When a “Scratched” Horse Is Actually Dead

It’s hard to say how many fatal paddock fractures and “sudden cardiac events” occur just prior to scheduled races, for these deaths are typically buried as mere “vet scratches” on the official race charts. Sometimes, though, insight comes from other sources, sources like California’s publicly-posted stewards minutes. In the last week of July, there were two such incidents:

July 29, 7-year-old Merry Moon, “deceased” prior to the 3rd at Los Alamitos

July 30, 3-year-old Tiz a Lucky One, “euthanized” prior to the 8th at Santa Rosa

Both, scratches on Equibase because, you know, dead horses can’t run.

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  1. The horse racing industry is inept at hiding it’s maimed, and killed.
    Any death on a track should be reportable.
    Any death at a Training Center should be reportable.
    If this ever became mandatory, then Patrick would remain busy for a long time.
    Then again, he’s busy just keeping up with the dead racehorses that are reported.
    Anybody that sends their horses into this cruelty circus is upholding the exploitation.
    They don’t “love” the horse – they live what they can get from them whether that’s money and/or ego strokes.
    So sorry for the horses that lost their lives dying in the dirt for their connections, and for $2 bets.
    This is horse racing.

  2. Hi Nicole,there was a horse on the NYRA circuit that was continually raced even though he had fractured both of his front legs each one on two separate occasion’s He had to be vanned off each time from the training track.The trainer Gary Sciacca gave him Six months off after repairing the fractures with plates pins and screws and put him back on the track to race,even though the horse was in pain and suffering,I knew this first hand ,the horse was a. Big money earner close to a million dollars earned.Had he been a cheap horse they would’ve euthenized after the first fracture but when he raced he was a money earner,the fact that the horse could not walk after he raced meant nothing to Trainer Gary Sciacca or the horses owner Bill Parcell’s ! Yup the Hall Of Fame Football Coach ,did he need the money that bad?In 2015 I notified Mr. Byrne and the NEW YORK GAMING COMMISION exactly what I told you but they doubled talked me and took no action.I also asked Mr.Byrne how did this horse avoid the NYS injury database,he had NO COMMENT,I told him someone was not doing his job.About three months ago this horse was entered to race His name is or was SARATOGA SNACKS.Saratoga Snacks was entered and scratched that day three months ago and haven’t seen him since .There are two other horses I know of ,same story.Would you be of any help in finding out what happened to these horses.They cruelly ran Saratoga. Snacks into the ground,for profit.Between May 2015 & May 2016 I personally witnessed the trainer Sciacca and his Ass’t Paul Barone Admistering illegal performance enhancing drugs on race day.If you can help please do I’d be more than willing to be a witness to any of this.Thank You Stevie Lore

    • This is so indicative of horse racing, and not only sad, but sickening.
      I will write letters or support petitions.
      I have no problem being a voice for these voiceless slaves.
      If they run a horse on fractures then I fear this million dollar earner ended up at the slaughterhouse.
      Oh how I despise this industry and all those who support and/or participate in it.

    • This just in: a horse that raced for Trainer Gary Sciacca was punched in the face 5 times right in front of the entire crowd because the horse would not run faster when whipped, and didn’t win the race.
      I’m in the process of trying to get the details, but this source is very reliable.
      Not sure if any fine was laid down by the stewards, but in the real world this would have resulted in Felony Animal Cruelty charges – no doubt.
      Evidently, groom saw blood coming from the nose after the horse was punched in the face.
      That’s how they treat the horses that they “love,” – their “family members.”
      Deplorable, and also illegal.

      • Follow-up. Saratoga August 3, 2016 Race #6. Horse: TAIRNEACH. Stakes winner of over $130,000 slid down into the Claiming ranks when no longer performing. Running for a $32,000 tag. Was backing up at the 3/8th’s pole, but the jockey started whipping Tairneach. Anyways, finished 9th. It was the jockey Emmanuel Esquivel that dismounted the horse and punched the horse right in the face, hard, 5 times!
        Tairneach made $187 for trying to run, but probably sore from previous issues, and got punched in the face.
        What a nice way to treat a “beloved” “family member?”
        I searched, extensively, for a Fine or acknowledgement of this blatant animal cruelty in the NY Steward minutes to no avail.
        It was so difficult navigating the Steward minutes that went from April to July and then skipped to August 8th with no mention whatsoever of this incident.
        If anybody finds this please post it here.
        Equibase made no mention of the incident either.
        It was a concerned patron that saw the incident, reported it to me, and said that she wish she had her iphone on.
        Evidently, she reported it to the Stewards that said they saw it on their camera, but no follow-up can be found.
        The breeder of the horse, ADENA SPRINGS (AKA Frank Stronach). Were they concerned about their “beloved family member,” that they brought into their world of opulence, and multi-million dollar farm? No.
        It doesn’t matter if the racehorse comes from a rich or poor background because eventually they are all subjected to the whipping/beating, doping, dumping, and/or dying.
        I suppose I need to add “punching in the face for not performing” – right?
        This rider should not only be banned from horse racing, but jailed on Felony Animal Cruelty charges, but this is horse racing.
        I have tried to post these facts to the best of my knowledge, but if anybody has any information please come forward.

      • I have seen so many things like this, also. There a was groom where I galloped that I caught beating up the horses. He had very little experience with horses (very green), but seemed like such a nice young man. About two weeks after he had been hired, the horses I galloped started acting really upset when brought out of the stall and time to leg me up. One particular horse was so nervous, that I did not take her to the track, but rode her around the shedrow instead. I rode all the way around the barn, passing the groom as he was in the stall with a horse. And what do you think he would be doing? Mucking out the stall, or grooming, or tacking up, or giving his charge (who helped put food in his mouth, helped him with rent) a pat on the neck. NO….this scumball had one of my favorite horses tied to the wall and was boxing him in the face. He did get fired. But so many horses are abused by their grooms, exercise riders, hot walkers, jockeys, and trainers. And they bounce around from trainer to trainer.

  3. 20+ Insider. I would often see grooms who were very disgruntled taking care of a horse that somebody paid $200,000 or more for.
    I would often take Mexican grooms out for lunch after morning duties. They were working for high profile Trainers making about $8 per hour or some less if they had no papers.
    Many were sleeping in tack rooms or had no place to go.
    Anyways, they would say to me: “how can somebody pay $200,000 for a horse and pay me $8 an hour to look after it? The one groom said I break my back bent over this horse, I give it the best of care, and when he wins I get no tip! Now I don’t give a damn, and this would be taken out on the horse (not to say it’s right).
    They went on to to say I would have to work my entire life to make the money that the owner spent on this racehorse.
    It got really ugly when one of the grooms went down in pain because he had a gall bladder stone, and needed it removed.
    He had no medical!
    We approached the owner who paid $200,000 for the horse, and this couple wouldn’t give ONE DIME!
    So it was up to a bunch of us to pitch in and get the money together so he could get the necessary surgery.
    He walked away from the business, a very good groom, and said he would never go back again.
    He said I’ll work in McDonald’s before I ever go back to that hell hole.
    You know with all his lack of education, lack of cultural knowledge he still had the sense to say “I can leave that hell hole, but the racehorses can’t.”
    It was around that time that some grooms got together and wanted to form a UNION.
    They said they were sick and tired of the long hours, 7 days per week, busting their butts taking care of racehorses that cost $100,000 or more with no medical or no benefits.
    In order for them to garner the support they needed to get a union they had to approach the many stable area grooms, and of course there are the kiss ass people on any track who went and reported them to the office.
    They had all of them kicked off the grounds quicker than the manure hits the ground from the horses’s ass.
    So it isn’t just the racehorses that are being exploited, but the workers as well.
    This is going on within a backdrop of disgusting wealth – people paying $500,000 or more for one horse while denying even the most basic animal and human rights to those who take care of their horses.
    I can only imagine the positive changes that could be made in this world with $500,000. Yet, the owners who pay this kind of money usually spend millions on buying a Derby perspective.
    I realize that people have every right to spend their money as they see fit, but I find it so disgusting that this industry is built on the bones, and backs of racehorses, and Mexican labor with little or no contribution to the well-being of the very pillars that make this industry tick.
    It’s disgusting, and pathetic.

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