About as Bad as You’ll Ever See

Turfway opened its meet Wednesday with great fanfare, what with the newly-installed “Historical Racing Machines” – slots, basically – artificially jacking up the purses. As for the cruelty (and, probably, killing), that, too, is off to a rousing start.

In the very first race, Anytimeallthetime, says the chart, “stumbled at the start, went wrong past the 1/4 pole, took a bad step and fell while vanned off following the finish.” Several of racing’s favorite euphemisms packed into a single line: “stumbled,” “went wrong,” “took a bad step,” “vanned off.” Because the replay was (of course) edited, this rough cut from one of our activists is the best we could do. But you’ll get the idea…

A few races later, 2-year-old Acrimony, after being “antsy in gate,” was “pulled up” and eventually “vanned off.” Two races after that, Lightning Fire, also “antsy” beforehand, “stopped badly,” finishing some 30 lengths back (still, that slots cash allowed for a $500 payout to her exploiters). Then, in the 6th last night, Maotai and Baby No Worries, both three, “collided,” with neither finishing the race.

This is Turfway. This is horseracing.

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  1. stop horseracing now. about as bad a fall as youll ever see in horseracing 2 times over and over – slaughter of the horse

  2. I saw the replay of the race last night, the one horse seemed to run up into the back of the other, causing her to stumble. Both remained upright and kept running after the jockeys fell off, but the horse that had been run into seemed to be off on her right hind. I wonder if she got cut, or worse. Of course just said they walked off and of course the only thing I could find out is that the one jockey was taken to the hospital.

  3. Since I quit betting on horse racing last year, I took my business to the casinos. NOTE: casinos; NOT ‘racinos’. I’m a hard-core gambler, and you can call me whatever you like, but I enjoy the sport of gambling. Up until last year, as I’ve stated many times on this site, the bulk of my gambling bankroll went to horse racing.

    After some of the videos I’ve seen and having been made aware of the utterly insane frequency of these fatal breakdowns at the race track, any sane person who sees this would HAVE to realize that one is literally playing with a stacked deck when wagering on horse racing. Not to mention the abject horror suffered by these poor animals on a regular basis..

    Because of this, I will not ever wager in a ‘racino’. First of all, the product they offer is not a good one, compared to the major clubs in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, and the larger venues in the Caribbean. I’d been to several of these ‘racinos’ in the past, but now I refuse to support them at all because they prop up the racing industry. Yes, this hard-core gambler has seen the light when it comes to horse racing.

    I’m not an animal activist, but I like horses; in fact, that’s what got me into this game at first. It’s ALSO one of the reasons why I quit! Sometimes it takes a person a while to ‘wake up,’ but I did.

    I might add, that in Atlantic City, I believe all the ‘race books’ which have all had separate betting rooms in the casinos, have been shuttered – meaning, you cannot legally place a bet on horse racing in Atlantic City, unless you’ve got an app for your smart phone. I’ve not been to Vegas in some time so I’m not sure about them. However, the shuttering of the race books is telling. They didn’t close them because they are concerned about the welfare of the horse – they closed them because no one is patronizing them!

    I see many calls on this site to shut down horse racing, but I believe it will die a slow death on its own. I honestly don’t see it coming back into vogue again. quite the contrary..

    Unfortunately , it’s the money that will call the shots. Once it becomes a major liability for those concerned, it will go the way of the circuses and other animal shows. Sadly, many more horses will die before that happens.

    But as they say on Shark Tank – “I’m out!”


    • We like you Joe became involved with racing in 1977 because of actually getting to work with the horses & later being able to gallop them on the tracks & at farms. Later when we saw the horrific wrecks & terrible break downs we left in 2005. As the old saying goes, “one can love horses or love racing but not both”. We appreciate your candid remarks of your experiences.

    • Joe, I agree with you on the point that the horseracing industry is dying, but I disagree with you that it will die on its own. I believe that this dying process of this industry has gotten and is getting some “help” and that it needs more outside “help” to get the word out that what happens to these horses is not an unheard of thing “that rarely happens” in this diabolical and morally depraved industry.
      Yes, I believe horseracing is dying on its own in many ways, but with the awareness of the everyday atrocities against horses in this industry being brought to light in various ways by various groups (including HORSERACING WRONGS) who are against the abuse, brutality and cruelty to horses that is so commonplace in organized, regulated horseracing, more and more people are seeing the truth that these horrible INJURIES and killings of racehorses is not a rare thing.
      Thanks also to the technology and the transmitting of information that we have today, more and more people can be exposed to the darkest parts of the dark side of horseracing. In the years before cellphones and whatnot, it appeared easy for the racetrack management to sweep under the rug the horrors of a racehorse dropping to the ground during a race and never getting up so that the downed horse had to be loaded, or should I say dragged (?), into a trailer or “van” on her back with all four legs in the air. The racetrack management could refuse to show the replay of that particular race and refuse to disclose any explanation whatsoever to the public, especially the gambling public at that particular race track. Most people there could just wonder in horror of why the horse went down suddenly and never even tried to get up. This was in November of 1980 at Centennial Race Track in Littleton, Colorado which has been shuttered since then.
      The die-hard horse-abusers in this industry are always going to want government subsidies and government-directed benefits including tax write-offs to support their horse-abusing, horse-doping, horse-killing habits. (There are certain groups who have been receiving government subsidies and government-directed benefits benefits for so long that they are “something-something” enough to boldly proclaim that these government subsidies and government-directed benefits BELONG TO THEM and no one else, even though it is a government for all of the people, not just people in horseracing.) There are various groups in the racing community, as well as individuals, in various states who are planning and lobbying to get government support of some kind. You might not have heard of the Indigenous People’s tribes in the southern part of the State of Idaho that want to build a racetrack as well as casinos (which would be more like racincos to prop up the horse racing).
      As you are well aware of, while there are many racetracks that have already been shuttered in the industry as a whole and that it appears to be dying, and the population of Thoroughbred racehorses is in decline (from 1986 to the present), there are still people who want to lobby for racing and build new race tracks; so it’s not going to die completely on its own.
      If regulated horseracing is terminated from all government subsidies and government-directed benefits including tax write-offs, there is always the underground animal cruelty and killing, also known as dog fighting and unregulated horseracing. The animals continue to need people who care enough about them to be their voice.

