Star Jockey Allegedly Caught With Electric Shocker

Jockey Denny Velazquez has been suspended by the Minnesota Racing Commission after a vehicle search allegedly turned up a “buzzer” (aka a “machine,” aka a “battery”) – a device used to shock racehorses into running faster. A tentative hearing is slated for next Thursday at Canterbury Park. The 26-year-old Velazquez is a hugely successful jockey – third in the current “standings” at Canterbury, with over 500 first-place finishes in his still-young career (and party to over $9 million in earnings).

For those who may think these (obviously abusive) buzzers are rare, I refer you to statements made during a 2013 PETA investigation of trainer Steve Asmussen:

Scott Blasi, an Asmussen assistant: “I’d tell [jockey Ricardo Santana Jr], ‘You got the maquina [shocker]?’ ‘Boss, I got the maquina.'”

Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens: “So, long story short, I win the race…and I reach over to pull this off, and I, I shock the shit out of myself [audible laughing around the table].”

Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas: “Well, we used to go behind the gate at Ruidoso. And it was just like it was a full-blown orchestra. Zzz. Zzz. Zzz. Zzz. Everybody had one. Everybody had one.”

Cruelty, thy name is horseracing.

(my original post on the aforementioned investigation)

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  1. Patrick, thank you for sharing the conversation and who said what and the link. Racing people are sadistic or they would stop torturing horses by their own choice. There are other ways to make a living obviously!

  2. Not trying to change the subject off of this ogre who calls himself Denny, but…
    There’s an interesting Twitter conversation going on right now about yesterday’s Breakdown/Van-off at Indiana Grand — Miss Mercken FELL during the third race. And nobody wants to share her status publicly. Not IGRaceCourse, and certainly not poor Miss Mercken’s owner, one of racing’s staunchest defenders, (our good friend;) Maggi Moss.

    It’s kind of surprising to read actual horse racing fans demanding answers about whether she’s dead yet.

    • Thanks, Kelly…as you saw as well, some racing mouthpiece named Rachel stated they cannot release information on Miss Mercken without the owner’s permission – so the public can BET on these horses, they just can’t know if the horses lived or died. Yea that makes sense…

      • Interesting; I hadn’t thought about that take on the whole Dead vs. Alive conundrum. I’m sure Ms. Moss will jump right in any minute now with the real story about Miss Mercken’s, um, misfortune. Everybody who saw it says it was “bad.” Also, did you find the tweet about how her jockey has already been suspended 30 days for carelessness in killing (or not killing) her? But they still have to let him ride on Monday and Tuesday, because, well, they pinky-promised;(

  3. Unbelievable oh but the horses love to run in a crowd of horses with jockey on their backs in a circle with a crowd of noisy spectators in the heat. (Sarcasm) when will this nightmare end for our equine friends not soon enough for them or me.

  4. I think that it is cruel to “electrically shock” a horse to force the horse to perform well in a race.

  5. This jockey should be punished severely and maybe taken out of horse racing for using a shocker on a race horse. The trainer should also be severely punished for asking the jockey to shock the horse. This is total abuse and should be treated as such!

    • Racing, an inherently cruel and very corrupt business, operates with impunity.
      It is mindboggling to see the never ending animal abuse is never investigated in a purportedly civilized society!!

      • Rose, if the humans supporting this killing show,didn’t REALIZE after seeing Eight Belles,mind you after taking on the boys, heartbreakingly trying to stay standing on TWO broken front legs, these morons are LOSERS. You can’t get through to stupid and heartless.

  6. The folks of horseracing apparently find the subject of delivering electric shocks to horses running their guts out (for THEM) funny…you might recognize some names of those commenting from this post by Devi Dawn showing two buzzers and asking what they are (the following is verbatim);

    Marcia Hockenberry: “For scootin and an bootin an ahlectracutin.” (she received 7 LIKES)

    Ed Meyer: “Machines!”

