Sir William Bruce, Moreno, and a Trainer’s Empty Tears

Trainer Eric Guillot’s reaction to his fortunes at Saratoga Saturday serves as the perfect microcosm for horseracing. That day, Mr. Guillot had two horses running: One, Moreno, won the Grade 1 Whitney, taking home $800,000 for his connections, probably 10% of which going to Guillot; the other, Sir William Bruce, died. Of “cardiovascular complications.” At the age of two. This is how The Post-Star recounted Guillot’s afternoon:

“I was so disappointed and crying when I lost my colt in the fifth. He was such a nice colt. I was shook up. I liked that colt. I take my horses very seriously.” Guillot said he had to take some time alone and walk around to clear his mind with the Whitney looming ahead, telling everyone around him: “Just focus on Moreno.”

“I’m still going to mourn his [Sir William] loss tomorrow. I’m all about the horses and fun. The rest of the industry I just go along with it because I’m in it.”

Guillot was back on the track just a couple of hours later exchanging his tears for those of joy as the winning trainer of the Whitney. Guillot’s boisterous personality returned quickly as he saw Moreno make his way out of the final turn with the lead. “Turning for home, he’s in the lead and I’m hollering, ‘Junior, Junior (Jockey Junior Alvarado), do you hear that bell? Somebody just got taken to school,’” Guillot managed to say through his own laughter. “I think it was the rest of the field.”

Moreno’s win made for a moment of redemption not exclusive to Guillot, but shared with his entire staff. “It means so much for my partner and best friend, Mike (Moreno), who always believed in me from day one and still does today,” Guillot said. The two already had plans to celebrate together as they stood in the winner’s circle — or at least Guillot had plans. “It sounds to me like my partner might be buying me a seven-pound steroid lobster at Siro’s tonight. It’s great. How can it not be? It’s the Whitney, right?”

You, Mr. Guillot, are a sham, a hollow, shallow sham, just like your entire industry. You say you care, but your words and actions belie that claim. One of your supposed beloveds, a 2-year-old horse, dies of a heart attack (for which you should be made to answer) and a short time later, you are reveling (“a seven-pound steroid lobster”) in the gold and glory won on the back of another of your assets.

So let’s not pretend we’re something we’re not, Mr. Guillot. You exploit animals in an antiquated gambling game. That’s it. As an aside, the journalism here (and at ESPN, et al.) is sadly bankrupt: This is no tragedy-to-triumph story (“moment of redemption”?), just a tragedy. Here’s wagering $2 that Mr. Guillot is still in full celebration-mode today, the mourning postponed indefinitely.

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  1. For everybody that loves and values horses and who consider it a blessing to stand in the company of a horse, this despicable display of counterfeit sorrow brings back the horror of how Ruffian’s tragedy disgraced all race trackers. As that gallant and gorgeous filly fought for her life the trainer and owners who took home the trophy were celebrating in the winner’s circle with cascades of champagne and loud joy….meanwhile on the backstretch true horse lovers were doing a vigil of love and prayers. This trainer is not a horseman because if he were he would have been back at the barn doing the crying and sharing the sorrow caused by the loss of a big horse. From the Light Sir William Bruce came, to the Light he returns, his sufferings on the cross so good will flow. Amen.

    • God bless those who stood vigil with Sir WillIam Bruce in his hour of need…”blessed are the meek for they shall inherit heaven.”

  2. It is very sad. It makes a horse lover think a bit different. These unfortunate young dead racehorses are not in pain anymore that’s inflected by cruel and greedy humans. Their lives are a daily torture. Sir William Bruce died at the age of two from cardiovascular complications and the New York Racing and Waging Board ignores this rare and abnormal death. What else is new. That is expected.

  3. Words are cheap. It is easy to say you “care” and you “love” the horse when there is money to be made and there is fame to achieve. I often wonder how regular people can support this sinister, and corrupt, industry – horseracing. Are they unaware of what occurs on a daily basis at tracks throughout the country? For those that do know, they are just as complicit as those who race their horses into the ground. Even more hypocritical are those who privately criticize racing but who publicly support it. Perhaps they live vicariously through the “trappings” of racing, because, on the surface, it appears to be a glamorous sport. However, nothing could be further from the truth.

    As for Mr. Guillot, I agree with Patrick. He is a sham, plain and simple. He is also a hypocrite just like so many others in racing.

  4. Wow…I am just now reading the words of Guillot, looking at his photo, and I’m feeling like…you know, when you put something terribly vile-tasting in your mouth and you can’t get it out fast enough. I’ve got nothing right now…except I can’t help but think how this trainer looks like a cardiac event waiting to happen, but it’s his baby colt who goes down with one. I have to digest this entire sick scenario…

  5. Nope, eight hours later and I still cannot say on this public forum what I would LIKE to say.

    I’m so sorry, Sir William Bruce.

    .

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