Prominent Trainer Says “Bad Things Will Happen” to Horses if His Industry’s Corporate Welfare Isn’t Restored

New Mexico is a racino state, meaning its five racetracks are utterly dependent on the subsidies flowing in from slot machines. Because of this, covid casino-closures take on added importance. While racing has continued in New Mexico during the pandemic, purse funding is quickly drying up without slots revenue. (That’s right, New Mexico racing cannot subsist on its product alone, as measured by handle and attendance.) And the industry is sounding the alarm. In a recent article from KTSM, Todd Fincher, a hugely successful trainer with over $30 million in career earnings, says: “I beg the governor to open the casinos; I mean it’s killing the No. 3 industry in the state, which might never recover.” (As is their wont, the racing people wildly exaggerate the economic impact of their industry, seemingly plucking numbers out of thin air. So take “No. 3 industry in the state” with a grain of salt.)

But it’s the potential effect on the horses that really caught my attention. Fincher, the station says, is worried that “bad things will happen” if horsemen have no place to bring their horses (should tracks close). He says:

“Unfortunately, some people just won’t take care of them and then the horse is going to be the one who’s going to suffer…. [U]nfortunately these horses, in some circumstances, people are not going to care for their horses.”

So here we have a prominent racer freely admitting that unless his industry’s corporate welfare is restored, horses will die, likely in the most horrific of ways (e.g., neglect, starvation, slaughter). “Pampered athletes”? “Beloved members of the family”? Not when push comes to shove. Then, when the horse people’s livelihoods are tanking, the horses become just another financial albatross that need discarding. Honest? Sure, we’ll give him that. But this is also among the most damning self-indictments of the American horseracing industry that I can recall.

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  1. Hello

    I saw on a rundown somewhere of where stimulus funds will go -“horseracing “. I believe it should be outlawed but didn’t realize what further harm or suffering the horses may be subjected to as a result of their welfare check being cut off. Damn. Vile. Thank you for the difficult work you do. You have such strength. I can hardly read the daily headline of the emails you send. Happy Holidays T.Somers

    Sent from my T-Mobile 4G LTE Device

  2. Horses are having horrible things happen to them now, so what’s his point?
    Racehorses are started in the business far too early, with serious health consequences that often result in their deaths.
    Tennessee Walking Horses are “sored” to create an unnatural gait, and have tendons in their tails cut, so that the horse will carry the tail in an unnatural, “stylish” manner.
    Far too many mares are bred each year, especially in the racing business. I can’t believe that all those foals even make it into training. How many of them, become the equine equivalent of veal?
    I don’t like racing ,because it’s cruel to the horse, and unbelievably dangerous to the jockeys.
    We weep and wail when we learn of a dog or cat who’s been the victim of human cruelty, we don’t hesitate to bust dog fighting rings, we despise the people who run them, even after their jail sentences are done. Does anyone respect Michael Vick?

    When the SPCA commercials come on, and Sarah McLaughlin is begging us for money, we send it. We don’t want to think of more skinny dogs shivering in the cold.
    Where are the voices speaking for horses? Where are the commercials from the SPCA, telling us what a racehorse’s life is like? Where is the commercial showing Go For Wand,most likely in shock, desperately trying to carry on, then lying on the track being hidden from view by tarps?
    It seems that perhaps horse racing is a big business, because all the government and its fans want to do, is protect it. And in this country, big businesses are like gods.
    Patrick, it’s only people like you, who get into the public eye and in the media every chance you can get, who are speaking up for horses.
    Thank you.

    • Karen, I was thinking the very same first thought (they’re already having bad things) happen to them. These poor dear innocents deserve a great life. Horses have been mankind’s savior,for everything they have done for us. #ProtectTheHorses

  3. Thank you for this report, Patrick. This true story is a great reveal of the despicable character of racing participants as a whole. It is a window into the heart (what heart?!) of these truly disgusting and despicable people!!!! Begging for government handouts, more or less, to continue their horse abuse and killing so that they can make some money. If they don’t get what they want, they’re going to neglect their horses, let them starve, sell them to a killbuyer; as if they cared about them in the first place. The horses are already in danger on a daily basis. The difference would be that they can’t kill them at the racetrack while pursuing purse money and winning some bets on their horses.
    This type of manipulation, attempting to put a guilt trip on someone else for the fact that the horse owners and trainers have no scruples, is typical of the EVIL DYSFUNCTION in these people. The horses in their “care” will suffer either way. It’s beyond sad!!!!

