The Abuse and Suffering of Lethal Lil Lady and Smiling Charlie

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.


Leave a Comment

  1. I have spent yet another year attempting to get anyone anywhere to answer me about the horrors of racing. NOT ONCE have I ever gotten a response. The mayor of Saratoga stays quiet except to say they won’t cooperate with ICE. Saratoga is filled with illegals that are welcomed. Illegals are criminals. NYRA refuses to answer. I am working my way through our gag,elected” officials”. Let’s face it this is about money. These animals are disposable. May everyone rot in HELL

  2. I think you should publicize the jockeys that have been killed doing this. There were two young women in Australia who died within days of each other as I remember. It was a short period of time. I think horseracing should go out of business. I recognized my contribution as a bettor and now I don’t even want to be any part of it.

  3. Humans have a choice to get on a horse and race. The horses have no choice. I will never sympathise with a jockey…dead or alive.

  4. From Saratoga’s Chamber of Commerce the night before opening day 2018 at the Rail Event – – we’re not just a horseracing town. Exactly. Saratoga – don’t turn a blind eye at abuse. Shameful.

  5. This inhuman “sport” needs to be outlawed. It is time that the cruelty of horse racing be brought to light and put to an end.

  6. Animals suffer at the hands of humans….especially if there is money involved. Shameful and sickening. I had no idea that horse racing was this cruel. I don’t approve of racing Animals, but I thought the ‘racing community’ treated it’s horses with respect….. obviously not! Shame on you All!!!

  7. Anybody who works in this industry, derives a living from it and/or participates in some capacity are all killers.
    Whether it’s the executioner themselves or the ones who stand and watch the suffering, and dying happen it’s all the same.
    Equally disturbing is that Lethal Lil Lady and Smiling Charlie are only two of many.
    Neither two of these horses are lethal or smiling as their name suggests – another falsehood perpetrated by this vile business and the vile people in it.
    Horse racing ensures the massive pain, and suffering of voiceless victims while they make billions.
    The financial relationship between tracks and Rep. politicians are exactly the same as the financial relationship with the NRA.
    If these politicians don’t give a crap about our youth being gunned down in the hallways of our educational buildings how in the hell are they going to care about racehorses dying every day??
    People need to stop the bets, television networks need to stop broadcasting races, politicians need to stop throwing financial life lines to this horror show and it’s going to take a lot to erase this cruelty abyss from the planet, but it will happen.
    Shame on all of you apologists.
    Thanks to Patrick, Nicole, and supporters of this blog who want to abolish this horrific freak show.

    • I strongly, firmly believe there will be positive change — if we STOP going to the track, STOP betting on horses — it is up to the consumer to say, “STOP, ENOUGH,” and not participate in this sadistic industry — after all, the money has to flow in somehow — it would be a great start if people decided, “NO MORE” — the crowds would lessen & lessen — we MUST continue to keep getting the word out — getting the facts out — what else can we do? — if any suggestions, please relay.

  8. If this doesn’t break you heart, I don’t know what … … — until these horses are treated with love, care & respect, these unconscionable, sadistic, indifferent, merciless facilities exploiting animals for entertainment & profit MUST be SHUT DOWN permanently — These magnificent animals, e.g., Lethal Lil Lady AND Smiling Charlie, who in fact are used as “employees” MUST be protected — they are vulnerable, innocent and always at the mercy of humans — frequently, these humans are quite evil — this is NOT acceptable —- Keep in mind, horse racing first began decades ago as a “fun” event — fun for all, horses and humans alike — then, slowly, it morphed into this cruel horror show — my heart breaks for the horses – PLEASE — let’s SHUT DOWN the Horse-Racing Industry.

  9. Lethel lil lady just ran again at del sept 6 last again cant someone do something about it the vets allow her to keep running til she dies on track

    • Horses are property, its on everyone the owner trainer track vet jock everyone is responsible but none of them will ever be held accountable sadly

  10. SOS NOT CLOUDY ALL DAY….there are so many of them, breaks my heart and brings out the monster in me.where are all these good folks that the racing industry claims to have? How do you damn people keep your mouth shut see all the horrors and go about your buissness likes its commonplace? your all either one in the same or non horse loving cowards, everyone is aware of the problems very few want to do anything about it…..i hope everyone feels the same way about the old low level claimer thats only running once a month because the horse has to many injuries and problems to run any more then that, these people actually think they are looking out for the horses in these situations when retiring to just be a horse in the only real answer im not sure who deserves the blame owner or trainer sometimes most its both. I dont believe racing started this way i believe it evolved to this way strictly due to peoples greed egos and making it a money making investment type of buissness.

  11. Lethal Lil Lady ran again today, and she ran last again, beaten by 15 lengths. The chartwriter wrote “showed little” in her race chart. Maybe this poor mare has nothing left in her to show anymore. And what she is trying to show – that she doesn’t want to race- isn’t being heeded to by the humans that are in control of her.

  12. And as for Smiling Charlie – he also ran again, a DAY after the last race posted above by Patrick. On September 3rd, he ended up 3rd of 4 horses, beaten by 9 and a half lengths, at Blackfoot racetrack. He ran in a $4000 STAKES race! For his 3rd place finish, he earned a mere $600! This time it was also for a different owner/ trainer combo! This has to be the utmost in greed, one would think, but IT IS NOT! Because, these heartless greedy people have him entered at Sweetwater AGAIN- on September 9th – 6 days after his last race! And yet – as Patrick said, all those who could stop this nonsense, do not, because of the almighty dollar and greed and to make sure these races go, no matter at what cost!

  13. The Humane Society should be involved since state officials are impotent. Race tracks make political donations to Governor campaigns thereby putting pressure on state employees that monitor races to look the other way. It is essentially hush money. State officials are terrified that a phone call to a governors office by the track could cost them a job. There are so many levels of corruption…

  14. I would like to stress to anybody supporting the collective effort to end this institutionalized, widespread, racehorse abuse, cruelty, and dying that I’ve directly witnessed payments to politicians (mostly Reps) who are being paid-off to keep their mouths shut (2000, 2005)
    This is not unlike the relationship with the NRA, but the payments are often disguised under “entertainment” or numbered corporations, and are a blatant violation of campaign laws.
    They also have the Horse Racing Integrity and Wagering Integrity people on the payroll most likely.
    They are an absolute joke.
    In the 40+ years in this business I never once saw these agencies do anything to protect either the integrity of the wagering public or the racehorses which is exactly what they’re supposed to be doing.
    Case in point is the fact that doping/vet records are kept secret and any race can be potentially fixed through a syringe plunged into their voiceless victims veins.
    It’s a very organized system which fills every single definition of organized crime and the RICO Act would definitely be applicable here.
    It’s also notable that most tracks make a donation to their local Humane Society – I’ve also directly witnessed this as well while working for the HBPA.
    It was crystal clear to me that the racehorses have nobody taking care of them.
    Equally disgusting is the people who are supposed to be taking care of them, their connections, who continually live under the delusion that they treat them “royally” and like “family,” are the very people who send them out to get maimed and/or killed.
    The racehorses need our voices now more than ever because the abuse is getting worse as the horse population dwindles and the continuous demand to fill races for wagering profits is only increasing.

  15. Horse racing like dog racing is all about the money for the people. Animal abuse in any form, in any country is horrible and needs to stop. If this barbaric behavior continues then we shall go back to the abuse of the people like it was in the old days pitting man against man in the ring. Oh yeah, this is already happening. It’s called boxing, football, etc. all for the love of sports. And WHO makes the money off these games. The OWNERS who sell you the people the sports fashions that you wear with pride for the love of your team!

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