The 10th at Parx Monday, after the wire. Listen to the blow 4-year-old Belongs to Babe absorbed:

The abuser atop: Hector Caballero. By the way, because of a disqualification, Belongs to Babe actually “won” this race, earning $24,000 for her people, including Caballero.

Horseracing, a “sport” like any other, right?

From the most recent minutes released by the California Horse Racing Board.

At the Alameda County Fair at Pleasanton, July 3: “While horses were in the Starting Gate for the first race Czechoutpappyscorona flipped; [she was] scratched for being down and trapped in the gate stall.” Same day, race 4: “Nice Blaze [fell]…multiple scrapes and a hematoma developing on her right hip.”

At the Los Alamitos Thoroughbred meet, July 3:

“Apprentice Jockey Victor Flores was in our office to answer to a complaint. The CHRB filed the complaint when Safety Steward Paul Atkinson photographed a welt on the horse The Last Ruler…after the sixth race on 2/23 at Santa Anita. Mr. Flores apologized. The following ruling was issued: Flores is fined $300 for violation of rule #1688(3) (Use of Riding Crop – causing welts or breaks in the skin).”

$300 – for open, transparent animal abuse.

Same track, July 4: “Trainer Gary Mandella was in our office to participate in a formal hearing…. Mr. Mandella’s horse tested positive for the drug Phenylbutazone on 2/15 in the eighth race at Santa Anita. Mr. Mandella stated he could have accidently [sic] double-treated the mare. After hearing all the facts and entering all the exhibits, the hearing came to an end. The following ruling was issued: Mandella is fined $500 for violation of rules #1843(a),(b), and (d) (Medication, Drugs and Other Substances).”

“Accidentally,” huh? The race in question was a $200,000 Stakes. The horse, Zusha, finished 3rd, “earning” $24,000 for Mandella, et al. She remains under his control.

Same track, July 5: “Jockey Assael Espinoza was in to review yesterday’s fifth race…. Mr. Espinoza’s horse ducked out sharply from left-handed urging at the eighth pole. The BOS and Mr. Espinoza placed the blame on the horse and Mr. Espinoza was not issued a penalty.”

He whips (“left-handed urging”) his horse (Magnificent Q T) causing her (of course) to “duck out sharply” and the horse is to blame? Vile. Magnificent, by the way, finished 2nd, “earning” $3,400 for her people, including Espinoza.

And finally, just two days after the aforementioned Flores “welt on the horse” hearing, that same jockey was back to answer for another whipping violation – “excessive use of the riding crop” – from the previous day on 3-year-old Mr. Vitamin. The Stewards: “Mr. Flores agreed he should have stopped using the riding crop and stated he was sorry and had no excuse.” Again, a mere $300 fine, nothing more. Causes a welt and lives to ride (abuse) another day. You can’t make this stuff up.

One race yesterday, the 2nd at Fair Grounds, as relayed by the Equibase chartwriter:

“TREYS MIDNITE MOON was roused [whipped]

“IM A COWBOY TOO came under the whip

“PAPA’S BOY drifted out under a left-handed whip

“IMPRESSIVE STUDENT tossed his head while rank under restraint

Then this: “CHASE FOR THE GOLD fought hard against the rating tactics of the rider when taken in hand then was wrestled back while tossing his head badly…was urged along…and stopped [finishing last, 25+ lengths back]”

“fought hard against the [jockey]…was wrestled back while tossing his head badly”

We shouldn’t need to convince you that horseracing is animal cruelty; it’s on full display at racetracks across America every single day.

From the most recent Stewards Minutes at Los Alamitos, December 28:

“The hearing for the penalty portion of the Methamphetamine case against Trainer Jose Flores took place this afternoon. Mr. Flores’ horse Look of Love MV was the winner of the fifth race at Los Alamitos Race Course on May 17. The post-race blood and urine samples showed the presence of Methamphetamine…a split sample confirmed the original findings.

“[Mr. Flores’] defense centered around the fact that once he was aware of the positive test, he ordered all employees in his barn to be tested for drugs. He also volunteered to test. All samples came back clean except for one. Victor Arias, who was the horse’s groom, tested positive for the drug found in the horse’s sample – Methamphetamine. Arias has since been barred from these grounds by management.

“Equine Medical Director Dr. Rick Arthur stated in the investigative report that the level [of Methamphetamine] in both blood and urine were extremely high, leading him to conclude that it was not an accidental positive test – someone purposely gave the horse Methamphetamine. We will…render a decision in the near future.”

By the way, the 2-year-old Look of Love Mv remains in the possession of Mr. Flores; in fact, Flores raced her at Los Alamitos December 27 – just a day before this hearing.

In other news:

In the 2nd at Sunland Tuesday, says Equibase, Sea Merman “bled outwardly and was vanned off.”

In the 2nd at Fair Grounds yesterday, J Rob “…came under the whip…responded well…and prevailed under vigorous urging [more whipping] then was vanned off after returning to the winners circle [yes, he ‘won’].” J Rob was one of three horses to be “vanned off” on the Fair Grounds day.

This is horseracing.