueless indidual.Without these horses he’d be out of a job.How cold hearted can one individual get.While this horse is suffering,traumatized and is about to be minutes away from her last breath by no choice of her own,a comment made by the same heartless species that made the cold comment,God Bless Our Jockeys?Fuck the jockeys,this is they’re choice of profession,and have the opportunity of a lifetime,Some are lucky enough to be in the top echelon of their chosen profession,which brings them a lifestyle that most could only dream of.The top echelon may earn 10k to 15k weekly not including any money from stake races.The mid level jokeys make a good living,the bottom of the barrel have to know when does the risk out weigh the benefits,The dangers,the tough lifestyle,the weight issues,that’s a separate issue.Participating with and interacting with owners and trainers where most don’t want to know you after you get hurt and if you look to come back,unless you’re in the top echelon most jockeys have a difficult time when making a comeback from injury.A recent example Jockey Rajev Marahg,on top of the world in the n.y. Jockey colony,after injury not so good,as cold hearted a business you’ll find and just as unforgiving.This is the human mentality in This Dirty Game,this is how they treat the human element in this Dirty Game but do you really believe Rajev went to California for the weather? He’s trying to revive his career.Because after almost losing his life in New York this is how he is repaid by Owners and Trainers in New York.If it doesn’t work in Ca. Chances are he maybe totally forgotten in New York,but if you look at Mike Smith after he got hurt in N.Y. He went west and that worked out for him,but how many Mike Smiths are around,he’s the exception.These people choose to take on this life of chance.Sometimes it works,most times it don’t work. The Comeback.This same scenario for the horse has less of a success rate,in this culture the horse is expendable,and finances come into play,a non- fatal injury to a horse is a tremendous financial liability to the owner,it’s easier to decide to EUTHANIZE! I don’t wish any harm on any jockey but they choose to do what they do,The HORSE does not choose to become participants of the torture killing fields.Including being Guinea pigs to any illegal drug the trainer or vet decides to put into the horses veins to improve performance,without much thought of the dangers it creates for the jockeys and horses.Most of these incidents of breakdowns don’t have to happen,I strongly believe most breakdowns occur do to incompetence on the trainers part or the ignorance of not picking up on potential physical problems brewing in the embryo stage before it becomes a problem interfering with the horses body mechanics and the happiness of the horse,And the new accessibility to the new category of new performance enhancing drugs these drugs and Undiagnosed Musular Dysfunction goes hand in hand.Or hoof in hoof, With Catastrophic Breakdown.
      Undiagnosed Muscular Dysfunction – You Heard It Here -U.M.D. Thanks,DEDICATED. The new category of drug can simply be bought on the Internet,it’s simple to administer by any ignorant,moron trainer without giving a shit about the adverse effects so long as this drug gets his win percentage up from 4 per cent to 20 per cent,There was a horse that broke down while what seemed to be an all out winning move in the stretch,just a few yards from crossing the finish line as a winner Unfortunitly this effort was overextending physically for this horse and he snapped his leg just some yards from the finish.Let this be a lesson and going in the right direction in.horse care.Mixing this drug with ignorance in horse care is deadly,cruel,animal abuse and illegal. DEDICATED

      • Racing doesn’t care about “illegal”. Horses drop dead in their stalls and elsewhere and NOTHING is done.
        Racing is a law unto itself. There is no oversight . That alone is asking for trouble and that is what we’ve got, BIG TROUBLE.
        Putting it mildly, it is an incestuous business riddled with conflicts of interest, corruption, animal cruelty, where the code of silence reigns and lying is the norm.

