(Please note: This was originally published October 7th. At the request of a group working to rescue the horse, I took it down in hopes of currying favor with the connections. According to a source, though, that rescue attempt failed.)

On January 30th of this year, a then 2-year-old filly named Halos and Angels was raced for the first time (Aqueduct). On March 14th, she was vanned off after a race (again, Aqueduct) with an undisclosed injury. In June, she began a precipitous slide:

June 27, Belmont, last of 7, 29 1/2 lengths back (trainer, Naipaul Chatterpaul)
July 4, Monmouth, last of 9, 21 lengths back (Chatterpaul)
July 11 (seven days later), Monmouth, last of 6, 25 3/4 lengths back (Chatterpaul)
August 7, Finger Lakes, last of 9, 33 3/4 lengths back (John Pinnock)
September 13, Finger Lakes, last of 8, 32 1/2 lengths back (Pinnock)
September 27, Finger Lakes, 6th of 9, 13 lengths back (Pinnock)

The O. Mason Racing-owned Halos and Angels is slated to be whip-run for the 17th time (over an 8-month period) this Thursday at Finger Lakes. She has had at least one ambulance ride, has finished a combined 155 1/2 lengths back over her last six races, and is presently mired in claiming hell. She is a dead horse walking.

Update: Halos and Angels finished 7th of 8 on October 9th.

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While reviewing the April casualties, I came across these three horses, all 3-years-old when initially appearing on our lists:

Una Parche was vanned off in a race at Sunland on April 8th. Inactive for the next five months, the filly resurfaced in a claiming run at Albuquerque. Once again, the ambulance was called. Her career started-to-finished ratio is (was?) 3:0. Trainer/owner/breeder team, Ralph and Melaquias Valdez.

Color Me Hot has also been raced three times, all at Prairie Meadows. On April 20th, she was “slammed” by another horse and DNF. Three weeks later, she finished last of 8, 46 lengths back. About two weeks after that, she finished last of 9, 33 3/4 lengths back. Nothing on her since. Trainer/owner, Gene Jacquot.

On April 22nd, Bubba Blitz “dropped back in apparent distress” in a race at Beulah. (At that same track 17 days prior, the gelding had finished last, 17 1/2 lengths back.) Since then, two races at cheap Hazel Park – second-to-last, last. Owner/breeder, Robert Donald; trainers, Ivan Vazquez and Daniel Myers.

If the above aren’t already dead, there’s a good chance they will be soon.

This is horseracing.

Here is an active “For Sale” ad for a 5-year-old gelding named Qu:

“A gorgeous, well balanced horse with a great shoulder, neck and topline. He is also super friendly and quiet. This guy is lightly raced but has not shown much potential for it. According to his trainer, in March he sustained an injury to his left hind leg from kicking through a stall wall, and then getting stuck in the hole and slicing his leg down to the bone is [sic] trying to pull it out. Although there is still scarring, he said the leg is completely healed now and he is sound on it despite the cosmetic changes. Indeed, Qu has raced twice since the injury.

His trainer says he is a kind and well mannered horse who has no vices and he feels Qu would make a wonderful pleasure horse, but could also be shown. He was very quiet for his pictures but the dreary day didn’t do justice to his lovely coat. Such a nice boy, come see him in person and decide for yourself, and please don’t let the cosmetic scars on his leg stop you from giving him the good home and new career that he deserves.” (pics here)

In both of Qu’s races (last month at Finger Lakes) after “slicing his leg down to the bone,” he finished dead-last – 28 lengths back in the first, 50 – yes, 50 – in the second. This, of course, explains the “not much potential for racing.”

To trainer/owner Eduardo Maver, I ask: Has not this pitiful animal endured enough on your watch? Compassion here would be an immediate and free – preferably with a donation – retirement to a reputable rescue. Anything short is unconscionable. We all have better angels, Mr. Maver, we need only let them out.

Back in September, I wrote about a 3-year-old gelding who had been raced on back-to-back days – in two separate states. Since then, life has not improved for Irish-born Floating Ballerino. Still in the hands of trainer Janet Elliot and owner Gregory Hawkins, FB was recently raced three times in 18 days: 10/1 and 10/10 at Laurel, 10/18 at the Far Hills (NJ) Steeplechase. In the last, he “was through after a mile, fell back…pulled up before the last jump.” DNF. In all, Floating Ballerino was put to track five times in a little over five weeks. And there is no end in sight. This is horseracing.

If you were to call what’s happening to a 7-year-old gelding named Mom Proof abusive and cruel, you would, of course, be right: With 72 starts through April of this year, Mom Proof has been under the whip 13 more times since (a 21-week period). But this is not just another (business as usual) claimer-being-beaten-into-the-ground story. No, what makes Mom Proof’s tragic tale particularly obscene is this “For Sale” notice on “Finger Lakes Finest Thoroughbreds”:

“This very good looking big guy is like a pet to his trainer, who loves him dearly and wants to find him a great new home since he is no longer competitive in racing. Extolling his virtues, his trainer says he is sound and durable, has a good attitude about everything, is a very good boy who is great to handle, and a very friendly horse who likes to bond with people, and loves his peppermint treats (which we can certainly attest to!).

We saw Mom Proof less than 48 hours after he had raced, and he seemed none the worse for wear, and jogged nicely, with a good reach to his trot. His trainer says he gets a small fluid pocket on his knee for a couple of days after a race (which we felt), and then he is fine. He has never missed a start and has never had any lay ups from any injuries or problems throughout his long racing career of 84 starts. With this kind of durability, Mom Proof [below] obviously has a good mind and good balance, and should transition well to many new disciplines. Another gem of a war horse who so richly deserves a great new home!” Price: $500 very good home essential, Contact: George Beech 585-490-6068

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After Mr. Beech declared his “pet” “no longer competitive,” he put him at grave risk again – just yesterday at Finger Lakes. (His virtuous horse whom he loves so dearly finished second-to-last, almost 15 lengths back.) For context on “no longer competitive,” I give you Mom Proof’s 12 previous 2014 starts – all at vile Finger Lakes (26 kills since April) – all under George Beech (who doubles as owner):

May 27th, last of 6
June 3rd, 6th of 7
June 13th, last of 6 (24 lengths back)
June 24th, last of 10 (18 1/4 lengths back)
July 1st, last of 8 (19 1/4 lengths back)
July 15th, last of 8 (21 1/2 lengths back)
August 23rd, 6th of 8
August 30th, last of 8
September 5th, 7th of 9
September 16th, 6th of 8
September 29th, 9th of 10
October 9th, 5th of 6

There is ugly, then there is Ugly.