Shooting Up a Baby Horse With an Anabolic Steroid

2-year-old (remember that age) Snow Cloud Cartel finished 1st in a “Futurity Trial” at Will Rogers Sep 12. Two weeks later in the “Futurity” itself – a $180K Grade 2 race – he finished 4th, garnering almost $15K for his people. Turns out, however, that his people were cheating. In that trial race, says the Oklahoma Commission, Snow Cloud tested positive for Boldenone. As with many of these drugs, I had to look it up: “Boldenone is an anabolic androgenic steroid and synthetic derivative of testosterone.” (USADA)

When notified, says the Commission, trainer Waylan Melton “waived the opportunity to send a split…and waived his right to a hearing.” In other words, he knew he’d been caught and accepted whatever punishment was coming his way. So, what was that punishment for injecting a 2-year-old horse with an anabolic steroid? A paltry $1,500 fine, and even more telling – no suspension.

This is horseracing.

25 Comments

  1. How revolting! No “official” suspension, no disgust from fellow “competitors”. Remarkable in the sheer banality of it all.

  2. And this, my friends, in a nutshell, is why I left this game.

    I have reiterated many times here that I was never an animal activist, but like most bettors, I was blissfully unaware of the carnage that takes place on an almost daily basis in this ‘sport’.

    Like any rational human being, I am enraged and disgusted by the ongoing slaughter in this, or any other industry, which is certainly both unforgiving and incomprehensible. But the reason it has gone on for so long can be attributed two basic factors: 1) money; and 2) an excellent job of covering up the horror by the race track industry.

    However, the rampant cheating by the insiders has made it patently impossible to pick winners on any sort of consistent basis, as the entries’ past performances become rendered useless by the influx of these highly potent and [in many cases] untraceable drugs, which have become all too common in the racing world..

    Speaking strictly from the bettor’s standpoint, finding out about all these ‘illegal enhancements’ after the race has been run is useless to us. Once the race is declared official, tickets are either cashed or torn up. You don’t get your money back two weeks later when it’s discovered that the race was ‘fixed’ by horse’s connections. You still lose.

    Case in point: Medina Spirit, Bob Baffert’s 2021 Kentucky Derby winner, who was disqualified months later.

    I’m not sure if there are any other race track bettors who visit this site. But if there are, take the best tip you’ll ever get – from me -when you go to place your next bet.

    You can never win a rigged contest. Leave this crooked, cheating game for good.

    Like I did.

    -Joe

  3. Any purse money (the$15,000) should have been forfeited also, in addition to the fine. The thing that should really happen is that horse racing being horse abuse and CRUELTY must be banned completely. The trainer should have been arrested for felony animal cruelty and put in jail. The abuse of horses in horse-doping cases needs to be taken much more seriously. Horseracing itself is abusive as well as neglectful to the horses in horseracing. Two-year-old COLTS and FILLIES should be allowed to be out on a large acreage and allowed to graze and grow and develop the way they were designed by nature to do. Forcing 2-year-olds to race is abuse in itself and the drugs just make it a lot worse!

    • I do believe that the purse money is forfeited, if the winner is officially disqualified after the fact. I’m pretty sure Baffert had to return the Derby purse.

      However, Medina Spirit went off at odds of 12-1 in the 2021 Kentucky Derby.. A $1,000 win bet, which I’m certain Baffert can afford, would have paid over $13,000.00. He was fined only $7,500.00.

      Do the math.

      Realistically speaking though, it will be quite some time before horse racing goes away for good. But it is a dying sport, and a resurgence of interest seems unlikely.

      However, all these news ‘bits’ and ‘pieces’ serve as a constant reminder to me never to bet the races again.

      -Joe

      • Bob Baffert would never have admitted to “being caught” doping a racehorse. He lied his ass off every time and he had two lawyers that I know of who defended his indefensible behavior and abuse of the horses and his breaking the rules of racing.
        He also partied for a week after MEDINA SPIRIT crossed the finish line first in the Kentucky Derby. He should be in prison making little rocks out of big rocks, but, no, this is “horseracing” and he’s back in the so-called game.

      • No, these are not nice people.

        Of course Baffert won’t admit to anything – NONE of them will, as this industry is their bread-and-butter, and it’s always money first and the public be damned.

