Three horses went down in the 3rd at Delta Thursday: 2-year-old Teche Solution, 6-year-old Souvenir Channel, and 3-year-old Bistineau Belle. One, TS, was reported as “vanned off,” the other two merely as “fell over a fallen rival.” We’ll see, on all of them.
Here is how it looked:
Teche Solution is a 3 yr old, I had to go check this when I saw it, as I have NEVER seen a 2 yr old run against older horses in my lifetime. So you can correct this & make the facts correct, Makes this no less horrible in these poor DOPED animals.
As you’ve been reading my site for some time now, you should fully know that I age according to birth dates, not according to industry tricks. Teche Solution is (was) two years old.
Yea, Lexi, it’s the industry that needs to make corrections. And regarding their tricks, you’ll see these “corrections” from racing folks & fans when HW reports another dead racehorse. Oh they’ll right away protest about the horse’s actual age being provided (of course they stay far, far away from what really matters – that another racehorse was killed for their betting fun). YET, you’ll see those same individuals wishing the elite racehorses (broodmares, breeding stallions) a HAPPY BIRTHDAY in the middle of March or April…you know, ON their actual birthday. Funny how that works…
I read a comment on a racing press article and this one guy said “Happy Birthday to all Thoroughbreds” because it was January 1st. He was a racing fan, of course.
2 year olds rarely race before April of their 2 year old year. Teche Solution was born 3/3/2020 and his first race was 8/10/2020.
There was a period in Europe where 2 year olds raced against older horses-see Last Tycoon. And in the UK they still euthanized horses with a gun-see Wigmore Hall.
While I do agree with some of your points, please get your facts straight. I have had enough of conspiracy theories that hold no validity but have had a devastating effect in the US since 2016.
Try supporting hunger relief efforts in the US-as I do-instead of attempting to defame a sport I love. And I am not naive, the things that go on are ignored by local regulators who make little or no attempt to do their job.
Your fight shows a lot of anger in your comments. Have anger about abused children, the homeless and politicians who vote against what the people want.
I own cats, all rescues, and now there are proposed laws banning cats due to voracious hunting. What’s next?
Your site is like spitting into the wind-much energy expended while so many far more important problems fester and get worse.
Now I must get back to my job of arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic…
Robert, it’s good to hear that you’re not naive. If you are not naive, is it safe to assume that you are also not stupid???
Are you smart enough to deduce logically that when “regulators” don’t regulate horseracing in the manner in which they are “trusted” to do, that this could be a cause for concern and, therefore, a reason to shut down this horse-abusing, horse-doping, horse-killing bloods***t that you love??? Are you smart enough to know that this corruption has been going on for many decades???
Do you ever wonder why the racetracks attempt to cover up the FACT that a racehorse drops dead in a race???? Do you even care why a horse drops dead during a race???
Which part of this so-called s***t do you love, Robert? Is it the Animal Cruelty? Is it the fact that horses are easily dominated and that the ANIMAL WELFARE CODE OF CONDUCT Laws can be continually VIOLATED on a daily basis and very few people in the RACING INDUSTRY go to jail for abuse and corruption???
Is it the Racketeer-Influenced Corrupt Organization that you love, Robert? Is it comforting to know that you can feel like you are a part of something more diabolical than you could be by yourself?
In Case You Missed It: This blog is titled HORSERACING WRONGS for thousands of good reasons; the horses that are forced to endure the extreme torture and DEATH caused by this bloods***t that you claim to love, Robert. [Please note: this extreme torture that causes death to so many horses is known as “Amazing Care” by the RACING INDUSTRY employees.]
If you want to discuss other issues, the appropriate thing to do is to go to the websites that address those specific issues. For example, PETA exposes cruelty to all animals, not just horses and not just racehorses.
This site is about the INHERENT cruelty and INHUMANE TREATMENT of horses exploited for racing and wagering and why the HORSERACING INDUSTRY should NOT continue to receive government funding of any kind to keep it propped up. The taxpaying public deserves better. The horses deserve better.
Wagering that uses and abuses young and underdeveloped horses and the doping and the manipulating of the outcomes of the races for profiteering is more of a crime than a s****!
Do you love the FACT that, by defending HORSERACING, you can be a party to, and a part of, this EGREGIOUS CRUELTY to horses and think that your poop smells like freshly baked cinnamon rolls?
