The Abuse of Bank of Dad: 13 Years Old, 127 Races (and counting)

Horseracing, of course, pounds horses into the ground as a matter of routine. It’s what they do. But every once in a while, I come across a case of such egregious abuse that a separate post is practically compelled. The horse named Bank of Dad is currently laboring in Ohio and West Virginia. He is 13 years old, and this past Monday he was put to the whip for the 127th time. Please take a moment to allow those numbers to truly register: 13 years old, 127 races. And how, you may ask, is he “faring” these days? At Thistledown Monday, he came in last of 11 in a $5,000 claiming race; the race before that, a $5,000 claiming at Mahoning, 9th of 10.

In what is most certainly not a coincidence, the bottom-of-the-barrel tracks Bank of Dad is being raced at are racinos, meaning the slots cash keeping the racing operations alive also allows first-through-last paydays. In other words, his current people have every incentive to keep running him out there because all he has to do to “earn” is cross the line. And if he dies in the process, well, he was old (by racing’s standards) and worth only about the going price of meat anyhow.

Look, this is abuse – pure and simple. But like all things racing, this is not about an isolated bad apple. Yes, Bank of Dad’s trainer/owner for the past 18 months and 24 races, Sara Stanoszek, is rotten to the core. But what of the stewards at Mountaineer, Mahoning, Thistledown; the vets, private and track alike – men and women who are supposed to be bound by medical ethics; his many prior trainers and owners; the jockeys? All, to a person, complicit in this tragedy unfolding before our very eyes.


  1. This is heartbreaking – absolutely heartbreaking – to anybody who has a heart.
    Unfortunately for BANK OF DAD (BOD) his past and current connections, the commissions, and all the people who watch this daily abuse go on would have to be heartless.
    They are bloodsucking leeches.
    BOD I feel so sorry for you.
    Your race replays show the daily torture that you go through at the hands of these heartless, greedy bastards who are devoid of compassion.
    I encourage all horse lovers to call both the Ohio Racing Commission and the West Virginia Commission and demand that this abuse stops.
    This is blatant animal cruelty and would be punishable by the law in any other setting, but horse racing.
    These people are rotten to the core, and so is anybody who supports this horrific suffering on a massive scale.

  2. These events are caused by people erroronously called human. They are evil, heartless, and greedy. They are also in fact guilty of premeditated aggravated animal abuse which unfortunately is not recognized in horse racing, but it is indeed animal cruelty and no different than dog fighting. Embarrassing to be an American

  3. Think of this poor horse when you boycott the Kentucky Derby. When the throngs of greedy, stupid, cruel individuals go to see this carnage think of Bank of Dad. Turn your back on the Kentucky Derby— don’t watch the race on television and definitely never go. This is a sorrowful abuse of animals.

  4. Hard to fathom that TWO three year olds were found dead in their stalls on the same day and both were owned and trained by Sara Stanoszek. Coincidence? I highly doubt it. A prudent person could confidently assume that BOTH horses died due to a drug, or drugs, being in their systems. I reached out to two of my racing contacts and, sure enough, there was a rumor at the track that the horses succumbed to a cobalt overdose but it could never be proven. Cobalt is eliminated from the system fairly quickly so, if the horses had been dead for awhile, it would be harder to test for cobalt. Also, a sample would have to be sent to a lab that specifically tests for that drug. Has Stanoszek lost her license? Of course not! It is business as usual in the sinister world of horseracing. Reminds me of the “bastard”….Bob Baffert….who had several horses die a few years ago due to a thyroid medication being used non-therapeutically. Drug them and run them is racing’s motto and it doesn’t matter if you are in the upper echelons of racing or toiling away at the hell hole tracks.

    I read a post by Stanoszek on social media where she stated that she had been offered the claiming price for Bank of Dad but she turned it down. Frankly, I don’t believe her because she would have been a fool to do so. BOD is thirteen and I would venture to guess that he has suffered a lot of wear and tear from the rigors of racing but perhaps Stanoszek feels she can get a few more drops of blood out of the horse and so he continues to race. Heartbreaking but not unusual. Perhaps someone will step up and drop a claim for this noble horse just like we did for Halos and Angels and Lady of Rivendell. He certainly deserves his freedom from racing.

