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.