11-Year-Old With 96 Races Finishing Far Back – And Yet They’re Still Making Money Off Her

Congressionalstorm was bred in 2010 and first raced in 2013. Monday at Parx, the soon-to-be-11-year-old was put to the whip for the 96th time. Yes, that’s right, 96th time. In that race, this old (for racing, that is) mare finished last of 10, 44 lengths back. In the race immediately preceding that one, January 20, and also at Parx, she finished last of 12, 37 lengths back.

While Congressionalstorm has of course been passed around multiple times, her most recent batch of races has come under the yoke of owner Angel Herrera and trainer Juan Vazquez, who, by the way, is no stranger to trouble. Somehow, these two miscreants still see fit to thrust this poor girl out there. Perhaps it’s in the hope that someone will buy her: Needless to say, Congressional is running strictly “claiming races” these days and can be had for the relatively cheap price of $5,000. More likely, though, it’s being done while secure in the knowledge that by simply finishing, Congressional will “earn” for them: Parx is a racino, meaning not only that purses are artificially jacked by slots revenue, but also that checks go out to all finishers – first through last. So, to take the past two races as examples, Congressional can finish a combined 80 lengths back and still “earn” $500 for her abusers. In a word, vile.

voice your outrage:
Parx Casino & Racing: 215-639-9000; email (Keith Jones): businessoffice@parxracing.com

PA Dept. of Agriculture (regulatory agency for horseracing): 717-787-5196; horseracing@pa.gov

20 Comments

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  1. This is a prime example of why the horseracing industry should be terminated from all government support of any kind!!!!

    • Absolutely true. Racing subsidies prop up an already dying sport to the detriment of horses, to be sure. but also robbing taxpayer of much needed funds for basic government services. Please voice your support to end racing subsidies in PA by calling your PA legislators.

  2. This is appalling the poor Mare should be retired to a paddock with other horses, how dare they make money off of the back of this poor animal

    • Totally agree. This is WHY the greedy asshole breeders have got to quit forcefully creating more life (horses), because there are not enough safe,acceptable homes for horses. What the hell is so hard for the scumbags in this toxic industry to understand? They need to find safe homes for the LIVES that are already here. QUIT the goddamn breeding,think of the innocent horses for a change….they didn’t ask to be born.

      • Bonnie, remember both the Jockey Club and the American Quarter Horse Association are pro-slaughter. The point of what the people who breed and race horses understand is questionable, but these greedy people in this industry don’t care. It is the same with Quarter Horse breeders. They breed horses with genetically inherited diseases and the horses are the ones who suffer. If these demented people had the capacity to care, they would stop the insane abuse and inhumane treatment of horses. But, they don’t care how the horses feel. They only care about their selfish, greedy selves.
        Our government needs to stop approving and supporting this vile animal abuse!!!!

        • You’re absolutely right Wanda. No intelligent,sensitive life should be forcibly conceived…only to be used as a “gambling chip”. The whole thing is just so vile.

  3. And they call people who do disgusting things ‘animals’. No, they are people, period. Wish people could experience some of these actions.

  4. And where’s the racing press with this story?
    REAL sportswriters, covering REAL sports, would have put out hundreds of pages of copy and video highlights about an athlete’s exceedingly long tenure and “accomplishments,” were they to match those of poor Congressionalstorm. But not these guys. So-called journalists who pretend to cover THIS anti-sport can’t bring themselves to say a word about her torment. They know that even those in racing would respond to any mention of her long-term situation as dire. 96 races? Age in double digits? Hell, even some of horse racing’s soulless, dinosaur fans would find that unspeakably cruel. Fortunately for them, they’ll never have a chance to read about the disgusting exploitation of Congressionalstorm (and all the others who somehow survived all these sociopaths’ long-term “care.”)
    That’s because the trade rags that make up the racing press wouldn’t dare upset their advertising base by suggesting there’s such a thing as OVER-RACING. “Run ’em til they’re dead, boys. We got this.”

    • Nope, not those guys, Kelly. Not a peep out of them.