Lets talk about pecking order in all things, from people on down the list of still surviving beings. the best horses have it made, after all they product money. The middle level are also taking care of, but the bottom layer of horses, those that cannot race or have been gelded and no longer run, end up in kill pens. Many tracks suspend trainers who send horses to kill pens and to identify a horse is easy through a lip tattoo.
Oh, if you missed it, this is what goes on in America today without lip tattoos.
You want to know what animal cruelty look at factory farms.
Your group wastes time and considerable anger at horse racing. If you used that time for something of real use instead of picking on an industry that will not go away all you get are tweets and headlines all sensing outrage that mirrors society. However I doubt your outrage is not even in the top 100 of American needs and fears.
Finally, your jabs an insults are at an amateur level. If you want to insult me for being a middle of the road Democrat who wants a better America and works towards, in actions and deeds go ahead. I know my priorities are correct.
Way to waffle, Robert, from being a person who loves the racing industry and the INHERENT Animal Cruelty and RACKETEERING that goes with it to being “a middle of the road Democrat who wants a better America and….” (as if supporting a vastly criminal enterprise that causes harm and death to thousands of Thoroughbreds as well as certain other breeds of horses exploited for racing and as gambling objects would make America better).
WHEN this industry loses the government subsidies and government-directed benefits including tax write-offs and tax exemptions, this industry will lose the ability to keep their racetracks open and the foal crop numbers will decline at a more rapid rate than they already have been since 1986.
Since horseracing inherently mistreats horses as tools, there is a saying you may have heard: “You can love horses or you can love horseracing, but you can’t love both.”
If you can understand that horses are sentient beings and care enough about the horses themselves, you would not support the daily routine cruelty and unnecessary killing of horses. You can be indifferent to their suffering or you can be empathetic, but you can’t be both.
As per usual, a racing supporter wants to deflect from the atrocities going on in the industry he loves by pointing to everything else. Doesn’t work that way. You support the rescue of cats? Me too, but so what? And, of course, you have to bring up the suffering of children around the world – like we’re somehow bad people for not having a link on here to donate to any and every other charity that exists out there. You feel bad about kids suffering? Go to those sites and donate. But to swoop in here on your skeletal high horse and toss down the moral gauntlet of everything else wrong in the world that needs fixing doesn’t change the fact that you support and endorse an industry that exploits, abuses, maims, and kills horses by the THOUSANDS – documented fact – and you are no hero just because you rescue cats and want to end world hunger.
As per usual, a person who puts animals welfare before children and the disgrace America has become. I donate my time to a cat colony and donate monthly to charities that reflect my views like St Jude’s Childrens Hospital and Mississippi Today, I site that writes about the issues of the poor in that wretched state. Do you donate to horse rescue sites?
Horses are not people sorry how that makes me look but it makes sense to me.
In what way are we putting animal welfare above the plight of children? Just because this site focuses on the atrocities of horse racing doesn’t mean we’re all insensitive to the needs of people. The problem is that racing supporters like you immediately assume that horses are our sole personal focus and take misplaced moral delight in waving around the charities you support – as if that absolves you of being involved in an industry that exploits, abuses, maims, and kills horses.
Horses are not people.
Your cause has 0% of succeeding because no matter how you look at it, the power behind horse racing will continue to do whatever they want and there is no way to stop it. I do not condone their approach but you are no more than a minor annoyance to these people.
How you find your views about animals trump my view about humanity are foolish.
I tried to reason with you because many of your points have merit, but like any organization the has a rigid orthodoxy you waste your time and effort.
I’m done, good luck, you will need it.
We get it, Robert, that you are incapable of having empathy for the horses. Brilliant deduction that horses are not people. So what? Horses are horses and they can be cared for by people who have the capacity to have empathy for the horses, or they can be “cared for” by people who are selfish and want to use them for whatever reason that inevitably causes harm and suffering to the horses.
Robert, you are not very original. You resort to the same old tired, overused mantra “but what about…”
Just look at it this way, if the tax payer money currently used to prop up your beloved “sport” was diverted to help alleviate the ills of society that would be a good thing, right?
A cruel nefarious gambling business would fold and the ills of society would get some relief!
I have been a gambler all my life. Now, websites talk about huge profits to be gained if you hit a one-in-a-million shot. But there is money to be made by a cash strapped governments so people fall through the cracks-oh well! What the government allow in wasting tax money is spending billions on the working poor, since minimum way covers a minimum life. If the working poor were paid a decent raise, this corporate welfare-a form of socialism-would go away and save the country billions.
