Dead After 95 Races, 99 Races, 104 Races

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:

Zamarata was bred and initially raced in Florida. She was sold (presumably by her last States’ owner, Ricardo Vallejo) in the winter of ’16 and shipped to Puerto Rico. Race after race after race after race followed. 61 in all. This, after 34 in Florida. Her 95th race came on July 11 of last year. Two days later, according to the report I received, she was euthanized per “doctor’s diagnosis – leg problems.” As if this could be any more vile, this poor girl was, with the exception of her first race, “For Sale” each and every time out. That’s 94 instances where all it would have taken was a “claim” to buy her. Just a thing to be used, a garden-variety Amazon product.

Similarly, the story of Rotor. Bred in Kentucky way back in 2008, Rotor spent some time in Florida before being shipped to Puerto Rico in 2014. There, he was raced 82 times. Added to the 17 in Florida, that makes 99 turns under the whip – all at the “claiming” level. Over his final 27 races (8/4/17-8/27/20), Rotor finished double-digit lengths back in all but one; in 14 of those, he finished 20+ lengths back, 5 30+ back.

Less than two months after that August 27 race, the 12-year-old Rotor was euthanized at Camarero for “poor body condition.” His owner throughout this 27-race period was E. Ramos Racing; his trainer, Justo Figueroa. It goes without saying that these are horrible human beings. But what of the track officials, the stewards, what passes for a government oversight agency? Complicit in this evil, all.

Olimpiada was bred and raced (exclusively) in Puerto Rico. But here’s the thing: This 9-year-old (at death) was raced an ungodly 104 times. 104 times. Her final race came on August 20 of last year – 12th, almost 35 lengths back. Apparently, though, owner R. Racing and trainer Jose Garcia were not quite done with this beaten, battered mare: Olimpiada was euthanized on November 30 for a fracture incurred while she was being trained for what would have been race #105. Imagine that.

And finally, there’s the short, ugly story of V My Queen. Bred in 2017, V “broke down” training on December 28, 2020. In between, there were but three races:

12/13/19: 7th, 11+ lengths back
2/6/20: “refused to break”
10/2/20: “refused to break”

Was this poor girl trying to tell her abusers – owner Sanchez Racing, trainer Juan Monserrate – something? You bet – and it breaks my heart.

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  1. Rotor euthanized for “poor body condition”, seems like to us he was just plain starved to death while being forced to run. This track should be shut down NOW & forever!

    • Brings back horrible memories of Tiz Willow, literally starved to death without any of the dozens of parasites who walked past her every day showing her any compassion or pity. If there is a more evil creature on this planet than humans I have yet to see it.

  2. Fred and Joan, absolutely Camarero should be shut down – and to racing owners who allowed their racehorses to be claimed by or privately purchased by individuals whose plan was to take the horses to race in PR, I hope you lose your freaking shirt in this damn business. Maybe being left with nothing and at the mercy of others will be what it takes to get the cruel realities of horseracing through your thick skulls.

    • Most of them do lose their shirts. But that doesn’t stop all the predatory vultures in the racing press (Paulick, NBC “Sports”) from promoting the chance for them to become “Kings” off their ugly greed. Too bad their pyramid scheme is finally coming to an end. And the only pyramid they built is composed entirely of dead horses.

  3. I’m sobbing as I read this.
    I can’t emphasize just how gruesome, abusive, cruel and inhumane these examples are.
    As a former Owner/Trainer I’ve experienced first hand just how stressful racing is on racehorses.
    The entire existence of a racehorse being deprived of everything natural to them while they are confined in a stall should be a crime in and of itself.
    The pre-race cocktail of drugs burn their body out from the inside to the out.
    The more they mask their issues the more they intensify and the worse they get, but they just keep sending them out there knowing that every step brings makes them suffer and can lead to their death.
    My heart aches thinking about ZAMARATA, ROTO, OLIMPIADA, V MY QUEEN and so many more, but these examples are so horrific that I can’t imagine what these poor racehorses went through.
    Any person decries dog fighting rings mostly with pit bulls – the public knows it’s so wrong.
    Yet, horse racing is the same as dog fighting rings only the victim is different.
    In the place of a pitbull is the racehorse sent out to fight for their life while blood-sick parasites and gamblers bet on their life.
    Like pit bulls racehorses are discarded with “war wounds” with very little people stepping up to care for them.
    Like dog fighting they are disposable, bred to fight, bred to generate gambling cash.
    It’s so sadistic and demented that there are no excuses for our politicians to continue to support this and every track needs to shut down starting with this one.

  4. All horse racing worldwide is cruel and barbaric . This isn’t a sport, it is poor and cruel torture.Shame on all the humans that torture and harm their horses . Those humans are total barbarians.The owners of race horses should be forced to run in place of their horses.

  5. Look up VILE, IMMORAL, DEPRAVED, DESPICABLE, GREEDY, SELFISH, HEARTLESS HEATHENS and you will find all of these people there!!!!! That includes the racetrack (and wagering handle) owners and operators. They welcome this treachery on horses. They facilitate it.
    I wonder what 12-year-old ROTOR had to eat while he was being exploited in the USA and Puerto Rico??? I wonder what his body score was??? It isn’t often that you report that a racehorse is euthanized because of “poor body condition” and that makes me wonder what his body score was…?

    • It takes a special kind of depravity to starve an animal to death – walking by them day after day as they slowly waste away. And that they continued to send that poor horse out to race while starving him is completely beyond my comprehension.

