Racinos Make This – 103 Times Under the Whip – Possible

Lady Panther is ten years old. Last week at Mountaineer, she was put to the whip for the 103rd time. Incredibly, although she has been “For Sale” before every race going back to 2016, she has been under the control of one man – Shane Spiess – for 3/4 of her “career,” or 75 of those 103 races. The fact that she hasn’t “won” a race in over 2 1/2 years is of little to no concern for Mr. Spiess: Lady is being run exclusively at cheap racino tracks in West Virginia and Ohio – that is, tracks being wholly propped up by large influxes of slots cash, which, and here’s the important part, allows them to pay first through last. So you see, it doesn’t matter much how far back this poor, old (for racing) horse finishes; Spiess is laughing all the way to the bank.

Lady Panther is scheduled for race 104 Monday at Mountaineer: 800-804-0468 (option 4 for racing; ask for racing secretary or stewards office)


  1. This “trainer “runs a lot of horses at Mountaineer every day they are open. That piece of info about getting paid regardless of finish sure explains why the same horses that are never in contention are raced here frequently.

    • Had to leave message on Steward’s voice mail. Left a message why I called.

  2. This act of abuse is sickening.
    I’m not new to the knowledge of the abuse, but am am new to any steps that would lead to this poor horses rescue.
    Anyone want to share?
    I live in Michigan, Gladwin County, my little town is Beaverton.

  3. A couple of things.
    I would like to add that it’s not only racinos that make this possible, but our politicians who agree to these back room deals with the “horsemen groups,” (AKA HBPA).
    Absent at the bargaining table are the racehorses’ voices.
    No, not even a horse advocacy group on any level to ensure that a minimum of 1% is put aside for these horses in any capacity after they are done crippling them.
    Nor is there any neutral oversight while these contracts are put into place.
    Lack of transparency and full participation from taxpayers is totally absent and always has been.
    It’s blatantly obvious to me that track owners such as The Stronach Group are in bed with our politicians and attorneys who financially benefit, big time, from these outrageous contracts.
    Money that should be going to our communitites are being diverted by a bunch of racehorse abusers and politicians who can disguise this under politicial contributions.
    Politicians need to be constantly reminded of this and the racino profits should cease to horse racing.
    Also, paying up to last place (which rarely even covers a racehorse feed bill – that’s how inept these apologists are) is one thing, but these parasites like Shane Spiess are usually in with the gambling rings and they are stacking the deck for bets.
    LADY PANTHER is just another number, another gambling bet, and a disposable gambling chip.
    They will run her either into the group, kill her, cripple her for life, and then dump her.
    Just like the true parasites that they are.

  4. I feel like this is asking leopards to change their spots. What can anyone say that would honestly help the horse from further exploitation as a gambling chip or wagering interest? This is their business even though it is propped up by public funds or government subsidies.

  5. Lady Panther’s sad story should serve as a cautionary tale for folks who are still “casual” fans. Those who tune in (and bet on) only big-name horse races, like Saturday’s impending Preakness Stakes, should know what they’re enabling:

    A wager on a Triple Crown race ALSO helps to support EVERY horse race. At every single little dirtbag track (like Mountaineer.) For every single horse abuser (like Mr. Speiss.) Against every single racehorse (like poor, long-suffering Lady Panther.)

    Please, say no to cruelty, and yes to kindness. Reject horse racing. All of it.

  6. Let’s just say that LADY PANTHER is whipped six (6) times in a race. This is just an estimated average on her 103 starts and likely the average is higher than 6.
    So, this poor mare has been struck with a whip
    SIX HUNRED AND EIGHTEEN (618) times during her race starts and likely whipped in trackwork as well.
    I hate to think of her mental state.
    I also hate to think of her body condition – highly likely she’s suffering from arthritis, bone fatigue, muscle soreness and damaged fetlocks, to name just a few.
    There are many like her in racing, they just run them into the ground until they break down, die or disappear.
    Unconscionable it most surely is.

  7. These old “war horses” are ignored by the pro racing groups just like they don’t exist. The apologists, fans and groups such as We Support Horse Racing are nothing but animal abusers. They support and facilitate the abuse of the horses they “love” so much and sit by with their “blinkers” on as thousands of their “beloved horses” are loaded on to the slaughter bound trucks year after year. They are such shallow hypocrites. Disgusting.