  5. There are 7 13yr old horses racing in north america first and foremost…secondly the industry has come up with some common risk factors that contribute to breakdowns, this horse fits in every one of them catigories look it up, but yet what is being done to prevent this horse from dying on the racetrack or in his stall? Who is looking out and enforcing this other then the trainer? The track doesnt care doesnt care if that horse races or not doesnt care if he wins doesnt even care if he dies they are not obligated to that and will never do anything about it period the track is there to fill races and generate revenue the trainers get allocated stalls i. Trade to race for purse money its wrong fron top to bottom…..thirdly after looking at bank of dads pp i seen he raced for mike gill and was trained by anothey adamo from 11/10/08 to 2/13/10 if your not aware of their history well have a look for yourself……everybody involved worked very hard to bring in the casinos bring in. The money and have done nothing but leave a trail of destruction in its wake…13 yr old horse 127 races how much more could you ask him to give?

  6. Trainers like Stanoszek, and many others have a pattern of racehorses dying under their “care.”
    These trainers, more than likely, are a front for members of the racing commission, CEO’s of racinos and/or wagering companies.
    It’s called hidden ownership, and it seems to be rampant in this business.
    All or some of these entities control profits, purse money, the drug testing process, and/or rules violations so it’s the hens guarding the hen house while the racehorses pay with their lives.
    Furthermore, the entire drug testing process is compromised when medical/vet records are kept secret because you have nothing to compare it to.
    This business is such a sham, and I would advise anybody to stay away from it – stay far away from it, and educate people on the truth behind the fancy hat veneer.
    It’s utterly shameful that our politicians continue to ensure that this killing and corruption pit continues to get billions in financial support that could otherwise go to essential community services.
    I feel so sorry for the racehorses who suffer, and even die for these ungrateful, greedy, heartless people.

  7. In race 128 yesterday, Bank of Dad fared no better. Last of 9, and beaten by 16+ lengths, how selfish and shameful.

  8. Please folks call the Ohio Racing Commission and politely demand that they stop abusing this horse, that they stop accepting entries from him that they stop permitting him to run.
    Then send a FAX into the Thistledown Racing Office demanding that this trainer get her license suspended for abusing racehorses.
    It’s not a waste of time because BANK OF DAD desperately needs a voice on his behalf.
    Hold these racehorse abusers accountable please.

  9. Someone who runs a refuge for retired race horses, needs to offer to take Bank of Dad.
    If the greedy think he will not be worth anything, they will kill him. Please let him have the safety and retirement he deserves.

    • I agree Bonnie, but isn’t if horrific how this multiBILLION dollar industry who makes their money off the bones, backs, and lives of racehorses can’t even provide a grassy paddock, forever home for their disposable commodities?
      In fact, they don’t give ONE DIME to people who open their wallets, hearts, and home to these discarded racehorses.
      They only support their approved facilities with caveats that ensure that about 90% of racehorses are homeless and unwanted within 2 years of leaving the track.
      This is a despicable business and the sooner it shuts down the better for all racehorses and for people who are busy picking up the broken bodies of the racehorses whom they exploit.

  10. The racing commissions do little to nothing just enough for public wallpaper – to make it appear good.
    They are the enablers of the abuse, maiming and/or dying.
    Not only do they legitimize it, but they derive a living off the bones, backs, and lives of racehorses.
    That said, I still encourage faxing the commission or placing calls just to let them know that we are watching and/or that we are concerned about a particular horse.
    For me, it’s being a voice for the voiceless racehorses who are being abused, maimed and/or killed.
    Even a phone call, however ineffective it is, is better than nothing.
    Then I advocate for the shuttering down of every single hell hole commonly referred to as racetracks.

