The Tragic Tale of a Horse Named Tyeste

The case of a horse named Tyeste illustrates, again, how easily Racing has been able to conceal its awfulness these so many decades. Tyeste, a 5-year-old mare, was raced for the 25th time – all at the claiming level – at Monmouth in August of last year. She finished a non-noteworthy second-to-last. Prior to her next race, September 7, she was “scratched” by order of the stewards. And then, simply disappeared.

But through FOIA documents from the New Jersey Racing Commission, I have since learned that this horse died that September day – and in a particularly horrific way. Apparently, on her way to the starting gate, Tyeste fractured her skull (how remains unclear) and was euthanized after “hemorrhaging from both nostrils and ears.” Imagine that. If not for that FOIA request, no one – except, of course, the complicit – would have been the wiser. For all the public knew, this probably injured horse was recuperating in anticipation of another run – or, safely retired to her owner’s farm, living the erstwhile equine-athlete’s version of the pastoral life.

While scratched/vanished does not technically qualify as a lie, the full truth surrounding this mare was withheld by the relevant racing entities – Monmouth Park, NJ Racing Commission (until, that is, forced to disclose by law) – and left untold or uninvestigated by the racing press. None of which should surprise, of course: To the former, dead horses are bad for business, especially one who broke her head and bled from her orifices; to the latter, this was a non-story – the death of a cheap claimer who was eking out meager livings for bottom-feeder connections simply doesn’t rate. Or put another way, who cares? How very sad – on multiple levels.

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  1. Many of you know me because I regularly comment on this excellent Blog full of facts compliments of Patrick. You may also know that I grew up in this industry, and was an Owner/Trainer for years. Many of you don’t know that I was an Associate Steward at a “Premier” race meet called Del Mar in California. What a joke! It certainly isn’t a premier race meet for the racehorses – that’s for sure. I was given an office in the stable area, and told to conduct both overt, and covert surveillance operations among other things. What I witnessed is beyond comprehension, and will probably have many of you saying “Gina is crazy.” I admit that I’m crazy, but hope to put this “craziness” to good use. There is one thing I learned in life: you pay a price to be a rebel, but nothing good was ever accomplished in the history of our society by complacent people or for those who choose to remain silent. Rebels often pay a high price to speak out about things that are wrong, and horse racing is so wrong. The top Trainers in horse racing that the industry praises as outstanding Trainers are nothing more than butchers. I witnessed so many deaths during the short race meet at Del Mar, mostly coming out of top racing stables, that greatly disturbed me. All race horse deaths disturb me, but this was beyond comprehension. I witnessed 2 y.o’s pushed beyond the brink of physical capability to the point where they were snapping their legs off on the track. These 2 y.o’s were pushed by the top Trainers to get their Derby perspective. The most sickening aspect is that these rich owners just go out and buy another one, and put them right back to the same Trainer that broke down their previous horse. It’s like writing them a death sentence by putting them into these “death camps,” AKA race stables. This is a prime example of the racehorse being disposable. It sickened me to see the huge crowd of deep pockets in the Del Mar clubhouse, that didn’t have a clue about what was going on, supporting this horrific business. One day, a 2 y.o filly broke down in front of the stands, the curtain went up, and she was humanely euthanized. A female patron leaned over to tell me that she had just bet $1000 on the horse, and asked me “Did she win?” That’s how clueless she was. While I watched the needle going into the jugular vein to euthanize her, this patron was concerned about her bet. I spared no words. “The horse died running for your stupid bet.” I said. She said “What are you talking about?”These horses are well looked after. “If they are dying on the track then they are not well looked after I said. You need to educate yourself on what’s going on here.” I followed the ambulance back to the room where the dead horses are kept. It was heartbreaking. The top trainer was on the phone to the vet worried about the insurance papers being filled out so that his filthy rich Owner could be reimbursed so he could buy another, send him another, and perhaps kill another. The next morning a stake filly, on her way to the track, shattered her cannon bone, fell on the pavement, and fractured her skull right in front of me. To this day, the image of blood spurting from her leg, nostrils, eyes, and mouth will be forever etched on my mind. This filly was from another top Trainer stable. Many of these Trainers are not even in their barn. Many are just program Trainers which further supports the corruption issue. They are not there. It seemed obvious that the grooms are actually training the horses not the Trainers themselves. I witnessed a vet going into the stall about 45 minutes prior to a race to give a needle directly into the horses vein – a blatant violation of race rules. When I brought it to the attention of the head Steward that the horse needed to be scratched – it wasn’t because it was from Bobby Frankel’s barn, and I was reminded a “Favorite.” I was told that too much money was bet on it so the horse wouldn’t be scratched. The horse won by LENGTHS. I was deeply disturbed by this, scratching my head thinking about the millions that my family, and myself had spent over the years thinking that the business was somewhat honest, had some integrity, but realized that was a myth because for something like this to go on, there must be much more going on that people never have exposure to. Through all of this, it’s the racehorse that pays the price. They are paying with their lives, and it’s unacceptable. It is wrong. I have the names of the horses, and the Trainers in these examples stated here. I have deliberately eliminated them out of fear of repercussion. However, if you insist on knowing. I will provide. I have many more examples similar to this. After I received a note on my golf cart parked outside my stable office saying something like: “your body would look good floating in San Francisco Bay.” I packed up and immediately left California. I didn’t notify the CHRB until I was safely out of that state. I have no intentions of going back there.

