A Criminal Kill (Aren’t They All, Though?) at Belmont

From the NYS Gaming Commission, Belmont Park, Thursday: “[Pasta] was deliberately let out of her stall by ex-employee, ran loose and fell. Injuries sustained in fall subsequently necessitated euthanasia.” Pasta was two years old and was being prepped for her first race. According to an account in Newsday, Pasta took that fatal fall on a nearby street. The former employee, Ramzan Antooa, was arrested and charged with “burglary” and “reckless endangerment of property.”

There are those, of course, who will say that this story doesn’t belong on this site. The horse, they will argue, was a victim of a crime committed outside (because the miscreant was an ex-employee) Racing’s purview. In other words, not on us. But the key lies in the aforementioned charge: “endangerment of property.” Indeed, property. Pasta was a thing, a piece of chattel wholly and utterly controlled by Horseracing, making all that befell her in her two miserable years on this planet – including, obviously, her death – wholly and utterly Horseracing’s responsibility. Period.

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  1. The sad fact is – retaliation is a fairly common problem on the backside of tracks. If you crossed anyone, you had to be concerned they, or their thugs, would take it out on your horse. Putting up your own cameras became the norm. I had heard stories of rocks lobbed into stalls from the outside, people taking horses out of stalls that weren’t authorized to do so, people putting substances into horses water in an effort to poison, or make them test over, and tampering with hay. Horses were the victims of humans bickering.
    The majority of backside workers are transient, nomadic, foreign workers, and if they get thrown out of one track – so be it- they move on to the next one, and for many, this is just a job.
    This is also why many people are afraid to turn in the people that they know are doing wrong or evil things. The fear of retaliation.

    • Peggy, at Oaklawn a couple yrs. ago an employee went around cutting some of the horses. I don’t TRUST any of the humans in this evil gambling sleaze. NONE of them.

      • I spent years on the backside of a low level track (Beulah Park) and, thankfully, I never saw any form of retaliation that focused on the horses. I do know of one case where drugs were planted on an individual in order to get that person thrown off the track.

  2. Oh, for heaven’s sake, ex-employee or not, these Belmont Race Track horses, as with all enslaved horses in the industry, are in a completely unsafe, miserable jail environment already. They are locked up in a stall, “owned”, not protected! They should not be living in such circumstances in the first place. All horses need responsible sanctuary in a large wild setting or with their loving humans.

    • You stupid fools, the racing community is outraged by this, and I will make sure that this guy is put in jail for a long time.

      You don’t like the term property, well neither do I, but thats what horses and pets are termed. I also don’t like that horses are categorized as livestock, tgat needs to be changed.

      Why don’t you work on that instead of sitting in the basement whining all day!!

      • We don’t trust ANY of YOU. What other gambling leads to massive,constant DEATH. Horses are not fucking gambling chips!!!!!!!!!!!!! F’n morons. Answer me THAT lucy

      • YOU are going to “make sure that this guy is put in jail for a long time”, Lucy? Can we provide you with a (long) list of LICENSED racing employed that should join him?

        Regarding how horses are termed or categorized? – my horses are considered the same (by law) so what’s your point? You see, the difference is that while “law” terms them property and/or livestock, I consider them family while your “racing community” sees them only as tools of the trade – property – means to an end – objects to be maintained (just enough) to race for a check then gotten off the books when they’re used-up and worn out. Terms mean nothing – how racing sees their racing slaves is what drives the crippling, discarding and killing of them. Changing terms isn’t going to change how the industry views them.

      • You’re a funny girl Lucy. The pro racing Community is outraged by this? When I tried to find a story or a tweet to confirm this story was true yesterday, I found NOTHING except a few news stories from local stations. Where’s the outrage?? And maybe YOU should work on the racing community not looking at horses as property or commodities!

      • Lucy, why don’t YOU work on changing how horses are categorized in this country? I am way too busy rescuing, networking, and caring for horses, dogs, and cats so, since the categorization needs to be changed, get up off your ass and get it done!

