The following article comes from Joy Aten, prominent equine advocate and regular contributor to our “Shedrow Secrets” section:

Like others who acknowledge the exploitation and abuse of horses in the racing industry, I tire of hearing about all of the “good folks” in racing. Like the “good folks” who “sign up” to run their horses without drugs – does that include not injecting their joints, as well? – I didn’t think so. And of course, they’ll stop using Lasix when everyone else stops using Lasix and not a minute before.

Then there are those “good folks” who boast they run their babies at the two-year-old in training sales without drugs. No bute?…I certainly hope not! Why would a two-year-old need bute to run? And no Lasix?…since the industry claims Lasix is not a performance-enhancer and is used solely for bleeders, why would a two-year-old bleeder even be made to race? But check the charts of their running three-year-olds and they’re all on Lasix, at the very least.

Or like the “good folks” who promise a certain percentage of their winnings (WHOSE winnings?…I didn’t see any of them being whipped-raced around the track) to particular aftercare programs. There aren’t enough aftercare organizations to intake the discarded excess of spent racehorses! And why isn’t the RACING INDUSTRY the sole provider of the depleted “athletes” of the RACING INDUSTRY? Why is the non-race public, who continue to struggle even with the “crumbs” of those donated percentages, toiling to care for these horses?

And oh yes, the “good folks” who rescue some of the injured, neglected, abandoned, starved, and slaughter-bound horses of THEIR “sport” when they’re contacted by a frantic advocate. Why shouldn’t they? That is simply an expectation – take care of your own! But here, the dichotomy…the “good folks” crow about their “saves” while they’ve left their OWN former runners unprotected in the claiming game.

How about the “good folks” who retire their older racehorse (after several years of running) that’s made them an obscene amount of money (and then make certain everyone hears about it), yet their less-talented horse that didn’t generate such riches, they sell via a claiming race? I guess they only extend their “love” to the horses that stuffed their wallets.

Here, a perfect example of one the “good folks” – Maggi Moss.

Moss: “Ballistic Blonde is not one of my more talented horses. But I bought her cheap in Texas…” Moss puts the mare in a claiming race and she gets claimed. Moss states, ‘with emotion’: “This is the hardest part of the business. But it’s big – $25,000 is a good price for her now. I just really wanted her last race for me to be a winner.” Moss goes on to say: “It’s getting much easier for me to run my horses out east so that I don’t get so personally attached to them. This is a business and my gut interferes.” Out of sight, out of mind for Ms. Moss.

Does anyone else see what’s most important to Moss? MONEY. Clearly, the money. What she did to her mare So Many Ways is another example. Moss says about the mare: “her kind and almost human personality…made this decision [to sell her to the Japanese farm as a broodmare] so difficult.” In another piece, Moss talks about how the offer from the overseas breeding farm for So Many Ways was just “so much money”…just too much to turn down. MONEY. “Good folk”? It didn’t matter how “kind” and “human-like” Moss thought So Many Ways was…this “good folk” loved the money more than her mare.

And what about Bojan, Ms. Moss? And the deal you were going to offer low-level trainer Chad Skelton for MSW Fuhrever Dancing?…you know, 5K and throw in a “couple of horses that would actually make him money” to sweeten the deal? Unreal…Moss is considered one of the “good folks,” yet she was ready to offer up a couple of sacrificial horses to someone she and her cronies were crucifying as the “scum” in racing. Fuhrever Dancing was worth saving, Moss deems…and two other horses were going to pay his ransom with their lives. Fuhrever Dancing gets her some good press. No one will ever know about the sacrificial lambs. “Good folk.”

(By the way, the last race for Ballistic Blonde – Moss’ “cheap” mare that she sold for a “good price for her” – was a 3K claiming race at Turf Paradise in October 2012.)

More “good folk” stories to come…

Two horses were left dead in the same Tampa Bay race (6th) yesterday afternoon:

After 5-year-old Wild Kiss went down about halfway through, two trailing horses, 3-year-olds Iron Media and Track Telling, fell over their dying “rival.” Iron Media did not survive; Track Telling, according to the Paulick Report, “appeared to have emerged from the spill unscathed.” Once again, if not for a few injured humans, we would not have known about the equine carnage, or at least not the full scale of it: The chart had Wild Kiss as “broke down,” the other two simply as “fell.” The dead horses’ people: Wild Kiss – Anna Lee, Anne Ambrosio; Iron Media – Joseph Minieri, Judy Beaumont.

To those who wager on horseracing, we implore you to reconsider. And ultimately, you hold all the cards: no more bets, no more races; no more races, no more kills. And, no more separating foals and moms, no more abusing unformed bodies, no more confining, no more whipping, no more drugging, no more doping, no more buying and selling and trading and dumping. No more auctions, no more kill-buyers, no more transport trucks, no more abattoirs. No more pain, no more suffering. No more.


In a landscape that abounds with other gambling options – casinos, lotteries, real sports involving autonomous human beings – hasn’t the time at long last arrived to let the racing horse be? You, the bettor, have within the capacity for mercy. We ask only that you exercise it. Please. For the horses.

Through a “Freedom of Access Act” request, I have confirmed the following 4 deaths on or at Maine harness tracks in 2014. (Note: Maine has no Thoroughbred racing.)

Scootin Keefe, January 14, Scarborough Downs: “Injured in New York during a race…transported to Scarborough for examination. The private practitioner determined the horse needed to be euthanized.” Owner, Gordon Dubois.

Our Desire, April 5, Scarborough Downs: “Diagnosed with a broken leg following a race and was euthanized by a private practitioner.” Owner, Randy Tompkins.

Redestrian, April 17, Scarborough Downs: “Diagnosed with colic and was euthanized by a private practitioner.” Owner, Michael Hubert.

Town Fool, May 20, Bangor Raceway: “Collapsed after a race and was pronounced dead by a private practitioner. After review it was determined the horse died of a heart attack following the race.” Owners, Robert and Kyle Gibbs.

Maine’s response came with this: “This is all of the information that was reported [italics added] to the track management and the State Racing Stewards in 2014.”

Surely, there were others.

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The Daily Racing Form (via the stewards) reports that 8-year-old El Commodore is dead from a “pelvis injury” sustained during the 4th at Santa Anita yesterday. In all, the gelding was put to the whip 37 times, earning over a quarter million dollars for his people. Trainer on death-day, Michael Machowsky. This is horseracing.