They May Start Out at Fancy Tracks, But…

Adulation was made (by socialite Marylou Whitney) in Feb 2014. He was first put to the whip (by Whitney) in Aug 2016, at regal Saratoga Race Course. Followed were stops at other elite tracks: Belmont, Churchill, Keeneland, Gulfstream. Then, the decline. After finishing last, 33 lengths behind – “entered the stretch under the whip and faltered” – back at Saratoga in Aug 2019, Adulation, under yet another new set of “connections,” was shipped to Parx. Except for a sojourn (one race) to Delaware, he would spend the rest of his “career” – and life – there. Here are his final 10 races:

Aug 31, 2020: last
Sep 14: 4th
Sep 28: second-to-last
Nov 11: second-to-last
Nov 25: last
Dec 9: last
Dec 30: 6th
Jan 25, 2021: 9th
Feb 15: 7th
Feb 23: 7th

In all of the above, save one, Adulation was “For Sale” (by owner Gonzalez Racing), and going for a pittance ($5,000) at that. On May 9, Adulation, at this point seven years old, died while training. (According to the FOIA document, the cause was “unknown.” It was noted, however, that he just died – i.e., he wasn’t euthanized.) From the Whitneys, Saratoga, and championship dreams to an ignominious and largely anonymous death at a cheap, seedy Pennsylvania racino. This is horseracing.


  1. I’ve always heard that Marylou Whitney thought horses should be treated kindly, WRONG! Adulation was raced to DEATH and at 7 years old dropped dead! Things just keep getting worse for these horses day in and day out all the while people talk about how they admire the horses and how they perform. Perform is the right word for horseracing, the horses perform for their owners, trainers and for the people that bet! Always for people’s entertainment no matter if they live or die. When will all this abuse of horses stop, probably never because it is a money sport and we all know money talks! Horseracing is a tragedy!

  2. Parx was bad enough, but look at the stars that are quietly sent to other countries or the slaughterhouses. Ferdinand, Exceller and countless others. There is nothing but shame here and no remorse. Like Kelly has said oh well on to the next horse. And that’s exactly how it goes.

  3. This is so sad and tragic — it’s beyond reprehensible to allow such cruelty and indifference — what kind of people would allow this? — How do we SHUT DOWN this horrific, evil, immoral industry? —

  4. With all of these so-called horsemen and the veterinarians, with all of their knowledge, training, education, experience and expertise, I have to question the honesty and integrity of the report of any horse used up, doped up and locked up in stalls for 23 hours a day and forced to gallop faster than they ever would otherwise dying of an unknown cause. This despicable industry is responsible for the death of ADULATION. Their phony excuses are invalid.

  5. Had Adulation been a family member, as all horses should be, he would have had easily another 15 to 20 years. Horseracing is a disease causing suffering and premature death. There are no excuses for the human invention of horseracing. It is as horrible as factory farming, slave labor, or sex trafficking, which likewise exist only to make those with power over others rich.

  6. The rich have the LEAST conscience. They are SPOILED. They live their lives in a non-reality….they have NO clue. Because, they’ve been so spoiled and never had to WORK a REAL job.

  7. Here out West, we like to send our “elite” survivors of glitzy and glamorous Santa Anita (“We don’t really kill all THAT many! We just send ’em off-site to be put down.”) and Del Mar (“The Safest Death Track in the Nation!” or, more accurately, “We only run ’em to death for a few weeks a year, so we enjoy a shorter killing season!”) to the lesser boneyards of Doc Allred’s Los Alamitos Horse Hell, (or, god forbid, either of Arizona’s dumpy, horse-mangling shitholes like Turf Pairo’Deaths or AZ Downs.) From there, it’s just a quick hop down to the Mexican border, where our “elite athletes” get to start their prestigious “second careers.”

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