    • Gina,

      What a terrible story.

      Will you please write a book on your experiences.

      JoAnne Normille wrote a book and I am reading it now. Tell me what you want to say and I will help you TWEET out a message.

    • Gina,

      I would love to know who these owners and trainers are. if you do not want to name them on the list,
      i understand.

      Please email me privately. I will not mention your name but I would like to start tracking these people and how many horses die under their watch.

      my email address is kathleen@usbusinessfinancecorp.com

      • Gina,

        People on this list that care about these horses can contact the STATE VET about the abuse we see and if enough people are doing this then they will be forced to pay attention or they will look really bad themselves.

  2. Gina, thank you for having the guts to speak out. This industry and its sheep-like followers are the perfect examples of gutless, spineless…

    Again, thank you Gina…and that was difficult to read. I can’t imagine living it.

  3. Thank you Gina for saying what a lot of us insiders know exists. I wish there was a quick solution to end this abuse. I grew up believing that horse racing was a beautiful and majestic event to be part of. How heartbreaking the real truth.

  4. TYESTE was loaded in starting gate with ill-timed spacing between races too.
    8 days ….6 days… 8 days…..

    NJ Racing Commission and Vets must enjoy golfing or something

    • Jo-Anne, it really bothers me that there is not a rule to protect the horse from being started as often as these unscrupulous people do. In this sorry business the horses are literally run into the ground and it is all legal !!!

      When I questioned the NYRA regarding a filly claimed by Jacobson and started 3 days after her last race I was informed it was left up to the trainer.
      As we know, there laws governing all business’. And even with laws to control unlawful practice it still occurs. When such activity is identified there are consequences.

      Contrast the business of racing to other business’ and one quickly sees that it is lawless in terms of the horse.The few laws geared to drugging and cheating are poorly enforced. Once in a while someone is “caught” cheating/drugging, but there are no meaningful consequences for the perpetrators. Racing is the only business, that I know of, allowed to “police itself “. It is obvious how well that works !

  5. Gina — Many thanks for posting your experience(s) & opinions. You & I share similar, racing & backstretch “history”. I speak to the wrongs also, like you, for those without voices. While I’ve never been threatened, I name names – not sources – but abuser perps, when 1st hand knowledge demands it. At the top of my notables list is D. Wayne Lukas, then Bob Baffert. Both are evil, self-serving. humans intent on ego-driven fame & fortune at ANY cost. My location has been east coast “premier” tracks – but there are other recognizable names on the list. I fully understand that in “outing” people risk may be a result – I take the chance. Fortunately, I’ve worked with and for many high integrity racing people, who consistently love & care for their horses, making sure they race sound and, yes, happy TB’s and NEVER fall into the slaughter pipeline. It’s those humans I stand by and save me from all-out hatred of racing!