        As far as accusing me, or anyone else, of “…sitting in the basement whining all day” all I can say is that nothing could be further from the truth. Therefore, you are either a liar or delusional, perhaps a bit of both.

      • Well, Lucy, you may have your work cut out for you making sure “that guy”, Ramzan Antooa, is “put in jail for a long time”. I guess you didn’t know that following his arraignment on Friday, he was released without bail!!!
        Do you seriously think he will show for his court appearance on 21 Sept??

        P.S. I will save my outrage for the “racing community” and my sorrow for the horses.

      • Dear Lucy,you sound genuinely concerned about this issue but if the racing commission fails to dole out stiff penalties how are you going to accomplish this individual to spend time in jail.Do you know something or someone the rest of us don’t ?

      • Typical horse racing apologist.
        You are so “outraged” by this, but yet your not “outraged” at the number of racehorses standing at a kill auction about to board a slaughter-bound truck.
        In fact, in the past week, there was 20 racehorses about 10 of them with racing plates STILL ON dumped at various kill auctions throughout the country.
        They were all begging for their lives after being maimed and dumped by horse racing.
        Where’s your outrage in that?
        I would be happy to send you pictures, where they are located, and perhaps you can cough up the $200 needed to bail them out.
        Of course the care just begins after you bail them something that your multi-billion dollar industry denies them
        Just the other day, they were bragging about the 32 million gambling wagers at the Travers.
        Yet, not one dime went to save any racehorses at the kill auctions – not one dime.
        Aren’t you outraged about that?
        How about all the racehorses snapping their legs-off crumbling to the dirt waiting for the pink needle?
        Where’s your outrage in that?
        So typical of you horse racing apologists to go after the weakest and most vulnerabe who carries your business on their backs while getting ripped-off for their pay?
        Not even the racehorses many of whom earn a decent retirement get saved because you parasites are too busy sucking every last drop of life out of them in the claiming ranks.
        No outrage there either is there?
        Go stick your head in some manure where it belongs.

      • Lets face the truth….the racing community is only enraged because they have lost another ‘piece of property’ that would have earned them blood-money for as long as possible. But never mind, I’m sure they’ll still be able to collect the insurance payout and how about collecting the slaughter-house money…still, never mind, they can still cry all the way to the bank!!!!! Perhaps they could try doing some proper ‘work’ instead of abusing, torturing and killing horses for their own fat-assed pockets…

  3. That poor baby filly – how terrified and confused she must have been.

    This account provides another truth that speaks to something racing apologists have claimed is true of horses at the track – I’ve often been told that horses are SAFE (they’ll even exclaim they are SAFER than my own horses who live on my property) when stabled at tracks because they are under constant supervision via their trainers, grooms AND security. That’s a lie – I would often need to drive back to the track to pick up a horse the trainer would insist be removed that day – by the time I got back there with truck and trailer, it would be afternoon (after morning training and before evening races) and the place was a ghost town. I could’ve filled my trailer and no one was there to stop me – the only “supervision” around was the individual at the stable gate who would just wave me through.

    • Joy, THE original sin…..mixing animals and gambling. Because, this is gambling, NOT !!! , a sport.

  4. Why in H___ would someone let Pasta out of the enclosure knowing that running out of the pen would cause a drastic injury, in this case, so severe that euthanasia would be the result. Pasta was just a baby and hadn’t run a race yet! Horse racing is not a sport, it’s for people to dress up, show themselves off and who cares about the horses! Greed, Greed!

