The Claiming Race Ends All Talk of “Love Them Like Children”

Every once in a while at one of our protests, a trainer or owner will approach me to attest to how well their horses are cared for. Some go even further, declaring their love, assuring that they view and treat their charges as they do their own children. Well, my first response is to ask if they’d ever dropped one of their horses in a claiming race. When, inevitably, they say yes, I then ask if they’d ever put one of their children up “For Sale” – at which point the conversation comes to an abrupt end.

The racehorse Klaatu just recently turned seven years old. On April 5, he was raced at Parx, marking his 62nd time under the whip. That he finished 26 1/2 lengths back is not the focus of this post. What is, is that he was “claimed” – sold – prior to the race. But this wasn’t the first time he was sold. In fact, not including the sale from breeder to first racing-owner, or any sales that may have happened in between races, Klaatu has been sold an astonishing 14 times. In fact, during one stretch, he was sold before each of five straight races. Imagine this poor animal’s anxiety and stress – incessantly being shuffled among various trainers and barns. Is it a wonder, then, that studies show that up to 90% of active racehorses suffer from ulcers?

Follows are Klaatu’s many exploiters through the years. Remember this list the next time an apologist claims how much racing loves their “children.”

owner 1: breeder Cynthia Darrah-Hipple
owner 2: Nicholas Cammarano
owner 3: ABAR PR
owner 4: Ho Dee Boy Stable
owner 5: Victoria Alih Stables
owner 6: Randall/Theresa Hillson, Roy Houghton
owner 7: Daniel Velazquez
owner 8: Rhonda/Theresa Tillson, Roy Houghton
owner 9: Vaccaro Racing Stable
owner 10: Big E Stables
owner 11: Richard Ciavardone
owner 12: Randall/Theresa Hillson, Roy Houghton
owner 13: Vaccaro Racing Stable
owner 14: SAB NC Stable
owner 15: Ho Dee Boy Stable
owner 16 (current): Randall/Theresa Hillson, Roy Houghton

trainer 1: Guadalupe Preciado
trainer 2: Carlos Milian
trainer 3: Joseph Taylor
trainer 4: Jorge Diaz
trainer 5: Roy Houghton
trainer 6: Daniel Velazquez
trainer 7: Roy Houghton
trainer 8: Patricia Farro
trainer 9: Philip Aristone
trainer 10: Robert Mosco
trainer 11: Roy Houghton
trainer 12: Patricia Farro
trainer 13: Michael Pino
trainer 14: Joseph Taylor
trainer 15 (current): Roy Houghton

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  1. It’s a wonder that KLAATU is still alive, because you know these unscrupulous people involved in horseracing will “love” KLAATU to literal death. I’m surprised that they have not already killed him.

  2. Horse racing owners/trainers are the same as ilk as people who train pit bull dogs to fight in the ring. They just do it for the money. Take the money out of the “sport” and the whole rotten facade will collapse.

  3. Keep up your advocacy!
    Every act of cruelty is so hard to listen to or see, but you are making progress and opening eyes.
    I admire your work.

    • It would be awesome if he had a place to go! I don’t know where that would be.

  4. The apologists so anger me when it comes to abuse they try so hard to forget or rationalize. It is amazing that Klaatu lived through the stress and the money exchanges. I hope he finds a home away from racing but I am not optimistic. The ugly owners will probably eventually kill him. This too will be rationalized. Such a sad story of his life! He deserved a better life!

  5. Strange that some of his exploiters bought him back after selling him. Considering how much attention they actually pay their horses, it wouldn’t surprise me if they didn’t realize they had owned him previously.

    • Rebecca, they know. Klaatu makes money. They know exactly which horse they want to claim as it’s (always) all about the money.

  6. Rated R Superstar, ran a stakes race (million dollar purse) today at Oaklawn, ya think he finished last because last time he raced at Oaklawn he had the living crap beat the hell out of him finishing second?

  7. MAIM – CLAIM – MAIM – CLAIM the never ending revolving door in all Trainer’s barns, but there are certain “trainers” that have been doing this for years and killing a whole lot of racehorses along the way.
    This claim game ensures that racehorses’ are being shuffled from parasite to parasite with no vet/treatment records following them and the owners are equally to blame.
    The tracks love the parasites, despite what they say, because they will run a racehorse with a fracture and risk their life just to flip a buck which results in their wagering coffers getting filled.
    One of the biggest winners in this inhumane scenario is the deeply corrupt HBPA who makes millions of the wagering signals, gets billions from casino profits and controls it all with little neutral scrutiny.
    They will go to no lengths to pass rules and regulations that makes it easy to maim, claim and kill racehorses. They also legally fight any type of rules that are slated to increase transparency and decrease doping.
    The following list are claims in the last 90 days and, as you can see, the parasites just keep on sucking.
    Ladies first. 1. LINDA RICE. CRYPTO CASH ($153,588). PREDETERMINED. LEGIT($119,745) BRAZILLLIONAIRE (purchase price $875,000). FOX RED ($236,666).
    2. PATRICIA FARRO. AKA Python Pat. CHRISATUDE (finished last by over 25 lengths in the race she claimed him) LUSCIOUS LOLA. SHANDIAN. DON’T MAKE IT EASY ($219,510). BAMBOO GARDEN. ASPHALT PAVING ($182,567).
    3. MIKE MAKER. EXULTING (7 y.o. gelding multiple stakes winner of $547,236). FOXXY BELLE (5 yo made $343,399) . GOLD BUTTON. SAYYAAF (made $243,437). ATTENTIVE. BLAMELESS. AUGUSTA MELODY. SPECIAL RESEVE (made $276,147). ALLEN. WYONA.
    The earnings are shown to prove that no amount of money is ever enough to ensure them a soft landing or well-deserved retirement. In fact, the opposite is true, because when they claim these racehorses their sole goal is to squeeze every cent out of them which usually results in permanently maiming or killing them.
    The only conclusion that anybody should come to is that their “Claim Game” is one of their main disposal systems with the other one being the kill pens, and subsequently the slaughterhouse floor.

  8. Nonhuman animals share the planet with us, they are not here to be our slaves. Horse racing,just like any activity that uses nonhuman animals is slavery.

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