“He Simply Miscounted”: Jockey Gets Measly 3-Day Suspension for 4th Whip Violation in 60 Days

Last month at Santa Anita, according to the Stewards Minutes, 19 horses were scratched prior to their races for sickness; 11 for injury; and 7 for “unsoundness.” Then this: On March 5, “Jockey UMBERTO RISPOLI was in our office to review his crop use in Sunday’s eighth race. Mr. Rispoli did not have an excuse, other than to say he simply miscounted. Unfortunately [italics added], this was his fourth offense in last sixty days.” So what did the Santa Anita sages figure was a reasonable punishment for 4 whipping violations in 60 days? A three-day suspension.

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  1. Jockey UMBERTO RISPOLI says he “can’t count” when he keeps on whipping horses beyond all rules. Santa Ana Racetrack deserves to be closed if all those in charge look the other way while abused horses continue to suffer under the whip of a vicious, brutal jockey! KICK THE BUM OUT AND TAKE AWAY HIS WHIP FOREVER!
    If a 3-day suspension is all SANTA ANA can do to a jockey that breaks all of the rules it should be SHUT DOWN!

  2. “Rules? What rules?! We don’t need any stinking rules! We just need to satisfy the humans that run their horses for purse money and betting. We need the horses to be ridden by jockeys. We want to please our gambling addicts so they will keep coming back for more gambling. If the jockey doesn’t whip the horse, some bettor will complain. We can’t have that!”

  3. We can thank Ms. Jenine Sahadi (trained former champion THE DEPUTY who was just found in a kill pen) and Doug O’Neil for playing a large part in ensuring that racehorses will continue to get the crap beaten out of them in California.
    Both of them were very vocal at the meeting defending this blatant racehorse cruelty to ensure that the fines didn’t increase claiming that the public just doesn’t understand or something similar to that.
    Pro-horse racing entities/individuals will always prioritize wagering profits at the detriment of the racehorses- always has been and always will be.
    Horse racing requires daily abusive business practices to keep sore and lame racehorses running.
    Horse racing also requires the slaughterhouse as their main disposal option for racehorses that they have maimed because they certainly have no need for them once they can’t fill races and their wagering coffers.
    That’s horse racing and don’t believe them when they claim to “care” because they only care when they can suck the blood and life out of them to flip a buck or to pad their human egos.
    Incidentally, most jockeys that get suspensions usually serve it on track “dark days” and coupled with the miniscule fines pretty much condones the abuse.
    Again, the abusive practices are propagated.

  4. He just rode in a Stake Race at Santa Anita today and won. I see so many beatings every day that I watch racing its pathetic. Another nice Fast Anna 3 year old filly “went down” at Golden Gate in a so called allowance race today. At least the announcer did not say “took a bad step” which is a lie. The leg broke in the step before so when the horse puts it down again, it is not there. Thats the truth of the bad step.

  5. Funny how Cali racing is trying to save itself by imagineering a bunch of futile restrictions and reforms, all of which…
    1. can’t (won’t) be enforced by the CHRB.
    2. haven’t saved (and won’t save) a single horse’s life.
    3. are only pissing off the rest of the horse-killing world, and causing them all to wish away the entire state’s “beleaguered” blood sport industry — even before the voters get a chance to finish ’em off.

    Why bother, California Racing Creeps? Y’all want literally everybody to despise you, and not just the ever-increasing population of Anti-Racers you’re cultivating?

    • I came across a 2020 article by Joe Drape (regarding the massive racehorse drugging scheme uncovered by the FBI) – he mentioned CA horseracing…

      “California racing officials spent four months investigating [Justify’s] failed test, long enough for Justify to not only compete in the Derby, but also win it, along with the Preakness and Belmont Stakes. In August, after Justify’s breeding rights had been sold for $60 million, the California board — whose chairman at the time, Chuck Winner, had employed Baffert as his trainer — disposed of the inquiry altogether during a rare closed-door session.

      “They ruled that Justify’s positive test for the illegal drug scopolamine was the result of ‘environmental contamination,’ not intentional doping. Baffert has denied any wrongdoing but the quantity of the drug found in Justify suggested that it was not the result of feed or bedding contamination but intended to enhance performance, according to Dr. Rick Sams, who ran the drug lab for the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission from 2011 to 2018.”

      The article ended mentioning the necropsies of the racehorses killed at Santa Anita in 2019…

      “No illegal medications were found in any of them. Surprising? Not really, if you believe federal prosecutors. As Maximum Security won eight of 10 races and nearly $12 million in purses while passing drug test after drug test, they said, veterinarians falsified records and backstretch pushers promised and delivered cutting-edge chemistry.”