I am a successful capitalist-but I see people who never have enough and will go to any lengths to achieve more power and money. The lack of compassion in this country astounds me.
“The lack of compassion in this country astounds me” – says the person who supports an industry where horses routinely bleed out through the nose, collapse in sudden death as mere babies, and suffer broken backs, shoulders, and snapped legs all for his entertainment.
I would like to comment here, because, as many of the posters on this site know, I am not an animal activist, but rather a former handicapper and bettor, having spent many years wagering on horses almost daily at all the major, and some minor racetracks in the U.S.
For many years, like you, I loved the sport – and everything about it, from the betting, the handicapping, the horses themselves, the social aspect, all of it. I bet a lot, I bet on my own, and I bet with syndicates for large Pick-6 bets, and I often won, both through sound handicapping and conservative betting techniques.
Then, one day, logic and reason came a ‘calling.
Seems that all of a sudden, I began to lose. A lot. And way too frequently for my taste.
Okay, maybe I was in a handicapping slump. Happened before. I’ll snap out of it.
But I didn’t. I KEPT losing. Badly.
Then, when top trainer Bob Baffert won the Kentucky Derby with Medina Spirit, and I had the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th place finishers – in exact order on my ticket – I had to ask myself what the hell am I doing wrong?? As you know: picking the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th place finishers pays out NOTHING!
So can you imagine my outrage when Baffert’s horse got DQ’d from the winning spot, and placed LAST – weeks after the race had been called and all tickets have been cashed. And, from the final chart, I’m sitting with the winner, the exacta, the trifecta AND the superfecta – but no cashable ticket. My winning bets would’ve amounted to many thousands of dollars!
Seems like I’m not the only bettor who railed against Baffert’s continued antics. According to Wikipedia, “Two sets of bettors have filed class action lawsuits against Medina Spirit’s trainer Bob Baffert accusing him of “racketeering”, fraud, and negligence”.
Not Baffert’s first offense, and probably not his last.
Also from Wikipedia:
“Kentucky Horse Racing Commission. . . post-race testing on Medina Spirit showed 21 pg/mL of the anti-inflammatory steroid betamethasone. In Kentucky, betamethasone is classified as a Class C drug that is permitted for therapeutic use in horses, but requires a 14-day withdrawal time. Any amount of the drug detected in post-race testing is a violation and could result in a disqualification.” The horse tested positive for this illegal drug.
I realized at that point, that I can’t possibly handicap which horses have what drugs and how much in their system on race day- AND, if the world’s (arguably) top trainer CAN’T WIN without doping his charges, what chance do you think the ‘little guy’ has?
As an epilogue, poor Medina Spirit was put down after running the best races of his short life- he was barely three years old.. I forgot why he was put down, but the poor animal must’ve been treated very badly throughout his training career, and we’ll never know how doped up he was on all his previous races..
A top race horse like that certainly deserved better treatment.
Because of this episode involving Medina Spirit and his sad death, I have to vehemently disagree with your comment that “The best horses have it made, after all, they produce money.” Well, poor Medina Spirit sure produced a TON of money, even though he was DQ’d from the Derby – but he certainly didn’t “have it made,” now, did he?
With logic and reason staring me in the face, I finally gave up on the sport I loved, because this whole episode and all the losing bets leading up to it not only took all the fun out of it for me, but the rampant cheating really left a bad taste in my mouth. I’m playing against cheaters, dopers, abusers, and I became disgusted enough to quit it for good. I realized that I could no longer handicap accurately as long as these bad characters will keep doping up their horses.
Then, one has to ask oneself, what on earth are these people DOING to these poor animals? Does the necessity to win become so all-important, that the ‘win’ trumps all else? Including common decency, to the welfare of the horses? Well, I guess so, when the insiders do whatever they have to do to win – illegal or otherwise. Damn the public, damn the bettors, sometimes even the owners, who are often kept in the dark. But the biggest losers of all are the horses. No, Robert, they’re NOT treated well, and to these insiders they become simply tools of the trade to allow them to win races, and win money. Nothing more.
I freely admit that if I was still winning, I’d have never left the game. It’s wrong of me, and it’s tough to admit that to myself. I’d probably have looked the other way at the daily atrocities, and keep going, enjoying the sport as I had, as long as I was winning.
