The Abuse Continues: In 156th Race, Eighty Eight Finishes Dead Last, 33 Lengths Back

Well, Eighty Eight’s 156th turn under the whip is in the books: dead last in the 7th at Lethbridge yesterday – 33 lengths back. And yes, the man (Rusty Smith) who a Canadian racing official claims “loves” Eighty Eight and considers him “family” had him “For Sale” (dirt cheap) immediately prior to the race. I’m out of adjectives, folks.

Eighty Eight, just before the race…

Eighty Eight, hopelessly bringing up the rear…

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    • Elke, he was not claimed. Rusty Smith still owns him and “trains” him. Hopefully, today being Monday, September 14, the day after EIGHTY EIGHT’s dreadful experience on the racetrack, Mr. Rusty Smith will “come out of hiding” and be man enough to talk to Andrea and everyone else that have attempted to contact Mr. Smith without success so far.

      • Yes, Wanda! That’s what we are hoping he will do but I wouldn’t hold my breath. Rose also left a message with the track for Smith to call and let her know if he is willing to sell poor EE. If we don’t hear back by the end of the day, I will send another email to Verlik ( CEO, Alberta HRB) and ask him to get in touch with Smith. This innocent soul deserves to be saved and taken off his “loving” connections’ hands. As they all do.

      • Wanda, I suppose he first must get a place to go. I also wrote to 3 rescues asking for help. Maybe it would be good if more people ask those rescues to make the whole case more important and to get their attention?

      • Elke, I have some brainstorming ideas but not anything concrete. There are so many different bases, so to speak, that need to be covered. Transportation is one. I don’t have a horse trailer and as far as I know it needs to be a slant load, not an old-fashioned straight load 2-horse trailer. A veterinarian will be one base that will cost who knows how much depending on what x-rays cost and how many, the diagnosis, the treatment, whatever that may be. I don’t know but I think I might call Bear Valley on the phone later today. I appreciate your efforts and concern for EIGHTY EIGHT. Thank you!

  1. Patrick, thank you so much for following the story on EIGHTY EIGHT and providing photos of him. I wondered what he looked like, now I know more.

      • Yes, before seeing the photos I half expected him to be a bay or a dark brown color. But, he is what some people call a chestnut and he is a light enough shade that I call him a sorrel. With the blaze face and white hind stockings, he is beautiful!!! He could be given or sold to a 4-H family and be a halter horse in a fitting and showing class at the county fair, hypothetically. There are different possibilities for EIGHTY EIGHT to be given a proper life and have an opportunity to get some joy out of life. The above photos prove that EIGHTY EIGHT is not enjoying the torture of being “dragged” along next to a pony horse that looks more fit to run than EIGHTY EIGHT.

  2. These pictures paint EE’s story perfectly. Dragged once again towards the starting gate and almost out of the picture in the second shot! No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t keep up. He is tired. He is sick of this SHIT. After all, he did it 156 times!! I don’t know nearly enough about horse racing but it must be a record! A record number of starts and implicitly a record in terms of abuse. And what a gorgeous horse he is!

  3. If he was any kind of man he would give the horse over to a rescue with a big donation . As my dad would say that is is Pis** poor excuse for a man .

  4. This horse is 14 years old. Probably the last thing he wanted to see again was a racetrack. But possibly the alternative was worse with a slaughter house within shouting distance. Many old time trainers race their horses into fitness. As one old dirtbag told me “its better to have them breakdown in a race than a workout”. But I never understood why that was. Its bad to see the old horse way behind but he knows that in a few months he will be right up with the others if he does not break down before that. Animal cruelty and neglect is in horseracing but the participants don’t believe it. They should ask their horses.

    • Only if the owner agrees to part with Eighty Eight…..and even then, it’s not a guarantee he’ll sell to someone who wants to just give this aging fella a great, forever home.

  5. Absolutely indefensible…both owner and track should be sanctioned for allowing Eighty Eight run in what appears to be a hopeless action. One last thing…there were 6 horses entered in this race and only 5 shown in the bottom photo…where was the 6th? Behind Eighty Eight?