      • Wanda,

        Oh, I never meant to infer that these horrors should just be left be, only that the horse racing industry, in spite of all their own efforts to the contrary, is actually doing a very good job of killing their own ‘sport’. They don’t really prosecute the cheaters; they need outside money, and a LOT of it, to even just survive; for the most part, they treat their fans like dirt; and the cruelty abounds right from the very top echelons of the sport.

        They’ve been caught with their ‘pants down’ on several occasions now, from the recent Baffert Ky. Derby DQ, to the Santa Anita track surface debacle, the Navarro & Servis doping scandal, and it’s getting harder and harder for them to hide these atrocities- which, sadly, will continue. Whether you realize it our not, they ARE playing into your hands by producing such a rampantly vicious charade disguised as entertainment on a regular basis, with little recourse available to them these days to effectively hide their atrocities. And on top of it all, active participation in the sport is, unquestionably, dwindling.

        Honestly, I never thought it was this bad! But keep in mind, I came across this site NOT because I was an animal activist, but because I was being cheated and was losing money betting. In my search for answers, I ‘googled’ a lot of sites and eventually came across this one. Also, I found out about all these scandals I outlined above through the many racing publications of which I either subscribed to, or checked periodically. So, yes, I maintain that the industry is doing a great job of killing their own ‘sport’.

        Yes, it will take time before horse racing goes the way of the dinosaur, but I think the industry knows that, and are just doing everything they possibly can to squeeze the last buck out of it before it finally goes down for good.

        I think I even recall an interview in Saratoga, I believe it was last year with Mr. Battuello, where the interviewer said something to the effect of that he would not bet on seeing racing thriving, or even surviving, for too many more years. Not sure of the exact quote, though. But he’s right.

        Lastly, I do believe that the ‘racinos’ , even new ones that are proposed, are doomed to eventual failure, due to the continuing lack of interest in the sport. When ‘Resorts World’ opened at Aqueduct years ago to help prop up the racing industry, the final end result, as you will soon see, will be the permanent closure of Aqueduct Race Track.

        In time, others will follow suit.

        But yes, the information-central computerized world we live in today can bring a lot of things to light that could have easily been hidden previously.

        Bottom line: yes, it’s a very bad game, but those people who are supporting horse racing are on the losing side of that bad bet.

        • I agree with you, Joe. I was racing in my state before the racino money, and we had fields consistently of 10-12 horses. Those same tracks are running for double the money because of racinos bolstering the purse money, and yet they are barely scraping together 5 or 6 horse fields. Older folks are dying off or dropping out of it- and not too many young ones are picking it up. The foal crops are dropping, even with breeders incentives, and every month, it seems, there are some big name or big time breeders that are dispersing their stock or consolidating farms or selling off farms. Even Adena Springs has their KY based farm up for sale for $55 million but also “accepting offers”. No one has grabbed it up yet!

  4. SICKENING SICKENING SICKENING – THE HORSES LEG IS OBVIOUSLY 100 % BROKEN. DANGLING / FLOPPING BY SKIN ONLY holding the remains of THE HORSES LEG bones, which SHATTERED into thousands of bits like an explosive- all the drugs’ racehorses are on & then allowed overages of those drugs with zero repercussions for the offenders which allow this to happen as these athletes push themselves beyond their natural limits. the drugs allow them to feel no pain & these animals are on several pain inhibiting drugs & God only knows what else when they go to the gate. this is so sickening to know how many “human beings” are involved in this MASS DOPING of these poor horses & allow it to continue is just so SICKENING. MONSTERS. HOW do we stop them?

    • Yes – and weren’t they the ones that bragged about the new and improved track after they installed the new surface a few years ago?? They have had horrific years since. The industry always reports synthetic surfaces being soooo much safer. Another blatant industry lie.

  5. That was absolutely horrible!!!!! I have not seen a downed horse do that move of rolling up with all four legs and hooves in the air after falling, rolling and coming to a complete stop. This horse is doomed and I get the feeling that the horse knows it.

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