Vile: Only Now, After 1,000 Dead Horses, Has Belinda Stronach Had Her “Wake-Up Call”

In a recent interview with The Associated Press, Belinda Stronach, president of The Stronach Group, calls the 40+ deaths at Stronach-owned Santa Anita last year a “wake-up call” and that safety should outweigh all other concerns. With that in mind, take a look at this (direct from CHRB):

2007-08 51 dead racehorses at Santa Anita Park
2008-09 41 dead racehorses at Santa Anita Park
2009-10 42 dead racehorses at Santa Anita Park
2010-11 37 dead racehorses at Santa Anita Park
2011-12 71 dead racehorses at Santa Anita Park
2012-13 43 dead racehorses at Santa Anita Park
2013-14 52 dead racehorses at Santa Anita Park
2014-15 46 dead racehorses at Santa Anita Park
2015-16 62 dead racehorses at Santa Anita Park
2016-17 64 dead racehorses at Santa Anita Park
2017-18 44 dead racehorses at Santa Anita Park

In fact, Ms. Stronach, since your family purchased the track in 1998, over 1,000 horses have died at Santa Anita. 1,000 dead horses – on your watch. But now – in a year that if anything was a bit below average – is your “wake-up call”? Only now “safety should outweigh all other concerns”? As disgusting as it is transparent. In truth, Ms. Stronach, you are but a wily politician (actually were), willing to say or do anything to preserve your power. Fact is, neither you nor the rest of your insidious industry care about dead horses, for if you did, you would have had your come-to-Jesus moment a long time ago.

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  1. Amen

    On Fri, Jan 31, 2020 at 8:23 AM Horseracing Wrongs wrote:

    > Patrick Battuello posted: “In a recent interview with The Associated > Press, Belinda Stronach, president of The Stronach Group, calls the 40+ > deaths at Stronach-owned Santa Anita last year a “wake-up call” and that > safety should outweigh all other concerns. With that in mind, take a” >

  2. The Associated Press deserves some credit for reporting on the many deaths at Santa Anita but it is unfortunate that they are letting Belinda Stronach use their format as a platform to attempt to deceive the public with her public relations “template” language. Same ****, different day. Hopefully, more and more people will become better informed and read between the lines and see the deception for what it is; business as usual, more dead horses killed by the racing industry.

    • Excellent point, Wanda! I had contacted the AP reporter, Tim Reynolds, about that very issue, on Jan. 26, via Twitter. Sadly, Mr. Reynolds primarily covers the NBA, and reports of the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant had just started circulating, so he understandably had bigger things to cover.
      Nonetheless, I believe the AP is doing the right thing by sending out NON-RACING journalists to interview racing folks like Ms. Stronach.

      • Thank you, Kelly. That is great that you contacted the AP reporter! It is a free press, I believe, which means they just report the news without telling people what to think. I just want to know the facts myself. If I have enough facts from other people being allowed their Constitutional right to freedom of speech, I am capable of knowing what to think. 👍

  3. These statistics are powerful and can’t be argued. It’s way past wake up time!! Soon the pro racing arguments will sound as lame as they are even to the people who fight to believe them. All the “but we loved him so much” excuses will not matter. Dead is dead. If you contribute to racing you are part of the problem. Dead is dead.

  4. There may be even more at Gulfstream and Laurel because all the intense scrutiny has been on Santa Anita. Belinda probably does not have much to do with the actual operating of the company. Maybe Tim Ritvo and the lawyers have more control. I certainly do wish they had some deep cover private detectives employed there. Racing could be cleaned up within a year. But then there would not be any trainers left. But that would be a good thing. Because others could easily fill that role and horses would be much better off. Jockey agents can assess where horses should be entered and head grooms responsible for care and veterinarians made responsible for horse soundness. Owners could enter horses but would have to have other people signing off. Jockey’s agents are good at choosing races for their mens mounts. This has been done incidentally in Illinois. A trainer was hired for the afternoon just to saddle entries. And it worked our great. Very successful stable.

  5. EXACTLY, Patrick – and Belinda Stronach isn’t the only one who has “suddenly” seen the light. Had Horseracing Wrongs not been created – and had not persevered with the reporting of DEAD horses for entertainment purposes – we would not be watching the industry in their current panic mode and at each others’ throats over how to keep their filthy business going.

    Patrick’s posts on racing’s self-incrimination could be tripled right now (conservatively) – and the scrambling by racing has intensified around the Congressional Sub-Committee hearing on the Horseracing Integrity Act this past Tuesday. Check out what industry members have to say in regards to the Act in racing publications – there are so many nuggets of truth from racing itself that there isn’t enough duct tape on stores’ shelves to shut them all up (a suggestion from many apologists).