    • Add hall of shame horse doper Todd Pletcher to that list. Bottom line, if those “good humans” who support the industry don’t stand up and scream about the inhumanity they are hardly good people. To paraphrase: All that is required for evil to thrive is for otherwise good people to remain silent. And for my money, if they are good people they don’t remain silent.

      • Kathleen, I know a lot about that. There are rumors, and allegations that Bob Baffert’s horses are humanely euthanized when they are not established stake horses or Derby material. Evidently, there are several locations where this is done outside of the racetrack where records are not obligatory. I followed one of the vans from Del Mar to a local vet hospital that makes lots of money off of Baffert, and are fiercely loyal to him. They spotted me, and reported me. I was immediately reprimanded for doing that, but I felt it was my job to do it. After all, horses were disappearing out of his barn. This modus operandi seems to be in effect so that Baffert’s image is not compromised. In other words, all his horses are stake horses and/or Derby perspectives because if their not – they are disposed of. The stats speaks for themselves. He is one of the few Trainers that never has horses in Claiming Races so one would have to ask: just where are they going? What is happening to them? Another place that they allegedly go is to underground racetracks that are rampant in California. It’s illegal gambling, and it brings in millions. It has been repeatedly exposed, but the government of California never seems to do anything about it. There are pictures by underground animal rights groups that show violence, cruelty, and inhumaneness to the 10th degree. They are not regulated so cocktails of needles are injected into these horses while they run for their life. Bookies are making millions so it seems possible that this allegation could be true. After all, they are getting a race ready horse that they can bet on, and these horses are sold for bucks. They are going somewhere, but where? Do the math. Baffert has upwards of 100 or more racehorses in his barn at any given time. At one point he had about 300 racing at tracks both on the East and West Coast. Take that approximate number and check the races. They are in all the Maiden Allowance, Stake Races, and Derby Races. That accounts for about 10%. So where are the other 90%? If you factor in the breakdowns, and deaths then that would account for the other 90%???? I don’t think so. There are about 80 horses per year (conservative estimate) disappearing. Some are going back to their owners, but where are the others?? They certainly are not in the Claiming Races. They often refer to Baffert as the “Golden Boy,” of racing. I beg to differ. The image he builds up around them is at the expense of many racehorses, and the CHRB just seems to sigh. Bo Derek, the Racing Commissioner (what a joke) has been seen hugging Baffert, and consoling him. How nice to have these people on his side. I think there’s a graveyard of horses somewhere, and many of his horses are there. Then again, horse racing is one big graveyard. Whether they die in training, on the track, or in the slaughterhouse – the grassy paddock is far and few between.

  6. I would like to personally thank each one of you for such well written article’s. I grew up living next to a county fairground, where Standardbred horse’s were stabled, and raced year round. the horror’s I witnessed back in the mid 70’s were enough to stay with me for life. I think the only way to gain any ground in deleting horse racing, and horse slaughter is public awareness. exposing the “golden boy’s” of horse racing is an excellent idea, please keep talking, and writing… knowledge is power !!

    • 3fathorses,

      You are Exactly right.

      Knowledge is Power.

      I had No idea what was going on until I joined this list. that was approximately one year ago.

      i found this list after I started watching HEARTLAND, a tv show about horses and rescuing horses from abuse. it is filmed in Canada.

      HEARTLAND has now been on 8 seasons and is the longest running drama in Canada. it is filmed in Alberta where they brutally murder horses for food every day of the week.

      HEARTLAND is the show that educated me to the fact that horses were being slaughtered and that RACE HORSES were being Drugged, electro shocked. stolen and drugged and forced to race and then left by the side of the road to die after being drugged and abused at the racetrack.

