Racehorse Jabber Now dies after suffering an injury at Los Alamitos

PATCH.COM, Ashley Ludwig reporting, May 27, 2020, reports:

LOS ALAMITOS, CA —Another racehorse died after suffering an injury at the Los Alamitos Race Course, state regulators said Wednesday.

Veterinarians humanely euthanized Jabber Now, a 6-year-old thoroughbred, Tuesday, according to the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB). The horse finished last in the third race at Los Alamitos on Sunday, and official results from the track made no mention of any injury.

The Horse Racing Board’s fatality report lists his death as “racing-related.”

Attempts to reach Los Alamitos officials for further details were unsuccessful, and CHRB spokesman Mike Marten told City News Service he had no additional information about the death.

HORSERACING WRONGS reports the following horses have been killed at Los Alamitos so far this year:

Ruby Roundhouse, Jan 1, Los Alamitos S – “gastrointestinal”
Jest Famous, Jan 7, Los Alamitos S – “gastrointestinal”
Eyell Be Back, Jan 10, Los Alamitos R (euthanized Jan 12) – “carpus”
Katies Easy Moves, Jan 19, Los Alamitos R – “fetlock”
Is It Over, Jan 21, Los Alamitos S – “gastrointestinal”
Radio Tim, Feb 21, Los Alamitos R – “fractured fetlock”
Street Machine, Feb 21, Los Alamitos R – “fractured fetlock”
Chickititas Favorite, Mar 8, Los Alamitos R
Flokie, Mar 29, Los Alamitos R
The Cullinan Dream, Mar 31, Los Alamitos S
Royal Callan Rocks, Apr 2, Los Alamitos T
Chromie, Apr 11, Los Alamitos R
La Dorada Czech, Apr 15, Los Alamitos S – “gastrointestinal”
Shes Our Dasher, Apr 16, Los Alamitos T
Isla’s Toy, Apr 17, Los Alamitos R
Rowboat Romeo, May 9, Los Alamitos T
Tap the Wire, May 9, Los Alamitos R
Unidentified, May 24, Los Alamitos S
Jabber Now, May 24, Los Alamitos R (euthanized May 26)

S=Dead in Stall

Kill racing not horses.

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Will the Teflon effect keep Bob bobbing along?

Bob Baffert, U.S. Thoroughbred racehorse trainer.


The Triple Crown races are upon us again, albeit postponed, and Baffert is back in the news.

Two of his horses, one a top contender for the Belmont Stakes, tested positive for Lidocaine. Not one but two — Charlatan and stable mate Gamine — both of whom won on the race card at Oaklawn Park in Arkansas on May 2, 2020. See Two Bob Baffert horses test positive for banned substances at Oaklawn.

Lidocaine is a Class 2 drug, and is considered to have a high potential to affect performance in racehorses. But, and this is a big but, and has the ability to exonerate trainers guilty of using it as a PED, it is often considered by some to be an overage instead of doping.

“Lidocaine can be used legitimately for suturing wounds or as a diagnostic tool to determine whether horses are sound enough to compete. The drug may also be present in ointments or creams used on cuts or abrasions. It is regulated because of its potential to mask lameness in an unsound horse.”

How flawlessly convenient. What an easy out for Teflon Bob (if required).

And what kind of message does this send the public during this unprecedented chaotic time in racing, when your golden boy of the racing circuit continues to have horses prepping for the Derby and other prestigious races, testing positive for drugs, then attributing all of them to innocuous reasons, accidental contamination or whatever.

Or alternatively, simply having them swept them under the rug like the 7 dead horses who mysteriously died in Baffert’s stable a few years back, despite having been administered thyroxine and the presence of rat poison detected in the necropsies.

How about this? Does anyone know of a horse, or horses who have a thyroid condition? Baffert did. But they are dead now. After exonerating him, the California Horse Racing Board banned its usage. Speaks volumes, but no one was listening.

No different with Justify’s tarnished Triple Crown victory in 2018.

Trained by Baffert, Justify failed a drug test after winning the Santa Anita Derby. Rather than clear this up immediately given the upcoming Kentucky Derby and other Triple Crown races, California racing officials investigated the failed test for 4 months, allowing Justify to go on to win both the Preakness and the Belmont and “stealing” (emphasis required) the much-sought after Triple Crown.

Then, in August after the dust had settled, and after Justify’s breeding rights had been sold for $60 million, the California Horse Racing Board — whose chairman at the time, Chuck Winner, had employed Baffert to train his horses — disposed of the inquiry altogether during an unusual closed-door session.

The verdict? The banned drug scopolamine was the result of “environmental contamination,” not intentional doping. Baffert vehemently denied any wrongdoing but the quantity of the drug found was no where near suggestive of innocence.

This was, and remains, a huge embarrassment to the industry. Shameful, in fact.

Here you have the legendary trainer — Bob Baffert — a man who has cheated his way through his career and now has pulled off the biggest horse racing coup in history — the Triple Crown — while doping his horse.

I hope the horse racing industry is dutifully proud.