But I can’t “un-see” the atrocities that are presented on this site. They’re not made up, they’re not exaggerated, and Mr. Battuello is a very tough guy to argue with because he is quite careful to insure that the facts are always on his side. A successful handicapper has to be logical and unemotional when making his bets if he wants to win. He can’t ‘fall in love’ with a certain horse or horses if perhaps he’s won with him in the past. Mr. Battuello is VERY logical and unemotional when it comes to presenting his case, and he facts thereof. And, as much as I loved horse racing, I would NOT want to be debating on the other side of his arguments!
Robert, you need to read Mr. Battuello’s posts about the breakdowns, the fact that 2 and 3 year old horses almost always have chronic ulcers, and by all accounts, the horses live short lives, almost always infirm [talk to some trainers – they’ll tell you that keeping a horse sound and race-ready is their biggest problem.] No surprise. These animals lead pretty awful lives, and are invariably doped up to hide their injuries and mask the pain.
No Robert, as much as I’d like to, I can’t ever go back. I considered myself a pretty decent handicapper in my day, but those two devils – logic and reason – along with a healthy dose of compassion I’ve garnered towards these animals – precludes my re-entering this game ever again.
Thank you, Joe, for sharing the FACTS, which seem to have escaped from Robert.
MEDINA SPIRIT collapsed immediately after crossing the finish line after a 5 (five) FURLONG WORKOUT in the morning. He was drugged with an UNTRACEABLE DRUG or possibly a combination of drugs.
It was so convenient for Baffert and whoever else was in that whole shit-show with him, to kill a disqualified KD winner with a substance or substances that could not be traced in a necropsy.
His lawyer, Mr. Brewster, alleged that the death — sudden death — of MEDINA SPIRIT was an ‘Act of God’ and as far as I’m concerned you really can’t get lower than that. To kill a horse on purpose with an UNTRACEABLE DRUG or drugs AND A FIVE FURLONG WORKOUT and then blame it on God; hello, how can you get lower than that…?!
There’s more to the story of why they killed him. I don’t know every detail about that but it has to do with the corruption involved by Bob Baffert and the people within the racing industry who enabled him.
There was corruption in more than the one State of California in connection with horses trained by Bob Baffert. The horse named JUSTIFY was doped so that if the people responsible for disqualifying JUSTIFY would have done their job the way that some people would expect them to do their jobs in a legal manner and a timely manner, JUSTIFY would not have been able or qualified to run in the Kentucky Derby or the Preakness or the Belmont Stakes. JUSTIFY would have never been able to become a TRIPLE CROWN winner IF ALL OF THE RULES OF HORSERACING had been followed.
It’s worse than unfortunate that people have to be very delusional to believe that horses have it good in racing.
If anyone is interested enough to google Degenerative Joint Disease, you will find that this bone disease is rampant within the breed of Thoroughbreds.
It’s getting worse, not better, for the horses. But, isn’t it obvious that the majority of the people in horse racing don’t care about the welfare of the horses in this egregiously barbaric and cruel industry…?!
It’s a no-brainer that horses exploited for racing and wagering don’t have it good, but people have to be willing to SEE the FACTS instead of ignoring the FACTS.
Medina Spirit is a terrible story. However, the owner of Medina Spirit, Amr Zedan, stood behind Baffert and supported Baffert’s contention that betamethasone was not given and the amount found was 21 picograms per milliliter of plasma with a picogram is one-trillionth of a gram. On the other hand it is s steroid and can be injected into the joints of a horse and mask pain in a horse.
The only thing that makes me lean in Baffert’s way has nothing to do with any drug it is the fact that Amr Zedan, net worth 1.2B, still sends his horses-usually some of the most expensive horses of the last few years-to Baffert.
Great post, Joe! Robert might not ever come around, but he seems to at least possess the ability to understand/have empathy for(?) the creatures racing chews up and spits out for his gambling entertainment.
Again, glad you’re here to provide your particular experience and advocacy. (I won’t dare call it activism, at least not yet;)
I have a lot to say to you but let me start by saying in the years between 1960-1990 every horse was juiced because anti-inflammatory drugs could mask serious performance enhancers.
Horses are also less robust because there are only 3 sire lines left due to over breeding to top sires. Into Mischeif has been breed to over 200 mares a year at a cost of 250K each.
When the Jockey Club wanted rules to limit the number of mares a stallion could be breed to the outcry was unbelievable with horses that do not race anywhere near as much as in the past.
