At Los Alamitos in March, there were 19 horses “scratched” by the vet prior to their races for being injured, 10 for being sick, and 7 for being “unsound.” Also:

3/5: “A refund was ordered in the fourth race as #6 St. Reno injured itself [‘itself,’ not ‘himself’] during the loading procedure and was declared on the advice of [the vet].”

3/13: “The claim of Seventh Wave was voided after Dr. Beck placed the gelding on the vet’s list as unsound.”

3/13: “The claim of Mongolian Sunrise was voided after the mare was placed on the vet’s list for bleeding.”

3/19: “#2 Jaydann Bus was injured in the gate and scratched.”

3/26: “A claim deposited prior to the third race for #3 Musically was voided as the horse was unsound in the left foreleg while in the detention barn.”

3/27: “A refund was ordered in the sixth race when #4 In Deep Thought became fractious during the loading procedure, flipped in its starting gate stall, and was declared on the advice of vet.”

3/28: “A refund was ordered in the first race as #5 Elemental flipped while behind the starting gate and was scratched on the advice of vet.”

The 7th at Keeneland yesterday for 4-year-old Hidden Scroll, as relayed by Equibase: “HIDDEN SCROLL was irritable early…settled along the turn, was in the five path into the lane and empty down the lane, bled.”

I don’t know, but do you think it’s possible that this poor animal was “irritable” because his lungs were about to bleed from being forced to run at a breakneck speed by a perched, whip-wielding human? Vile.

Last month at Golden Gate, according to the Stewards Minutes (all emphases mine): 41 horses were “scratched” (by vet) from races for being sick; 13 for being injured; and 4 for being “unsound.” That’s 58 horses. But those were just the scratches. In addition:

3/5: “Claim submitted by Blaine Wright for the gelding Conquest Lemonraid was deemed void after state vet reported him lame in RF leg; returned to barn of Pablo De Jesus.”

3/5: “Claim submitted by Jonathan Wong for the gelding Upo was deemed void after state vet reported him lame in LH leg; returned to barn of Isidro Tamayo.”

3/7: “Claim submitted by Mark Glatt for the mare Miss Indefatigable was deemed void after state vet reported her lame; returned to barn of Blaine Wright.”

3/14: “Claim submitted by Victor Trujillo for the mare Splashing was voided by the Stewards after they were notified that she was unsound in RH leg; placed on Vet’s List; returned to Reid France’s barn.”

3/25: “Alma Spirit was unruly while the assistant starters attempted to get her loaded in the gate. [She] eventually flipped over and fell on her back causing the Stewards…to scratch her. This resulted in the loss of the rolling super high five wager and a seven minute delay in off time for the race.”

The loss of a wager and a delay – what a terrible inconvenience.

3/26: “Claim submitted by Frank Lucareli for Tiz The Standard was deemed void after state vet reported her lame in RF leg; returned to barn of Bill McLean.”

3/26: “Claim submitted by Jonathan Wong for Lucky Ms Jones was deemed void after state vet reported the mare lame; returned to barn of Steve Sherman.”

3/27: “Claim submitted by Andy Mathis for the gelding Luck’s Royal Flush was deemed void after state vet reported him lame in RF leg; returned to barn of Jeff Bonde.”

And finally, 3/28: “Jockey Catalino Martinez, who rode Pour On The Cole in the third race on March 27, is suspended three racing days for violation of CHRB Rule ‘Use of Riding Crop – used more than six times in a race.’ The ruling was issued after Martinez appeared in the Stewards office and said he just plain forgot in the heat of battle. The leader in the race was tiring and Martinez felt his mount had a chance to overtake that rival and win the race.”

“Just plain forgot in the heat of battle” – You can’t make this stuff up.

The 2nd at Turf yesterday was called the “Turf Paradise Quarter Horse Championship Stakes.” (It wasn’t much of a stakes race: purse, $12,500.) One of its entrants was Hes too Icy for Me, coming in with 31 “career” races. Nothing unusual there – until, that is, you dig a bit deeper. For you see, this horse is (was?) 13 years old and was first raced 11 years ago. But that’s not even the worst of it: His last race before yesterday was in June 2019 – almost two whole years ago. What’s more, prior to a pair of races that June, he had been dormant for 3 1/2 years. 3 1/2 years. With this as backdrop, witness what happened to this poor animal (he’s the white horse) yesterday:

The responsible parties: trainer Pedro Urias Soto, owner Angel Burrola, the relevant vets – state and private alike – and, of course, Turf and Arizona racing officials. (I do not have a firm status yet; I will update as information comes in.)

The “Essex Handicap” at Oaklawn yesterday was worth a cool $500,000, with the difference between 1st and 2nd $200,000. With that in mind, take a look at the beating jockey Ramon Vazquez administered to his mount, Rated R Superstar, down the stretch (Rated R is the 3 horse):

Folks, if this isn’t animal cruelty then what, pray tell, is?