  4. And by the way, there is NO WAY that guy Fincher is prominent. He is prominent only in his own mind thats all.

  5. People in horse racing are delusional and so out of touch with our communities
    Everything about this business is vile with their voiceless victims paying the price.
    Fincher is considered prominent by the business, but so are multiple doping violators and killer “Trainers” that top the Trainer lists and get inducted into the Racing Hall of (Sh)ame.
    The more they cheat and kill the more they are honored, but the recipient of their doping cocktails are the racehorses with many not making it out alive.
    I randomly selected a few races to review over the last week and in every single race there was a racehorse suffering, in distress or dying.
    Fairgrounds Race #10 CARAMEL LATTE was “urged along the pace,” (getting the crap beaten out of him) “went wrong” (of course it’s the racehorse’s fault) and fell.
    CM’s condition was so bad that the horse fell because he didn’t have his legs under him.
    Now here’s where this example, and so many others, clearly reveals what horse racing is about:
    “A Stewards inquiry into the incident no change was made to the order of finish.”
    That’s because it would screw up their gambling bets.
    There was money wagered on Caramel Latte, but there was a total of $112,442 gambled into the wagering coffers for this race which included exotic bets so the house of cards would fall.
    In other words, they would lose wagering money if they changed the order of finish – end of story.

    • It’s always about lining their pockets. The people in this gambling racket have no redeeming qualities. NONE. Do we really want to be known as the country that kills the most, and is the worst,most pure evil killer of thoroughbreds? Like a third world country.

    • “Organized Crime”for all to see and ignore!!!
      And worse than other organized crime syndicates, it involves gut-wrenching animal cruelty for all to see. And if that were not enough it is subsidized with public money! Truly mind boggling why this is “legal”!!!

      • Thank-you Rose – well said and oh so true.
        The racehorses carry this business on their bones, backs, and pay with their lives.
        They are the recipients of their corrupt brutality and organized crime tactics in bed with our politicians it seems.
        “Mind boggling” is right and oh so frustrating and sad for those of us who watch this go on day after day, death after death with zippo accountability.

  6. Oh so bad things can happen to horses now the ‘funding’ is drying up…..what the hell has been happening to the horses in the meantime ever since the day that they are born then??? Oh I forgot, the horses are ‘loved’ like members of the family, they’re fussed and pampered over just like members of the family, but once the novelty wears off or the innocent, voiceless horses don’t come up to expectations, they’re dumped like trash or sold to the kill buyers or worse still, literally ran to death on the race-track, all to fill the fat-assed pockets of the owners, trainers, jockeys and gamblers. What a shame these money-grabbing, profiteering POS don’t get real jobs instead of living off the ill-gotten gains of animal abuse, animal torture and ultimately animal death and slaughter.

    • We really should open up the casinos just for this POS because not enough people have gotten sick with the Novel Coronavirus that started in 2019 and not enough people have died of COVID-19 either, right?! So we know what kind of caring person this “trainer” is. It’s just so heartwarming to know that he not only “loves” the horses so-o-o-o-o much, he also reallllllllyyyy cares about people too! Not only does he care about people, he also shows us what he is made of by showing such “deep sympathy and concern” for the people who would be pouring their money into the slot machines of which a percentage would end up in his pockets. Just think of how many more people could go into those casinos and share their “wealth” with this “gem” of humanity by putting their own lives and the lives of their human family members at a much greater risk as well, if the casinos were opened. What’s over 300,000 human fatalities and still no end in sight to the death toll???
      C’mon, New Mexico… Have a heart…

  7. The racing-employed have been so busy incriminating themselves and their industry of late that I can barely keep up! But we are.

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