        To the racing public at large, Baffert is one of the kingpins, as he’s considered a top “winner”. I obviously put that in quotes, deliberately. But the lesser trainers are no angels, either. I met quite a few of them in my racing days, and all are just so sugar-sweet pleasant, as they never know if you might be a potential owner, hoping for you to contract them to “train’ your horses.

        Not for me. Glad I quit.

        -Joe

        • The trainer in this case, Waylan Melton, waived his rights when notified by the Commission. Bob Baffert would never have waived his rights to be a total dick about abusing racehorses and doping/drugging them to keep them on their feet and walking without limping, plus the Performance Enhancing Drugs to get the unfair advantage to win at the expense of the horse’s health and wellness.
          Waylan Melton, the trainer of SNOW CLOUD CARTEL, accepted his punishment, however much of a joke his punishment was for the illegal doping of a horse being forced to perform in a futurity trial and a futurity race.

  4. Articles like this sicken me and so does the slap-on-the-wrist penalties and this has been going on for years.
    Racehorses are essentially “sitting ducks” in their stalls and with no voice, no defense mechanism and severe restraints (nose and/or ear twitches) they are laboratory chimps more or less.
    The high earners suffer for years as they get dumped into the claiming ranks where the never ending cycle of buy and sell ensues.
    The claiming parasites wait in the wings for them to “drop-down” so they can buy them and continue to use up any and all reserves until they either get claimed again or drop dead.
    Nowhere, in the claiming scenario, is the wellness of said racehorse considered and nowhere is there any compassion to give a home to a horse that has more than earned their soft landing and retirement.
    They are thrown into horse racing’s “recycling bin” to fill races and bring money into the pockets of heartless parasites and the multibillion dollar wagering firms.
    The “squeeze the lemon dry” mentality is widespread and facilitated by the entire system.
    Every single one of them watch as parasites claim and pound them into the ground racehorses like HAMMERIN AAMER (8 y.o gelding earned $550.591), CHRIS AND DAVE (9 y.o. gelding earned $873,661), AMUNDSON (6 y.o. gelding earned $408,477), PARLOR (8 y.o gelding earned $597,578), JEMOGRAPHY (6 y.o. gelding earned $$437,455), FOOLISH GHOST (7 y.o gelding earned $515,412), and although most racehorse names (for wagering purposes) are ironic this name takes the cake: YOU’RE KILLIN ME (7 y.o gelding earned $315,802).
    His name accurately describes this business because they do KILL them every single day.

  5. you need to lose the horse when you drug it. authorities should immediately take the horse away from you and they need to test for more drugs than they are testing for

  6. This is astounding on many levels.
    The business is totally corrupt but continues to operate with impunity; it is championed by politicians in terms of receiving subsidies while they choose to look the other way; it makes a mockery of anti cruelty laws as well as the laws of human decency.
    And even more troubling is the “silence” of the world of veterinary medicine in terms of the misuse of drugs and the indisputable harm to the horses. It is blatant malpractice.
    Further, the bettors that continue to support this debacle deserve what they get. They know it is corrupt but they continue to place their bets and the horses continue to suffer and die.

  7. “Further, the bettors that continue to support this debacle deserve what they get. They know it is corrupt but they continue to place their bets and the horses continue to suffer and die.”

    I’m going to politely take issue with this comment, because as a former bettor, let me reiterate that most bettors really DON’T know just exactly how corrupt this industry is, from the very bottom level right to the top. Oh sure, they, as well as I, realize that there’s cheating – we’re not THAT naïve about it -but 1) not to the extent that is going on today; and 2) they are, just like I was, for the most part, “blissfully unaware of the carnage that takes place on an almost daily basis in this ‘sport’.”

    Many bettors, particularly the simulcast denizens, have never even SEEN a horse in person, and quite often don’t witness the carnage first-hand, as breakdowns do not occur every day, at every single track. “Weekend warriors” could considerably go months or even YEARS without witnessing a fatal breakdown that day, and even then, if they hadn’t been betting on that particular race, they may miss many breakdowns entirely.

    I’m not defending racetrack wagering. Every single one of my posts on this site encourages those who are tempted to place a bet on horse racing to walk away instead.

    However, prejudicial judgement that every single bettor who places a bet on a horse race is a cruel and thoughtless individual who “deserves what they get” is wrong. There are many former racetrack professionals on this site who have walked away from the game when they found out what was really going on behind the scenes, and I’m one of them.