  8. Sorry to change topic, but just wanted to point out that on many occassions I made the claim that horse racing is polluting our water and contributing to methane gas emmissions.
    The topic of the environment and how horse racing is detrimental to it is easily ignored in the light of vile kill lists – I get that.
    However, these tracks have been operating with total impunity for years on every single level.
    I cited a direct example when I was an Associate Steward for the CHRB on one of my comments.
    I was sent out to San Luis Rey Downs to investigate complaints from the surrounding upscale neighborhood regarding racehorses that were breaking down and laying on the track for hours suffering.
    Turns out, the equine ambulance at the training center had been broken for at least 6 months when The Stronach Group (formerly Magna Entertainment) bought it.
    Also turns out they were aware of it, but never replaced it so when racehorses would breakdown they would have to find somebody with a horse trailer and use that.
    Plus, there’s no “on duty” vet at the training center to deliver either the “pink needle” or any form of relief for a racehorse that’s suffering.
    Anyways, another complaint was the odor emanating from the training center.
    Turns out that day the manure pile hadn’t been picked up in days.
    Now when you have 1200 racehorses stabled there with each one crapping about 6 times per day the manure needs to be picked-up every 2nd day.
    It wasn’t and that was another complaint coming in – the odor into the residential community.
    Then there was the seepage from the manure pile full of bacteria and a number of pathogens.
    These issues are the same for most tracks that were built years ago in what was considered a “rural” area, but are now surrounded by residential neighbourhoods.
    Horse racing has never been held to an environmental standard like most American companies until now.
    After years of pollution violations by the EPA that were supposedly either ignored or never paid Churhill Downs settled a Civil Penalty with the EPA $2.79 million dollars.
    The violations occured at the Fairgrounds over many years for unauthorized discharges of manure, urine and process wastewater during daily business operations thereby violating the clean water act.
    They were discharging untreated wastewater directly into the municipal sewer system which, in turn, polluted Lake Pontchartrain, the Mississippi River, and ultimately the Gulf of Mexico.
    We’re talking YEARS of discharging wastewater laden with manure, feces, urine, and dope.
    When I was there they never even had a separate container to dispose of the hundreds of needles plunging into the racehorses day in and day out.
    I don’t know if that has changed, but I do know this.
    When I was in California at Del Mar I saw the same wastewater going into the sewer systems and there’s NO WAY that this is not polluting the ocean in some capacity.
    Hell, Del Mar sits on the ocean, but I’m sure their attorneys have taken care of that.
    Horse racing is an antiquated business model that exploits racehorses and pollutes our environment all for an unnecessary gambling venue that brings nothing but misery to our communities.
    It has got to go.

    • Gina, I remember you stating similar a few years ago.
      So glad you have raised it again.

    • This may seem like a stretch, but a Latin phrase comes to mind: Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus, meaning “false in one thing, false in everything”. Should we be surprised a business that has such disregard for the horse would have such disregard for the health of the environment?!!

    • Would also like to add that under “normal/pre-Covid” circumstances this is totally unacceptable, but in the uncertain times we’re in right now this is egrecious, malicious and negligent on behalf of tracks.
      We now know more about Covid-19 in the light of over 200,000+ deaths.
      On the same note we know very little about this virus, the unpredictability of it and how everybody is at risk.
      Sure some groups are at a higher risk of damage and, unfortunately, death, but we are all at risk.
      Research scientists are now saying that it’s mutating and we aren’t even close to ending this despite what our current President says “turning a corner,” “will disappear,” – yea right.
      The source of the virus is, most likely, the “wet markets” in China.
      We have racehorses travelling all over the country from track to track WITH NO MEDICAL/VET records following them!
      I know for a fact that their bogus claim that they only permit UTD vaccinated racehorses on track grounds is false in some cases.
      As I earlier commented, the tracks go on an “honor system.”
      So when a van of racehorses pulls up to the security gate they VERBALLY ONLY tell the security guard that the horses are all vaccinated.
      It just isn’t logistical to go onto a van check every racehorse lip tattoo (which is another reason why I advocated for microchips that could be easily scanned with little contact) and confirm that it’s the racehorse on the vaccination records – they have NEVER done this that I’m aware of.
      It’s actually the big racing stables that tend to violate this and get away with it just like they get away with multiple doping violations and killing racehorses.
      Their dirtly little “trick” is to provide papers that they know don’t match the horse and there’s NOBODY on the tracks going around to confirm what racehorse matches what records.
      Moreover, in the light of heavy pressure to fill races with less horse population the tracks stand down.
      I’ve seen it back then and it’s much worse now.
      In California, where the virus is out of control – have they ever even considered that the mobility of racehorses, especially at Santa Anita, in the middle of a high human population could be spreading this virus in some capacity?
      The fact that we can’t explicitly and unequivocably answer this is reason enough to shut these tracks down even if it’s temporary while we all struggle to get through this.