Showcasing him as the face of honest, hard working trainers is beyond preposterous. But the end always justifies (pun intended) the means, and these people seem to let nothing stand in their way, human nor animal, while hiding behind their names and big stables.

And let’s not forget this announcement from racing’s own Lance Armstrong.

“It is time for the horse-racing industry to unite in support of a national anti-doping regulatory system” — Bob Baffert

No problem Bob, as long as you’re part of the clean-up. This is the pinnacle of hypocrisy — a hollow, meaningless statement. Not only a Hall-of-Fame trainer, but now pursuing an induction into the Irony Hall of Fame as well. It’s the pot calling the kettle black. Saying something and doing something are two different things.

Baffert supporting the Horseracing Integrity Act (HIA) was not only disingenuous but also the timing was decidedly convenient given the federal indictments handed down to more than 2 dozen trainers, including Jason Servis the trainer of Maximum Security, one of the leading racehorses in the world and one who benefited from a doping regimen, according to one of the indictments.

And the irony just keeps getting better. Maximum Security has been handed off by the Wests to Baffert to train. Seriously? From the frying pan into the fire for this poor horse. This is adding insult to injury. It might be a good time for the implementation of the Hall of Shame.

But I digress. Getting back to the current issue . . . .

Baffert has requested his right to have a second test run on the samples for Charlatan and Gamine, and while we don’t have those test results available yet, what are the odds they’ll catch and release him as always?

I’m not holding my breath for any kind of movement on horse racing’s ability to crack down on the golden face of America’s racing. No, this would make things worse, according to the racing industry’s absurd guarded assurance that protecting this “face” will keep the sport alive. Or would it?

In the past, and up until the last year or two in particular, the general public has been fooled by the praise awarded to these high-profile dopers. That façade seems to be fading however.

Baffert and most high-percentage trainers are corrupt — cheating and doping is just as contagious as doing the right thing. And the public is finally becoming cognizant of it.

This guy has been given too many passes, but the business loves “a winner” and money talks. However, victories by those not being totally honest, whether by their own account or at the whim of the racing authorities, are hollow, meaningless wins. Many recognize this, more than ever before.

Whether the 2nd test is positive or not, I will have serious issues giving Baffert the benefit of the doubt considering his past and the leniency racing authorities have afforded him at the expense of their reputations. In the end, Baffert’s misdeeds will not go unpunished.

And if the tests are positive?

What could be more fitting than a horse called Charlatan? “Charlatan was a fraud” . . . . they will all be shouting. Don’t get me wrong, the horse has no blame, but how fitting the name — the joke writes itself.

In the end, money is the top priority, you might even say the only priority. The business model is built on sentient beings manipulated as inanimate objects who are secondary to profits and once unprofitable, disposed of.

All of these ostentatious gestures about caring for these remarkable souls is artificial and the dishonesty is an attempt to lure people into the game. This kind of business model clearly establishes that horse racing in the U.S. has descended into hell. Truth be told, it’s been there for a long time.

The media and the public have been led to believe that track surfaces are killing horses. The truth is, trainers, veterinarians, and their penchant for drugs — illicit or not — are killing these horses, while horse racing’s administrative authorities are enabling it by supporting this carnage.

Is rehabilitation in the cards for this “industry”? The current strategy of “damage control” is not effective reform, nor is it working — that is blatantly clear.

The horses – the saddest victims of them all.

Sleep well Bob. I’m sure the racing gods will rule in your favor.

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Source for Baffert Quote: See https://www.paulickreport.com/news/the-biz/baffert-federal-indictments-have-convinced-me-industry-needs-horseracing-integrity-act/

Where are 3,000 horses going each year CPR asks NZ Thoroughbred racing

Racehorses take a turn on the grass in New Zealand

PRESS RELEASE | COALITION FOR THE PROTECTION OF RACEHORSES (27 May 2020) — The Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses (CPR) have compiled a report on the number of thoroughbred horses vanishing from New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing (NZTR) each year and the numbers are staggering. Read here.

In January 2020, NZTR issued a complaint against the Whanganui Chronicle after CPR estimates of approximately 2,500 horses dying each year were published by the media outlet. The article was promptly edited to remove the statistic and an investigation was launched by the New Zealand Media Council. More here.

Since this time CPR has done further research to find the number of horses unaccounted for by NZTR each year is greater than originally proposed.

“Over 11 years, from the 2007/2008 racing year to the 2017/18 racing year, our research indicates the number of horses unaccounted for each year has been anywhere between 2,459 (2007/08) to 4,165 (2008/09),” CPR Communications Director Kristin Leigh stated.

“Overall, the approximate number of New Zealand thoroughbred horses unaccounted for over the 11-year period is 35,105 — averaging 3,191 horses per year.”

“Similarly to Australia, the number of horses bred into the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing industry each year is the approximate number of horses who vanish from the industry each year without a trace,” Ms Leigh said.

CPR’s report has also found that there are many inconsistencies on statistics regarding the movement of horses between the various New Zealand reports and even larger inconsistencies between New Zealand reported statistics and those from other countries.

