Covering Up the Ugliness – Including Another Kill – at Delaware Park

Although all the race charts are published by Equibase, the reporting is anything but uniform, with each track writer employing his/her own style and, more important, standards as to what exactly merits reporting. Truth is, some writers are loath to give up anything that would reflect poorly on their home turf. Delaware Park this week offers a good example.

In the 3rd Wednesday, Muzzle Tough, it was relayed, “showed good early speed from the inside, tired readily, was eased up on through the stretch and walked off.” Harmless enough, huh? In fact, say the stewards in their official report, Muzzle “bled from [both] nostrils.” Not so harmless, after all.

Same day, a few races later, English Lad was “sandwiched at the start [and] outrun.” Yes, “outrun” to the tune of 105 1/2 lengths back. Not mentioned, again, by the writer was that the 4-year-old “bled.” Wholly related: Delaware is a racino – a track being propped up by taxpayer money – and pays first-last, meaning English, even at 105 1/2 lengths back, “earned” for his people, jockey Jesus Bracho among them. Criminal.

And finally, there is Sergeant Wild Bill in the 3rd Thursday. The chart merely notes that the 2-year-old “fell and was vanned off.” In fact, he was euthanized on the track, where he lay. Duplicity (among other things), thy name is horseracing.


  1. Some racing jurisdictions just aren’t very good at syncing their various Dead Horse Hiding teams. Delaware is clearly one of those places.
    So, wake up, Del Park and affiliated commissioners! You must realize that your absolute number one priority, your ONLY job, in fact, is to COVER UP YOUR EQUINE CARNAGE from the public. You can’t have your chartwriter revealing a couple racing deaths, only to have your stewards and “regulators” admitting to several dozen others…

  2. Haven’t heard Jesus Bracho’s name in a long time. He raced many years ago in South Florida. He loves to beat the hell out of horses especially their necks near their faces. I’ve called the stewards many times on this sadistic sob but needless to say nothing was done.

  3. Poor wild bill was slowing and struggling at the end, and was obviously spent, or hurting. Carol Cedeno, the FEMALE jockey, seemed to not really care about this and gave him at least 2 overhand hard hits with her whip! (Hey HISA- thought overhead strikes aren’t allowed?? Another laughable aspect of HISA!) the camera pans away, but the shadow of the horse shows him stopping. Hopefully she was tossed on her mean ass.

    • HISA is a sham. It does nothing to improve safety. I don’t believe it was ever intended to, anyway. Who is enforcing the rules and what are the consequences for non compliance?!
      The only way to improve safety is to shut this corruption down. All these human leeches can then find employment that contributes to society instead of tormenting and killing the voiceless.

      • If the die-hard horse-abusing, horse-doping, horse-killing creeps in this industry wanted to find honest jobs, they could do it now. These horrible people are candidates for prison terms and they deserve to be locked up.
        Too many of these people are incapable of honest work. So many of them are incorrigible criminals.

  4. I’ve been reading this site for awhile, and decided to contribute my two cents.

    Yes, I am a gambler, a bettor on horse racing. Naturally, I know many bettors, both $2 players and $2,000 players, and I would like to pass on publicly that in reality, most bettors [thanks to the racing owners, breeders, trainers, jockeys and the industry in general] are blissfully UNWARE of the carnage that takes place at a racetrack on a regular basis.

    One, the average bettor will rarely focus on horses that break down since, from the TV screens and, if watching live, the distance from their seat, it only appears that a horse has fallen; believe it or not, there are STILL many people, including bettors, who DO NOT KNOW that a horse must be put down if he (or she) breaks a leg.

    Two, breakdowns DO NOT occur every day, and at every track. So, a bettor, who may perhaps only go to the track on weekends, or even twice a month, and bets only his favorite track, say, Saratoga, could conceivably go MONTHS without witnessing a breakdown. Combined with the great lengths the racing industry goes to hide thier fatalities, the average bettor thinks, erroneously, that these fatal breakdowns are few and far between.

    However, the main reason for my post is to explain that I no long bet on horses, but rather have moved all my gambling ‘action’ to the casinos.


    Well, first, obviously, no human or animal gets hurt no matter how much or how little I bet.