    Once again, thank you Patrick – an industry that is already dying (“Horse racing has experienced sharp declines in participation via wagering which is down approximately 50% in 15 years adjusted for inflation. Tracks have closed, attendance has dwindled and the foal crop is at sixty-year lows.” – from TIF Reports: American Racing’s Sustainable Future) will be unable to address the TRUTHS of their thousands of dead “athletes”.

  6. The sick truth is that her wake up call is actually the realization that her precious cash flow is in danger. She couldn’t care less about the deaths of those horses.

  7. And for those that still support the horseracing industry, in spite of the lists of dead horses posted on this blog, I would like to direct this quote to them…

    “NO AMOUNT OF EVIDENCE WILL EVER
    PERSUADE AN IDIOT.”
    – Mark Twain

    • Thank you, Mary Johnson. There are too many things wrong with the horseracing industry and the pari-mutuel betting on horses that the horses would always lose out to profit margins. No horse deserves to be raced before they are fully matured (at age 6 years) and no horse deserves to be locked up in a stall 23 hours a day or be expected to race several times a year and be whipped to run faster and faster. No horse deserves the punishment or the death sentence of being exploited by greedy people who cannot see anything wrong with what they are doing to race horses. Maybe it’s fun for that group of people but it cannot be fun for the horses. Another eventuality for the horses is the slaughterhouse. So how is that fun? It is a tragedy.

  8. Cheap theatrics have always been Ms. Stronach‘s MO….she knew and knows everything that is going on and the pain and abuse inflicted on our horses by a business that is generating dirty millions for her.
    Thank you Patrick and HW for everything you do. Otherwise panic would have probably not set in.

  9. “Wake-up call?” Belinda Stronach.
    Really?
    Your dad, Frank Stronach, under the banner of Adena Springs, has been over breeding, selling, buying, maiming dumping, and killing racehorses FOR YEARS!
    The same business operations under the “Magna Entertainment” banner and now “The Stronach Group.”
    The same pain, suffering, and dying under a different name.
    Then your interviews conducted by apologists in pro-horse racing publications touting your “modernization plan” when you took over the reins at The Stronach group.
    Nowhere during those interviews were any mention of all the racehorse dying then so it wasn’t in your plans despite the fact that FOR YEARS racehorses were dying at Stronach-owned tracks.
    It was only when the public finally was exposed to the ugly truth, and only after you had to shut down and lose MONEY that you suddenly had an epiphany..
    Stop sugar coating the truth: you facilitate the massive pain, suffering, and dying of racehorses.
    You can stop it right now, sell-off the properties and shut it down.
    No reforms will change this and you are not responsible for the fallout of what people do to their racehorses, but you facilitate it, and live off these poor racehorses via your wagering firm XpressBet, which makes you equally responsible.
    So a “wake-up” call is not enough a complete shut down of this business should be your only response.

    • Gina, I cannot cope with the thought of ANY horse suffering. It’s cruel beyond belief and a sin. Funny, I could give a rat’s ass about people suffering,with the exception of the handicapped and infirm. People,leave animals alone,torture your fellow humans,if you feel it necessary to be an EVIL SICKO SADIST…in other words go fuck yourselves.

    • Thanks Gina…who knows how many Adena Springs-bred horses have died for gambling entertainment – we can be certain Belinda isn’t counting.

      Back in 2014, I contacted Adena Springs about a gelding they bred that needed help. At the time, they boasted on their website about how they helped horses they bred (looking at the e-mail I sent to them, it was to “Adena Retirement”). I received a response from Stacie Clark – her response in its entirety; “Not sure how you think I can help?”

      I had already explained that the gelding, Hundred Adams, was with George Iacovacci of Star Plus “fame”, included this link about that sickening abuse (https://www.paulickreport.com/news/ray-s-paddock/saga-of-star-plus-doesn-t-this-horse-deserve-better/) and made it clear that things were looking very discouraging for Hundred Adams. He had just been raced on 2-11, 2-15, 2-26 and his last race at Beulah Park was on 3-24 in a 5K claiming race. He finished 6th of 7, over 17 lengths behind. I had also included names of Iacovacci horses that we (CANTER) had taken in, only to have to euthanize them because they were so injured. Yet that was the response from Adena Springs via Clark…”Not sure how you think I can help?”

      They didn’t want to help and they didn’t help.

