As I mentioned in a comment last night, the 14-year-old Annadu was a vet scratch yesterday at Great Falls. I have little doubt that this was owing to our efforts – all who pressured with calls and emails. Obviously, what happens to Annadu at this point is an open question, but at least she was not made to race twice in three days.
Along with Annadu, 5-year-old Scratch Me was, ironically enough, scratched prior to the 4th yesterday – this one coming from the stewards. Looking him up, I found that Scratch had been raced twice previously: last Sunday and this past Saturday. Yes, his owner/trainer, Clifton Dennis, not only intended to put Scratch to the whip on back-to-back days but thrice in a week’s time. And it gets worse. Scratch Me’s results in those two races? July 25: dead last, 37 lengths back; July 31: dead last, 17+ back. And, I repeat, Dennis aimed to throw him back out there again yesterday.
Oh, but I’m hardly done. Here are some other scratches at Great Falls yesterday – which, not coincidentally, was that track’s final day of its five-day meet.
Won Oak was a vet scratch prior to the 1st. Won Oak is nine, and prior to being raced last Sunday, hadn’t been on a track in almost three years. Owner: Wayne Hall; trainer: Jess Meineke.
Leesburg Lady was a vet scratch prior to the 3rd. The 5-year-old was raced Saturday, where she finished just ahead of Scratch Me, 15+ lengths back. So, owner Myles Murray and trainer Harlan Bird Rattler, too, had every intention of putting their charge to the whip on back-to-back days.
Truly Classic was a stewards scratch prior to the 3rd. Over her six most recent races – still at “maiden claiming,” by the way – Truly finished a combined 99 lengths back. Owner, Arc of Salvation Stables; trainer, Carolyn Reynolds.
Ninadavina was a vet scratch prior to the 5th. She was raced last Sunday and again this past Friday. Owner, Shainell Birdrattler; trainer, Shawn Bird Rattler.
Silver Flash was a vet scratch prior to the 6th. Silver had been raced Saturday; prior to that: July 2019. Same team (Murray, Rattler) as Leesburg Lady.
Between the Buoys was a vet scratch prior to the 7th. This poor mare was coming off a “pulled up, DNF” at Horsemen’s Park in June. Owner, Choya Young; trainer, Don Young.
Fort Dodge was a vet scratch prior to the 9th. Fort had been under the whip on the two previous Saturdays (7/24, 7/31). Owner/trainer, Harlan Bird Rattler.
Unusual Victory was also a vet scratch prior to the 9th. He had been raced last Sunday and this past Friday. Owner, Tristan Birdrattler; trainer, Joe Birdrattler.
Wild Card Playoff was also a vet scratch prior to the 9th. He had been raced last Sunday. Owner, Kevin De Roche; trainer, Harlan Bird Rattler (sounds like a pretty awful family, these “Bird Rattlers/Birdrattlers”).
And finally, Rebel Roar was a vet scratch prior to the 11th. Rebel was raced last Sunday and this past Saturday; ‘twould have been three races in a week. Owner, Mervin Dennis; trainer, Clifton Dennis (with whom we started).
This dump – don’t let the “Turf Club” in its name fool you – has much to answer for. I would suggest the Department of Commerce (contact below). Incidentally and relatedly, Great Falls pays first through last – giving these horrible people every incentive to throw those poor, abused animals out there repeatedly.
Montana Dept. of Commerce: 406-841-2700; contact form