At Saratoga Race Course yesterday: “Golden Julia found distressed in stall; referred to Rood & Riddle, whereafter horse died from acute blood loss.” While the Gaming Commission filed (dismissed) this as a “non-racing death,” the two-year-old filly was coming off her first “workout” at a public racetrack (she had two others at a private facility) just five days prior. Direct correlation? Possibly, likely. Either way, this goes down as the first official death for Saratoga ’19 – with surely plenty to follow.
The May 14-May 19 Stewards Minutes from Los Alamitos declare: “One equine death was reported this week due to racing injuries.” As usual, no name released.
Then this from the Santa Anita stewards: “Jockey RUBEN FUENTES appeared in the Stewards Office to review his ride in the seventh race on May 12. Jockey Fuentes was aboard QUEEN BEE TO YOU, who finished second in this race. Jockey Fuentes used his riding crop seven consecutive times in the final 150 yards. Jockey Fuentes apologized and was candid stating the $100,000 purse may have changed his riding style in this race with regards to aggressiveness. Jockey Fuentes was fined earlier this month for a ‘Use of Riding Crop’ violation.”
For whacking his horse seven straight times – over twice the allowed – and for being a repeat abuser (just this month), Fuentes is to pay a mere $750 and will serve no suspension. On the other hand, he “apologized” and there was, after all, a whole lot of cash at stake. The ruse of Santa Anita’s (The Stronach Group’s, California Racing’s) “commitment to equine welfare” laid bare for all to see. Yet again.