      But your mention of some fans who would find 96 races a bit much reminded me of something I’ve always wanted to ask them when I see their exclamations of disgust regarding some particular horse that they feel should be retired – they say things like “he’s earned his keep!” and “she’s done enough so retire her already!” I always wonder…so WHAT’S that magic dollar amount that has FINALLY earned the horse his keep? And just HOW many races does she have to run to be retired?

      Oh yes, I nearly forget their other banner cry…“let them be a horse!” – so they’re NOT getting to be a horse when they’re someone’s racing slave?

  5. Blatant racehorse abuse.
    Poor Congressionalstorm, I can’t imagine the number of times they’ve plunged needles in and out of her veins, muscles, joints, and jugular vein just to keep her going.
    However, this vile business has it all worked out because they ensure that their vet/treatment records are kept secret so that you don’t get to see just how abusive any particular racehorse’s situation is.
    As Congressionalstorm changes hands from Trainer to Trainer, Owner to Owner none of those records are shared, passed on like any other setting in America.
    This results in repeated invasive procedures with no clue as to prior injuries and/or pre-existing conditions deliberately setting-up a game of Russian Roulette that the racehorses’ lose.
    Owner Angel Herrera and trainer Juan Vazquez are obvious sadistic abusers, but this entire industry watches this scenario play out race after race, deliberately and maliciously facilitating this massive suffering.
    They are all either abusers, enablers of the abuse or both.
    There are no other categories in horse racing.
    PLEASE call the contacts listed above, but PLEASE also call Gov. Wolf’s office to voice your support for his plan to end the obscene amounts of money going to this killing business and divert it to educational scholarships for disadvantaged youth in their state.
    This type of proposal should be going on all over this country because it’s long overdue to end casino and/or taxpayers money to fund this horrific killing business and instead give it to our cash-strapped public coffers for such things as education and community essential services.
    Congressionalstorm I hope you make it out alive, but the fact that you’ve painfully endured these parasites is a testament to your strong desire to live.

  6. What will be the fate of this poor abused mare?
    She is 11 yrs old with 96 starts and by any measure is no longer competitive. Nobody in this sick game will step up for her. The “officials” leave it up to the so called trainer thus giving the green light to run the horse into the ground.
    Unless someone will do a mercy claim, I fear she will either die on the track or just disappear when her “trainer” can no longer get her to the starting gate.
    We know nobody in this awful business will do anything to help her. What we do know is her demise, like countless others, will be facilitated.
    This is racing!!!!

    • It is heartbreaking and soul crushing to know the probable fate of CONGRESSIONALSTORM and not have the wherewithal to prevent the inevitable! 💔😞 I hope someone can do something to rescue her and as a group, we hopefully could make it work out for the best for the horse.

  7. A claim, an offer to buy, or a surrender by owner are the only options I see.
    Then, of course, the question is where can Congressionalstorm go?? That is a question that has to be answered.
    “Hoping” does nothing to help this mare.

      • Anyone can call the racing office and leave a message for the trainer to call them. He may be willing to sell her.
        There needs to be a place for the horse to go.
        I can get the funding.

        • Yes, thank you Rose…anyone can call.

          Then for those who want to work towards rescue for this particular mare, I suggest finding REPUTABLE rescues and asking if they would take her. You can also check the TAA lists but you’ll need to do your homework and see what kind of follow-up they do on the horses they adopt out.

          Since racing owners don’t keep their horses when they’re finished using them, this always becomes “our” problem – and even placing these unwanted horses into reputable rescues that adopt out will not ensure them lifetime safety. That only happens when one commits to their horses for life.

        • If there is someone out there who can give her a proper home, that would be awesome!!! I wish I could. I don’t have a place to keep a horse, and I know that boarding is too much for my budget. If someone can follow up to help rescue this mare, please do!
          CONGRESSIONALSTORM,
          a Gray/Roan Mare, born March 15, 2010.

          • Research rescues for availability. Ask what the policies are concerning adoptions and follow up. Then contact the trainer…
            The expenses will be taken care of.
            It is work – it always is!

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