  11. Please I am in tears. I am in california I will take bank of dad. I have 2 other racehorses Rate Cut lyphard sylph from juddemonte farms bobby frankel trained .I claimed him After he dropped in classroom Delmar and Santa Anita to yavapai downs and rurf paradise in Arizona. I had his half brother and wanted a lyphard brother or sister. He was on track 10 yrs won 200k for owners and was 100k claimer.. I was r chez him for 5 yrs and when he was d I ally in a claiming race 3k. Jerry atkina trainer I found in a directory heard my apt e y and claimed rate cut for me. I drove to phoenix paid everyone and shipped him back r o san die f o county. My proudest r finest moment in my life. I got him off the track sound and alive. My goal.
    I originally provided a year and half ago . also off reaxk but he c we mad. wethrough a starting gate. Both my boy a are 22yra old and love with me on 5 acres where they have the run of the fenced place. I will offer bod a forever retirement home no more racing. Can someone help me get this poor boy away from these abusive lying sob’s? He has a safe place to land . I am financially challenged laid off.but everyone always has feed water love companions. Any help to get bod from his current hell, and assist in finding transport for him to my rescue. Thank u I w/o I or like to offer help and safe home for this poor boy. Lets g w t him b4 he is another casualty. Thank you and God bless the horses. Julie lipman

  12. Update on Bank of Dad, albeit, a late one. This is a post from my Facebook, 8-2-2018;

    “For 11 years, nearly to the day, 13-year-old Bank of Dad had known no life but track to track and trainer to trainer. That life came to an end yesterday. On August 1, in his 132nd start at Thistledown – yes, that’s right, 132 starts – the bay gelding finished second to last, 22 lengths behind. He started the race owned by an individual who was draining the life from him…but crossing the wire, his life was finally his own. Five thousand dollars is an insignificant amount to secure the life of a long-exploited horse and in my estimation, it is additionally paltry when that horse has put over $375,000.00 into the hands of those who exploited him.

    For over 2 years, Faith followed Bank of Dad while he was made to run…again and again. An offer to purchase him for retirement was turned down and it became clear that only a mercy claim would ensure ‘Dad’ get out of racing alive. We cannot thank Faith enough for keeping her eye on him and bringing us together to plan towards that end.

    Rose, racehorse rescuer extraordinaire, graciously covered the claiming amount – and although she would rather not even be mentioned in this post, I just could not go without thanking her for what she did for Dad. You gave him his life back, Rose.

    And Sue, another gem. She secured a home for Dad and did all of the ‘leg work’, including dropping the claim slip, taking possession of him right after the race, transporting him to his temporary home and spending hours with him last night…his first night in years as ‘just a horse’.”

    Not one of the three women mentioned above benefitted from Bank of Dad’s 375K-plus earnings. Not one of the three women are racing industry-employed. In fact, all THREE of the women are supporters of this blog and this cause. What is important to note, as well, is that not ONE SINGLE racing industry member did anything to bring an end to Dad’s exploitation. Not an act, not a dime. And while it’s hard to put 5K into the hands of an individual like Dad’s racing owner/trainer, it was hard NOT to.

    And the pro-racing folks’ tweets and FB posts about racehorses whose PP’s and stats scream “Please retire me!”?…there are LISTS. LONG lists. Constantly. Why is that? Aren’t these horses “bred to run”? – don’t they “love to run”? – aren’t they at no greater risk of hurting themselves racing than what they are running in their own pastures? And where are all of the “good people in racing”? What about all of the “safeguards” that are in place to ensure the protection and wellbeing of every racehorse? Rubbish. Racing and its fans cannot help but indict themselves and the industry. There are so many like Bank of Dad.

    Bank of Dad was taken to Old Friends yesterday (thank you, Sue). Lucky gelding. Deserving gelding. But then they all are.

    • A huge shout out to ROSE, FAITH, SUE, JOY and to Patrick for providing the facts on this blog plus an avenue for people who truly care to let out their disgust about this vile industry.
      The people in this industry are blood sucking leeches as this one example of many truly shows.
      BANK OF DAD – thank goodness that these 3 ladies took pity on you and provided the funds to save your life.
      As in most rescues not one dime is contributed by this industry or the people in it while they boast about record billion dollar sales and wagering profits,
      They are all vile and so is this business.
      It has got to go.

  13. Racing must come to an end. Save the horses. Close the racetracks. Stop over breeding and producing more foals—- if you are any part of this industry, you are an

  14. 13 years old. How did he survive this long. Greedy sods. Someone but this poor animal and let him live out his days in peace.

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