In horseracing, there’s everyday, garden-variety abuse, and then there’s the truly egregious. In the latter category is what’s happening to the horse known as Laddie Boy. Laddie turned 12 in February. Bad enough. But get this: tonight, he will be put to the whip for the 122nd time. Yes, 122nd time. This one will take place at Wyoming’s Energy Downs, a cheap track that only runs for a month each spring. But it wasn’t always this way.
Laddie’s “career” began way back in 2013 with a race at Keeneland. Of course he was trucked around to many other tracks (and states) over the years, but early on at least, he was being raced at the top levels, including a $400K Grade 1 (the highest kind). The descent began in earnest toward the end of 2021, with races at bottom-of-the-barrel Delta, Fonner, Arapahoe, and Miles City. At Fonner on April 21 of this year, he was “For Sale” at the ugly price of $2,500 – about as low as it gets.
Laddie’s current abusers – Stan Brewer and Gilbert Ecoffey – have been at the helm since putting a “claim” in on Laddie before a race on March 4 of this year. They then proceeded to race him again just eight days later, with Laddie finishing almost 29 lengths back. Then, another race 12 days after that. These, mind you, were race numbers 116 & 117.
In May, though it may be hard to believe, it got even worse. Brewer and Ecoffey raced this poor soul on May 7, May 14, and May 21. That’s three races in two weeks – races, I remind, 119, 120, and 121. Although I say it a lot, it bears repeating: In the necropsies, we see time and again, 4-, 3-, even 2-year-old horses (with, as expected, relatively low numbers of races) who died with osteoarthritis, sometimes in all four legs. Not to mention, the chronic ulcers we see in almost all racehorses. Imagine what Laddie’s body looks (on the inside) and, more important, feels like.
Which brings us to today. Laddie is slated to be raced at 7:30 mountain tonight (6th race), so we have ample time to protest. Please take a moment out of your day, for Laddie.
Energy Downs (aka 307 Horse Racing):
Jack Greer, CEO & Director of Racing
Kris Brown, Director of Gaming
Racing Office: 307-687-6500
Racing Secretary Extension: 6588
Assistant Racing Secretary Extension: 6592
Wyoming Gaming Commission: 307-265-4015