    Katie Marks: “Lmao wow!”

    Pete Joseph: “Oh yea!! Do they still work?”

    Bob Kilmartin: “Haha…Machine, Joint, Rig, buzzer, hot whip…take your choice.” – to which Michelle Wyatt Winters replied (with HER choice): “Short stick.”

    Rick Hansen: “Hmmmm…think I’ll just leave it at that. :)”

    Jack Marion: “Like if you were running a 10K and were in the last 100 yds, if someone gave you an electric jolt, you can’t help but pick up the pace.” – to which Jerry Richards replied: “words of experience”

    Pete Joseph: “Now a days they use needles”

    Gerry Souto: “Its for an electrifying ride. lol” (5 people liked that “funny”)

    Steve Hebert: “So long as you don’t get caught and you will eventually!”

    Vod Farris: “Are they for sale?”

    Lee Alexander: “I knew a guy with a horse that was addicted to electric shock.” – Bobby Costen thought that was hilarious as evidenced by the emoji he replied with.

    And then Bobby Costen chimed in with: “If you wasn’t cheating, wasn’t trying.” (5 individuals liked that comment, too)

    Tina Russo: “Cash that ticket.”

    Jimmy Chandler: “The ole short stick…I can remember being at the fair’s out west and they didn’t even carry whips, one in each hand.” (Bobby Costen, once again, found that funny as did 6 others)

    Tina Russo: “Bull rings…ugh horses go through fences and the like…Hazel Park Michigan for instance.” – Karen Mayne replied with: “Sportsman Park! Never saw more broke down horses…sad”

    Leigh Magadini: “Hmmm…wonder what they are (5 smiling face emojis follow)”

    Leah Kathi Whitemen: “Something that you should NOT have n definitely not post on Facebook Imfao”

    Jeff Rowland Jr.: “Ya I would delete this post fast as hell”…and then he continues with his next comment: “J.j. Osborne you know what that is lmao!!!! Stupid fucker lololol”

    Victor Lebron: “cigarret ligthers lol”

    William H Jones: “I sat on one that I had in my pocket hurt like hell.”

    Ryan Gillspie: “Lmao”

    Lori Reynolds: “Short sticks!”

    Clint Baillie: “I’m pleading the 5th on that one.” – to which Jerry Richards replies: “hahaah yeah me too”

    Lynn Boggs: “Ummmm?! Never saw one of those in my 40 sum years of racing!!! Sound good?!!! Lol”

    Bacarra Pettis: “Lol.”

    Chuck Kayson: “GIZMO”

    Nestor L. Mendez: “Battery shockers, buzzers.”

    James Bragg: “I remember these”

    Robert Ackerman: “If you don’t know ask a jockey”

    Jerry Odriscoll: “Did you find them in Alberto’s locker?”

    Greg Griffith: “ask charlie fagan”

    Luke Linn: “Damn dude this post blew up crazy lmfao :)”

    Using a device to deliver an electric shock to racehorses (their beloved “family members”) – nothing but something to laugh and joke about to industry members.

    • Thank you, Joy, for reminding us how felony animal abusers act when they think no one else is listening. Weird how they become almost boastful about their cruelty, like a bunch of insecure adolescents (boys, mostly), trying to one-up their friends in the bullying department.
      But, inevitably, they’ll have to revert to their “shocked and saddened” public facade as they kill off each racehorse: “We’re devastated/heartbroken/beside ourselves with grief at our loss. Oh, and also at our 37 other losses. But, still. Look how horrified and upset we are, this time. Thoughts and prayers!”

    • These people are sick !!!
      They actually enjoy causing pain and torturing the defenseless – low life COWARDS that would whine and moan if they had to endure any kind of pain. They would be into the medicine cabinet, big time!!
      Actually, These people should not be around defenseless animals, nor should they be trusted or around children and the elderly…

      • They really should be locked up behind bars and only let out in shackles to do manual labor and then back to their prison cell.

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