This from the Los Alamitos stewards for September 15:

“Jockey BRYAN [sic] PENA was in to answer as to why he had to hit his horse during the post parade. Mr. Pena stated that his horse was acting up. After reviewing the video, it shows that Mr. Pena’s horse was indeed being a little unmanageable. In a majority decision no penalty was issued. Steward Sawyer voted for a fine.”

He hit his horse because he was “acting up,” but it’s all good for said horse was “being a little unmanageable.” I’m out of words.

(Note: This may or may not be the same horse who was hit in this video.)

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, As for all who attended or gambled on those races Wednesday, two words: for shame.

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.