      • In the early morning hours of Friday, October 2, we now know that “you-know-who” and the First Lady have been tested “positive” for the novel coronavirus that has been named COVID-19. They have COVID-19 as of Thursday, October 1, 2020 according to the news reports.
        This should, one would think, give the people who say that the virus does not exist something to think about. It is difficult to imagine that there are actual people who believe the Earth is flat or that there is no such thing as climate change or COVID-19. But, those people are wrong and so are the people who believe that it is okay to run a horse in races for the wagering handle and the possibility of getting a payout just for having horses such as LADY PANTHER, FINAL RITUAL, EIGHTY EIGHT, SCHERER’S MAGIC (?) as well as many, many others in a race.


    • The minimum age that horses should be required to be, in order to perform as adults, should be when they ARE ADULTS. The racing industry cripples and kills very young horses (babies and juveniles) routinely. The age of maturity in horses is 6 (six) years old. Waiting for “that long” would probably be considered “not cost effective” for all of those greedy people in the horseracing industry. They already CANNOT SUPPORT THEIR OWN ADDICTION of gambling and using horses as gambling chips without the corporate welfare to prop up their industry of abusing horses to death, and calling it “sport.” Let it dry up and go away without government subsidies. That is the object of a good campaign: 1) to stop the government subsidies/corporate welfare that ENABLES this sadistic, barbaric industry to continue to cause so much pain and suffering and agonizing death to horses; and, 2) TO BAN HORSERACING!

    • Many tracks have shuttered since 2000 and Patrick provided a list here:
      Moreover, contrary to horse racing’s claim, their ace card, that jobs would be lost it’s actually been show that quality jobs have been generated in the place of the track and state coffers get filled instead of them handing it out to horse racing found here:
      The tracks that are dependent on government handouts/subsidies are highly vulnerable to being shut down especially if they stop getting this funding since they can’t survive on wagering alone.
      A recent Supreme Court decision in Kentucky has now deemed historical race gambling ILLEGAL so some of the tracks there, like Kentucky Downs, must shut down those machines which have been fueling the high purse money there and of course the killings as well.
      There are very few “independent” tracks in the U.S. such as Keeneland but they hold short-term “boutique” meets while the majority of their billions in profit comes from their horse sales.
      Horse racing will end in America one track at a time until there’s no more left, but even 1 track shuttering is one less killing ring.

  10. Sick demented animal abuse disguised as sport. Send the valiant lady to a rescue, not slaughter as the despicable raving industry does mostly.

  11. I’m just hoping this COVID development gets everyone back to believing SCIENCE.

    • Thank you, Peggy. That’s bad news for her, since they’ll take that as an indication she’s still good to go for more of that sweet, sweet blood money.
      On second thought, who am I kidding? Shane Spiess would have NO SHAME in forcing her to run again (and again, and again, say, another Eighty Eight times), even if she’d hobbled across the wire on three legs, a full Eighty Eight lengths back.
      Got to keep that cash rollin’ in, don’t you, Mr. Spiess? Tell us all what you’re gonna do with tonight’s big windfall?
      You gonna have a third of Lady’s teeth floated? Maybe upgrade her supplements for a couple months? There’s so many possibilities for her future with that kind of cash lying around. We all know you’ll put it to good use. Because, clearly, you only do what’s best for your horse;)

  12. Not only the racino payout for fifth place out of nine horses running in that race, but also the wagering; the betting that took place would have been the bigger payout in the event the race was fixed. Of course, saying the race was fixed is speculation.

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