One Dead Horse at Pimlico: Leg Fracture, Hemorrhage, Severe Bruising on the Head, Degenerative Joint Disease in Both Hocks, Advanced Cartilage Erosion, Stomach Ulcers, “Blood and Foam Coming From the Nostrils”

Through a FOIA request to the Maryland Racing Commission, I have confirmed the following kills at that state’s tracks in 2019 (previous ones here.) Please note that in the wake of Santa Anita, Maryland began releasing much more detail. Because those details – and the words of the vets – are so powerful (and damning), I will post these in installments so as to give each death its proper due. Please share.

Portulaca, Sep 21, Laurel R
“severe/displaced MCIII fracture”

This was Portulaca’s first race.

Midskipman, Nov 2, Laurel T
“severe compound/comminuted fracture of the LF cannon bone; multiple fractured pieces of MCIII ranging in length from 10mm to 80mm”

Shes Not Not Fast, Nov 2, Laurel T
“severe open/compound fracture with avulsion [cartilage torn from the bone] of the RF fetlock joint”

Loudon’s Song, Nov 7, Laurel T
“collapsed and died, aortic rupture; stomach: large erythematous [red] ulcer”

Loudon’s Song was just three years old.

Polite Pearl, Nov 7, Pimlico T
“RF leg fracture; subcutaneous hemorrhage on [both] sides of the cannon bone; blood and foam were coming from the nostrils; severe bruising over the right eye, right side of poll and neck and right side of head; right hock showing some degenerative joint disease; left hock showing some degenerative joint disease; LF fetlock showed advanced cartilage erosion/bone cyst; stomach had gastric ulcers present”

This poor, abused animal was just seven years old.

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  1. This is what slavery looks like. It’s barbaric, sadistic, heinous cruelty and TORTURE of horses used in horseracing. It must be stopped! Horses deserve to be loved and not abused!

  2. As though broken limbs, fractured spines, degenerative joint disease along with worn out cartilage before maturity and painful digestive tract ulcers, there is the head trauma, fractured skulls, brain hemorrhages, “severe bruising” over the eye and on the side of the head…..How are these injuries sustained ? Who is investigating ?
    If there are investigations they should NEVER be internal because any hint of criminality calls for outside professional expertise without any chance of coverup.

  3. The PP’s and pictures speak for themselves.
    These are the shattered bones of sentient beings who are treated and viewed as their disposable gambling chips.
    Racehorses are speaking out through their broken bones, collapsed lungs, bleeding nostrils, ulcers, cardiovascular collapses etc.,and, if they are lucky enough to make it out alive, their last breath on the slaughterhouse floor.
    How much longer are we going to ignore their plea as they die for this despicable business and for a bunch of senior men who spend their day placing $2 bets?
    How much longer are the Maryland politicians going to support this while the general public doesn’t?
    How many more racehorses must die?

  4. They all count, but I want to spotlight POLITE PEARL (PP).
    This example alone exemplifies the vile parasites in this business that is supported by the industry who continues to condone blatant animal cruelty.
    So they start breaking and training her at around 18 months old because she has her first start on November 2, 2014 under the person who bought her Trainer Phillip Sims.
    Her horrific ongoing abuse and torture begins.
    02/7/2015 CLAIMED/SOLD to Trainer Randy Matthews and Owner Marshall K Gramm.
    Two month lay-up from 03/23/2015 to 06/17/2015 something wrong here requiring 3 months off.
    Runs on June 17, 2015 and then requires a 8 month lay-off until February 26, 2016 indicating something seriously wrong because when these parasites lay-up a horse they are not bringing in money so it has to be very serious, even a fracture, to require this time-off.
    At this point, it seems obvious that she needs to be retired from racing, but there was more blood and money to squeeze out of her and it continued because this is horse racing.
    02/26/2016 to July 19, 2016 she doesn’t race and it’s probably due to the ongoing serious injury or injuries that keep rearing their ugly head thereby requiring lay-up time.
    She shows up to race on July 19, 2016 under a different Trainer Juan Guerrero and Owner Ten Strike Racing so it’s obvious that the previous Trainer didn’t want to pay for her lay-up time (after he made about $30,000 off her) and sold her during this time.
    Her doping/vet/medical records buried deep in the corner cobwebs of her stalls so that nobody knows just how much she’s suffering, but viewed as a piece of chump it was time to take another bite out of her.
    September 10, 2017 CLAIMED/SOLD by Trainer Michael V Pino and Owner Smart Angel Stable.
    Octobeer 23, 2017 CLAIMED/SOLD by Trainer Marya K. Montoya and Owner Bush Racing Stable.
    2 races later.
    January 27, 2010 CLAIMED/SOLD by Trainer Lester Stickler Jr. where she remains for almost 8 years.
    8 years of making lots of money for Lester Stickler Jr. was about to end.
    She took a bad turn at this point in her life directly due to the abuse and the pre-existing injuries that were probably doped up and given shock wave therapy.
    On May 11, 2018 she “broke awkwardly” and DNF.
    June 8, 30,, 2018 more money to be made.
    November 24, 2018 CLAIMED/SOLD to Trainer Wayne C Cole and Owner Carmen Miculo Jr.
    Her pre-existing injuries her mental/emotional torture was beyond her capacity and the suffering really begin to show. January 18, 2019 LAST BY 19+ LENGTHS.
    “broke awkward” “weakened.” Remember she was “breaking awkward” about 10 races ago when she DNF?
    So you can assume that she was suffering in some capacity from the get-go.
    June 21, 2019 after 6 months lay-off something was seriously wrong to negate this long rest. Plus, she wasn’t even fit to run at that point. “steadied” barely made it through the race.
    July 16, 2019 “faltered” LAST BY 14+ lengths.
    So from July 2019 to November 7, 2019 we have NO IDEA what happened to this poor mare who ran her ass-off for all these parasites whose sole intention was to squeeze the life and every red cent out of her with NO REGARD for her health and welfare or providing a stable home.
    We don’t even know if she received the necessary vet care during this time or what exactly transpired?
    They keep that all secret, hidden from the public, because they know damn well that their abusive practices would expose them for the vile parasites that they truly are.
    She made money for all of them and what did she get in return?
    A gruesome ending because this is the horrendous world of horse racing and I despise it.
    POLITE PEARL you showed more capacity for compassion than these scum bags ever did or ever will.