      • Thank you, Joy, for sharing the link to the Paulick Report about STAR PLUS. It is unthinkable that anyone could be so deliberately cruel, besides stupid, to a horse! It’s unbelievable and unacceptable that people can have horses and yet be so stupid and abusive to them.

      • Thank-you Joy for that detailed account backed-up with names.
        Poor STAR PLUS.
        It was the spring of 2002, Ft. Erie Racetrack.
        Now for those of you southern folk, spring in April up in Canada is COLD.
        During early morning training hours the temperature can be anywhere from 20F to 30F
        There were mornings that I couldn’t feel my fingers, even with gloves on, while I was hotwalking.
        Nevertheless, most of us trainers wouldn’t give a shower to our racehorses for obvious reasons and a cool down blanket is a sure thing. Plus, the water hardly got warm and was mostly cold water in the morning a sure thing for tying up a horse on hot worked out muscles.
        Instead, we do a sponge bath to get in and around the areas full of dirt splatter.
        Then we look over to Stronach horses, about 30 of them, where Justin Nixon was giving a complete shower to these racehorses, including the head area, in the morning some without blankets when they were finished.
        They being walked around the shedrow completely wet to the skin shivering from being cold a total unnecessary and preventative suffering.
        I couldn’t stand it anymore so I walked over (which I’m not supposed to do) and said to him “you shouldn’t be giving a shower to your racehorses on such a cold morning!”
        He said “don’t worry their not your racehorses and we have plenty more if they drop dead.” – no kidding!
        I actually called over to Adena Springs to tell the manager there what was going on and he told me to “mind my own business, that Justin knew what he was doing and that’s why Frank personally hired him.”
        So there you have it.
        Within a month every single racehorse in that barn was sick from a cold, lung infections, and pneumonia.
        They were being sent out to the track with snotty noses, coughing so hard they could hardly breathe and of course the vets just loved Justin because they were at the barn almost every single morning making thousands.
        Most all of that crop of racehorses didn’t do much, and they would either disappear or die to make room for the next bunch of racehorses he bred which may or may not have anything to do with their cold showers.
        I could give so many more examples, but they were exploiting, doping, dumping, and killing racehorses for years and nothing was done about it then because nobody was paying attention until now.
        Only NOW after their millions in wagering profits are at risk and their reputation as “kings of horse racing” is she having this epiphany, but I don’t think she wanted anything to do with horse racing to begin with.

  10. The new microchipping in race horses is a definite problem.Racing tattoos under the lip provided a new buyer for aftercare to feel good about giving an ex racehorse a good home.Many buyers like to know the race record or history of their future dressage or jumper horse.Now many horses from the track will wind up in killer pens because of no visible tracking like the lip tattoo.And to think a killer pen really cares about spending money to read a microchip,guess again.Pleasa lobby for regular lip tattoos,nothing good can come from this technology.We wont even go into when they learn how to remove the chips or transplant into another horse for the sake of gambling.This is an important issue for the thoroughbred industry.

    • Lee Jeffery Eyerman – tattooed TB’s are found in kill pens everyday.

      The only “lobbying” we will do is to bring this barbaric, unnecessary gambling industry to an end.

      • The bigger issue in the Thoroughbred industry is that they are being sadistically exploited for racing and gambling with no jail time for the people who commit cruelty and torture to Thoroughbreds. The slaughterhouse is where a large number of racehorses go to retire if they are not killed at the breeding farm, the racetrack or the training track. Yes, some horses do get a second chance but many of those horses are too injured to have any kind of life and need to be humanely euthanized. I think tattooing is most likely painful to the horses but pain is the thing that cruel, sadistic humans inflict on Thoroughbreds. Microchips may cause cancer in some cases; also, they might travel around in the animal’s tissue over time. There are all kinds of problems. Horseracing needs to be banned because the horseracing community use and abuse horses in morally depraved ways that should put the humans in jail for a long, long time!

    • Lee Jeffrey- Lip tattoos are also easily manipulated. I’ve heard of them being tattood over, burned with acid or by other means, FILED off with a hoof rasp…
      If these sadistic pieces of crap that desperately want to get rid of their poor horses, they will do so by any means they can come up with. They don’t care what kind of pain they inflict- they are going to a slaughterhouse, so they will be dead in a few days anyhow.
      They just need that stall for the next victim, so that horse needs to GO NOW.

      • Peggy, I have heard of tattoos being removed from racehorses but not how they are removed. The real problem is that deviant, depraved people in the horseracing industry are not brought to justice for their many crimes.

  11. Close the park already. What are you waiting for. Alot of horses die everyday and they are such beautiful and sensitive creatures. They do not deserve to be drugged and mistreated

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