  2. Dedicated, I would like to remind you that it’s common knowledge that Frank Stronach owned racetracks allegedly implement policies and/or contracts that outline rules to employees such as 1. ignore breakdowns 2. don’t show emotion 3. non-disclosure clauses etc. as told to me by a former racetrack announcer.
    Since they sign these agreements they don’t want their names disclosed, but it seems reasonable to assume that they are telling the truth because this outfit deliberately, in conjunction with pro-horse racing entities, mask the career-ending and/or catastrophic breakdowns on a regular basis.
    Many examples have been exposed on this site such as not releasing names of racehorses which essentially protects the abuser and/or connections who have racehorses DIE under their direct training methods.
    Also, ensuring that the public is not exposed to the dark side of this business by editing out segments of the race that shows the breakdowns.
    Most compassionate reasonable people would FIRE this person, but this business not only upholds this type of announcer, but they could be following a contract or protocol.
    So this makes them an enabler of the abuse and/or dying by not only complying, but partaking in the subsequent cover-up of the maiming and/or dying – accessories to the killing more or less.
    The announcer that I knew (who had a radio background) quit after he witnessed the first catastrophic breakdown, and absolutely refused to go along with this deliberate campaign to hide the ugly truth behind the fancy hats, and “entertainment/sport” banner.
    However, it’s not only the Stronach-owned tracks, but this is a common thread in this vile business.
    Although I would never want to see somebody hurt, it’s tough to conjure up sympathy for a jockey who makes their living beating the crap out of sore, tired, maimed, and/or dying racehorse.
    Your right in that jockeys have a choice – they sure do.
    They have a choice to walk away, to leave, and to stop partaking in this massive pain, suffering, abuse and/or dying.
    The causes leading up to a catastrophic breakdown are multiple, but all scientific-based evidence from respected equine vets clearly show that pre-existing, chronic conditions masked by drugs, and shock wave therapy are main contributors to this.
    There’s no such thing as the “bad-step” theory that is often used by the multiple drug violating trainers, who have multiple racehorses DIE under their direct training methods.
    However, there is a human element to this.
    It’s the entire system in place from the racetrack owners to the racing commissions, and everything in between that supports this recipe for disaster, and even promotes it via monetary policies that ensure the maiming and/or killing of racehorses on a regular basis.
    Although there hasn’t been any direct scientific studies on the residual effects of drugs on foal crops, this seems very plausible since racehorses are mammals.
    There is lots of studies on mammals, mainly humans, clearly showing that babies coming from drug addicts are addicted in the womb, and affected by residual drugs in the system that crosses the placenta.
    Yet again, this business continues to send drug- induced racehorses to the breeding shed, and drugs play a huge part to artificially control the entire breeding cycle in a mare.
    So indeed there are “moron” trainers, but the entire system is set-up to fail a racehorse, to support anybody who fills races for them, and subsequently supports the ongoing maiming and/or dying of racehorses.
    It has GOT TO GO!

  3. Gina,well put.It amazes me how well they conspire to coverup.It works,because when you have the money,might makes right.Interesting enough to show you how powerfully convincing the race tracker is in the P.R. Dept.An acquaintance at the gym went to the track with his wife for a charity luncheon.He walked away feeling like royalty and could wait to tell me how wonderful the people that hosted the event(racetrack party planners)and management smiling and greeting people,at a podium giving some B.S. Speech about the benefits of having a world class racetrack in their backyard and of course the benefits of horse ownership,for the ultimate thrill of a lifetime.Here I am,telling this guy for past six years what I know about the track,and I was vividly clear to this guy,pulled no punches.After his spending six hours at the track,he says to me “They Seemed Like Very Nice People”this not only infuriated me,it also made me feel sick.Another guy at the gym was watching a trainer being interviewed onT.V. and says to me”do I know him,He seems to be a nice guy.My reply was “he’s on national T.V. asshole do you think he’s gonna show his scumbag side to the whole world,including any potential owners.It’s all quite amazing to observe the ineptness of the whole system.I should not call it inept,there is plenty of corruption hiding behind the guise of ineptness.Did you know that before he ran for any public office Gov.Cuomo of N.Y. owned horses,do you think he still might own?Just wondering.See ya later,DEDICATED

  4. Maybe if some jockeys and trainers get hurt or killed it would make people wake up about what an awful so called sport this is. They get into this sport knowing what can happen to them but the poor horses have no say. I wouldn’t shed s tear for any trainers or jockeys getting hurt or killed, they ask for it and treat the horses like damaged property to be replaced with no feeling for the poor horses.. wish more would get hurt. Hate them all. I adopted ex race horses for many years and they were the lucky ones. I have seen pretty bad things from the track and wish they would all close.

