Churchill’s “Transparency” Is a Bad Joke

In its official response to the current catastrophe – five kills in six days – Churchill Downs, claimed, among other derisible things, that “transparency is an important component of our commitment to safety and accountability in horse racing.” Okay, here are the chart notes for the three racing deaths Saturday and Tuesday:

“Parents Pride went wrong between horses at the 5/16 pole, was pulled up in upper stretch, and got vanned off.” In fact, Parents Pride had collapsed and died in the middle of the race – i.e., the “van” was hauling a lifeless body.

“Take Charge Briana sustained an injury in upper stretch, fell, and was vanned off.” In fact, Take Charge Briana was euthanized where she lay – no ambulance necessary.

“Chasing Artie was outrun, and got vanned off.” In fact, Chasing Artie, like his stablemate PP, collapsed and died, this time immediately following the race.

In the nine years I’ve been scouring race charts, I cannot recall a single instance of a death being noted (explicitly) at Churchill Downs. Not one. In fact, I can’t think of one at any Kentucky track – and we’re talking about hundreds over this period. They use phrases like “went wrong,” “in distress,” and “vanned off,” but they’ll admit a euthanasia over the horses’ dead bodies. “Transparency, accountability” – a bad joke.

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  1. Every single day ..
    A new death/deaths in horse racing ..
    And the horse racing industry just continues-
    using and exploiting and abusing the horses..and nothing ever changes..
    These people disgust me…and no agency has the courage or balls to shut down the horse racing industry…where it continues all over the country…something must be done..

  2. The public should know that the ambulance is used to get the dead horses off the track. It just would not be “classy” enough to use a utility trailer for hauling the body of a deceased racehorse off the racetrack.
    They could be using a UTILITY TRAILER and just saying it’s an AMBULANCE instead because it sounds better; also, it “looks good on paper” at least to this industry that has SO MUCH TO HIDE.
    According to the report on CBS MORNING NEWS, Saffie Joseph, Jr. has no clue about what caused the death of his two horses at Churchill Downs. It’s all such a big mystery. Here we go again with the same old tired line.
    With the years and years of experience and knowledge gained by doing necropsies at the University of California School of Veterinary Medicine in Davis, California you would be perplexed when a horse dies from racing?????????????????
    That’s not to mention all of the other sources of information on racehorses and the INJURIES inherent to horseracing.
    Saffie Joseph, Jr. was suspended for 15 days in Pennsylvania for a drug positive, Gabapentin. He claims he never heard of Gabapentin, does not have it in his barn and the TDN article dated March 3, 2023 said he was appealing the suspension.
    It sounds like Saffie Joseph, Jr. has been taking lessons from Bob Baffert. Guilty as sin itself, but, by all means, cry foul, claim innocence. Duh. What else can you do when you kill horses by racing and doping them to death and you’re too morally depraved to stop?!

  3. Saffie Joseph, Jr. is a rotten apple. Two of the dead horses were trained by him. Every time I see “collapsed and died” I think “drugged to death.” It’s not normal for young horses to just drop dead for no reason. There has to be something there to find. Perhaps the tests aren’t as good as they should be. My friend owns horses and she was shocked when I asked her if it was normal for young horses to just drop dead for no reason. She said one word, “Drugs.”

    • Sorry to take issue, Jeanette, but the “rotten apple” is a red herring. Horseracing is fundamentally wrong; all who are engaged in it are exploiting and abusing horses. No rotten apples, just a rotten industry.

      • A whole industry of rotten apples make a rotten industry, in my opinion.
        Some trainers do stand out as being more rotten than another but it is a rotten industry altogether.
        I find it quite embarrassing for a person paid to report “news” and yet be a PUPPET (a public relations puppet) FOR THE HORSERACING INDUSTRY by saying that if Saffie Joseph, Jr. doesn’t know why two of the horses he trained dropped dead on the track at Churchill Downs, since he has won xxx number of races and has won xxx(?) number of millions of dollars in purse money — if he doesn’t know, it has to be a mystery. What a crock!
        If this news reporter on CBS MORNING NEWS isn’t savvy to the horse racing industry, he might not be acting when he says this stuff about a trainer that is purported to be a “genius” horse trainer. (I really don’t know if the reporter himself is that clueless or not, but it’s still embarrassing to me at this point.) What a story we have here — a genius expert horseman (🤮) that is CLUELESS ABOUT WHY HIS HORSES DROPPED DEAD on the racetrack.
        I mean this is like large corporations/ corporate executives scratching each other’s backs.
        This is all so sickening and Saffie Joseph, Jr. made a lame attempt to blame the cause of death on Keeneland. He scratched all the horses stabled at Keeneland that were scheduled to run at Churchill Downs. He is pointing his finger, so to speak, at Keeneland, EXCEPT that it is still a BIG MYSTERY why the two horses he “trained” dropped dead on the track for no outwardly obvious reason. I’m wondering how much the people in charge at Keeneland are going to like having this genius expert trainer of racehorses trying to blame them.
        Let the finger-pointing, the passing the buck, the infighting continue. May it all blow up in their horse-killing faces.
        What was the name of that drug or combination of drugs that caused “sudden death” in MEDINA SPIRIT but could not be traced in a necropsy?
        And then it was so convenient to say that the sudden death was an Act of God. You just need to pay attorneys to lie for you as well as all the other industry insiders that enable the doping and killing of horses for racing.

  4. ‘Totally agree, Patrick, i.e., in regard to your saying, “No rotten apples, just a rotten industry.” I might even add this, (Below), about all who are engaged in horseracing:

    Rotten ………… (and, Lord knows, also profoundly morally and ethically depraved, as well),

  5. Wow Saffie Joseph IS the new Bob Baffert. Suspended indefinitely from Churchill Downs and all his entries cancelled.

    • Churchill is in massive Panic Mode….ie; find SCAPEGOAT…PRONTO. I don’t know what drug results will come back saying, but, I DO know they are “flippin out” because of bad press. It’s just all about keeping up the veneer.

    • It’s absolutely unacceptable that he killed two horses just during Derby Death Week but he made his bed and now he can flop his sorry rear-end in it.
      This certainly won’t end the abuse and killing of racehorses but at least this genius expert horse trainer won’t be able to dope and kill horses at Churchill Downs and I am thinking he won’t be welcome at Keeneland either.

      • I just now read that ky derby favorite Forte was treated with drugs by vet for pain management? Anyway….supposedly this just came out today. Apparently, people learning of this today are upset he wasn’t listed on vets lists.Just reporting what I have been seeing on twitter posts.Duh, of course something unnatural causes pain and death to horses 😒.

      • Won’t end the Saffie Saga, though. The (beyond-creepy) Stronachs will still welcome him at Gulfstream. And why wouldn’t they?
        – Their customers (die-hard, grizzled old horseplayers) don’t care, no matter how many kills he racks up. His replacement will take just as many equine lives — not that Florida even has a racing commission to (pretend to) keep track of them all.
        – The jockeys don’t care. They’ve recently proven that they’ll just keep whipping their mounts on, even as they’re trampling their fellow riders. Gotta get that win.
        – The owners don’t care. Any survivors can be cargo shipped to Puerto Rico to be finished off — so they figure they might as well use a trainer like Saffie to maximize profits while their horse is still in the States.

  6. One of the many things that bugs me is that two different news reports say 4 horses were killed while we know from this site that there were 5 horses killed during Derby Death Week. I’m not sure how the national news stations are not counting the fifth horse killed unless they are given incorrect counts from Churchill Downs…?

  7. Wait Until The 2023 KY Derby – You Didn’t See Anything Yet 2023?

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