Stradivari Euthanized – 19th Victim of Saratoga 2016

The Saratoga ’16 Death Toll continues to rise – three months after the last race was run there. The Paulick Report reports that 3-year-old Stradivari “was euthanized after taking a turn for the worse following surgery to repair a fracture in his right foreleg.” The fracture was sustained during a July 22 training session.

Like Recepta, Stradivari was a successful racehorse – a high finisher in both the Preakness and Belmont this year – and, by extension, an extremely valuable asset. So, with visions of lucrative stud fees dancing in his people’s heads, extraordinary measures were taken. For nothing. And once more, the animal was the loser.

The Saratoga ’16 Dead

Hadeed Fi Hadeed, May 30, training
Squire Creek, July 16, training
Stradivari, July 22, training (euthanized December)
Zamjara, July 23, race 1
Rootformejustin, July 23, race 5
Indian Nobility, July 27, race 3
Domestic Warrior, August 1, race 4
Lebowski, August 2, “found dead outside stall”
Jonrah, August 3, training
Midnight Visitor, August 4, prior to race 4
Wheels Up Now, August 5, training
Recepta, August 5, training (euthanized November)
Prince Corredor, August 20, training
Elusive Neko, August 24, training
Bob Le Beau, August 25, race 1
Ring of Truth, August 25, race 10
Desert Trial, August 28, training
Its Only Fair, September 9, training
Core Competency, September 19, training


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  1. Stradivari suffered needlessly for months…but that is what this industry does – it, no THEY, put the dollar before the afflicted horse’s welfare.

  2. Let’s be totally clear here: STRADIVARI is yet another victim of this cruelty circus, death camp, and corruption pit.
    The fact that Stradivari died at the vet clinic doesn’t in any way, shape, or form release the connections or the industry from his death.
    The infamous Todd Pletcher.
    Multiple drug violating Trainer with serious doping violations, and (like most top Trainers such as Baffert, Asmussen, Lukas,) have MULTIPLE racehorses DIE under their direct care, and training methods.
    Their punishment for having multiple racehorses DIE under their care?
    Induction into the Racing Hall of (S)hame.
    Additional perks for having a RAP sheet for multiple drug violations, and for racehorses DYING under their tutor-ledge?
    The richest owners send the richest racehorses right into the “Lion’s Den.”
    The owners, full well knowing, that these Trainers have extensive drug cocktail records with multiple racehorses DYING under their care send their beloved “family members,” right into the abusers hands on a silver platter.
    So don’t tell me that participants in this business, most notably owners, “care” about their horses.
    Anything goes in this business because abuse, and enablers of the abuse is all that there is in my view.
    So back to Stradivari.
    There’s something really not kosher about this entire scenario, and this is just my speculation.
    The vets at Rood & Riddle are top notch – A ONE – the very best that money can buy.
    They have extensive experience with career-ending injuries in racehorses.
    They know their stuff.
    After reviewing the digital x-rays, and probably conducting a slew of tests they recommended surgery – or did they?
    The vets are too smart to see that this injury was more than career ending, but perhaps their positive outlook negated going ahead with surgery?
    I think Joy is 100% correct when she points out that this horse was worth lots in stud fees.
    If this were any other claiming horse they would have been euthanized – no doubt.
    However, the active horse racing life of Stradivari needs to be examined.
    The horse was so talented that he won by LENGTHS in his first 3 starts.
    An outstanding individual that stood out from the crowd right?
    Although I don’t want to take anything away from the horse it seems possible that he was running on drug cocktails.
    Given Todd Pletcher’s multiple violating doping record it seems almost a foregone conclusion right?
    If true, then it’s very possible that Stradivari had an issue that was being masked by powerful dope.
    After all, Pletcher was caught with one of the most powerful pain masking medications for horses – Mepivicaine.
    This drug is so powerful it’s actually used during surgery as a total block for pain.
    In the business, it’s often referred to as a “nerve block.”
    It makes a healthy horse feel like it can fly, and fly home this horse did by lengths.
    However, it completely deadens any pain sensation in the lower limbs or wherever they block them.
    So IF Stradivari had even the slightest start of a issue it most likely would have gone undetected, but now Pletcher has a horse on his hands that must live up to his stellar performances.
    It’s possible that this horse was continually injected with a “nerve block” to maintain his performance putting both the horse and the jockey’s life at risk, and everybody on the track for that matter.
    Even after Pletcher was caught with this powerful pain masking dope on more than one occasion he’s STILL TRAINING!
    He also had multiple “cocaine” positives years ago – long before the industry kept violation records.
    A high priced powerful Attorney was hired to defend him, and got him off citing “contamination” of the environment and/or feed.
    I suppose the rest of the entire Trainer population that was in the stable area, that fed the same feed didn’t seem to get the cocaine into their racehorses right?
    So let’s give the keys back to a drunk driver who has multiple DUI’s.
    The chances that it will happen again are high, and the chances that somebody will lose their life is high.
    So it seems reasonable that IF this type of dope was being used that would be one of the main contributors to this racehorse’s eventual demise.
    However, this is all speculation because this business, and especially high profile Trainers like Pletcher with his high profile wealthy Owners go to extensive lengths to ensure that the vet records are kept PRIVATE!
    Neither the wagering public, the stud farms, horse lovers/advocates/activists, Humane Society, the court systems will EVER have access to the vet records, treatments, and possible doping records of Stradivari that led up to his career-ending injury.
    Rood & Riddle who was put in charge of his care, after his career-ending breakdown in the dirt at Belmont, probably had NO records to even refer to prior to treating this horse.
    This business just carries on, unabated, with lack of transparency, secrecy – the legitimized doping and/or maiming records guarded like Ft. Knox as racehorse after racehorse DIES in the dirt.
    This time the blame can be publicly shifted away from Pletcher because, after all, he died in the vet clinic.
    Planned or otherwise another notch under this Trainers belt.
    He needs to buy more belts because the litany of dead horses under this Trainer’s record is disgusting.
    The same can be said for most top Trainers they all have a road behind them littered with dead horses.
    These are the Trainers that this industry revere, give the majority of stalls to all over racetracks in the USA, these Trainers are given the “royal” treatment while racehorses DIE under their direct care and training methods.
    I just have to wonder HOW trainers like Pletcher explain to their children the never ending death toll?
    Something like “oh, it’s just another dead horse honey – don’t worry.”

