Two more horses being run into the ground:
Lethal Lil Lady is a 9-year-old mare. First put to the whip over six years ago, she has been made to endure 79 races – each and every one of the “claiming” variety, meaning she has been in an almost-constant state of “For Sale.” Even having been run, exclusively, in the cheapest races at the lowest tracks, she has not finished first or second since October 2014 – 48 races ago.
Last October, Lethal Lil Lady brought up the rear, some 18 lengths back, at Delaware Park. Then, nothing, as trainer/owner Bassam Captan deactivated her for ten months, reason unknown. She then resurfaced in mid-August at Monmouth Park…
August 16: last, 27 lengths back
three – yes, three – days later: last, 17+ lengths back
six days after that: last, 23+ lengths back
So that’s three races in ten days resulting in three last-place finishes and a combined 68 lengths back. And yet – because Monmouth pays first through last, this animal abuser masquerading as a “horseman” came away with $1500 ($500 each time out).
Smiling Charlie is a 7-year-old gelding; he has been raced 52 times. Over the past three months, he has been treated unconscionably, even by this wicked industry’s standards. In June, he was raced at Chippewa Downs on the 9th, the 17th, and the 23rd. In July, he was raced at Great Falls on the 21st, the 27th, and the 29th. In August, he was raced at Sweetwater Downs on the 24th and the 26th. In the latter, he finished last, almost 30 lengths back. And the cruelty has begun anew this month with a race on the 2nd. As if not enough, Smiling Charlie has been made to suffer the stress and anxiety of being shuffled among three sets of trainers/owners – in 2018 alone:
through May 18 – Troy Bethke, Rodney Miller
June – Junior Dolphus (doubling as both)
July-present – Gilbert Ecoffey, Darren Ducheneaux
The apologists oft argue that it is unfair of us to paint with such broad strokes – that there are plenty of “good people” within the Racing ranks. So I wonder, as Lethal Lil Lady and Smiling Charlie continue to suffer, physically and psychologically, and quite likely march toward painful death, where are these people? Because you know, it’s not just the above reprobates involved here: As these horses get moved from track to track and state to state, many men and women have had, continue to have, ample opportunity to stop this – commission officials, racing stewards, and, worst of all, both public and private vets who are supposed to care. To my mind, complicit, all.