    The bettors are no different. Not all of us are degenerate, incompetent, deranged, inconsequential morons who bet indiscriminately with little regard to one’s current financial condition, let alone the mistreatment and overall well-being of the animals. I know many “professional” handicappers who are mathematical geniuses and can figure a horse’s fractional race times in their head without using a calculator. I also know many who can rattle off any number of entrants’ dams and sires, again, with this information nestled in their minds all with the hope of using that knowledge to gain an edge in the wagering.

    Chastising bettors will do nothing to help your cause. Mr. Battuello’s ‘Plea to bettors’, which states, “you [the bettors] hold all the cards – no more bets, no more races; no more races, no more kills” – could not be more spot-on. Appealing to the bettors to reconsider their wagering- not condemning them – is paramount to the ultimate success of your goal.

    Respectfully,

    -Joe

    • Vehemently disagree with your “they didn’t know” argument, Joe. But it misses the point entirely, doesn’t it? (Even if they didn’t then, they certainly know now.)
      And yet they continue to enable the carnage — and the sheer waste of equine life — by placing their bets on a killing game.

      • Kelly,

        You make the erroneous assumption that all race track bettors are as enlightened as you are with regard to the egregious carnage that occurs regularly at the track.

        They’re not.

        Yes, some don’t care, and will bet anyway. I was a race track bettor for years and I know first hand that there are a great majority of bettors that are woefully and hopelessly uninformed. Sometimes it takes an awful lot of convincing to get people to change their bad habits, and realize that the course of action they’re following is dead wrong.

        Some actually believe that Bob Baffert was “innocent, and made into a poster boy by the Racing Board”. Some are not very bright. But some are mathematically brilliant.

        Just like people from all walks of life.

        But, most importantly, my comment DOES NOT really miss the point entirely. The whole purpose of my entire discourse is to illuminate the fact that if you are going to pre-judge all the bettors, then they won’t listen to you, and they won’t stop betting just because you want them to.

        Realistically, the root cause of the problem with continued horse racing is that the bettors are the life-blood which supports it, and you’ll never achieve your goal until you convince them otherwise.

        All the fund money in the word won’t keep racing going if nobody bets on it.

        My dear sainted Mother used to say that you “catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar!” On that, I respectfully agree!

        -Joe

        • What makes you think I’m trying to convince ANY horse bettors about the horrors of horse racing? This thread originated with Rose’s original statement that “the bettors…deserve what they get.” I wholeheartedly agree with Rose on this point, by the way. My efforts (and, more importantly, the HORSES’ WELFARE) are much better served by convincing the general, animal-loving, U.S. PUBLIC of racing’s intrinsic carnage and disregard for equine life. The bettors have already proven they’re indifferent to it all — thus, they keep on supporting it. So, yeah. Trying to excuse away their casual indifference to the suffering they enable due to feigned ignorance DOES, in fact, miss the point.
          (Not trying to catch any flies at all, Joe. I’ve got no use for flies;)

          • Kelly,

            You state:
            “What makes you think I’m trying to convince ANY horse bettors about the horrors of horse racing? ”

            If you’re not, then you should.

            In Mr. Battuello’s own words: they “hold all the cards.”

            Horse racing will continue for as long as people keep betting on it. That’s a fact.
            Yes, I do agree with previous comments which have stated ‘Facts can be stubborn things” – courtesy, John Adams.

            ..”…the HORSES’ WELFARE) are much better served by convincing the general, animal-loving, U.S. PUBLIC of racing’s intrinsic carnage and disregard for equine life.”

            Well, uh…. no, not if people are still betting on horses! While that’s a nice thought, and a noble cause to continue informing the general public about the horrors of the industry, but as long as bettors continue to bet on horses, there will still be racing. Once again, I’ll quote Mr. Battuello: “no more bets, no more races; no more races, no more kills”.

            Of which I agree wholeheartedly,

            “The bettors have already proven they’re indifferent to it all — thus, they keep on supporting it”.

            Have they?

