They Were Going To Race These 33 Sick or Injured Horses

The following horses were “scratched” from races in California the weekend Dec 2-Dec 4. Yes, their “connections” – their exploiters – had every intention of racing them, but were thwarted by the track vet.

Del Mar – over just three days of racing
South Coast Route – sick
My Amigo – unsound
Antonsen – sick
Take a Leap – sick
Tootufftoswallow – injured
Cat Bandit – sick
Asphalt Andy – unsound
Ajaaweed – injured
Spirit of Makena – unsound
Escape Artist – injured
Maltese Falcon – sick
Hollywood Rumor – unsound
Lucky Vegas – injured
Miss Kaline – sick
Mr. T’s Thirsty – sick
Candy for Carmel – injured
Kanderel – sick

Golden Gate – over just three days of racing
Gee Street – unsound
John Dunbar – unsound
Descartes – injured
Momo’s Kiddo – injured
Safe Combination – injured
Highland Ghost – sick

Los Alamitos – over just two days of racing
Torrid Tommy – injured
Queen Verrazano – unsound (“as it approached the gate”)
My Bella Chick – sick
Not Gonna Last – sick
Eternal Place – sick
Corona de Crystal – injured
Gov From Above – injured

Cal Expo – in just one day of racing
Benny Barsik – injured
Frewil Dakota Sven – lame
Tin Can Timmy – injured

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  1. lousy horse owners brought 33 sick horses to the track trying to race them. fortunately vets stopped them. wonder if crooked vets let a lot more race for the endless horses who died on those same racetracks during that same time period

  2. I can only imagine how pissed off these connections were. Much like when we saw Keri Brion throw her temper tantrum when a bunch of her horses were scratched in one day for lameness. Thank goodness SOMEONE was looking out for them.

  3. This list of horses that were scratched by the veterinarian or veterinarians makes me think that he/she/they were doing their job. I still wonder if there were several horses that fell through the cracks. There could have been some horses that had less obvious injuries or ailments, but could have been passed to race. Some of the trainers speak of things that happen to horses in such dismissive, understated ways; things that if the humans were the ones suffering from the same INJURIES, they would not be so casual and dismissive about the pain and suffering caused by the INJURIES.

    Is it not COMMON KNOWLEDGE that many horses exploited for racing have ulcers to some degree, to varying degrees, and varying degrees of Degenerative Joint Disease? Ailments in the joints might not be obvious in some horses if they are masked with pain-killing drugs. Some owners and trainers could “sneak under the radar” (so to speak) with unethical actions just to get their horses into the starting gates.
    Who knows how much pain these horses are suffering from when they are designated for the sole purpose of being exploited as racehorses…? The pain in their joints, ligaments and muscles can be masked with legal drugs. Getting the horses into the starting gates (at the expense of the horses’ welfare) is what racing is all about. In horseracing, the horses are considered disposable, expendable gambling objects. Why would the human beings responsible for cruelly exploiting horses for racing be concerned about the welfare and well-being of these horses…?
    Sore muscles are treated with illegal milkshake race injection in many horses. How often do the people who do the illegal milkshake race injection to racehorses get caught? If you have sore muscles from overexertion, you’re probably not going to be very active unless you take something for it…🤨 The same with injured bones and joints. Instead of taking time to heal properly, taking the painkiller that is effective could put a dancer back on the dance floor and performing in front of a crowd and the judges, in the case of a dance competition.

  4. This is one of the most compelling arguments I’ve ever read to ban horseracing. These numbers are shocking. I’m trying to think of ways to get these numbers out to the general public. I’m open to any ideas. Thanks Patrick for your amazing work.

    • Things that are considered newsworthy can be submitted to newspapers as a press release or a report. It can be one paragraph or something like that.

    • I always say- word of mouth. Tell everyone about how horrible it is and how much WE, as the general public, are paying for it. So many people out there have no idea.
      I’ll never forget one time I was at a nursing home, and a gentleman had a winners circle pic pinned into his bulletin board above the bed. I asked the family about it- and his son said he just loved to go to the races. He said that every time he personally went with dad to the races, “a horse always broke its leg. I didn’t want to go anymore!” Another family member looked at him and asked “what?! Really?! Then what happens??” The guy explained to her that the horse was then destroyed. She was horrified and said she never knew that happened! I told her about all I had seen at the track. Hopefully I made an impact. Hopefully she then went on and told others.
      Even horse people don’t know the big picture. My QH friends – who ironically had a mare years ago that had raced (not for them) – didn’t realize that horses die with the frequency they do, and taking her to the track with me was an eye opener to say the least. She couldn’t believe people lived like that, much less the horses.

  5. Above all, THIS was probably one of the main reasons I stopped betting on horse racing. While most visitors on this site know that I am a former race track bettor, and not an animal activist, these are very serious issues which give more and more compelling reasons that the ‘sport’ of racing can’t be fixed, and should be permanently stopped.

    The industry’s leaders were given ample time to ‘clean up’ their game, and over time they’ve only made it worse. It’s a lying, cheating, nasty, filthy game, with too many innocent victims [the horses, naturally] being needlessly sacrificed.