“We have had to use various industry resources to gather the data, often having to rely on international racing bodies, as NZTR is simply not providing consistent data. Where the data is provided, it often contradicts international bodies data or even their own,” stated Ms Leigh.

“On reviewing the data provided regarding the import and export of NZ thoroughbred horses by both NZTR and various international bodies, it is difficult to believe any of the racing authorities has sufficient knowledge as to where these horses are going at all,” Ms Leigh said.

Regarding the traceability of retired racing horses, the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing website states:

Individual thoroughbreds can be easily identified by their brands and microchips listed in the New Zealand Studbook. However, it is difficult for New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing to maintain reliable information on the location and ownership of horses that have been retired and re-homed with unlicensed owners, given unlicensed owners are not subject to NZTR regulatory oversight. Attaining ‘whole-of-life traceability’ for the New Zealand thoroughbred population is an objective which faces practical limitations.
(See https://loveracing.nz/welfare/population-traceability)

“The average lifespan of a horse is 25-30 years. The average time a horse is used for racing is 3 years.”

“The average lifespan of a horse is 25-30 years. The average time a horse is used for racing is 3 years. It is simply unacceptable for the industry to wipe their hands of their responsibility to these individuals once they are no longer of use to them and is yet another example of how bringing living beings into the world for the sole purpose of making profits will in most cases lead to unethical outcomes once those profits can no longer be made,” Ms Leigh added.

Point 28 in the findings by the NZ Media Council reads “Statements of fact and opinion were advanced by the protest group. NZTR said the group was misinformed but the statements were not directly contested so it is not clear where the facts lie.”

“In light of our recent findings we welcome any further evidence that can possibly be provided to us on the numbers and whereabouts of these horses,” Ms Leigh said.

“Horse racing supporters must consider what the likely outcomes are for over 3,000 unwanted horses each year and assess whether they want to continue to support an industry that not only forces these horses into years of isolation, being pushed well beyond their limits and using implements such as whips, bits, spurs and tongue-ties, but also routinely discards the very horses their industry could not exist without,” Ms Leigh concluded.

A CPR petition calls the New Zealand government to redirect the recently announced racing industry bail out sum of $72.5 million.

CPR has also recently launched an online petition calling on the New Zealand government to redirect the recently announced racing industry bail out of $72.5 million to innovative, sustainable and cruelty-free industries. More here.


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Featured Image not filed with Press Release

Two Bob Baffert horses test positive for banned substances at Oaklawn

Thoroughbred racehorse cheater and doper, trainer Bob Baffert.

Question: Why is this serial cheater still in business?

The excellent Tim Sullivan at the Louisville Courier-Journal reports, May 26, 2020:

Two of trainer Bob Baffert’s horses tested positive for banned substances during the recent meet at Oaklawn Park in Arkansas, including one of his top 3-year-olds, a source with knowledge of the situation confirmed to The Courier Journal Tuesday.

Twice winner of thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown, Baffert* won both divisions of the May 2 Arkansas Derby with Charlatan and Nadal. Charlatan is the 5-1 favorite for the 2020 Kentucky Derby, according to Vegasinsider.com, while Nadal is 9-1.

The source said one of the two had tested positive but was not certain which of the two. Baffert horses ran 15 races during the Oaklawn meet in Hot Springs, winning nine.

Messages left for Baffert and the Arkansas Racing Commission were not immediately returned Tuesday.

“The rules of the Arkansas Racing Commission mandate confidentiality concerning any investigation into an alleged rule violation until there is a written decision of the stewards,” Baffert said in a prepared statement. “I am extremely disappointed that, in this instance, the Commission has not followed its own rules on confidentiality.

“I am hoping for an expedited investigation and look forward to being able to speak soon about any written decision of the stewards, if and when it becomes necessary and I’m allowed to under the Commission’s confidentiality rules.”

An initial positive test is not enough to disqualify a horse. When notified of a drug overage, a horseman can choose to send a “split” sample to an approved lab for a second opinion. According to the Paulick Report, a spokesperson for the Arkansas Racing Commission confirmed that the commission is awaiting split sample tests on the May 2 card.  

Baffert won all three races he entered on that card, the two divisions of the Arkansas Derby and an allowance optional claiming race won by Gamine, a 3-year-old filly. 

Typically, tests of the second sample take two to three weeks to complete. The rescheduled Belmont Stakes, the first leg of this year’s Triple Crown, is to set for June 20.

©Louisville Courier-Journal

Related Reading

— “Charlatan, a Belmont Stakes Contender, Tests Positive for a Banned Substance“, Joe Drape, New York Times (May 26, 2020)

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Featured Image: Bob Baffert talks with the media before Justify took to the sloppy Pimlico surface. (Photo: Michael Clevenger/Courier Journal)

*We predict when all is said and done, Baffert’s Triple Crown “wins” will have an asterisk beside them in the record books as being highly questionable victories because of his legacy of cheating and doping horses. They should take the titles away from him altogether.