The amount of medication was very small, what wasn’t determined is how it was given.
Trainers who juice horses are not hard to find. The 3 most recent trainers were magicians, claiming horses and moving the up. Any trainer over 25% should be viewed with suspicion.
However, Richard Dutrow wants to be reinstated after serving a 10 year suspension. Marcus Vitali got his license back after 2 years and an expensive law suit.
You know there are a number of trainers with clean records who try to stay away lasix and bute and they do not like being lumped in with these criminals.
I understand how you feel about having money taken from you bit I still wonder why Amr Zedan keeps his million dollar babies with Baffert.
I welcome talking to you, Joe.
I would like to hear a response from Robert, though; certainly those people who make their living from horse racing are not going to speak out against it; but Robert seems to be someone who simply enjoys the sport of horse racing -like I once did.
Robert, if you’re reading, you should know that I LIVED for this sport; I HATED the “dark days”, although I used them to bone up on my handicapping; and I was at the racetrack 5 and sometimes 6 days a week. Giving it all up was almost, I say almost, like heroin withdrawal.
But the ‘facts’ just simply got in the way.
I would direct him to look into this site, as well as Wikipedia, and ask him to carefully assess the facts about this industry. Any industry that needs hundreds of millions of dollars to stay afloat is NOT thriving; and the incredible proliferation of illegal drugs administered to these poor charges cannot help either the horses, OR the industry itself.
Mr. Battuello acknowledges through his intensive research that horses are killed at the race track every single day – now, imagine a pro major league baseball or football player DYING every day? Admittedly, the sport does a great job of hiding all these deaths, and I would too, if I were in charge. After all, if the general public TRULY got wind of what’s really happening, they’d all be clamoring to shut it down forever.
Don’t believe me? Look at the recent demise of greyhound racing, now active in only two states out of fifty. Sooner, rather than later, they’ll be gone too.
Robert, once you see, you can’t ‘un-see’ the horror that takes place on a regular basis in this industry. I wish it weren’t so, but I don’t live in a fantasy world. Sadly, it’s there; it’s bad; the game is run by cheaters and grifters who gladly take the taxpayer’s money, and know no bounds except chalking up a win – at any and all costs.
It bears repeating what I said twice in previous posts:
I’m not stupid; I left.
Joe, I have to say that I do appreciate your honesty and the fact that you are not being what I call willfully delusional. Being in denial of the facts is a sort of delusional-thinking. The state of being delusional is losing the ability to reason logically. People who are truly delusional don’t know the difference between what is real and what is imagined. So I am glad you have not lost your ability to reason logically!
Facing the facts head-on is what this site is all about. It isn’t about waffling or hiding the facts or falsifying the FACTS until the facts are hidden. The horseracing industry is full of people who are hiding something and lying and twisting things to suit their own agenda.
When people like Joe take time to share what they know, you need to listen. And I agree, you cannot dispute facts. Patrick Battuello is articulate, reasonable and without peer in presenting indisputable facts and statistics. Like Joe said you cannot “un-see” reality. It strikes you in the face and you either come to grips with it and make a moral and civil change, or you dig in your heels and continue on your path, turning a blind eye and deaf ear to unconscionable animal cruelty and suffering.
Well, Joe, looks like you got your answer from Robert! So far as I can tell, it seems to be something along the lines of, “If you’re a billionaire, you can do no wrong, regardless of how much suffering and carnage and death and destruction you cause to innocent and “lesser” creatures.
(Think I might have initially given him a little too much credit. Oh well.)
What I said was if a man like Zedan did not dump Baffert it talls me he believed him. Where you got “billionaires could do anything” I have no idea. All I meant was if Zedan dropped Baffert I would be convinced. Instead he supported Baffert in every way.
Robert, what do you mean when you say “a man like that”? It sounds like you think he is a saint.
“If Zedan dropped Baffert I would be convinced.”
Convinced of what? That owners of the uber-wealthy variety have the long-term interest and welfare of their equine investments at heart? That they won’t employ the sleaziest, most harmful and deadly means (and trainers) they can find to win-at-all-costs? That the laws of economics would thus be successful in driving out the “dirty” trainers from the game, and it would become a safe, benign gambling activity you could enjoy — without having to consider its extensive COSTS to its victims?
Zedan didn’t fire Baffert because Zedan is fundamentally similar to everyone else in racing: “Winning is everything, and killing horses is just a necessary part of achieving that end.”