    • The winning horse was 13/ 3/4 lengths ahead of the field! Nonsensical race.Clearly the winner was out of the photo frame taken.This according to Equibase chart.

    • I wondered where the sixth horse was and I still don’t know. Patrick would not report the 14-year-old EIGHTY EIGHT as being last, 33 lengths behind the other 5 horses in the race, if a different horse in the race was last. Also, Patrick would have reported a break down or a “did not finish” if there was one. So, by logical deduction, the sixth horse has to be in front or to the right side out of the view in the above photo.

  6. This is so sad – poor Eighty Eight. Those pictures really tell his story. This is akin to entering my 12-year old husky in the Iditarod. The cruelty for this thoroughbred is unfathomable. But aren’t they all.

  7. This just breaks my heart! Please someone buy him and save him from the meat man. This owner is a cold hearted horrible individual.

  8. The owner should be barred from running horses at the track. The racing officials know this is animal abuse but do nothing to stop it. Horrible Industry.

    • Mary, it all goes back to “horseracing needs to be banned” because it isn’t just the owners and trainers. “It’s the whole shootin’ match,” as the saying goes.

  9. This is a power struggle.
    One between the horse racing industry and those who truly care about racehorses whether it’s a racehorse lover, advocate or animal rights activist.
    They won’t give an inch to any of us and will continue to abuse a racehorse like EE just to control their racehorses and the media message as they’ve been doing for years.
    Their responses, on whatever track, are all out of the same mold: “they are a family members,” “love them like family,” ad naseum over and over again.
    Even if EE is lame, you bet your bottom dollar that they told that vet to “pass him” because they don’t want the “animal rights activists” to get their way.
    It’s important to note that the industry deliberately labels anybody who opposes this vile business as an “extreme animal rights acitvist” to invoke a negative label in the media or to the deliberately delusional public.
    Anybody who releases the truth about this business is seen as a pest that needs to be flicked off of their arm because they are so used to getting their own way including securing billions in taxpayers money and/or casino profits.
    They will go to no lengths to maintain their control over their profit slaves, disposable gambling chips, there to be used, abused and dumped.
    Even sadder is that they will permit this horse to run and if he dies on the track “oh well” there will be no repercussions to either Rusy Smith, the track, Dot Stein the CEO and all the pathetic losers.
    They know this, but in the end it shows their true colors and dispels any of their stupid pro-horse racing rhetoric and excuses.

    • It is extremely sad that any person would choose to look the other way on purpose after seeing the horses suffer catastrophic injuries and dying, knowing that these horrible things happen, knowing that these things are done to horses in the pursuit of wagering, purse money, wagering handle to the track, government subsidies to keep it going, breeding fees, exorbitant prices on certain horses especially at so-called prestigious auctions such as Fasig-Tipton, the schools of veterinary medicine receiving the bodies of injured and killed horses to do necropsies and so forth, and then the livestock auctions and the killbuyers and the slaughterhouses taking their “cut” out of the “racing industry pie” so to speak. It’s nauseating. I do hope that more and more people will stop being in denial of how cruel this industry is to horses.

  10. Sadly I do not expect this treatment to end for any of these horses in the near future. There is too much greed involved. This poor horse must be so exhausted and in need of a rescue. Please someone do not let his life end broken on the track or in a slaughter house. In the name of God why are we such a cruel species? Sickening abusive treatment of this poor creature.

    • We are “working on it” to rescue this horse. I’m not sure what the outcome will be, but we can hope and pray that it will be a good outcome for EIGHTY EIGHT. 🙏💓

  11. Wanda, I would refrain from accusing Smith of being in “hiding” or being “man enough” to talk IF you, and others, are truly interested in acquiring this horse. An adversarial approach will not encourage Smith to respond to your messages. I have negotiated with owners/trainers quite a few times over the years in order to get a horse to safety and the bottom line is that Smith owns the horse and he controls the situation. Just my opinion but if he, or someone he knows, is monitoring this site, he won’t be inclined to be cooperative.

  12. 156 races??? How old is this horse? Someone buy 88 and Tobias, and let them loose in a pasture together. If either one of these horses remembers what a pasture is. They probably haven’t seen one since they were weanlings.

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