    • This callous creep would’ve known that there was an extremely high risk of her coming to grief. She would’ve been confused, in fear, so alone and just a baby. The fact that she was able to go out onto a public road says it all. When I worked in the industry, on days when I was the last to leave I hated the feeling of all the horses being confined with no human being on the premises to go to the aid of a horse if he became cast. And of course, next morning not unusual for a horse to be found in distress from being cast all night. They struggle to get up and thrash around desperately (being a prey animal they know that they cannot stay down and therefore the mental distress must be torture for them) and suffer injury such as scratches, bruising, abrasions, cuts, fractures head injuries and eye injuries. A fractured leg is not uncommon – then euthanased. And of course it’s all kept quiet unless the horse is due to race next day and even then often excuses are given rather than revealing the truth.
      I recall a high profile Sydney trainer scratching a horse on the morning of the race. Officially, reason given was because the horse had a few scratches from being cast during the night, however, I was told that it was more than “a few scratches” and horse was out of racing for a long time and due to his value everything was done to get him back onto the track and I noticed tbat it wasn’t long before he was retired.

  5. This story definitely belongs on this site! At the very least, this tragic event on the grounds of a horseracing track and a nearby street leading to another death of another horse exploited for the purpose of racing and gambling will be recognized as a crime. It’s all bad for the horses regardless of what they are called; property or sentient beings. The majority of racehorses are killed by euthanasia or butchered as a consequence of the people who exploit them for money and their dysfunctional illusion that they love horses. When a horse suffers at the hands of human beings, the horse is not being loved in the true sense of the word love. People that abuse horses in some way, shape or form and say they love horses are toxic, dysfunctional people. No horse is truly safe when someone wants to make money off of them. The love of money is the root of all evil. Just read the reports about the wagering handle; then read the reports of horses being injured and killed by racing and training and being sold to killbuyers.

  6. Weird. The last time a tragedy/accident/sabotage struck the Clement horses, a representative came here (of all places) to berate everyone on this site. Now, they’ve sent out “Lucy” to do the same, call us names, suggest we’re holed up in basements, etc..
    Hey, Clement barn folks: getting tired of scrutiny for all your dead horses? Then stop racing them to death.

    See, wasn’t that easy?

      • The same one. And someone claiming to be named Clement wrote in to accuse us of CELEBRATING that tragedy. Reasonable racing folks, huh?

  7. What a horrible ending to a young life. Pasta’s story reminds me of the demise of Rockaroo who suffered a fatal injury on the backside of MountaIneer last September…the same day that Bridget Moloney died in the dirt. I can only imagine the terror these horses experience as they are confronted with the scariness of the “unknown.” I doubt any significant punishment will be doled out to Antooa. Perhaps he had a bone to pick with Belmont but to take it out on an innocent horse is particularly heinous

  8. Taking revenge out on the most vulnerable, the innocent captive horse, is the hallmark of a contemptable COWARD.
    As a former employee, he knew the state of security and how easy it would be for him to carry out his plan.
    Sure looks like he was right, security did not prevent him from carrying out his plan.

    According to Newsday and news release from a police officer, the perpetrator, Ramzan Antooa, a former employee of the horse’s trainer, was arrested and charged with burglary and endangerment of “property”! The burglary charge is a felony while the endangerment is a misdemeanor!!

    Seems it does not matter much what the charges are because following his arraignment he was released without bail!! He is due back in court on 21 Sept. Good luck on that one!!!

    • Rose,
      Thank you for the follow up on this heinous criminal who willfully caused harm to an innocent horse!

      • And I would guess she was with a fairly well known trainer because of her breeding/history.

        She was by Frankel (GB) out of an Irish mare by an Australian sire and foaled in France.- was in the October Tattersalls sale as a yearling but was listed as RNA (the minimum price the consigner will sell the horse for was not met) the price was 196 gns, a little over $200,000!!
        So, it looks like she sold privately later and shipped to the US where she died on a road at Belmont at 2yrs old. Sad.
        Not that these facts make any difference, but it shows the international tentacles of this business (England, Ireland, Australia, France and the US) and how exploited these horses are for the sake of money and ego.

      • Rose, the fact that she was by Frankel makes me question why she was originally sold for about $200,000 – that’s cheap for a Frankel.
        Guessing her conformation may not have been great and perhaps her x-rays revealed that she had defects, perhaps she had health issues and it appears she didn’t tick all the boxes otherwise she would’ve been sold for a much higher price. Doesn’t stop her (and many like her) from being sold, see how she performs in racing and if a ‘fizzer’ … ahh well, she’s a Frankel folks and off to the breeding barn. If any good came out of her horrific and cruel death, she didn’t go on to endure what was mapped out for her. We know what happens to the mares when they’re no longer useful for breeding.

