The 7-year-old mare Lookin Kinda Crazy was raced in a $5,000 claimer (all horses “For Sale,” cheap) at Parx yesterday. It was her 41st time under the whip; there is a high likelihood it was also her last. The chart says she “took a bad step and fell at the sixteenth pole.” As you watch, you’ll see that Lookin was hopelessly bringing up the rear throughout the entire race – right up, that is, till she “made a move” about twenty seconds prior to going down. What propelled this sudden burst? Multiple whip strikes, of course, from jockey Joel Cruz.
At a minimum, it is apparent that Mr. Cruz violated 5533 in Pennsylvania’s cruelty statutes: “A person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly or recklessly illtreats, overloads, beats, abandons or abuses an animal.” But if in fact Lookin is dead, 5534 – a felony, by the way – should apply: “A person commits an offense if the person intentionally or knowingly…violates section…5533 causing serious bodily injury to the animal or the death of the animal.” Perhaps a bit of edification/pressure is in order?