      • The public is generally under the impression that there’s a “test” for drugs. Nothing could be further from the truth. You need to know what you’re looking for to conduct the proper test but the chemists are always one step ahead. As soon as there’s a test they alter or find a new drug that passes the test. Never ending.

        • Great point Alan and I would like to add a few things.
          The “horsemen groups” AKA HBPA demands that racing commissions give a minimum of 30 day notice to “horsemen” AKA Trainers when they are going to test for a new drug!
          So back when EPO was killing lots of racehorses the commissions finally found out what was going on and started testing for it, but not before they put out a written notice to the HBPA and in turn the “Trainers.”
          The HBPA are a deeply corrupt group of people that are in control of millions due to sweet deals with our politicians for casino profits and/or taxpayer handouts.
          Anyways, how in the hell are they supposed to catch cheaters who maliciously damage a racehorse’s health by administering dope that is known to be detrimental?
          Further, unlabeled dope (recently found in the PA indictment) is not even on the drug testing map and that’s what many of these cheaters use with total disregard for the racehorses.
          Finally, while an Associate Steward, we were getting confidential evidence that Lasix was being used to 1. smear doping tests for inaccurate results 2. Lasix wasn’t always in the needle something else was.
          For people who don’t know Lasix is administered directly into a racehorse’s jugular vein 4 hours before a race and it seems to be the main cheating conduit.
          That’s why the HBPA wants to keep Lasix because we seem to think that they have their doping and cheating recipe down pat which manipulates the outcome of races usually in their favor not in the wagering public’s favor (not that I care), but certainly not in the racehorse’s favor.
          Nobody believed me, called me crazy and then when horse racing attempted to stop the use of Lasix?
          Well, the HBPA came out swinging against this new idea because they want to keep Lasix and came up with every excuse in the book to keep it even launching lawsuits.
          I’m exonerated, but feel sorry for the racehorses because Lasix is bad for racehorses.

          • Gina, not to mention that racing itself is bad for horses exploited as racehorses. All of the routine abuses need to be recognized by legislators as abuses which includes the doping and subsequent cheating as you mentioned.
            Keeping horses confined in stalls 23 hours a day should be recognized as abuse, to start with, and then it all goes downhill from there; meaning the abuse of horses gets worse and worse.

  6. Any outsider with half a brain should know that horse racing is deeply corrupt and that it’s the racehorses that pay every step of the way – literally – snapping-off their healthy limbs for gambling bets way too often.
    If they are lucky enough to make it out alive than they quickly become part of the unwanted racehorse mess, usually end up at the kill pens, and subsequently the slaughterhouse floor.
    The tie that binds our politicians to horse racing needs to be severed and so should any form of public funding/subsidies because this is essentially a private profitable business.
    Any form of public funding or casino profits should be going into our communities not to a bunch of racehorse abusers and enablers of the abuse.
    Horse racing is a snuff show and not only is it a sick one, but it’s morally bankrupt as well.
    Neither the HBPA “horsemen groups” or any track owner should be financially benefitting what should be going into our community essential services.
    It’s outrageous and it needs to end now.

  7. I find it utterly repulsive that this industry has implemented rules as to how many times you can whip an innocent horse!! It’s like saying if you spank your child 3 times it’s acceptable, anything over that is not. Or your dog for that matter. Who the hell makes up these rules?? And who on earth thinks that’s ok?? Rhetorical questions of course…
    I suppose SA also miscounted the number of days the midget with the whip should have been suspended. They probably meant 300 not 3..right, SA? Please update your records..you corrupt, heartless bastards you! And you…Rispoli… should go back to school so you can learn how to count properly..maybe then you’ll find a real job.

    • They don’t want real jobs. It is much easier to make a living off the backs of these captive horses where they can dominate, abuse and dump them with impunity. – where they can cheat, make their own rules, break the rules, decide on consequences or not and rake in subsidies from unwitting taxpayers.
      It’s a haven for gamblers, scoff laws, and those who are indifferent to horrible animal suffering as well as many who are downright sadistic.
      In fact, racing lends a facade of legitimacy to a lawless business, the worst of which is the suffering of these captive beautiful animals.

      • You’re so right, Rose. Captive and enslaved by a bunch of parasites.

  8. Oh. “He miscounted”? Maybe he would remember how to count if someone took the whip to his little a$$ ? 🥵

  9. Cruelty to horses must be ended. The solution to this problem is to end horse racing!

  10. He miscounted? Well, then, all is forgiven.
    It happens to all of us who work with horses, doesn’t it? We start hitting a horse and, whoops, wouldn’t you know it, just get a little carried away.
    Why even offer that pathetic excuse? It’s not like the racing industry actually cares about jockeys beating horses, or bothers to enforce their own farce of rules.
    Umberto, you are a human stain.

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