Rich Strike’s trainer, Eric Reed, on the “controversy” at the end of the Derby Saturday (from an interview with Today):
“I want to clear that up. The outrider’s job at the end of the race is to help get the leading horse slowed down, and take him around and let him do the interviews. Well, Richie, he was in ‘killer mode,’ he was gonna outrun every horse on the track. So when he saw that pony coming his way, he thought he had another horse to beat and he was trying to run by it.
“The man did his job: he reached out and grabbed ahold of the horse and it made the horse mad. He didn’t know that he was trying to help him, he thought he was supposed to outrun that horse, and he bit the guy’s leg terribly. He bit his arm, a couple really bad bites. The horse is not a mean horse, he just was in race mode and he didn’t understand why they were grabbing him to slow him down. That man saved my horse from injury….”
You be the judge. Is this merely an innocuous and correct “disciplining” of a horse in “killer mode”?
Turns out that the outrider who manhandled Derby winner Rich Strike yesterday is Greg Blasi – that’s Blasi, as in the brother of Scott, Steve Asmussen’s assistant trainer caught saying the following in a 2013 PETA investigation:
“Fuck these horses. These motherfuckers. They’ll fucking break your fucking heart every fucking day, these cocksuckers. There’s always something wrong with ’em.”
“You ought to see these limping motherfuckers; I see this son [of] a bitch out here jogging every day.”
“You could not believe how many [horses] they hurt and kill before they ever even get to the racetrack.”
And there was more.
A farrier working on 5-year-old Nehro, one of Asmussen’s charges: “That’s all missing! His foot is a little bitty nub. [H]e lost Z-bars on both feet multiple times until he had bloody holes in the bottom of his feet. He doesn’t even have a pulse in this one, and he’s barely got one in the…. Stick your thumb in there. Right there in that frog. No, it’s been like that for three months…it rotted.”
Blasi: “[L]isten…I know the fucker hurts.” Farrier: “Let me show you this hole. This is treacherous. We’ve tried superglue in that hole.”
Blasi, to Nehro: “Quit being such an asshole…aggravating son of a bitch.” A few days after this exchange, Nehro died of colic. Blasi: “I have seen a lot of shit. That is the most violent fucking death I have ever seen.”
Blasi on “shockwave therapy”: “It fucking hurts like hell. I can’t believe them fucking sons a bitches can take it.”
Blasi on “electric shockers”: “I’d tell [jockey Ricardo Santana Jr], ‘You got the maquina [shocker]?’ ‘Boss, I got the maquina.'”
Blasi, after losing an underperformer – a “rat” – to a claim: “I could just do a fucking cartwheel right now.”
And here’s Greg again…
How proud Mr. and Mrs. Blasi must be.
All this happened yesterday, Kentucky Derby Day – and remember, this is just racing (no training included):
Abscond “bled” at Churchill
Kentucky Ghost “vanned off” at Churchill
Madison Joy “fell while injured, vanned off” at Evangeline
Dare Felix “vanned off” at Fonner
Malintent “vanned off” at Oaklawn
Mrs. Beans “vanned off” at Oaklawn
Speedcuber “vanned off” at Santa Anita
Axis Charm “vanned off” at Sunray
Dazzling Sunshine “vanned off” at Tampa Bay
I am, of course, working on confirmations, but you can take it to the bank that at least three of the above are already dead. Here is Madison Joy at Evangeline – her violent fall, by the way, was called a “spill” several times by the track announcer.
It’s not nearly the worst of it, folks (for that, see my posts from earlier today, or simply read this site every day for a week), but that doesn’t change the fact that Rich Strike, winner of today’s Kentucky Derby, was abused by the outrider on national television: