Just because California posts its whipping violations doesn’t mean it cares more about its racehorses than the majority of states that don’t. In fact, all American racehorses are treated exactly the same – as things to be used, abused, and expended. It’s just that California, one of our more progressive states on any number of social issues, is keenly aware of public perception. Hence, the transparency ruse. But more to the point, at least for the purpose of this entry, is of what use are violations if the corresponding penalties never rise to deterrent-level, are, in fact, a joke? Among the several violations reported in Los Alamitos’ most recent minutes is this:
“Jockey Eduardo Nicasio appeared in the stewards office in order to review his ride aboard #9 Mr Apollitical Dash who finished fifth in the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity (Grade 1) [on December 11] which carried a purse of $1,950,050. This horse earned $114,483 for his fifth place finish. Film review shows Jockey Nicasio use his whip twelve (12) consecutive times in this races final eighty (80) yards. This was his fifth riding crop violation since July of 2015. The stewards unanimously ruled this occurrence was a blatant misuse of his riding crop.”
“JOCKEY EDUARDO NICASIO IS SUSPENDED FOR THREE (3) RACING DAYS FOR A BLATANT VIOLATION OF CALIFORNIA HORSE RACING BOARD RULE #1688(b)(6) (USE OF RIDING CROP-MORE THAN THREE TIMES IN SUCCESSION WITHOUT GIVING THE HORSE A CHANCE TO RESPOND) DURING THE EIGHTH RACE AT LOS ALAMITOS RACE COURSE ON DECEMBER 11, 2016.”
Twelve consecutive lashes, which apparently constitutes a “blatant violation”; fifth whipping infraction in 18 months. But heck, there appears to have been mitigating circumstances – to wit, a whole lot of money was at stake. Ruling: a three-day suspension (with, far as I can tell, no fine). Three days.