    • AGAIN…..it all goes back to,Do Not use Living,breathing souls , for GAMBLING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Gambling is what CAUSES the F’n evil.

      • Carolyn, good point. Actually, most European bred horses that are imported to the US raise questions for me, too. They really do not do well in the US. They (Europeans) usually ship in for some of the big races then ship home.
        And although Frankel has not been a very “successful” stallion, the gambling mentality of racing prevails in the hope he will pass on his talent at some point, even skipping a generation.

  9. Another prospective.
    Many of these employees are uneducated, in some cases, undocumented workers mainly Latino.
    It’s for this very reason that many Trainers and Owners take full advantage of their subordinate situation.
    From large to small racing stables to small and top trainers many of these employees work very hard, 7 days per week, 12 hours per day, breaking their backs bent over sore racehorses rubbing their legs, bandaging them and all the other associated duties.
    Horse racing breaks about every labor law there is while other businesses are expected to adhere to state labor laws.
    We saw this on many occassions with Steve Asmussen and Chad Brown.
    I’ve seen it with my own eyes at Keeneland, of all places, when Steve Asmussen was not paying his help and they would come to me to get money to buy milk for their babies and I’m not exagerrating.
    Perhaps the racetracks should be charged for facilitating human right abuses because they certainly get away with racehorse abuse that would otherwise be chargeable offenses if they weren’t categorized as livestock.
    MANY DON’T GET PAID or get ripped-off of their pay.
    I’m not defending Ramzan Antooa for what he ALLEGEDLY did because when push comes to shove I will side with the worker in most cases over these sleezy Trainers who don’t pay their bills.
    We live in a country where Due Process of Law is the cornerstone of our democracy and perhaps Ramzan is just another victim like the racehorses who has little choices when it comes to earning a dollar to support himself and his family that he probably sends money back to in Mexico.
    Horse racing is a sleezy horrific business that not only exploits racehorses, but workers too.
    Now again, I totally get the fact that grooms have a voice and a choice, but what choice do they have really?
    Their choices are limited, but the racehorses have no voice or no choice.
    If it was a pay issue I don’t condone what he allegedly did, but many of these workers have no recourse and the Trainers know this.
    The tracks know this.
    This vile business is rarely held accountable for all the wrongs that they do and perhaps this is another example of this.
    Racehorses are never safe in this business and are more often than not one step away from dying.
    Sorry PASTA you were unequivocably a victim of a bunch of parasites.

    • Exactly right, Gina. The workers on the backstretch are the only humans in this whole cesspool who are stuck with toeing the line, and paying the price for all their racing creep “employers.” Then, they get trotted out with signs to plead for their jobs and substandard housing when the public gets fed up with all the horse kills. Their bosses want them in fear — fear of deportation, fear of unemployment, fear of homelessness. What’s a better motivator than that to keep them toiling away for this wretched, abusive industry?

      Anyway, haven’t heard much from our friends at the CHRB lately. Do you know why they suddenly stopped counting the Santa Anita kills? It’s as if, after the Los Alamitos fiasco, they just decided it’s better (for themselves) not to report dead horses at all (since they refuse to mandate any protections for the animals they pretend to protect.)
      *Whoops. Looks like Golden Gate just killed off another one, so we’ll see if the CHRB is actually going to do its job.