    • In my opinion and i know this is very cold hearted of me to say…….but i feel this is something that needs to happen i feel at this point it is one of the only things that would bring immediate change and response to the daily realities of horse racing……the day a horse breaks down and kills a jockey on national tv is the day this industry will change or disappear for good……look up group b rally the same thing that happened with that will happen to horse racing when this happens…….now the sad part is for big races as such is that extra precautions and measures are taken for them to try their best to prevent this from happening…..my question would be why isnt this happening at every track everyday for every race…..and the clear answer is is that this industry doesnt want the world to know the truth about their game and anyone with half a brain can see their bullshit from a mile away its about the money and the gambling not the racing and the horses

      • Sadly, jockeys are killed and maimed frequently – they even get their own charitable fundraiser – The Permanently Disabled Jockey Fund. In Ohio – there are 2 races – the Josh Radosevich Memorial Handicap – in honor of a 16 year old jockey who died riding a horse that was supposedly known to be unsound but was still sent out to race. The horse snapped a leg and Josh fell headfirst into the track. He is lucky enough to be remembered because he is from one of Ohio’s biggest and most successful race families. The other is the Michael Rowland in honor of one of the most successful ohio based jockeys. But usually when one dies, they mourn them for a few weeks, wear ribbons on their boots or undershirts in memory of their dead, then life goes on as if nothing happened. When excercise riders get killed, there maybe a little blurb about them in the racing media sites, and again, they are forgotten and the carnage goes on. Like Billy said – they are just as expendable as the horses.

  5. Mentioning the horse is a cardinal sin at the track. Horses are not suppose to get hurt, or die. That might prompt the fans to actually think that they are flesh and blood animals who do feel pain and suffer a price for their entertainment. That’s why the announcer just blessed the riders, curtains closed, cash your tickets.

    • Dear Karen,I do agree with you,I believe it was last week when I first heard this announcer say “God bless our riders” after a horse broke down.I’m assuming he’s not an animal lover.Again I’ll say it, I don’t wish any harm on any jock but excuse me Karen,fuck the jockeys they chose to be involved in this dirty game called horse racing.Most horses if asked I think would prefer not to be drug abused,run and race till they became so much abused that they become useless to these Pieces of Shit.I think most horses would say,I don’t mind the racing but the means definitely do not justify my untimely end. DEDICATED.

    • Racetracks are now dictating how an announcer should respond to a horse dropping in the dirt.
      Evidently, it’s written into their contract.
      So they are to shift focus away from the event, show no emotion so that they stir no emotion and make it appear to be not so bad with the proper adjectives and euphemisms.
      It would be hard to argue otherwise since this is exactly how the process unfolds.
      Totally agree that they are to objectify them not to think they are living, breathing, feeling beings just like we are.

      • In today’s First race at Aquaduct racetrack,Feb.14th The winning horse named Christmas Sky a heavy favorite odds of 2-5,wins this race,looking like one of Jerry’s Kids running through the stretch,wobbling and crooked.Was he really that good or was the rest of the field that bad.Although Christmas Sky won,it remains a puzzle to me how a trainer can get this horse to dominate any field in the physical condition he was in,unless Robertino Diodoro works a complete turn around with this horse I think someone needs to keep an eye on this horse.

      • It’s so true,but even the announcer’s can’t disguise the horror they just witnessed.Don’t forget these announcers are looking and are closely focused on each and every horse in the race,so close that the breakdown has a magnified effect on them.It’s impossible for anyone to act or sound as if nothing just happened and something really bad,no matter what their contract reads.It’s quite amazing how they can clear their heads in time to call the next race as if nothing happened.Track management would do better if they taught the announcers how to play the harmonica at the point of breakdown to the finish of the race,because I know I don’t want to hear the nauseating tone in the announcers voice and then say how the horse lost the rider,and I can see the jockey moving his fingers as he lay on the track.Give me a fuckin break,it is what it is,don’t try to sugar coat it.This is an ugly,dirty,brutal game.

  6. Even though Christmas Sky won his race.In my opinion he is not heading in a good direction,unless someone can straighten him out.

  7. The vast majority of those who participate in this sinister industry view the horse as a machine, not as a living, sentient being. Until that line of thinking changes, the focus will NEVER be on the horse, only on the humans who are involved in the exploitation.

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