Belterra in Ohio is a taxpayer-funded racino, with the free-flowing cash from slot machines also allowing first-last payouts. Now, consider these results from Tuesday:

race 1: Marvin’s Express finished last, 27+ lengths back; “connections” (Jennifer Tooley, et al.) pocketed $801.

race 2: What’s So Funny finished last, 19+ lengths back; “connections” (Robert and Marion Gorham) pocketed $580.

race 3: Zachs Golden Oldie finished last, 26+ lengths back; “connections” (Deborah Hernandez, Logan Asbury) pocketed $1,280.

race 6: Southern Mesa finished last, 28 lengths back; “connections” (Madelyn Royal, Joe Martin) pocketed $182.

race 8: Uncommon Grace finished second-to-last, 24 lengths back; “connections” (Wayne Minnock, Kathleen McIsaac) pocketed $130.

same race: Lady Bird Kisses finished last, 40+ lengths back; “connections” (Madelyn Royal – again – and River Run Farm) pocketed $130.

At Parx Tuesday, in addition to the same kinds of results/payouts as the above, there were these two “incidents”:

“E T’s Demon Fire was injured in the starting gate and ordered a late scratch.” This was to be the 3-year-old’s very first race.

“Euphima injured herself in the starting gate and was ordered a late scratch.” Yes, folks, she “injured herself.” Disgusting.

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  1. Thank you, Patrick, for diligently researching and reporting on this blatant mistreatment of horses and how the subsidies are keeping it going. I keep thinking that there just aren’t enough people that are aware of what’s going on, or there would be more public outrage and more people would want to see to it that there would be a change in the way things are done.

  2. Isn’t there any national television station with the guts to do a documentary showing the statistics, ages, payouts, abuse and death. WAKE UP AMERICA!

    “Sports documentaries and reporting that take you beyond the game for in-depth explorations of power, politics and controversies on and off the field…”

  4. Please read Ron Flatter piece on HISA.Very revealing article. Also, it is being reported NY Thunder being injected 2 weeks before his running last week. You know they can run but they can’t hide and I don’t mean the magnificent horses.

    • It doesn’t sound like Ron Flatter is a very happy camper about not getting straight answers from HISA. Also, the information about Lisa Lazarus getting paid more than President Biden is quite shocking, but not necessarily surprising.

        • Nancy, I just read about New York Thunder and his injections. Apparently he was on the vet’s list numerous times, two of which he had just come off the vet’s list and raced that very day, including last weekend. That sad sack story I read about how broken up Jorge Delgado was about NYT was just a bunch of bs. I almost believed him. Not so now. Look at yourself in the mirror Jorge and sleep well!!!

          • I couldn’t agree more…I felt so sad for both trainers Melanie and him thinking they’d be brokenhearted. They’re all alike. Move on to the next moneymaking venture. No more sadness for them EVER.

            • I have no doubt that given the chance, they will all do it again. With Grade One horses, there could be a lot of money in sending their “beloved family members” out to die on the racetrack in the form of an insurance claim. Thoughts and prayers then back to business as usual. It’s all very cold and calculated; an investment in a stock portfolio moved along in whatever way these diabolical people can get away with.

  5. It seems you ignorant “Do-Gooders” would prefer to see these ‘Magnificent’ horses sent to the Mexican/Canadian slaughter houses because that is where they ALL will go if you stupid people(?) get your way. If you really want to save horses, use your energy to stop the slaughter trade!!! Thousands are murdered weekly in a most inhumane way –WAKE-UP and get some horse education.

  6. Patrick, you often make the connection between state subsidies and first-last payout. Can you elaborate a bit more on the precise nature of this connection? Is there something special about this particular source of revenue, vs other sources of racing industry revenue, that allows “connections” (owner, trainer and jockey?) to receive some compensation even if their horse finishes far last?

    • Sure, Alysoun. The slot machines (VLTs, HHRs, etc.) divert, by law, so much cash to the racing operation that not only are they able to jack up purses (e.g., in NY, VLT money accounts for some 90% of harness purses), but they are also able to pay first-last. There’s so much free money they can afford to spread it around.

  7. Thanks so much for your answer, Patrick. This topic is of special personal interest to me because my own Charlie (formerly Charlie’s Quest) was rescued from Presque Isle Downs in 2016 with a visibly inflamed right front fetlock, after racing 4-1/2 years and finishing 7th in each of his three last races two weeks apart. It would be tidy to be able to say that PA subsidies led to the first-last payout system that in turn led to Charlie being raced repeatedly with an obvious injury and obviously poor odds of winning. However, if I understand correctly, subsidies are one key revenue source, but not the only revenue source, that produce the first-last payout system? CA is a non-subsidy state, but CA tracks still have their own version of this system with a “starter’s bonus” of a few hundred dollars for every horse, am I right?

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