      • Exactly Kelly and Bonnie.
        This business is the epitome of classism, racism, discrimination, exploitation, and is pretty much a modern day slavery ring from the racehorses to the workers.
        It breaks just about every state labor law while other small businesses in this country are held accountable if they break a state labor law.
        Yet, our politicians continue to financially support it.
        I would really like to know the reason behind why Ramzan Antooa did what he did because horse racing always shirks their responsiblity to what they solely cause.
        It’s always the racehorse’s fault “bad step,” “went wrong,” and the same goes for the grooms as exemplified in this example.
        Yet, it’s always and solely the fault of horse racing.
        The Mexican labor, from what I directly experienced, were hard working people, loved their families, and were always good to me and anybody they worked for.
        It’s rare for something like this to happen and I can only surmise that he was probably ripped-off for his pay that left him in a horrible situation.

    • Gina, I remember not that long ago SEVERAL East coast trainers were found to not having PAID their labor,which is always people of “color”, it was found to be chad,graham,todd….several others. Yet, these ones are held up in esteem, by a lot of East coasters ….just FUCKIN sayin………

      • I am in no way condoning what this helpless individual did to this horse,which led to its demise. You can be assured that this person was a victim of the upper dysfunctional culture that is fairly normal at the racetrack. There are no avenues for disputes that can be adjudicated for the bottom level workers at track. Every breath taken on the racetrack is dependent on who you know. Right or wrong,if you don’t have the right connection, you are guilty,you are wrong and there is a good chance you will be black balled and NYRA will prevent you from earning a living on their premises. It’s a game that their authorities play including their incestuous relationship with the gaming commission. Clearly corrupt,conflicts of interest all over the place.

  10. Carolyn, Frankel’s have not been “all that”. I’m not saying that to be mean,but…..

  11. Just a thought, I wonder how many trainers or owners, throughout the history of this GAMBLING scum, have paid to have something done to a horse? Now, I’m not talking about this instance, but… how many horses have been Alydar’d….if you catch my DRIFT.

    • Bonnie,
      I was thinking awhile ago about the possibility of this case of PASTA, a two-year-old filly foaled in France, imported to the United States, being an insurance fraud case. This is only speculation and second-guessing on my part. It is something the insurance company will probably have to investigate unless they have some kind of wink-and-nod system, which is again speculation on my part. If the owner/s of PASTA have an insurance policy, it seems like the long arm of the law would make sure that this ex-employee, Ramzan Antooa, would either show up for court on September 21st or be arrested for failure to appear. That is the normal procedure regardless of any insurance. I don’t think this will be the last we hear of this story whether there is fraud involved or not.

      • I worry about that CONSTANTLY, Wanda. Because, number one-I DO NOT trust the majority of owners/trainers….I just Don’t. Really, this whole debacle needs to GO- like yesterday!

  12. Flatbush #4, The victim here is the innocent defenseless horse. Period.
    I really do not want hear how much a “victim” Ramzan Antooa was of “the upper dysfunctional culture that is Fairly normal at the race track”.
    The bottom line is he is a cruel individual and his cowardly act speaks volumes. He should never be around animals. He has clearly shown what cruelty he is capable of.
    In a perverse way he fits right into the culture of cruelty and lawlessness of racing – he just doesn’t have money and power.

    • And Flatbush #4 you seem to be privy to some inside information on the “victimization” of the perpetrator so at least you must have known the filly was in Christophe Clement’s barn. And perhaps you may know the said trainer has a very good reputation as far as how he treats his employees, unlike many others in the business…
      Further, I prefer the term exploit(ed) rather than the overused victim(ization)

      • How does one trace the ownership of a horse when the horse was never raced and Equibase says N/A on Owner, Trainer, and Jockey?

  13. Revenge is common among the lowlifes working on the backstretch. I was living not far from Penn National when this absolutely horrific fire occurred. I remember the guy (Sullivan) being arrested for the fire. He said he was angry and drunk. He wanted a job and they wouldn’t hire him. So burns 45 Thoroughbred racehorse to death to get even. He did go to prison but not for long enough. Someone should have tossed a molotov cocktail into his cell and burned him to death. To this day, I still can’t get the images out of my mind. Those poor, innocent horses. Racing is pure evil. It belongs right up there with bullfighting, cockfighting and dog fighting! People who watch are as twisted and sick as hey come.

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