      Before that show and this group, i was CLUELESS

  7. Thanks for your support regarding this sensitive information. I was involved in a conspiracy. The name of the horse was INTERCONTINENTAL. Please google this, my name, with the CHRB. There will be a plethora of articles come up. PLEASE – I caution you that the report conducted by Scott Chaney of the CHRB was a whitewash pretty much accusing me of being a liar. The needle was caught on tape. The tape disappeared from my office. They smeared me, discredited me, and did everything they could to make me look like a moron. I can tell you that Pamela Berg, a prior Steward for the CHRB had similar scandals occur whereby she felt obligated to keep her mouth shut in order to keep her job. She hired an Attorney, sued the CHRB under whistle-blower laws, and won a huge settlement. However, I didn’t really have any intention of staying in California not to mention the fact that my pay was delayed (almost 2 months) so I was starving until I finally got my pay. Another owner in the race, who raced against INTERCONTINENTAL, supported me 100% because he was outraged when the scandal broke knowing that he lost to a horse who had been given a needle prior to the race. He had money, power, and influence. He had an attorney make calls to the CHRB to ensure that I got paid. He also sued the CHRB so records had to be disclosed. It was uncovered that the State Vet at the time (who was later fired) smeared the vet records to occlude the incident from the records. It was hugely covered-up and played down. If it wasn’t for that owner with lots of money, and power they would have got away with it. Back to Pamela Berg: she is a racehorse hero. She was one of the original whistle-blowers regarding racehorses being sent to slaughter after racing. She purchased a small farm on her CHRB salary to rescue OTTB’s while she was working for the CHRB. When she got her settlement, she said that most of the money would be used to support her current OTTB’s, and to rescue more. That’s nice. She also contributed to a book called “After the Finish Line.” – a good read. I also want to mention that the vet who administered the needle didn’t record it on the required legal form for stake races controlled by the CHRB. It became crazy. If it wasn’t for the rich Owner who was grateful to me for coming forward, I would have been screwed. He hired one of the best Attorneys to ensure my legal rights, and after that nobody bothered me. Money is a good thing when applied properly. After this incident, it was very difficult getting a job within the industry. They knew that they couldn’t get away with, what probably, has been going on for a long time. The article here is just the tip of the iceberg. The horse racing industry is like the iceberg that struck the Titanic. Just the tip always gets revealed while the rest is hidden. In the end, it’s the racehorse that pays with their life.

    • Gina, you are not crazy, YOU are a very brave and courageous person to expose to the public your experiences which must be difficult as it involves the horrific cruelty which you witnessed and no doubt brings back memories of the terrible sufferings of the horses.

      Oh yes and the woman worried about her $1,000 bet – I’ve come across that before, they just don’t give a damn about the fact that the horse has died. These people are truly SICK! As you often say “the racehorses pay with their lives”.

      That rich owner came to your rescue, so to speak. He also did not remain silent by taking action which proved he had a conscience. The word soon gets around about things like that and he obviously was not afraid of any backlash from anyone in the racing industry.

  8. Gina,

    Thank you for having the guts to tell us your story, it is captivating. Every day we learn of more corruption in this industry. Right now they are able to sweep a lot under the carpet, but their long run of having things their way is about to change.

    The public is becoming more aware of the abuse, negligence, and misconduct. This blog is an essential tool in getting the message out, that this industry needs to cease to exist. The exposure of many of its dirty little secrets are leaking out, through various venues, and people are paying attention. Many are beginning to question why so many thoroughbreds are breaking down, thanks to Patricks great work and dedication, and the more knowledge of this miserable industry they obtain, the sooner you will see reforms in the treatment, well being, and welfare, of the thoroughbred.

    A new day is about to dawn, and racing is no where in the picture. This is not a pipe dream, one day it will be a reality. Be patient, changes come slowly, the good thing is that we have many allies in the animal rights organizations, specifically PETA. PETA’s work is not finished with the Racing Industry, they have only just begun. Also, the combined experiences of yourself, Joy, Mary, Kathleen, and so many others here are instrumental in bringing awareness to light. Right now legislation is being prepared regarding ending horse slaughter. Dialogue is the first step to change.

