The summary of 2-year-old Ivebeensaved’s fatal ride yesterday afternoon at Parx:

“…clipped the heels of Over My Head and fell heavily to the ground. Despite immediate and prolonged intervention on the part of track veterinarians, [her] injuries were obviously catastrophic and she was humanely euthanized.”

It’s as if Parx seeks credit for its extraordinary measures and “humane” final act. But the truth is, this was a wanton destruction of life. Horseracing killed this poor young creature; scorn, not commendation, is what’s warranted.

Ivebeensaved was ridden by Josiah Hampshire, trained by Ronald Dandy, and owned by Tedston Holder. This was her eighth race.

Clawback, a 4-year-old colt, was euthanized today at Aqueduct after he was found lying in his stall unable to stand. For trainer David Jacobson (who claimed Clawback back in December), this makes 11 NY deaths since 2009. Clawback ran nine times, all under trainer Richard Violette and owners Klaravich Stables/William Lawrence.

Also today, a 12-year-old gelding named Corvo was found dead in his Belmont stall “due to colic of approximately one week.” It appears that the 73-start veteran was retired, having last raced in 2011. Why, then, was he stabled at Belmont? But more importantly, why was a suffering horse left unattended? The trainer of record is Michelle Nevin.

Just to be clear, again, funneling a portion of racino slots money into purses and breeding is corporate welfare. Sure, the horse people call it a “state-business partnership.” But as the saying goes, it is what it is, and here is what it is: Expanded gaming is all the rage for cash-strapped states. Enter the horsemen. They say, since track owners already have the facilities for gambling, give them the Video Lottery Terminal (VLT) licenses. But when doing so, make sure you legally bind them to continue live racing and, as importantly, demand they send some of the loot our way.

As ThistleDown prepares for its second season with VLT revenue, excitement – for the horsemen, that is – pervades. And why not? As a recent press release notes, the more than 1,000 VLTs added last April “breathed new life into the sport of kings in Northeast Ohio.” “New life,” here, translates to a 28% increase in purses, with the Ohio Derby (July 19th) pot triple what it was last year. Yes, times are good, but not because of a successful product. If forced to rely on handle and attendance alone, much of horseracing, especially at the harness level, would be dead or dying by now. Racinos are welfare. Period.

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8-year-old Casey’s On Call is dead after breaking down in Wednesday afternoon’s 2nd race at Hawthorne. If not for a pair of dinged up jockeys, this death likely would have gone unnoticed, for, you see, Casey’s On Call was just another cheap horse (a $5,000 claimer) running at a cheap track. This is horseracing.

In horseracing, there is abuse – you know, the everyday stuff – and then there is extraordinary abuse. The “career” of a horse named Porfido (below) would fall into the latter. 11-year-old Porfido began racing before Barack Obama was sworn in as a U.S. senator. Nine years and 73 starts later, his exploitation continues, and there are no indications that current masters (Porfido has been bought and sold at least four times) Dan McFarlane and James Taplin have any retirement plans in the works, at least not while he’s still earning – Porfido last raced just this past Saturday at Turf, finishing fourth and winning $1698 for his “connections.”


Like any for-profit business, horseracing expends its assets to the last. Anyone care to speculate on the condition of this asset’s joints?