Zedan has only bought horses between 600K and 3.55M. Medina Spirit was unique in that he was not well bred and only sold for 35K and actually was Zedan’s best horse.
If you are spending this kind of money for a horse, you are hoping for a good racing career and then on to stud, where the real money is. My point, which appears to escape you, is why would Zedan pay large sums for a horse the Baffert might be around for 3 years and then go to stud?
I’m really trying to explain part of the economics of racing. I would explain to your readers how state grants to racetracks pay back multiple time is jobs, taxes and local industries to name a few.
But there are some facts you avoid. I feel the same way you do about kill pens and corrupt trainers.
Thanks for the reply, nonsensical though it is. I understand the economics of racing far better than you think I do — it’s part of what led me to this site. A five-year stint in the industry brought my attention to the absolute massacre of the Throwaway Thoroughbreds your game produces, then destroys. (I bought one of my own soon after that. No regrets, though I promise you I’ve got proof that the economics of racehorse retirement make its possibility essentially NIL for nearly everybody — thus just about EVERY HORSE — racing vomits out year after bloody year.)
Also, Patrick has thoroughly refuted your talking points a thousand times over, and, frankly, your racing-press-style marketing-speak is patently absurd: (“State grants to racetracks pay back multiple time (in?) jobs, taxes and local industries…”?? LOL, please just stop.)
Good luck to Joe in helping you see the WRONGS of your favorite pastime, Robert.
You see one thing while Kelly, myself and most of the people who comment here see something that you don’t seem to see.
Rich people who have horses as a business and prove it to the IRS can write off their losses. Racehorses are used as a tax write-off in so many cases. Also, in the case of TOP LEVEL horses, there would be an insurance policy.
From what I read in the news, MEDINA SPIRIT sold for $1,000 USD. I don’t know where you get the figure of $35,000 USD…?
This man you think of as (a saint?) who is in the horse racing business has other ways and means of acquiring his millions and billions so he can afford to sacrifice a few equine lives here and a few equine lives there. But, of course, we will refer to the horse as what? A stud fee. So he won’t make millions of dollars off of MEDINA SPIRIT standing at stud but he can still be in a financial position to go laughing all the way to the bank.
Medina Spirit was sold for 1K as a yearling in 2019 and then was sold as a 2 year old for 35K July 2020. He had to have had outstanding confirmation since he pedigree was suspect.
You can talk to Joe about this-watching a horse you owned, or bet on, gives you an indescribable feeling. Owners don’t by horses as tax write-offs they have top accountants that find the loopholes we would never get.
After cashing a large bet, my wife and I were in the car. She was talking but I was in my own little world, I had figured this race out and everything went to plan. My wife looked at me and said I know why betting horses is important to you just looking at you.
I am not heartless about horses but other things which I have stated here bring out my passion and they revolve around children.
I was born into a family that had livestock and that included horses and ponies. I spent the first 28 years of my life having a Shetland pony. Plus I had more than one horse in my life. It’s too long of a story to talk about all the horses and experiences I’ve had. I would never be able to knowingly run the Quarter Horse I had to his death. I rode him on a cattle ranch on the breaks of the Snake River on the Washington side relatively near Hells Canyon and I felt horribly stupid one day after I had run him too much. He was up to being able to run like a racehorse. He had racing bloodlines going to THREE BARS on the top side in his third generation back. He had AAA rated horses in his pedigree. He was born in 1965. I got him in 1977. Anyway, I got off and led him around until his heart rate was closer to normal. I felt like I had maybe caused his death for awhile there. I felt his heart pounding so hard and fast with my hand. I don’t particularly like admitting this, but it’s the truth. Doing this kind of crap to yearlings and two-year-olds and three-year-olds and four-year-olds, etc. isn’t right. But I overlooked this fact for decades when it came to the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes especially. I’ve always admired racing stock. Once I discovered this site in 2019 and with the exposure of the deaths to racehorses at Santa Anita Park in 2019 on CBS NEWS, I could no longer look at a horse race on television or YouTube in the same way. I can’t look the other way anymore, because I know too much about how much and how serious the INJURIES to the racehorses are now after seeing the necropsy pictures, especially.
