Again, It’s Not Just the Killing

Recent notes from the stewards at Turfway Park:

Freedom Bound, Jan 1 – “returned lame, required the horse ambulance”
Impressed, Jan 1 – “bled and was eased”
Sugar and Sass, Jan 2 – “was a late scratch on advice of commission vet”
Happy Camper, Jan 7 – “claim [sale] voided, placed on vet list”
Lemonadeatthelatch, Jan 7 – “was pulled up and required horse ambulance”
Luckyinkentucky, Jan 9 – “was injured in the starting gate”
Kass’ Choice, Jan 9 – “scratched by commission vet”
Hot N Sweet, Jan 15 – “bled, placed on vet list”
Temper Mint Twist, Jan 15 – “suffered serious laceration, required horse ambulance”

Then there is the case of Maxed Up. Curiously, Maxed, a gelding, was not raced until he was five. From there, not good. Here are his three “career” starts:

Nov 1 (2020), Churchill: last of 9, 36 lengths back
Nov 13, Churchill: second-to-last, 39+ lengths back (“done early”)
Jan 14, Turfway: last of 9, 58 lengths back (“stopped badly”)

While the stewards placed him on the ineligible list – for being “distanced for the third time in three lifetime starts” – the question remains: Why no sanction for Max’s primary abuser, owner/trainer Marvin Curtsinger, or jockey Johnathon Curtsinger, who has been aboard all three times? In any event, I’ll be watching to see if Maxed surfaces outside Kentucky.

2 Comments

  1. Absolutely, and thank you, Patrick, for the reminder. In thinking on that, that it’s not just the killing, several things come to mind for me…

    – the injuries and being raced with them as pointed out in this post

    – the drugging which is being shown as rampant and widespread

    – the (stressful for the horses) being bought and sold

    – the dumping of used-up and/or injured racehorses into underfunded and overcrowded rescues, to individuals who have no business OWNING a horse (because that’s all it is, owning – no “family member” love and commitment going on there), to flippers (you know, those who “rehome” to individuals just looking for a “project”, to acquire free or cheap and sell on down the road to make a few bucks), and of course, into the slaughter pipeline ( directly, right to a kill buyer or indirectly via the auction)

    But often overlooked is that which takes place every single day, hour, minute, second…existing in isolation and confinement – it is HELL for a horse and even racing and its supporters know it. If the daily lives of racehorses are so great (such “royal treatment”), then may I suggest to racehorse rescues (that support the industry) that you simply build shedrows where your pastures and paddocks are…you’ll be able to intake many more. Hang a hay bag and a Jolly Ball and they’re good to go.

  2. It’s very possible that a lot of these horses may have already been sold directly to a killbuyer. Horseracing is a man-made disaster and this CRUELTY to horses must be made punishable by law.

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