Five days ago, 4-year-old Lady In Fashion finished 2nd in a race at Running Aces (harness) in Minnesota. She was then, as is the protocol, sent to the test barn. There, the Racing Commission reports, the regulatory vet “saw welts” on the mare’s right hip. After review, the stewards unanimously concluded – wait for it – that the driver, Luke Plano, “caused the welts.” But because this was Plano’s “first welt offense at Running Aces in 2022,” he was given but a $500 fine and three-day suspension. Imagine that.
While this may be Plano’s first welt offense this year, it is not his first whip offense there this month: He was guilty of “excessive use” in a Jul 17 race, and that, the stewards noted, was his second whip violation at RA in 2022. So the above would make it three. Plano, of course, has been brought up on numerous other charges, including (as a trainer) a pair of drug violations just this year, just at this track.
As for “causing welts,” Plano is a serial offender. Here are just a couple: Cal Expo, Hoosier Park. And, needless to say, he’s also been complicit in killing. In short, Luke Plano is, at least in regard to how he treats innocent animals, a bad man. Not only should he not be allowed to work around animals, he should be in jail.