The racing industry doesn’t want you or anyone to know just how bad this industry really is. Believe me, I have seen BAD at livestock auctions and on hunting trips. When I grew up, meat didn’t come from the grocery store, if you know what I mean. I know what a game animal looks like after being shot with a .30-30 or a .30-06 rifle. It’s gruesome and it isn’t too much different than seeing the necropsies of killed racehorses on this site. The causes are different, of course, but the gruesomeness and the death are there.
It sounds like the almighty dollar remains the top priority for people who love the S**** of Killings and prioritize the WELFARE of HORSES towards the bottom of the list. Having a moral compass is one thing but to have a broken moral compass and not even notice or care to notice is another thing.
It sounds logical to me that the owner who is fine with having a trainer who is known for excessive doping to get a horse to not only run but run fast enough to “win”, who automatically and routinely lies about the amounts and constantly attempts to blame it on the most ridiculously illogical things is an enabler to the corruption as well as an active participant in the corruption. For any owner to act like he is dumber than a stick doesn’t magically make him innocent.
Teflon Bob is a dishonest person. Any owner who pretends to believe his vile lies is just as vile when they are fine with exploiting young, underdeveloped colts or fillies to perform as though they were fully developed, matured adult horses and doping them to the point of killing them.
Let me respond to Robert’s post.
Robert, thank you for writing, and thank you for your views. Kindly allow me to address your points in this post.
First, let me say this “ain’t my first rodeo”, and of course, I know all about trainers ‘juicing’ the horses. It goes without saying that illegal drugging has been around for as long as horses have been racing. But I take note of an interesting point: you mention that: “in the years between 1960-1990 every horse was juiced because anti-inflammatory drugs could mask serious performance enhancers.”
You even state: “the amount of medication was very small,”
And so, almost to the letter, this all kind of proves my point. I BEGAN handicapping thoroughbred horse racing In 1990 – coincidentally, the very ‘end date’ of your statement! I firmly believe that horses today are administered with more drugs, more untraceable doses, and more potentially lethal injections than ever before. I also think it’s no coincidence that I was able to handicap successfully for over 30 years, showing a rather healthy profit for a lot of them.
It’s also my opinion that the smaller doses of medication – legal or otherwise – was not enough to affect my handicapping. But it sure does now.
And that’s the main reason why I quit.
Robert, just so you know, I used all the tools of the trade and I was NO “weekend warrior” – I was at the track almost every day, and I often purchased, in addition to the DRF, the Ragozin sheets, Jerry Brown’s ‘Thorograph’ papers and I had private access to some of the ‘clockers’ for workouts in the AM – which I also paid for.. In addition, I knew many trainers, some jockeys and owners, as well.
It’s not a big stretch of logic to deduce that the proliferation of drugs has led to more breakdowns than ever before – and, IMHO -the demise of my own handicapping prowess.
Mr. Battuello’s posts and research indicating the number of horse deaths – daily – tells me there’s something seriously wrong here. All his reports are verified by the Racing Commission, and my own opinion is that the drugs, many of them used to mask the pain for unsound animals, is the main contributor to this proliferation of horse deaths. And, if unsound horses are sent to the starting gate on race day, what good is a timed bullet workout two weeks ago? OR 3 consecutive wins in the horse’s last 3 starts IF the horse is infirm today? And WHY on earth is an animal that is clearly unsound NOT being scratched at the gate by the track vet?
Sure, some are – but many who SHOULD have scratched out are not. The horrific breakdowns that seem to come about all too often these days are proof that as a handicapper one REALLY DOESN’T HAVE the horse’s latest information on his current physical condition!
Sure, we didn’t have this info before, either- but once again, the PPS were a much better indication because, in most instances THE HORSE’S SOUNDNESS HAD PROBABALY NOT CHANGED ALL THAT MUCH since his last race!
That, in itself, is a HUGE key to successful handicapping!
Some of the pictures Mr. Battuello posts are absolutely frightful and appalling – the broken legs, bones, all the injuries sustained at the track. As race track goers, we always knew there’d be breakdowns. But every day? I once attended the entire Saratoga meet, which had to be over 25 years ago, and in 30+ days of racing I only witnessed one or two – so I was led to believe that this was a rare occurrence.
Mr. Battuello proves us otherwise. His research is verified by the Racing Commission and he is very careful NOT to post a racing death until it’s been confirmed and official. Still, breakdowns every day?
Not a good thing.