    Also, don’t let anyone in the Racing Industry intimidate you. They wouldn’t dare touch you, because you have seen and know to much. Don’t be afraid of them or anyone for that matter. Believe me, they don’t want to mess with you Gina. Marlene Thornley

  9. http://www.thehorse.com/articles/35691/jockey-club-enhances-graded-stakes-race-vet-record-reporting?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=welfare-industry&utm_campaign=04-23-2015

    “The veterinary record transparency initiative grew out of a recommendation centered on the electronic storage of all medication treatment and procedure records issued by The Jockey Club’s Thoroughbred Safety Committee in August 2013.”

    Took them a while?

    It is very concerning that it is not mandatory for owners to participate, if my take on this is correct.
    So much for transparency and disclosure laws in a public industry!

  10. TYESTE this poor VOICELESS mare was highly like screaming out that she wasn’t up to racing again. She was being seriously overworked and overraced. I suspect she displayed behaviour of wanting to escape having to race that day and that behaviour resulted in her horrific suffering and death. ABSOLUTELY SHAMEFUL!

    Thanks Patrick for your tenacious hard work and exposing what really happened to TYESTE.
    “Scratched” as you say is not telling a lie but it is certainly not telling the truth and once again the racing authorities distance themselves from transparency and disclosure in this public industry which uses live animals.

  11. Thanks for your feedback everyone – much appreciated. Thanks to Patrick for his hard work to expose this horrific industry. This industry is full of secrets. They guard their secrets by hiring the “all boys club” as stewards for the respective racing commissions. It’s well-guarded. One of the biggest crooks, in my opinion, is Frank Stronach. He has different aliases such as Magna Entertainment, and Adena Springs all designed to confuse people, and to create an unmanageable paper trail for legal purposes. That’s how I see it. Hundreds of millions of Ontario taxpayers money went missing while he was in charge of the Ontario Jockey Club. The current Liberal Government decided that they didn’t want to pursue it, but put accountability channels in place. That’s about the time that Frank Stronach high-trailed his ass back to Austria for residency purposes, but still operates such racetracks as Santa Anita, Golden Gate Fields, Gulfstream Park etc. He is also one of the biggest racetrack owners in the U.S. There are many angles we can use to shut down the industry in California. One of the approaches could be environmental. I can tell you that HUNDREDS of chemicals are being used on horses legs, many toxic, unlabeled, and not controlled that are going directly into the water system there. I saw it with my own eyes. Del Mar is located right on the ocean. They have a sewage pipe running from the barns into the ocean that is hugely unregulated. Another dirty secret. Literally. Moreover, their abuse of water runs into the thousands of gallons daily while they are restricting California Residents use of water. This is insanity. We are using precious water to wash horses so they can run in circles for millionaires to bet on them? It’s a total waste of a precious resource. Of course I would want horses washed-off after they sweat their fannies off. However, I think the industry could be shut down due to environmental reasons. This is one huge approach that needs to be visited. Perhaps a petition to the Governor of California bringing this to their attention? The racing industry is an antiquated business model full of secrets, they fly under the radar, while other companies are held accountable for their actions. The industry is rife with discrimination against women, and of course the abuse of racehorses. How they are allowed to get away with this is beyond my comprehension.

