By now, it should be clear that all horseracing is animal cruelty; every racehorse is abused, from day one. But occasionally, I like to highlight cases of excessive abuse: horses who are continually bringing up the rear, finishing far back, but whose people keep thrusting them out there so they can cash in on slots-infused purses paying first-last; and old (by racing standards, that is) horses who should have been liberated years ago. Today, I present four of the latter. (It goes without saying that all of the following have been made to endure the additional stress – remember, almost all racehorses suffer from ulcers – of being bought and sold multiple times.)
Joy of Baptistry is 11 years old. May 24 at Mountaineer, he was put to the whip for the 77th time. Of note: This past Sep 3 at Thistledown, he was a “DNF, bled” – an indication, of course, of pulmonary hemorrhage. Current exploiters: owner Loren Heupenbecker, trainer Richard Rettele.
Itsallaboutyou is 10 years old. May 28 at Prairie Meadows, he was put to the whip for the 86th time. Of note: Race 86 came a mere 12 days after race 85. In fact, Itsallabout was raced three times in 28 days. In the FOIA documents, I quite often see adolescent horses who died with chronic conditions like osteoarthritis. And those are adolescents. Imagine the condition of this poor animal’s body – and they’re racing him three times in four weeks. Abhorrent. Incidentally, in that race on May 16, he was sold. New and current exploiters: owner End Zone Athletics, trainer Karl Broberg.
Doubledeesonthetee is 11 years old. After being raced for the 88th time in Oct 2019, he disappeared from the charts – only to resurface last month. On May 22, Doubledees was brought back at Lethbridge (Canada). Yes, that’s right, after an over 18-month layoff, he was brought back to be raced for the 99th time. Of note: In this most recent race, Doubledees was “on the market” at the cheapest price I’ve yet seen: $2,000. The miscreant responsible for forcing him back into racing and for putting him up for sale at that bottom-of-the-barrel price: Lyle Magnuson.
And worst of all:
Maximus the Great is 10 years old. Monday at Energy Downs, he was put to the whip for the 86th time. Bad enough, but now consider this: That race was his fifth in the month of May. That’s right, he was raced on May 9, May 15, May 22, May 23 – yes, you read that correctly: Maximus was raced on back-to-back days – and May 31. How horrific is that? The pair responsible: owner Stan Brewer Jr., trainer Gilbert Ecoffey.
This is horseracing.