    • Yes Gina! Pletcher is top example that the racing industry has no intention of cleaning up it’s act. They even gave Asmussen an award. Whatever side of the fence one is on about Peta, how can one watch that video and call Blasi or Asmussen horsemen? It says a lot about an industry that won’t go to bat for Nehro or any of it’s horses. See here’s what the racing industry is not understanding…The public is not the racing industry…and the public is watching and becoming educated. And they are watching all of this disgusting behavior, and the horses that die because of it.

  3. Todd is far more deadly then you proclaim. Please allow me to explain. He continually trains high priced yearlings for owners that insist on early performance. The owners expect a fast return on investment and a possible triple crown run. We both agree these are babies,knees are hardly closed right? He doesn’t need medication to break them down. Oh by the way you forget to mention O’Neil another total disgrace. Check my comment on 12-1 Finger Lakes.

    • Bad knees, and pressure on return are factors for sure.
      For somebody to intentionally abuse a racehorse (using dope to enhance and mask issues) for owners, tracks and/or wagering is despicable.
      He’s not the only one because O’Neil and others are the same.
      In order to be a top Trainer with high win statistics you must push the horse beyond repair often resulting in a career-ending injury or death.
      Like I’ve said on previous posts the industry should have DEATH RATES right beside the Win Rates,.
      In order for animal abuse, and cruelty to occur on any animal there must be a human element who carries out the cruelty, and abuse in this case the Trainers.
      However, the owners are the enablers of the abuse.
      Like I’ve said there are only 3 types of people in horse racing: 1. Abusers 2. Enablers of the abuse 3. Both.
      The Finger Lakes article is one in the same, and I did review your comment.
      Horse racing is nothing more than a cruelty circus, death camp, and corruption pit.
      The saddest part of the equation is the non-consenting profit slaves called racehorses who are DYING in the dirt for money and egos.
      It’s utterly disgraceful, and unacceptable how this business gets away with legitimized animal cruelty.
      This MUST stop.
      I say shut them down one racetrack at a time.
      As far as Todd goes, he has a voice, he has choices to make – the racehorses don’t.