    • Forgot to mention POLITE PEARL made $369,852 for all the above mentioned parasites with Lester Stickler Jr making the bulk of that.
      Despite the fact that she was obviously in pain, suffering and navigating pre-existing conditions or injuries that Stickler would have been well-aware of – he DUMPED her and lived to watch Polite Pearl go down in misery.
      He never went to take care of her and/or use the money she made him to ensure that she didn’t die.
      No instead, she died a gruesome death while Stickler was busy counting the money made off her bones, back and life – a true parasite like they all are.

  5. What I find disturbing about the life and death of Polite Pearl, is the lack of explanation as to how she sustained the fracture to her rt. front leg, the severe bruising over her rt. eye, rt. side of neck and poll and rt. side of her head, with blood and foam coming from nostrils. We know why she had degenerative joint disease, cartilage erosion and gastric ulcers, all chronic diseases brought on by racing.

    The acute injuries were the result of severe trauma. The question is, how was that much trauma sustained?? Did she die from her injuries or was she euthanized? She had not raced for about 4 months.
    I would think the documentation of her acute injuries along with her chronic diseases came from an necropsy. But was there an investigation into what happened to cause such trauma?? What am I missing here to keep me from thinking she was badly beaten?

    • Rose,
      I agree, the bruising over the eye and some other injuries mentioned are signs of domestic violence if it were two humans involved. I wonder if someone hit her in the head with an iron skillet/ frying pan even though it sounds more logical that she might have gotten hurt thrashing around or rearing in the starting gate or loading into a trailer or van. Who knows? All of the injuries are disturbing, to say the least, and with no explanation of how the unusual injuries occurred, one is left to speculate.

      • The speculation part is how these injuries go unpunished. Remember Alydar until finally the truth came to light?

      • Who will investigate? That would be great to have a real authority do a thorough, honest, competent investigation!!!!! Even if someone investigates, what would the punishment be? A one year suspension from that particular track and this state? Wouldn’t the guilty participants be above the law (What law?) in other states? Even if someone was found guilty of wrongdoing, they could have another person take over their horses if approved by the racing commissioners (as far as I have read so far). All of the dead horses and injuries of living horses are proof that this is not a squeaky clean business. I don’t have that much faith in the industry’s will to punish anyone. I wish someone would be punished. It would be a lot more than a one-year suspension for causing heinous abuse to a horse and death to a horse IF I had any authority over these barbarians that injure horses every day.

  6. I firmly believe exposing the extremes of brutality in this business is very important regardless of whether or not there is accountability. We know racing operates with impunity. And there is not even regard for the laws of human decency.
    We also know it is a corrupt business that polices itself.

    There was a time when the daily killing of horses received little to no exposure and the slaughter of thousands of Thoroughbreds was one of racing’s dirty secrets. But thanks to Patrick and others, that is no longer the case. Slowly but surely racing is being exposed in all it’s ugliness. The public is beginning to understand racing is not all fancy hats and mint juleps.

    Knowing racing will not hold wrongdoers accountable is not an excuse for not exposing the truth, or at least trying…

    • Absolutely, Rose! Some people think horseracing had its “glory days” but I think that is something of a delusional perception based on ignorance of the routine abuse of horses. There has always been a dark side to racing and it is more and more evident on a daily basis just how dark the dark side of racing is now and has been for a long, long time.

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