    But, after the Bob Baffert drug-related scenario that actually took down the winner of the Kentucky Derby, it has occured to me that I am playing a game that is not only fixed, [ok, look, folks, like most bettors, we’re not stupid; we always understood that there is SOME cheating going on] but now the cheating is SO rampant and even at the the very highest level of the game, AND the cheaters got caught! Previously, studying a horse’s past performances might give an indication that a good educated guess, using supposedly documented information from the DRF might help us bettors uncover a ‘live’ long shot and hence, make money. But with a “win-at-all-costs” and “screw the public” attitude from the racing insiders, more folks like myself are leaving the game. For good.

    Taking down the Kentucky Derby winner was a big eye-opener and certainly public interest in horse racing is diminishing daily. If the cheaters ran even a semi-honest game, perhaps the ‘sport’ would continue. But, they’re getting too greedy, and it’s showing.

    SO what’s my point in this rather wordy exchange? Simple. Your ‘Plea to Bettors’ should be greatly expanded, and brought to the public’s eye. Stop the betting, you stop everything. LET the bettors know they’re being cheated every day, day in and dy out. They’re using incomplete information to try and pick a winner and it’s rigged. They’ll have better luck at the casinos. I might add that the casinos often give perks, including money to bet with if you patronize them regularly.

    However, you can bet $10,000 a day at the track, and they won’t even buy you a hot dog.

    Nobody likes to be taken for a fool, and bettors are no different. Of late, many of my betting friends have left the game for the very reasons I’ve just described, and I see more of my pals at the casinos than ever before, with a “I’ve quit the ponies, just can’t win there” attitude. Good for them. Your site can do a lot to win over former horse bettors like myself who have given up on the races.

    Thanks for listening.

    • Thanks for your 2 cents worth, Joe. When I was much younger, I didn’t have any idea how many horses were being injured and killed at any one racetrack, let alone all of the active racetracks in operation combined.
      One of the very few times that I attended live racing was in 1980 at Centennial Race Track in Littleton, Colorado and I saw one dun colored filly/mare go down during a race all of a sudden and she did not appear to struggle to get up. She just went down, stayed down and was vanned off upside down. Her hooves were up in the air and showing just above the top of the solid part of the sides of the “van” or what resembled a trailer.
      In 1980, there was no such thing as the electronic devices that we have today in the 2020s (obviously). Information about the “dark side” of horseracing wasn’t traveling at the “speed of light” so to speak. Centennial showed the replay of each race after each race EXCEPT for the race in which the dun colored filly/mare went down and never got up. Any details about why she went down and what happened was not shared with the public in attendance. It was kept a big secret. I am certain that the “powers that be” would like nothing more than keeping the $2 bettors as ignorant as ignorant can be in order to line their own bank accounts, pockets or whatever you want to call it.

  5. For gamblers, the casinos offer an extremely diverse menu of playing options, and they treat you very well, even if you’re what they call a “low roller”. The horse racing industry, however, acts as though they couldn’t care less about you, and it’s true. They don’t. And bear in mind, it’s not just the $2 bettors that the racing industry wants to keep ignorant. The $100 and $1,000 bettors are no more well informed about the horrors of the racetrack breakdowns than the ‘low rollers’.

    ‘Inside information’ at the track is also a joke. Even with so-called ‘tips’, most bettors have very little knowledge of the actual condition of the horse they’re wagering on race day. I knew many trainers and jockeys over the years that put me on a ‘sure thing’ only to see my money washed down the drain when their sure-shot ‘lock’ finished up the track, dead last. I never kept track of how many animals died, and never thought much of it. But now, like myself, I think many bettors are beginning to see sick, infirm and lame horses carded in the day’s racing that should be rested and/or retired. Often not knowing the truth until after a race is run, these bettors are fooled into thinking these poor creatures actually have a shot at winning.

    It’s a bad game, and now it seems that it’s rigged all around- for the bettors, the horses, and the tax-paying public, too, many of whom never cared about horse racing but are now forced into having thier tax dollars support an industry they have no interest in whatsoever.

    Most bettors, while not animal activists, are not inhumane, inherently cruel individuals… they just want to win money. I think if thier eyes are opened, like mine have been about the rampant cheating I spoke of in my previous post, many will leave the game. Most, if not all, won’t come back, either. Why should they, knowing they’ve been conned by the very top players in the ‘sport’? I won’t bet the races anymore, and in the end, the entire industry grinds to a dead halt when all the bets stop.

    Just try and get state-subsidized funding for the races if nobody’s placing a bet.

    I always liked attending the races, but it has been ruined for me. I won’t go back, and I don’t think many other bettors will either, once they realize they’ve been ‘had’.


