Their Deaths Were a Foregone Conclusion

As a follow-up to the grisly list I recently published on Camarero, I’ve decided to highlight some of the more egregious cases, horses who were without question run into the ground – to their graves. Here are four more:

Play Me Now was bred in Pennsylvania. A “claimer” over his entire 32-race run in the States, he was then sent to Puerto Rico as a washed-up 6-year-old in November 2018. Here are his final four (of 21) races at Camarero:

12/25/19: second-to-last, 25+ lengths back
1/17/20: last, 23 lengths back
2/2/20: last, 15 lengths back
8/27/20 (note the almost-7-month layoff): second-to-last, 28+ lengths back

It was then revealed that Play Me Now had suffered a limb break in that final race and was euthanized later that day. Owner, Malave Racing; trainer, Santos Martinez.

El Puma was bred and raced exclusively (17 in all) in Puerto Rico. Over his final nine completed races, beginning June 2019, he finished a combined 144+ lengths back, an average of 16/race. I say “completed” because his final two starts went like this: On June 10, 2020, he was “distanced, DNF.” Apparently, though, his utter hopelessness wasn’t yet clear to owner Hacienda Basilisa and trainer Juan Monserrate, for these two miscreants proceeded to thrust poor El Puma back onto the track on September 2. Result: “lame, DNF.” A week later – which if that date is accurate, is a whole other level of depravity – he was euthanized.

Dark Bloom was bred in Kentucky in 2013. She was then raced (45 times) in Kentucky, Arkansas, Iowa, Oklahoma, Illinois, and Ohio. During this time, she was bought and sold at least six different times. Including her breeder, Cali Holan, she had at least seven different owners and six different trainers: Cali Holan, Westrock Stables, Jerry Caroom, Bobbye Stipe, Richard Robertson, Earl Hughes, Edwin Mundo, Ron Moquett, Jack Van Berg, Lynn Chleborad, Thomas Swearingen, Earl Hughes, Jason DaCosta.

Presumably, Mundo then sold Dark Bloom to Camarero in October 2019. Follows are her nine races there, all for owner Establo Quintana and trainer Maximo Gomez:

10/5/19: last, 38 lengths back
10/26/19: last, 50+ lengths back
2/8/20: second-to-last, 35+ lengths back
6/13/20: last, 35+ lengths back
7/12/20: last, 16+ lengths back
7/31/20: second-to-last, 20 lengths back
8/31/20: second-to-last, 32+ lengths back
9/12/20: 8th, 8+ lengths back
10/9/20: “lame, DNF”; three days later, dead

Andromeda’s Risk was bred in NY in 2011. She was then raced almost exclusively in that same state, hitting all four Thoroughbred tracks there – Aqueduct, Belmont, Saratoga, and Finger Lakes. Her last race in the States came at Finger Lakes in November ’19; her owner/trainer was Michael LeCesse. Presumably, he then sold her to interests in Puerto Rico, and off she went. She was then raced six times at Camarero, finishing a combined 143+ lengths back. Her final race came on October 9 – last, 47+ lengths back. Five days later, she was euthanized for a limb fracture of one kind or another. She was nine years old and had endured 69 turns under the whip.

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  1. Being sent to Camarero is nothing short of a living death for racehorses who are already used, abused, and giving up. I can’t (and don’t want to) imagine the pain and utter hopelessness these horses felt being continually forced onto tracks and beaten to run until they finally shattered under the abuse. If you’ve ever seen that resigned, hopeless look in a horse’s eyes you NEVER forget it. It is absolutely haunting.
    I believe there is a special place in Hell for those who abuse animals and children, and they deserve every moment of it.

  2. How could anyone be cruel to innocent animals???????????? There WILL be a special place in HELL for them.

  3. I agree with Rebecca and Bonnie. This report on these horses is necessary to educate people that are unaware of how bad horseracing really is in reality. This report is ALSO soul-crushing to read and knowing the horses had no “savior” to rescue them from this EVIL and DEGENERATE ABUSE ending in DEATH to the exploited horses. 💔😞
    Horseracing MUST BE ENDED to stop this heinous torture and abuse of horses born into this treachery!!!!

    • Not unfortunate losses, systematic killing. There is no such thing as an “unfortunate loss” in horse racing.

  4. Even in 2021, there are tracks where Thoroughbreds are essentially shipped off for fates worth than death — field fillers in “cheap” claiming races w/ purses often heavily subsidized from casino and/or other gambling revenues…..which makes it worthwhile for hack trainers and ghoulish owners to keep the show limping along, while track officials wear blinkers as carnage fills the oval. It is sickening.

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