Three more horses being run into the ground…
Runs for Luck is eight days shy of his 10th birthday. He has been raced almost exclusively in Pennsylvania. A race last Wednesday at Parx was his 84th. Owner, Vaccaro Racing Stable; trainer, Patricia Farro.
Fox Rox will turn 10 in May. His first race was at Saratoga way back in 2013. Race #103 took place at Tampa 12 days ago. 103. Owner, Mark Hoffman; trainer, Dennis Ward.
And finally, a week ago today at Camarero, Favorite Groom, ten, was put to the whip for the 106th time. Owner, Jose M. Stable; trainer, Ricardo Negron.
Last year on Arkansas Derby day, two of Bob Baffert’s horses, including Division 1 winner Charlatan, tested positive for lidocaine and were subsequently disqualified. Baffert was fined and suspended. Yesterday, the Arkansas Racing Commission lifted that suspension and restored his horses’ wins. By doing so, Mr. Baffert’s earnings were also restored – some $330,000, which dwarfs the $10,000 he paid in fines. This, of course, should come as no surprise to anyone who follows racing, for this is, as Tim Sullivan of the Louisville Courier Journal suggests, Teflon Bob.
Sunday at the Scottish Grand National Steeplechase, one of the entrants, Claud and Goldie, collapsed and died immediately after finishing 9th. He was just 12 years old, which is right about the prime of life for horses in a more natural setting. Anyhow, his trainer, Sandy Forster, had this to say to Southern Reporter:
“For himself, one thing I do know is he didn’t suffer. He ran an absolute blinder of a race and I couldn’t be prouder of him. As a horse, he was just the biggest, gentlest giant. A complete gentleman of a horse – so it’s just heartbreaking.
“He was just galloping along within himself the whole way. It’s just one of these heartbreaking things that happens. He would not have known anything about it, so that’s the main consolation I can take from it.”
The “gentle giant” with his exploiter…
They tried. Oh, how they desperately tried. Having kills on back-to-back days, especially after all their talk of “success,” was just unthinkable. So, a broken ankle, which is almost invariably a death sentence for a racehorse, was to be “stabilized,” with the promise of a surgical fix disseminated. But I and most of you here reading knew it was but a matter of time. Just announced: Multiplier, an “injured, vanned off” in the 3rd at Santa Anita yesterday, has been euthanized. He was six years old.
While we wait for news on Multiplier’s fate after being “vanned off” yesterday at Santa Anita, there is a confirmed kill to report. Yesterday, at the Stronach Group’s other California track, Golden Gate Fields, Lady of the House “went wrong soon after the start, was pulled up and was vanned off.” “Went wrong,” of course, is one of racing’s go-to euphemisms for dead, and indeed she is. Lady was two years old, and this was her 8th time under the whip. For Golden Gate, this is dead horse #10; for all California tracks, #25. Reform is a lie; you can’t fix wicked.