  12. Some of you have been inquiring about the information I gathered while at Del Mar. I have extensive notes, and a dairy that I kept. I can tell you this: many of Bob & Beverly Lewis’s horses were breaking down out of Bob Baffert’s racing stable at Del Mar. Wayne Lukas did his fair share of breaking them down as well, but was stabled at Churchill Downs mostly. One of the most troubling breakdowns was WHAT A SONG. I was right there when it happened, and at the barn, and witnessed the euthanasia. Baffert wanted him kept alive, but he was suffering, and suffering greatly. The vets were freaking out telling Baffert that the horse was suffering, and needed to be immediately euthanized. Come to find out that one of the reasons why he wanted him kept alive is because they were checking with the insurance company to confirm whether his Owner would be reimbursed if the horse broke down during training, and not during a race. It seems that the only concern Baffert had was to reimburse his very rich Owners for the horse, but was a master at making it look like he was altruistic. The insurance company, Baffert, Bob Lewis, and the vets were all discussing this while the horse was suffering so much. Baffert would not approve euthanization until he was guaranteed by the insurance company that a check would be issued. I will let you decide how you feel about this, but I was disgusted. This example exemplifies the business side of racing whereby the horse seems to be secondary to the money. You can Google WHAT A SONG to verify what I have listed here. Poor dude. One of many casualties of the horse racing industry.

    • I am disgusted, as well, Gina. Outraged…outraged and horribly sad for what What a Song was forced to endure. He was only two years old when he broke down and was euthanized.

      The injuries to his right front; “fractures to the sesamoid bones in the ankle area and ruptures to ‘suspensory apparatus’ of ligaments and tendons”. The article reports What a Song suffered the injury around 7 AM…he was not euthanized until 11 AM. Baffert, of course, put on his sad face; “It’s the part of horse racing you never get used to. These horses are like our children, so when something happens like that it’s pretty devastating.” Who does he think is he fooling?
      http://www.utsandiego.com/uniontrib/20050820/news_1s20dmhorse.html

      B&B Lewis purchased What a Song for 1.9 million. Bob Lewis; “He was insured – at that purchase price we of course had to – but with a sizable deductible, so we’re certainly not out of the hole…”. And regarding the colt’s injury, Lewis stated; “The sesamoids were just gone.”
      http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/horse/news/story?id=2138666

      What a Song was another racehorse whose instinctual mechanism of survival – running – was exploited by the industry, his owners, his trainer. For fortune and fame. And in the end, what they at first exploited, they took completely away. These people make me sick.

      • Right on Joy. I was so upset over what I saw going on at the Del Mar race meet that I was vomiting when I got home from work. Despite the endless social invitations ( being a Steward) – I didn’t attend any except for the “After the Finish Line,” Charity to raise money for OTTB’s. That event added salt to my injuries. All the rich Trainers and filthy rich Owners that I saw in the Winners Circle were nowhere to be found on this evening. In fact, a person who is associated with After the Finish Line (name withheld) confided in me as to how disgusted she was with the racing community;how little they contributed while going to Keeneland and buying a horse for hundreds of thousands of dollars or even millions. Del Mar pulling in millions daily into the wagering windows contributed a pittance compared to the obscene profits they were making. It sickened me. The entire scene sickened me. I know that Baffert is known to contribute little or nothing to OTTB rescue groups at that time. However, I have noticed a change recently pulling huge publicity media coverage over retiring a horse to Old Freinds – whoopy do! Where’s the other hundreds of horses gone? Tom Proctor had an unusual high rate of breakdowns. He was hardly ever physically present in the barn?! Come to find out he worked or had strong connections with one of the biggest Equine Insurance Mortality Companies in Louisville Kentucky. It was his filly that fractured her skull that morning. I just can’t remember the name right now. The never ending quest for Stake horses and Derby horses leaves a trail of broken bones, and dead horses. It also leaves a vast majority running for their lives in the Claiming ranks. That’s what we know about, but I can’t help but think about what we don’t know about. This is horse racing.

