The latest Stewards Reports from Delaware Park reveal the following:
“Consultation with trainer Claudio Gonzalez with reference to a ‘sudden death’ on July 1st.” The victim, alas, was not disclosed; I will make inquiries.
Wednesday, the stewards reported a temperature of 94 degrees with an “extreme heat advisory“; they went on to mention that it was “straight to the gate, no post parade due to excessive heat.” Three horses were scratched for “anhydrosis” – failure of the sweat glands – another for “heat/best interest of the horse.” And yet, 59 horses were put to the whip in those oppressive conditions; one, 3-year-old Crossbow’s Wildcat, “collapsed [after finishing last] on the horse path returning to the barn due to a heat stroke – multiple lacerations.” Imagine that.
What the preceding constitutes is unmitigated animal cruelty – in fact, a felony under Delaware law. While we continue to work to end this vile industry, it can’t hurt to hold the bastards’ feet to the fire. Contact info for Delaware Attorney General Kathy Jennings: 302-577-8500, email@example.com. As for all who attended or gambled on those races Wednesday, two words: for shame.
From the Stewards Report for the Radnor Hunt Steeplechase in Pennsylvania May 18:
“DAPPER DAN fell at the 12th fence.”
“Both BALISTES and MUTIN fell at the 11th fence. The course vet reported that BALISTES was bleeding from the nose after his fall. He was…transported back to the barn area in the horse ambulance. [A vet] scoped the horse back at the barn and confirmed a pulmonary hemorrhage [and] possible sinus injury as a result of the fall.”
“The Stewards met with Barry Foley to discuss his continued borderline excessive use of the whip. Foley said he would try to be more aware of his whip use.”
This is horseracing.
Sunday, I reported on Ardrahan’s death at the Grand National in Maryland. The Equibase note – “fell, euthanized” – was, however, not entirely accurate. Yes, Ardrahan is indeed dead, but the recently released Stewards Report says this: “ADRAHAN [sic] was euthanized on the course although the vet told the Stewards that the horse had probably expired before she got to him.” So much for “humane death.”
Saturday, at the Middleburg Steeplechase in Virginia, Special Relation “pulled up lame.” But, lame though he was, no van was used; he, like the mortally injured (broken neck) Special Skills, was made to walk off on his own. Later, the stewards told us why:
“The Stewards met with Jack Fisher after the last race to discuss SPECIAL RELATION not having been vanned off the course. Jack had already discussed the situation with Dr Reynolds Coles and it was a constructive conversation. It was evident that Jack had weighed a number of relevant considerations in deciding how best to attend to his horse, including the potential damage to the course from bringing the horse ambulance onto the stretch and the time that would be required to do so.”
So, the lame Special Relation was denied transportation because of “the potential damage to the course from bringing the horse ambulance onto the stretch and the time that would be required to do so.” Oh, how they love their “equine athletes.” Oh, how they are “like members of the family.” Oh, how I hold them in contempt.
Girlie’s Dream’s first time under the whip came as a 2-year-old on November 3, 2017. The result: second-to-last, 21 lengths back. From there, more of the same:
Nov 24 – second-to-last, 31 back
Dec 9 – last, 17+ back
Jan 12 (2018) – last, 25 back
Jan 27 – second-to-last, 27+ back
Feb 1 – second-to-last, 19 back
Feb 23 – last, 49+ back
Mar 25 – second-to-last, 30+ back
Nov 15 (after an almost eight-month hiatus) – last, 28+ back
Dec 20 – last, 39+ back
Jan 3 (yesterday) – second-to-last, 14+ back
To make matters worse, Girlie’s Dream is being run exclusively in “claiming” races, meaning she has been “For Sale” each and every time out. (Not surprisingly, her “tag” has plummeted from $50,000 in start one to $5,000 yesterday.)
The immediate and obvious villain here is Randi Persaud, GD’s owner throughout and trainer for her first nine races (Aqueduct) (and someone who should be on all tracks’ radar). But there are plenty of other indictments to be had: Joey Martinez, trainer for the most recent two (Penn); officials/stewards at Aqueduct and Penn; GD’s private vet (whoever that may be); NYRA and Pennsylvania regulatory vets; commission officials, etc. But let’s not ignore the elephant in the room – the “horseplayers,” for without bets there would be no races. So, when Girlie’s Dream breaks down or simply turns up missing (use your imaginations), take a good, long look in the mirror.
In the final race at Penn Thursday, the Equibase writer relayed this: “GIRLIE’S DREAM got jostled around a bit at the start and bumped into LADY VOODOO in the process, was hustled into stride but showed no interest in accelerating, was struck eleven times by the whip [jockey, Maicol Inirio]…but was void of speed throughout…” Girlie’s Dream finished 39+ lengths back. But it’s even worse. This was GD’s 10th race – all maiden claiming, all at cheap tracks (Aqueduct, Penn). The previous nine:
last, 28+ lengths back
second-to-last, 30+ lengths back
last, 49+ lengths back
second-to-last, 19 lengths back
second-to-last, 27+ lengths back
last, 25 lengths back
last, 17+ lengths back
second-to-last, 31 lengths back
second-to-last, 21 lengths back
Egregious animal abuse, defined. The primary abuser: trainer/owner Randi Persaud. Not the first I’ve written on this miscreant masquerading as a “horseman”:
“Hear Me Purr Put to the Whip Again”
“The Everyday Abuse You Won’t Hear About on NBC”
“Horses Killed in Consecutive Races at New and Improved Aqueduct”