    • Mr. Juffet, you are correct that the owners expect a fast return on their investment. In fact, they “demand” it. in 2011, I spoke to Mr. Ryan Goldberg several times since he had expressed an interest in doing a story on Deputy Broad, a TB who last raced at Mountaineer and went from track to plate in a little over a week. Just recently, I was doing an internet search on some of the biggest scums in racing and, of course, Rick Dutrow’s name came up. Mr. Goldberg did a story about Dutrow and his association with Big Brown’s connections back in 2013. The title of the story is “How Big Brown’s People Nearly Pulled Off Horse Racing’s Biggest Scam.” I’ve provided the link here.

      One comment in the article is truly troubling and I quote, “His (Dutrow’s) record didn’t scare away owners; in fact, they were drawn to him by his win-at-all-costs approach.” Again, “…win-at-all-costs approach.” Sickening, appalling, vile…call it what you will but it paints a reprehensible picture of the racing industry. Dutrow had multiple drug violations/suspensions but finally his cheating caught up with him but many of the cheats in racing get away with only a slap on the wrist and a small fine.

      You mention Doug O’Neill or, as I prefer to call him, Drug O’Neill. Here is a link to a video that I posted on my FB page called “Racing for Their Lives: An In-Depth Look at Doping in the U.S. Horse Racing Industry.” It is a 30 minute video and there are some graphic images of track breakdowns, but it paints an accurate picture of the reality of horseracing in this country. Yes, horses are “running for their lives” so that some freak can be entertained and place a bet. There is no place for the horseracing industry in a civilized society and those that support it are morally and ethically bankrupt.

      • Thank you Mary!
        I watched this video and it was a very accurate, and comprehensive report on the real world of horse racing.
        Not the world of mint juleps, fancy hats, and party atmosphere mind you, but the reality of it all.
        It was also sickening to see how non-supporters/participants of horse racing are continuously cleaning up their trail of broken horses that often end up at kill auctions or in neglectful situations.
        Yet, when this California rescue asked the billion dollar horse racing industry for sustainable funding it came in drips when they needed buckets.
        Moreover, an owner that made over 1 million on a horse refused to give a monthly stipend to take care of him. Didn’t even give ONE DIME!
        This is not the exception this is the rule.
        I despise this industry so much it makes me sick to my stomach.
        From years of being sickened by the reality of it all I have concluded that there are only 3 types of people in horse racing: 1. Abusers 2. Enablers of the abuse 3. Both.
        The majority of Top Trainers are only defined by their “win rates” by the self-managed industry, but they are nothing more than multiple drug violators who have multiple racehorses DIE under their direct care and/or training methods.
        They fall into category #3.
        When I think of Dutrow I also think of Mike Gill.
        The unwanted racehorses that are disposed of are all over social media.
        I came across this one girl who was begging for somebody to take a horse.
        There is no bottom when it comes to the sleaze of this business, and the fact that racehorses can’t speak, don’t have a voice, and are defenseless is the main reason why they have been getting away with this animal cruelty for so long.
        Well Mary has a voice, and so do I.
        Thanks Patrick for permitting us to be a voice for the voiceless racehorses who DIE in the dirt, or die on the slaughterhouse floor.
        Shame on all of you who support this horrific abuse.
        So sorry for Deputy Broad Mary.
        I know that you will never forget him.
        So sorry he ended up in the worse spot that he possibly could and the people who claim to “care” about their racehorses are nowhere to be found – the usual stuff.

  4. STRADIVARI had his first start at 25 months of age from his foaling date which means that he was in training prior to attaining the age of 2 years – that is normal for racehorses despite the fact that their musculoskeletal system has not been fully developed.

