Abuse, thy name is horseracing.
Sweet Circle was born in May 2008. Curiously, his first race didn’t come till over five years later – September 29, 2013, at Mount Pleasant in Michigan. He finished second-to-last for trainer Alison Krul and owner Lauren Steen. Next race came two months later at Beulah in Ohio: dead last, 25 lengths back. Same owner, new trainer – George Iacovacci Sr. Next time out, in January 2014, “did not finish.” Oh, and yet another new trainer: Kristi Van Meter. Quite a start, huh?
The Steen/Van Meter team ran Sweet Circle six more times, then Van Meter handed him off to yet another trainer, Jimmy Williams. At this point, Sweet Circle was running “maiden claiming” – “For Sale” every time out, and still without a “win.” In August 2014, Steen brought him back to Michigan to be raced at Hazel Park – under another new trainer, Ray Patton. Back to Ohio in October, at which point Steen assumed the trainer’s role herself. On September 20, 2015, SC’s price tag had plummeted to $3,500.
A year later in Illinois, Iacovacci returned as trainer (Steen still owner). In April 2017, Steen brought in another trainer – Roger Salvino. On May 19, Steen was back training; in that race, Sweet Circle finished last, 27 lengths back. Next time out, 35 lengths back. On April 7, 2018, Steen raced the now-nine-year-old a mere seven days after his previous race. Outcome: last, 45 back. He was then sold.
On June 19, 2018, Sweet Circle ran his first race for trainer/owner Robert Fiesman. He was then sold back to Steen. Several races later, sold again – to Richard King; Robert Pompell, trainer. Five races for this pair followed, the last two of which SC finished last and last, a combined 37 lengths back. Then nothing. Until, that is, Tuesday.
After being off the charts for over a year, Sweet Circle resurfaced under – you guessed it – Lauren Steen. The result from Fairmount is what you might expect for a 12-year-old coming off a 14-month layoff: last (of 10), some 20 lengths back. But it’s worse still: Tuesday’s race was a “maiden claiming” (and a cheap $4,000 one, at that). Yes, that’s right, in a “career” going back seven years and 45 races, Sweet Circle has never finished first. Not once. And yet, Lauren Steen et al. keep throwing him back out there. They do because there’s still money to be made: That woeful finish Tuesday still garnered $93 for Steen, as Fairmount pays first-last. Oh, and of course he’s under the yoke of yet another new trainer, Michelle Booker. (By my count, that makes 10 different trainers, 11 trainer changes, and at least five times sold.)
This poor, poor animal. This vile, vile industry.