    • I personally find it sickeningly revolting that people would rather win money than care about what kind of abuse a horse is forced to endure to be a racehorse and that includes many people in the industry, not just bettors. It is obviously the owners and the trainers and so many other people involved in horseracing, everybody that owns the race tracks and operates race tracks and the people who own the wagering companies. For example, Frank and Belinda Stronach own wagering companies and real estate that is used to operate this egregious-cruelty-to-horses business in the form of breeding farms and etc. It’s creepy that some people are so oblivious to the pain and suffering of an animal because they want to win money that bad which is not limited to the bettors who don’t own any racehorses. I acknowledge your perception and perspective and the gambling aspect of racing as a bettor. I hope you realize that race fixing and cheating has been going on for decades and probably more like centuries; but, yes, it’s obvious when you have somebody like Bob Baffert earning the name of “Teflon Bob” because he cheats and was getting away with it for so many years…

  6. I stress “unaware’ because most bettors ARE unaware of the rampant abuse that goes on to the horses within the industry. Most do think that breakdowns are rare, and an anomaly when they do occur. Certainly this is not true for the industry ‘leaders’ who are quite aware AND complicit in their actions, but for the most part, the bettors really DON’T KNOW what’s going on behind the scenes.

    Of course, race fixing and cheating has been going on since the beginning of time, but what I like to point out is that it is MUCH WORSE now than ever; the drugs administered to the horses are done behind the scenes; many are untraceable; because of increased purses and payouts to the ‘connections’ for just entering a race no matter where you finish, even last, more poor, sick and infirm animals are entered in races when they really shouldn’t be.

    Uninformed bettors place wagers on these animals because they foolishly think that the horse must be fine if the track vet has not scratched them.

    I pointed out Baffert because never in the 148 years of running the Kentucky Derby, America’s so-called ‘Premier Race’ has a winner been taken down, after the fact. This is cheating on a grand scale, and SO badly, that it couldn’t be covered up. In any other industry, Baffert would be banned for life. Personally, I think he should be. By continuing BOTH his abuse of his charges, and his cheating the public, it’s certainly not right for him to continue in his profession unencumbered. I don’t like him any more than anyone else on this site, and yes, in my belief, his actions are criminal.

    But the bettors are not animal abusers, just unenlightened. However, the people running the industry sure are. I firmly believe that the more this is pointed out to the bettors, and the more they realize they were taken for fools, just as I was, the more of them who will leave the ‘game’ forever.

    Again, just my two cents,

    • Hopefully, more and more people considered to be uninformed and/or uneducated about the heinous abuse of horses exploited for racing will become aware as you have become and walk away from it.
      Hopefully, when more and more gamblers are aware of the rampant abuse to the horses and cheating in this industry, they will stop supporting it with their bets.
      There is a lot more money being taken from the taxpaying public via government subsidies and government-directed benefits since pari-mutuel wagering handle cannot provide the millions and billions of dollars to keep the greedy horseracing industry propped up to their liking. (The NYRA is just one prime example of this; this selfish greed for more, more, more at the taxpayers’ expense, not to mention the minds and bodies of the horses being used as slaves to this horrendous CRUELTY and greed.)
      It’s a corrupt industry and my understanding is that you have to be a cold-hearted, horse-doping, horse-killing monster as a licensed trainer in order to be recognized and inducted into the Hall of Fame for trainers of racehorses. That’s why it’s regarded as the Hall of Shame by the informed.
      I think Bob Baffert is just the tip of the iceberg as far as cheating (and horse-killing) trainers are concerned. It became obvious to more and more people, many of them less informed, that he cheated. He’s out there where he could be seen at a “world-class” level. There are so many other ones that you don’t see or don’t think about or maybe we’re completely unaware of due to being “less informed” or uninformed, but they were always cheating like crazy and still are cheating like crazy. There are so many racetracks and so-called horsemen that are considered “no names” just because they are racing at such a low-level in this industry. I consider them to be the ones who make up the iceberg beneath the surface, so to speak.
      Horseracing is cruel to the horses regardless of how well informed or how uniformed any onlooker may be. It needs to be shut down.
      All veterinarians participating in this egregiously CRUEL industry who went to a college for eight years and became licensed to practice veterinary medicine know how ghastly cruel this industry is to horses! It appears obvious to many of us that many, if not all, of these licensed veterinarians participating in horseracing don’t truly care about the health and well-being of horses! It appears that these “veterinarians” who stay in this industry enjoy the sadistic cruelty of it.

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