Shedrow Secrets: Stand Pat – From Glory at Saratoga to a Kill Buyer

Shedrow Secrets

Stand Pat
by Joy Aten

Stand Pat won his first race at Saratoga in 2007. Just two years old at the time, he was claimed that race from breeder/owner Ralph Evans and trainer Rick Violette. Less than one month later, he finished last – 25 lengths back – in the Futurity Stakes at Belmont where his competition included Kentucky Derby/Belmont Stakes-bound Tale of Ekati. Just 14 months later, Stand Pat’s racing “career” would end in a lowly 10K claiming-race at Aqueduct for owner Sunny Meadow Farm and trainer Mitchell Friedman. He was three. That was November 2008. At the end of 2017, the bay gelding was owned by a kill buyer.

I’m quite certain most of you have seen the “Winner’s Circle” celebration after a race. Think on Stand Pat after his win at Saratoga Race Course – “The highlight of summer in Saratoga is the summer racing meet, featuring world class thoroughbred horse racing. Throngs of people from all over the world gather [here]…” Picture Stand Pat in the “Winner’s Circle” – you can bet he was gorgeous and fit, and those around him were reveling in his victory. Get a good look at him in those moments. A beautiful, young Thoroughbred in a picturesque, historic setting. See it.

Now picture his final hours. Stand Pat laid in a cramped, filthy kill-pen, his body so wracked with pain that he didn’t even rise when other horses urinated and defecated on him. See that. Think on that. Get a good look at him in those moments. And understand that the racing industry put him there.

(Stand Pat was purchased to spare him the horror of slaughter and was humanely euthanized. He was 12.)


  1. Thanks for keeping me informed about these tragedies. It keeps me firm in my mind that I will not ever bet on a horse race again. This is more than sad. It’s sick.

  2. It breaks me heart. What can be done? How can the racing industry be shut down for good?

    • Pamela, the racing industry can easily be shut down but, in order for that to happen, ALL betting must be curtailed/terminated. The betting public holds the lives of these horses in their hands. If you truly love the horses and not just the glamour of what you think racing is, encourage family and friends to do what Pete Rose did…bet on baseball and not the bodies of the horses we love so much. Same with dog racing. STOP animal exploitation by just saying “no.” Seems incredibly simple to me.

  3. Heartbreaking, I’m always at a loss when I hear about these champions who end up in such horrible places, so dismayed

  4. BAD STEP….BAD STEP….BAD STEP….BAD STEP….BAD STEP….BAD STEP….BAD STEP…. Can someone with some clout tell the Racing People to stop using this BULLSHIT COVER UP PHRASE .The Color commentators are the worst perpetrators of keeping this bullshit coverup phrase alive.Their phoniness,false urgent voices will sound concerned with alarm and heart felt concern and those at TVG are the biggest phonies when it comes to this.Those in the studios and those on track literally make me sick when something like this happensThe worst one is Caton Brader on track with all her inside,backstretch insight and expertise giving her Birdseye View of educating the public about information the outsiders (the dumb ass people that are ignorant to the dirty shit that really goes on in this Sport Of Kings)Caton,why don’t you ever take just FIVE MINUTES of air time to explain the Steve Asmussan video by the undercover PETA investigator.Blow Five minutes of HOT AIR into that topic.BAD STEP? Caton,you’ve been on the backs of horses,even I would say you have some expertise as to why horses take a life ending “BAD STEP”.Granted,no one knows for sure but you can’t ask the horse,so that leaves it up to the human element to make this assumption.If the humans can honestly keep using the term “BAD STEP” know full well that a true bad step is a low percentage occurrence,some horse people need to be retrained or better educated as to the real reasons why horses take “BAD STEPS”.The truth is that most regular horse players don’t really care to know the real reason for the “BAD STEP”all they know and care about is,how this horse cost him his exacta box or caused him to lose his trifecta box and they LOST ANOTHER BET! The occasional attendee to the races exits in horror and will try to erase this tragedy from their minds although the picture is indelible and forever photographed on his brain.Truth is horse racing is a form of sports,and in reality the jockey and horse act as a team and there will be injuries in all sports but tragically when injury happens in the horse world it often ends in the death of an unwilling participant who is forced to perform in a situation and condition with a high mortality rate for the horse.I’ve worked and got to know quite a few trainers including one or two hall of famers including owners.Thier are many ignorant (and I’m not talking about stupid,I’m talking about the trainers that think they know but really don’t have a clue as to what causes the”BAD STEP” or they don’t want to know,that’s the ignorance I’m talking about and there are many,many,way too many of these trainers abusing horses)and some of these trainers have 20-30 horse stables.I did not mean to pick on Caton Brader alone,as there are others,most do this.i don’t recall Todd Schrup doing much of this cover up activity at TVG but most do that insincere act,maybe they are ordered to do this in the name of damage control.Most “BAD STEPS” are the result of “UNDIAGNOSED MUSCULAR DYSFUNCTION”which for the most part is 100 percent trainer responsibility.In short(if you can call this short,this is the short version of the book and feature film,soon coming to your local theatre.)Many of these catastrophic breakdown deaths are avoidable.This don’t have to happen, just think if horse racing continues to exist,many horses could retire comfortably,running just because it makes him feel good,grazing on fresh green grass and basking in the warm sun in his farm paddock in his retirement years,rather than the eventuality of the Horrific ending that most suffer.DEDICATED.

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