Milkshaking at Santa Anita

Box of Baking Soda.No mistaking. There was milkshaking at Santa Anita, with a side order of doping, according to the New York Times.

These things typically go unchecked like most of horse racing’s unscrupulous activities. However, one would think the Santa Anita cheaters would have been a bit more subtle with a media “death watch” settled in at their racetrack.

Imagine it. Doping and ‘shaking a horse right under everyone’s noses at a time like that.

In a June 26, 2019 article entitled, “Why So Many Horses Have Died at Santa Anita“, Joe Drape and Corinna Knoll of the New York Times reported:

On the morning of March 29, Santa Anita Park was reopening for racing for the first time in three weeks after the mystifying deaths of nearly two dozen horses.

Satellite trucks, national news reporters and animal rights activists converged for what had become a macabre death watch.

But California regulators were watching a live surveillance feed of a trainer’s assistant carrying a bucket into the stall of a horse named Tick Tock. Moments after the assistant left, a white foam was visible on the horse’s lips, often a telltale sign of performance-enhancing drugs.

Investigators later found syringes in the bucket, along with a fatigue-fighting agent known in racing parlance as a milkshake, according to hearing transcripts from the state’s Horse Racing Board.

The news that investigators believed Tick Tock had received such a concoction — before the first race on the first day of the track’s return to racing, no less — is indicative of the dysfunction that has enveloped Santa Anita the past six months, a period when horses had to be euthanized after suffering fractures at an alarming rate. Thirty horses have suffered this fate since Dec. 26 at Santa Anita, a storied racetrack that became a flash point this year for activists who want to ban the sport altogether.

Milkshaking is used to manipulate the performance of a racehorse without the knowledge of bettors or other horsemen. As is doping. Both are cheating. Since horse racing is gambled on that is a felony last time we looked. And right in front of all those eyewitnesses. What was done? Nada.

Not sure what a “milkshake” in this context is? Here’s a great diagram which will give you a good idea.

Illustration of tubing a racehorse, or milkshaking.
Illustration of tubing a racehorse, or milkshaking.

What a time to be so blatantly stupid. You can’t make this stuff up. The upshot of all this is that horse racing in America still believes it is untouchable, unstoppable, that all this too shall pass, and that nothing and no one is going to shut them down. And who’s to argue with them? However, times may be a-changing a little faster than they think.

But wait. It looks like after all that Tick Tock did not run. Poor horse.

The Paulick Report states in a April 2 article:

California Horse Racing Board officials are tightlipped over why horses trained by William E. Morey were ordered scratched last week by stewards at Golden Gate Fields in Albany in Northern California and Santa Anita Park in Arcadia in Southern California.

Visitant and Our Silver Oak finished first and third, respectively, for Morey in an allowance/optional claiming race that went as the sixth event at Golden Gate on Friday, March 29, at approximately 3:20 p.m. PT.

Hours earlier, stewards at Santa Anita ordered three Morey-trained horses – Tick Tock, Gate Speed and Lord Guinness – entered in the first, fifth and sixth races to be scratched.

Daily Racing Form reported that stewards at Santa Anita said the horses were scratched on Friday because of a “medication issue.”

A medication issue indeed.


About Milkshaking — The Horse »

Equibase Listing for Tick Tock »

2 thoughts on “Milkshaking at Santa Anita”

  1. Amazing that these trainers and groomers got away with such illegal activity toward these unfortunate race horses for an entire season and more. Thirty horses dead and what about charging humans? They should never be allowed near the stables and race courses again after paying their debts to society and the welfare of race horses.


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