      • I also wanted to mention that I don’t believe Bob Lewis when he said we are not out of the hole after the deduction. I don’t believe that for a moment because when I pressed him to release the actual figures, he told me to mind my own business and got very defensive. These big name Trainers have been heard saying that they would rather have the horse die after a breakdown then live. They can recoup money via the Equine Mortality Insurance, go back to Keeneland, and buy another prospect. That’s the mentality. People in the industry love them because buying another horse supports the pinhookers – it greases the wheels. If a horse lives after a breakdown, it usually is a career ending injury so the Owner incurs expenses, images and egos are compromised, and the Owner must be convinced that it’s “business as usual,” so another prospect must be bought. This is horse racing. Another thing, there are allegations that workers at the Zayat owned Beverage plant in Egypt are disgruntled over low wages and bad working conditions while Zayat spends millions on racehorses. Greed exemplified. This entire business is a disgusting display of wealth while children are starving in the world, while racehorses are sent to slaughter there are millions being spent on Derby perspectives – sickening display of greed.

  13. Just to put things in perspective: The 2005 Del Mar Race Meet wagering per day? Here’s the stats: a record $608,168,297 through the wickets for a daily average of $14,143,449. Reflective of this, a single-day handle mark is set ($24,004,733) and purses reach a new pinnacle at $592,406 per day. This is mind boggling! Certainly enough to maybe pay-off government workers?? WHERE is this money going?? It certainly isn’t going to the racehorses dying on this track for this obscene profit! The Del Mar Race Meet contributes huge amounts of money to every single human charity in the Del Mar area while the racehorses head to slaughterhouses in Mexico. It’s disgusting. They contribute little or nothing to OTTB’s when compared to the amount of profit they make. They depend on those ignorant deep pocketed residents of Del Mar and California to support them while maintaining a clean image of racehorses retiring to grassy paddocks. They protect the image of top trainers like Baffert, Carla Gaines (another butcher). We must educate! We must educate Californians. Del Mar Race Club has a very powerful, well financed public relations firm that is on the grounds during the entire race meet. They were there when I was there. They even have their own security members ensuring that the clean image is maintained, and will prosecute anybody who bursts the bubble. Whistleblowers are immediately disposed of. I know that.

  14. What many people don’t realize is that in order to make it as a top Trainer such as Baffert, Pletcher, Casse, Lucas, Castellano etc. you must have a sink or swim approach. They make the horse live up to their expectations of stake horses or Derby perspectives. When the horse doesn’t live up to their expectations which is usually pushing them to physical limits, turning them into a pin cushion, and probably doing things that we’re not even aware of; then they quickly become a disposable commodity. They become a liability. A liability to the Trainers image, owners image, and financial liability. They are dropped into Claimjng races, or in the case of Baffert and Pletcher are rarely seen again. There are many horses that have gone into these race stables never to be seen after. I do know that Baffert and Pletcher have iron-clad contracts that Owners must sign in order to send horses to them. I saw a copy back in 2005, and couldn’t believe it. Those Trainers can do just about anything to the horse once it’s in their race stable and the Owner has zippo legal recourse. I think this explains why so many Owners keep their mouth shut even though they probably would like to expose them for what they are. I think the Racing Commissions are management enforcers for the cheaters more than the honest people as seen in this article. So many facts that should be made available to the public are not. In the end, it’s the racehorse that pays with their life. This is horse racing.

    • Gina,

      That may explain why Zayat stables never went after Steve Asmussen and his assistant for the the HORRIFIC abuse of NEHRO.

      They may have had a contract.

      • Kathleen, they did have a contract. Baffert, Asmussen, Pletcher don’t take horses without a contract. If these contracts are similar to the one I saw in 2005 these trainers can do whatever they want and an owner has no legal recourse. You are signing your horses life over to him and you are not allowed to talk about incidents that occur to the public or you are very limited to do so . If a horse dies in his care you are not supposed to talk about it. This type of contract is very standard in these big name Trainer barns. Zayat may have a contract that states a required number of horses are to be sent to certain Trainers. By the time an Owner is unhappy with the Trainer, he can’t remove his horses because of the contract and fear of legal repercussions. Of course through all this legal jumbo jumbo you have horses being used as gambling pawns. They pay the price. Furthermore, if an Owner is stupid enough to get involved with these Trainers they get what they deserve. Unfortunately, the horse gets what they didn’t deserve. It’s a horrific business. This is horse racing.

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