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.


  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.

Comments are closed.