    No, I never knew the extent to which this abuse went on.

    I do now.

    No sane, reasonable or honorable person can ever condone the abuse or mistreatment of any animal.

    While serious handicappers spend hours poring over past performances in an attempt to find or isolate the winner of any given race, these shenanigans by the trainers, vets and owners give the game an even worse black eye by sending sick, injured or unsound horses that can’t run a race right down to the starting gate every day, not ever informing the betting public about the true condition of these poor animals.

    Unless, of course, they get caught..

    Even worse, to the general public at large, it’s a natural assumption that every single horse that enters a race is healthy, sound, competitive and fully able to run his/her race without incident. Therefore, we also assume that the horse’s highly detailed past performances are an excellent indication of the horse’s ability to compete on race day.


    At one time, I also felt that the game could be cleaned up, conducted fairly and honorably, with healthy, sound, well-cared for horses running and competing like the great athletes they are. Sadly, at this point, that’s nothing but a pipe dream. The worst of the worst are now running the show, at racetracks both major and minor, and even the Kentucky Derby, and the industry’s leading trainers are not immune to the rampant cheating which now permeates even the very highest levels of this ‘sport’.

    When I was betting, once of my favorite bets was the ‘pick 6’, where, to win the bet, you needed to pick the winners of six consecutive races. Since the payoffs were almost always five figures or more, I was part of a syndicate that pooled our money in an attempt to cash in on the bet. Yes, we won sometimes, but a lot of money was spent on poor, sick, injured and unsound horses that should never have been near the starting gate.

    No, the game cannot be saved, but perhaps the horses can be. I honestly don’t see horse racing lasting even, say, another ten years – more people will speak out against government subsides, and without them, the game is doomed.


  6. I was just thinking about ways to help reduce the number of ill and unsound horses from being forced to race. It should be mandatory that every horse be examined, thoroughly, by an independent vet at least once a year. It certainly won’t help every horse, but it may help some and until the general public is interested and caring enough to demand that our city, state ad federal officials get up off their fat, lazy asses and actually do something meaningful regarding all these injuries and death, it may be a stop-gap measure. Stop the subsidies. Stop claiming racing horses. Start punishing the abusers with high fines, long suspensions, and banning. And for God’s sake, expose the lying, cheating, immoral industry heads. Like “big lick” walking horse torture, I’m so sick and tired of the ugliness of humanity.

    • To ladypurr9,
      Here is a great way to reduce the number of horses that are sick and unsound from being forced to race or even from being accepted as entrants into races: ENFORCE THE LAW ALREADY ON THE BOOKS OF CALIFORNIA STATE LAW; (Symbol) 1902.5. Animal Welfare//No person under the jurisdiction of the Board shall alone, or in concert with another person, permit or cause an animal under his control or care to suffer any form of cruelty, mistreatment, neglect or abuse. Nor shall such person abandon; injure; maim; kill; administer a noxious or harmful substance to; or deprive an animal of necessary care, sustenance, shelter or veterinary care. (This is from the California Code of Regulations…)!

    • Ladypurr9, until recently I was on the exact opposite side of this argument as I attended the races at the very least, 3 and sometimes 4 and 5 times a week. I bet almost every day, both on my own and with several ‘syndicates’ [that I mentioned in an earlier post] in an attempt to cash in on ‘Pick 6’ and ‘Pick 5’ bets, with cash prizes that would often run into the tens of thousands of dollars. Needless to say, the bets themselves had to be pretty large.

      I enjoyed the races, the ‘sport’ itself, the horses, the betting, and the social aspect of it, and, I, too, also felt that with a little more official mandating, some enforcement of some stricter rules, the sport could be fixed up, and we’d all be able to enjoy a lovely afternoon at the races.

      Yes, previously I vehemently disagreed with Mr. Battuello, his views, and his website content in general. Most horse players sided with me, particularly when I mentioned the very idea some folks had of [gasp!] shutting down the industry for good!

      Well, thanks very much to Mr. Baffert, Mr. Dutrow, the Navarro, Mr. Servis, and many other prominent thoroughbred trainers that have been ‘caught with their paints down’ cheating the public with their antics, I’m convinced that it’s patently impossible to clean up this mess. I personally believe that it cannot be done, and never will.

      The horse treatment and animal cruelty is only part of the problem with why this game can never be fixed, because you’ve LITERALLY got the fox guarding the henhouse here! Cleaning up the industry means all the insiders will be losing money all around, which the insiders will, obviously, never let happen!

      A year ago I NEVER would have agreed with Mr. Battuello and his viewpoints on the game, but I must admit, he, along with the other visitors on this site, are correct. The cheating is so rampant, that the game can’t ever be set straight – and this is coming from a man who thoroughly enjoyed the so called ‘sport of kings’ every week less than a year ago..

      Am I sad about not going to the track and betting anymore? Do I miss it?

      Sure I am, and I do. But I feel a lot worse for the horses.


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