      • I also wonder about ROTOR that if the words “poor body condition” could have been a euphemism for having Osteochrondritis Dissecans (OCD) which, over time, led to arthritis. He could have had any number of health issues, or a multitude of other ailments including ulcers. I know some horses are more difficult to keep weight on (for whatever reason). I have seen horses that were not racehorses but had racing bloodlines that were a challenge to keep their weight up. Whatever the case was with ROTOR, I don’t exactly know except that he was exploited literally to death by his racing connections. That’s a no-brainer, of course!!! At 12 years of age, he could have lived to be 28 or so, with proper care. The most obvious exception would be, other than his owners wanted to use him as a gambling chip and dump him anyway, if he had a debilitating case of arthritis. I’m sure I will never know all of those details about ROTOR.

  6. This is fucking horrifying! This needs to end now! Horses should not be abused and used in this manner! Stop the torture now! We need to get legislation banning horse racing! However, they don’t really care them really care about horses anyway!

  7. Beyond sickening!! Poor, poor beautiful souls. Used, abused and intentionally sent to their deaths. Let the apologists tell us now this is a “sport”, that these are accidents and horseracimg is safe!!! ! This track is a graveyard for these horses and I would imagine the heat and humidity make their (already) unbeareable existence even more so, if that is even possible. These “people” are nothing short of barbaric monsters. These horses have all tried to tell their “connections” they can no longer endure. But, to communicate with an animal, to really understand their suffering, one needs love, empathy, a heart and a soul of which these excrements are totally void of. Shut them down, shut them ALL down. I don’t mean to get political but Biden alluded to $90M being spent (huge underestimation, in my opinion) on subsidies for horse racing. Money he claims would be better spent on healthcare and education. Now, there’s a no brainer. Will he do something about it? Does he see horse racing for what it really is? Will he redirect these funds where they are really needed? These are all open questions…remains to be seen.

    • If it were up to him without obstruction, I think he would do the right thing, Andrea. As long as it takes an act of Congress, we will hope the right thing could be done.

  8. I live in Ocala with countless pieces of shit who abuse their horses ALL FUCKING YEAR LONG AND NO ONE DOES A DAMN THING !
    YOU WANT TO BRING ATTENTION TO TRAGEDY …….TRY LOOKING UP ACE KING !!!!!!!!! Best “breeze ” in Ocala AND THEN FUCKING EATEN BY THE GOD DAMN FUCKING KOREANS WHO THE BASTARDS HERE SOLD HIM TO ! They deserve to have their throats slit along with any offspring to end this crap !

    • Debbie, what happened to Ace King is unspeakable yet his slaughter in a foreign country is the typical “retirement” for COUNTLESS American racehorses. And every slaughtered racehorse met that horrific end for ONE reason, JUST one; their racing connections no longer wanted them and got rid of them. We can blame the kill buyers, the slaughterhouses and countries in which they operate, the populations that consume horse meat…but no racehorse would be slaughtered if the industry that bred them would provide for them (for life) after they used them. But they don’t – they leave that to us, the animal-loving general public.

      For those who haven’t read Ryan Goldberg’s shocking piece (in which he talks about Ace King), the link is below. Also, Patrick has written about Goldberg on HW (9-24-19 and 10-30-20) and those pieces shouldn’t be missed.

      https://deadspin.com/why-are-good-young-racehorses-ending-up-as-meat-7-000-m-1834225917/amp

      • Joy, thanks for sharing the link to this article. It’s horribly disturbing, but people should know about and be aware of this tragedy of exploitation!!!!

        • You’re welcome, Wanda. I posted (FB) Goldberg’s piece with a photo of Ace King at that Ocala auction – the day his time topped 180 others’. NOTHING keeps the racing industry’s horses safe, even when the horse does exactly what’s demanded of him.

      • Thank you, Joy for sharing this link. I cried but I forced myself to read because we should all be aware of the atrocities within this wicked industry. Unfortunately, I believe it’s mostly decent, animal loving people who are deeply touched and paying attention. The apologists dismiss this type of factual information and carry on unabated. It”s sickening!

        • Andrea, yes…emotionally, it was a really tough read. Ryan Goldberg is an amazing journalist who is incredibly knowledgeable about the TB racing industry.

  9. I live in Ocala with countless pieces of shit who abuse their horses ALL FUCKING YEAR LONG AND NO ONE DOES A DAMN THING !
    YOU WANT TO BRING ATTENTION TO TRAGEDY …….TRY LOOKING UP ACE KING !!!!!!!!! Best “breeze ” in Ocala AND THEN FUCKING EATEN BY THE GOD DAMN FUCKING KOREANS WHO THE BASTARDS HERE SOLD HIM TO ! They deserve to have their throats slit along with any offspring to end this crap !

    • Debbie, those breezes are the dumbest thing ever. What is valued most in thoroughbred racing is the males who can get the classic long distances. So why force babies to run at breakneck speeds? I guarantee you the ones who have won the “Big Ones”(Classics),were not speedball sprinters. So what’s the point? The only thing it does is ruin the poor babies.

  10. No racing unless horses are started when they are physically mature- 4 years old. More oversight on their condition while being raced. Horse racing needs to clean up its act or eventually public outcry will cause it to be shut down!

    • These abusive routines will never be changed or reformed. Horseracing will always be what it is now. It will always be corrupt and abusive to the horses. The people who can continuously participate in horseracing that exploits horses as tools for gamblers to place bets on are vile, depraved, demented, selfish, greedy, sociopathic individuals. Many of these people continue to get away with criminal activity. Read about Linda Rice (Thoroughbred horse trainer) for example.

  11. Stop this horse abuse!! This track and all others should be SHUT DOWN. Horses are living beings with souls not a piece of metal or equipment for human use..

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