Congressionalstorm was bred in 2010 and first raced in 2013. Monday at Parx, the soon-to-be-11-year-old was put to the whip for the 96th time. Yes, that’s right, 96th time. In that race, this old (for racing, that is) mare finished last of 10, 44 lengths back. In the race immediately preceding that one, January 20, and also at Parx, she finished last of 12, 37 lengths back.

While Congressionalstorm has of course been passed around multiple times, her most recent batch of races has come under the yoke of owner Angel Herrera and trainer Juan Vazquez, who, by the way, is no stranger to trouble. Somehow, these two miscreants still see fit to thrust this poor girl out there. Perhaps it’s in the hope that someone will buy her: Needless to say, Congressional is running strictly “claiming races” these days and can be had for the relatively cheap price of $5,000. More likely, though, it’s being done while secure in the knowledge that by simply finishing, Congressional will “earn” for them: Parx is a racino, meaning not only that purses are artificially jacked by slots revenue, but also that checks go out to all finishers – first through last. So, to take the past two races as examples, Congressional can finish a combined 80 lengths back and still “earn” $500 for her abusers. In a word, vile.

voice your outrage:
Parx Casino & Racing: 215-639-9000; email (Keith Jones):

PA Dept. of Agriculture (regulatory agency for horseracing): 717-787-5196;

In the 4th at Aqueduct yesterday, jockey Manuel Franco administered the following beating – yes, that’s exactly what it was – to the 2-year-old colt Nepotism. It was Nepotism’s second race ever. The beating, as far as the racing people were concerned, was successful: Nepotism finished third, “earning” $9,600 for his exploiters.

(Nepotism is the 7 horse)

This is horseracing.

Game On Girl is a 2-year-old filly who made her “debut” at Monmouth July 31. She finished second-to-last, 21+ lengths back. Not very promising. But despite that, or maybe because of that, she was sold – yes, sold, in her very first race. Next time out, a month later, same track: “hit the rail, fell, vanned off.” Flash to Monday: In the 4th at Parx, says the chartwriter, Game On Girl “lost action before leaving the backstretch, bolted…on the turn, continued on and ran into the outside fence and fell at the top of the stretch.” As if this could be even worse, in addition to being owned by (at least) three different people/groups – breeders Alan Goldberg, Ronald Etkin; Colts Neck Stables; David Gruskos (who continues to have her “For Sale”) – she has also endured a different trainer – Jorge Duarte, Jose Delgado, Claudio Gonzalez – in each of her three races. This poor, poor girl. This wicked, wicked industry.

In addition to a “pulled up, vanned off” (Little Miss Julia) in the 7th at Penn Friday, and various other horses described as “unwilling” or “rank,” there was this for the 3-year-old filly Aamaal in the day’s final race: “AAMAAL was reluctant to load, stopped and was vanned off after the race.” Gee, do you suppose she was “reluctant” to be whip-forced to “race” because she was already injured? The turpitude of this industry knows no bounds. Jockey, Ricardo Chiappe; trainer, Michael Pino.

The chart note for Hinton in the 2nd at Hawthorne yesterday: “a bit reluctant to load, was urged along the inside disputing the pace in the opening half, gave way racing into the far turn, was pulled up entering the lane, then was vanned off the course.”

“a bit reluctant to load”

“was urged along”

“was pulled up”

“was vanned off the course”

Translation: He did not want to “race.” He was forced to anyway – and whipped in the process. He was injured, maybe before the race even started. He was ambulanced away, which means it’s a good (better than even) chance he’s dead today. (I will definitively find out with a FOIA request.) The 6-year-old was under the whip for the 20th time; he had not “won” a race in almost three years. Oh, and he was also “For Sale” at the bargain-bin price of $5,000 prior to. Trainer, Ingrid Mason; owner, Muddy Water Stables; jockey, Charles Roberts.