            They support it because they enjoy it. None of them are animal activists, and many of my bettor friends STILL think that the fatal breakdowns are few and far between. Remember, the industry is extremely thorough about hiding both the slaughter and the cheating, and it’s largely working. But convincing THEM, the bettors, of all people, to change their actions, is, IMHO, paramount to the success of your entire mission. Any time you pre-judge an entire group of people that you don’t even know, other than the fact they are engaged in something you find personally reprehensible, then you are making a very bad mistake. And, I might add, it’s not helping your cause to ignore and/or chastise the bettors.

            Remember, horse race wagering is both legal and voluntary. The only way people will stop betting is if they CHOOSE to. You can’t force them. You’re better off trying to convince them.

            I quit betting on horses, after doing so for many years. Yes, it took a lot of time, and yes, it wasn’t easy. But I didn’t quit because of the vitriol spewed on this site towards bettors, of which I was one. Don’t you think there are similar people like me, who when properly informed, and given some time to reflect on their actions, might decide to change?

            And if enough of them do, isn’t that the end of the industry?

            Or are you convinced that we’re all evil, moral degenerates that are beyond all hope and rational reasoning?

            Lastly, I’m not all trying to excuse away ” casual indifference to the suffering to ‘feigned’ ignorance”. If I was, I’d still be placing bets on horses. My point being, it’s the same as Mr. Battuello’s: stop the bets, you stop the racing.

            Kelly, NOT many people can break their bad habits overnight. I couldn’t. But I’m glad I did, though, and perhaps with a less of a demonizing attitude towards them, more bettors “may see the light.” Isn’t that your ultimate goal?

            -Joe

            • Joe, have you said this or similar on the Paulick Report, about why you stopped gambling on racehorses? If so, did he block you?

            • Appreciate your point of view. And, yes, I get it. My experience with hundreds of hard-core horseplayers — over a concentrated, five-year work period — is, I imagine, much like yours. They are absolutely a cross-section of the population as a whole; some are the nicest, most decent, and wisest old guys you’d ever be lucky enough to meet. (Both my grandfathers had been casual fans, back in the days when most everybody was. It was a different time, obviously.)
              Then, of course, there’s the other side: (mostly) men who were abrasive, profane, rude beyond belief, with hideous personal hygiene habits and a single-minded focus on getting that winning ticket by any means necessary. I’m sure you are quite familiar with the types, and I have no doubt you would fall into the former category, should we meet.
              Point is, I choose not to focus on trying to convince this particular (and shrinking!) subset of the population that horse racing is wrong. And, I can see that you think they’re the key to that end. Perhaps you’re right, but, in either case, I don’t care to focus on swaying them from their lifelong love of racing.
              I’m glad you’re here, though, and think you will excel at that particular form of advocacy:)

              • Thanks Kelly.

                Remember, we’re on the same side. I greatly appreciate your thoughtfulness and open mindedness. But yeah, let’s get them to quit betting. If so, everyone will come out ahead on that point.

                I really, really enjoyed the races, and have been sadly disillusioned to the point that I want absolutely nothing to do with it anymore. The cheating, the slaughter, the duplicity has gotten way out of control.

                Now, if you don’t mind, just a bit of humor here.

                Many years ago, I once began dating a new girl and casually asked if she’s like to go to the races that night.

                “Why,” she asked, “just to see a bunch of crazy, foul-smelling old men with bad breath screaming at television sets!?”

                I think about that often and I’m glad I’m not one of them –

                – well, not anymore.
                LOL.

                -Joe

  8. And the state veterinarian board does not have a problem with this?

    In an ethical world, this would be a felony offense!

    Beyond disgusting and cruel, only a cold hearted monster is capable of this!

    Loved like family, I don’t think so!

  9. No mystery at all why so many horses drop dead at two- and three-years old. Lord only knows what kinds of shit is being shoved into their veins so their “loving” connections can make an extra buck.

  10. The bettors will continue to bet on the horses because it is a huge part of their lives. They are not the casual bettors or those who place a bet on the Kentucky Derby. The gamblers crucial to racing hone their handicapping skills, study the Racing Form etc. Gambling is their focus and, as Kelly said, they are “indifferent” to the horses. Horse welfare is irrelevant.
    A friend of mine, who is no stranger to racing, called about the blatantly
    excessive whipping of a horse. The comment he got from the official was “if you had bet the horse would you be complaining?” These bettors want the horses “encouraged” (whipped).
    I have known many bettors over the years and I have NEVER heard one express any concern for the welfare of the horse.
    Indifference is the prevailing sentiment.

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