    “If a horse is pushed too fast too early, the stress loading on the immature bone stimulates emergency modeling with deposition of weaker fibrous elastic bone to reinforce the bone so that it can withstand the forces of galloping (Davies, 2001)”

  5. Please excuse me for going off topic albeit relevant to the welfare of racehorses, it has just been announced by Harness Racing Australia to ban the use of whips to take effect on September 1, 2017.

    “The announcement which followed the jewel event on the Australasian harness racing calendar yesterday – the Inter Dominion in Perth – makes Australia the first country in the world to voluntarily ban the whip.

    The whip ban broadens Harness Racing Australia’s (HRA) world leadership position in the industry, which is already established through a wide-ranging welfare agenda, including zero-tolerance to prohibited substances in racing.

    The Chairman of HRA, Mr Geoff Want, said today: “The whip ban decision was not taken lightly, but was made on our own initiative because we believe it is the right decision at the right time.

    We have been moving down this path for six years by limiting its use with a strong focus on health and welfare of horses.”

  6. So Gina, when you were a trainer were you an 1)abuser 2)enabler of abuse or 3) both? Or perhaps you are the only trainer in history of horse racing who really cared for your horses? You seem quite proud of the fact that no horse ever died on the track under your care. Well my dear, you are quite lucky that no one broke down in front of you and you went down too. I have watched you call one person after another scum. How would you have reacted if someone called you scum when you were in the business? Just for the record, I have no interest whatsoever in horse racing. I googled batshit crazy one day and ended up on this website. You all have good points but your repetitive condensing rants are a real put off. By the way , I hope Gina is copying and pasting her tyraids and doed not have that much time “saving the universe” on her hands to type the same thing over and over again. Just an FYI, since you repeat it so much, I think you mean sentient and not sentiment being.

    • Well my darling – I don’t give a damn what you think.
      If you don’t like the facts and/or my comments presented here then don’t read them.
      I do agree that the repetitive comments can become rather boring my darling, but then again death after death of a sentiment being often gets the same reaction except from the “good” folks of horse racing of course.
      Just for the record, however, anybody who runs a racehorse into the ground resulting in that horse DYING in the dirt is a scum bag as far as I’m concerned.
      Just think of me as a voice for the voiceless racehorses.
      That should help get your panties out of a knot my darling.

  7. Taylor Gaines – you have not walked in Gina’s shoes and I find your comment downright rude.
    You say that you have no interest whatsoever in horseracing yet you appear to have been following this blog and have selectively chosen Gina to attack.
    I suspect that you are either an 1) or 2) or 3) – the whole tone of your comment wreaks of it.

    By the way, one of the definitions of “sentiment” is “nursing of the emotions”. The horses have feelings as we know, world renowned equine scientists/behaviorists have proved this fact. Both sentient and sentiment are applicable and correct when describing the horses.

    Gina is an incredibly courageous person and generous in sharing her vast experiences and huge knowledge of the horseracing industry in a sterling effort to inform and educate the public.
    The breeders, owners, trainers and jockeys all have their Associations to represent themselves when issues arise and who do the horses have to represent them? Has the industry ever thought of having an independent animal welfare organization represent their much loved star athletes?

    Patrick and all of us supporters of the horses on this blog are doing our absolute best to raise awareness of the inexcusable animal cruelty inherent in the racing industry in an effort to gain justice for these innocent horses – their story must be told.

    • Thank you Carolyn.
      A preliminary investigation into Ms. Gaines?
      She works for a social media public relations firm associated with Torrey Pines outside of San Diego, CA.
      They make lots of money from Del Mar, and the horse racing industry indirectly.
      Del Mar, and the jockey colony holds yearly events there, and so does the industry-funded TB aftercare programs – I attended most of them.
      These events bring lots of cash to them.
      If this is not you Ms. Gaines feel free to come forward, and clarify any misunderstanding.

  8. Sentiment is a noun. Sentient is an adjective. So it is not correct to say a sentiment being. Wrong Taylor Gaines. It is a very popular name.

  9. While Ms. Gaines, and horse racing supporters contemplate fatuous and irrelevant personal insults as proof of entitlement to participate in industry dialogue, I will continue to examine the DEATH FACTS and issues at hand.

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