Lastly, in response to your comment about Amr Zedan sticking with Baffert- well, Baffert wins races – a lot of them – and that’s probably your reason. Should he switch to Pletcher, Mott, Rice, or [as he is often referred to at the track] ‘Drug’ O’Neill? Why, when he’s getting his mug snapped in the winner’s circle, which is clearly what he wants – of course he likes money – who doesn’t? But he doesn’t NEED money; however, my guess is that he likes that ‘rock star’ feeling in the winner’s circle. which, no doubt, he can’t get anywhere else.
Baffert, of course, supplies this ‘need’.
Robert, unfortunately, this site proves beyond a shadow of a doubt the horrors than occur every day at the track – I can’t “un-see” them, and I can’t go back. Hopefully, you can do some research on your own, and see that, too.
Yes, until last year, I thought these ‘animal activists’ were extremists, whackos and ridiculously off the wall- but, I was wrong. Sadly, they’re right. The situation at the race tracks is not good. Not at all.
Mr. Battuello is simply reporting the true facts on a bad situation, and on a failing enterprise that is slowly grinding to a halt.
Of course, I wish it weren’t so, and I could go back to racing. But I can’t fight facts.
Thanks for listening
The population of Thoroughbreds is dwindling and many of them are afflicted with Degenerative Joint Disease. In a previous post, a track vet in Maryland made a note that one of the young Thoroughbreds killed did not have DJD. It seems as though the majority of young Thoroughbreds have this painful affliction. I got the impression that the majority of the young racehorses that have been killed and necropsied have DJD. Since the annual foal crop numbers have been declining at a fairly steady rate since 1986, I think this infirmity in young and underdeveloped Thoroughbred racehorses will show up in a larger number of horses as time goes by and as there are fewer and fewer horses available to be exploited.
I should have said a larger percentage. I don’t know what the actual number of horses are that have DJD and I don’t know what the percentage is. IF it is 50% now, eventually it could be 90% to 100%, who knows?
You are correct. Due to overbreeding and a lack of different families, horses are not as robust as they once were. Of course, I’m sure drugs in the 60S to the 90’s played a part in this but I don’t think there were as many breakdowns, which I am trying to find.
Are you trying to find records of horses killed in the 1960s to 1990s?
They don’t play the replays of horses that dropped dead during the race. At many of the smaller tracks such as county fairs, there was no video. Lots of luck.
I appreciate your response and agree with many of your points. Like you, I worked hard on my handicapping filling notebooks with notes and findings. And I was very sucessful until I burned out and decided to start a family and a business in 1986. I have a car with the license plate STRSNSE and just bought a car whose license will be CARAVAL.
On Zedan, my thought is if Baffert’s actions led to Medina Spirits death I would think Zedan would dump Baffert. Zedan doesn’t need the money-but the fame-having great horses bred from your horses-live on. Besides if you are rich Baffert is an employee who if he costs Zedan money is expendable.
We are from 2 different eras-in mine, horses were bred 40 times a year and the best stud got the best mares. Not, Into Mischeif gets bred to any mare as long as the owner has 250K.
Horses of this time raced more because the family were varied with little inbreeding. Bull Hancock of Claiborne imported a number of top Europeans horses-turf runners only-and was very successful. However this changed with Northern Dancer-American bred-became the biggest commercial stallion in history. He was under 1000 lbs but raced 18 times in 2 years. Then came Seattle Slew and throw in Mr.Prospector you have the 3 prominent sire lines in the world, over bred and without proper confirmation.
That, along with drugs, is a reason for break downs.
Finally, the people who could do this, the regulators at all levels in the sport, must not get their jobs because they knew someone. I went to Penn National at the same time I went to college. I put the work in. And then I figured it out-last minute money determined the winners.
So, while I do mostly agree with you and the people on this site, I still bet horses. I have 6 rescue cats and donate time to a rescue organization. Don’t watch football which isn’t easy since I was an Eagles fan and I think MMA should be banned.
I write on other sites about the torture of people in America.
And I still bet horses.
To all my fans on this site-excepting you Joe-I do not give a whit about your feelings for me.
Like so many before you, you wave some rags of personal morality around in an attempt to elevate yourself above the cesspool of misery and exploitation that you support, and like them, you leave with the same hypocritical flag flying high without being able to properly challenge or disprove the fact that horse racing is an archaic industry that from start to finish exploits, abuses, maims, disposes of, and kills hundreds of sentient beings every year without repercussions or any intentions of changing for the better.
Horses are not people. And after speaking with people like you, I think we can all be thankful for that.