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 »

Review team will decide if horses fit to race at Santa Anita

In this March 5, 2019, file photo, a statue of Zenyatta stands in the paddock gardens area at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif. A second horse in two days and 29th overall died at Santa Anita, Sunday, June 9, 2019, where management has chosen to continue racing for the rest of the current meet. (Jae C. Hong, File/Associated Press)
In this March 5, 2019, file photo, a statue of Zenyatta stands in the paddock gardens area at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif. A second horse in two days and 29th overall died at Santa Anita, Sunday, June 9, 2019, where management has chosen to continue racing for the rest of the current meet. (Jae C. Hong, File/Associated Press)

Cross-posted from the Washington Post »

ARCADIA, Calif. — Santa Anita has put together a five-member team to review horses’ medical, training and racing history for the final six racing days at the Southern California track where 29 horses have died since December.

The Arcadia track’s season ends June 23, with racing Friday, Saturday and Sunday this week and next.

Led by the California Horse Racing Board’s equine medical director, Dr. Rick Arthur, and chief steward, Darrel McHargue, the review team includes independent CHRB vets and stewards, who supervise the outcome of horse races.

The review team will decide if individual horses are at elevated risk of injury before racing. They will look at any history of a horse on the veterinarian’s list and steward’s list as well as medical and race history and physical observations of the horse.

All five members of the review team must agree that a horse isn’t at elevated risk of injury in order to clear the animal to race. One objection can prevent a horse from racing. Continue reading »

Originally Posted By Associated Press June 13 at 12:06 PM

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You can’t make this stuff up. So they weren’t already doing that — making sure a horse was really and truly fit to race? These people are beyond belief.  Anything to keep racing. The current season is mercifully over on 23rd June. So the parade of death will stop there. For awhile. — Tuesday’s Horse. 

Related Reading

The slow and merciless death of American horse racing »

The killers of Santa Anita

Killer (definition): Noun. a person or thing that kills.
Adjective. denoting a person or thing that kills.
Synonyms — murderer, slaughterer, destroyer, liquidator, exterminator, terminator, executioner, slayer, cause of death, destroyer, threat to life, menace, plague, scourge, peril.

The following trainers are responsible for the deaths of the racehorses listed below during the current season at the Santa Anita Park racetrack in California.

The Killers of Santa Anita

1. PSYCHEDELICAT, Dec. 30, 2018
Trained / Killed by Jerry Hollendorfer

2. TANK TEAM, Jan. 4, 2019
Trained / Killed by Alexis Barba
Unusual Angel died in the same race.

3. UNUSUAL ANGEL, Jan. 4, 2019
Trained / Killed by Keith Desormeaux

4. SECRET STREET, Jan. 8, 2019
Trained / Killed by Bruce Headley
The unraced 3 year old died during a five-furlong timed workout.

5. DERBY TREASURE, Jan. 11, 2019
Trained / Killed by Ruben Gomez
The 4-year-old filly had no wins in eight tries. She died in a six-furlong $30,000 maiden claiming race.

6. NOISE MANDATE, Jan. 18, 2019
Trained / Killed by Michael Machowsky
The 3-year-old filly died after finishing last in her debut race, a five-and-a-half-furlong $20,000 maiden claiming race.

7. AMBOSELI, Jan. 20, 2019
Trained / Killed by Jim Cassidy, president of the California Thoroughbred Trainers.
The 7-year-old mare won two of 26 lifetime starts.

8. LIKE REALLY SMART, Jan. 21, 2019
Trained / Killed by Leonard Powell

Trained / Killed by Tom Proctor

10. DANCING HARBOR, Jan. 23, 2019
Trained / Killed by Frank Lucarelli

11. SPITFIRE, Jan. 25, 2019
Trained / Killed by Brian Koriner

12. KID CANTINA, Feb. 2, 2019
Trained / Killed by Librado Barocio

13. COMEGOWITHME, Feb. 3, 2019
Trained / Killed by Antonio Garcia

14. JAGER TIME, Feb. 17, 2019
Trained / Killed by Jorge Periban

15. UNUSUAL RIDER, Feb. 18, 2019
Trained / Killed by Mike Puype

16. HOT AMERICAN, Feb. 22, 2019
Trained / Killed by Ryan Hanson

Battle of Midway. Running at Santa Anita. He is now dead.
Battle of Midway. He is one of 29 racehorses killed at Santa Anita this season so far.

17. BATTLE OF MIDWAY, Feb. 23, 2019
Trained / Killed by Jerry Hollendorfer
Breeders’ Cup winner Battle of Midway was injured in a timed workout Feb. 23. His death attracted national headlines. Now that’s a big kill Jerry.

18. JUST FORGET IT, Feb. 23, 2019
Trained / Killed by Librado Barocio

19. CHARMER JOHN, Feb. 24, 2019
Trained / Killed by Mark Glatt

20. ESKENFORADRINK, Mar. 2, 2019
Trained / Killed by Jorge Gutierrez

21. LET’S LIGHT THE WAY, Mar. 5, 2019
Trained / Killed by Ron McAnally

22. PRINCESS LILI B, Mar. 14, 2019
Trained / Killed by David Bernstein

23. ARMS RUNNER, Mar. 31, 2019
Trained / Killed by Peter Miller

24. COMMANDER COIL, May 17, 2019
Trained / Killed by Marcelo Polanco

25. SPECTACULAR MUSIC, May 19, 2019
Trained / Killed by Nadine Anderson
The gelding was offered up at the local Barretts sale in January 2018, receiving a bid of $900, but remained with Anderson. 

26. KOCHEES, May 25, 2019
Trained / Killed by Jerry Hollendorfer

27. DERBY RIVER, Jun. 5, 2019
Trained / Killed by Ruben Gomez

28. FORMAL DUDE, Jun. 8, 2019
Trained / Killed by Phil D’Amato

29. TRUFFALINO, Jun. 9, 2019
Trained / Killed by Richard Mandella

Partners in Crime

Of course, the trainers are hardly alone in the killing fields of thoroughbred racing. There are also the breeders and the owners. However, the trainer makes most if not all of the decisions about the horse. Let’s call them the up close and personal killers. All the others are merely murderous accomplices.

Someone try and answer me this. Why would you put your horse in the hands of any of the trainers cited below, even if they are “Hall of Fame” trainers — for whatever that is worth in the Chemical Age of horse racing.

The Politicians

Not even the glib Governor of California could talk Santa Anita into closing for the remainder of the season. Neither could the California State Racing Board. Nor U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif). No. No. No. Santa Anita is determined to stay open and keeping the suffering and death of its racehorses as part of its racecard.

One has to wonder why. Is the track struggling financially? Is it that they can’t afford to close up shop even for a week?

Who goes there? Who bets on their deadly product? Our guess is that online punters are pretty much their main source of gambling revenues.

The Park Executive

Belinda Stronach, president and chief executive of the Stronach Group, who owns Santa Anita Park, could have stopped the carnage any time she liked. Yet Stronach remains resolute in going forward with the remainder of the season in the face of all that’s gone on.

Sorry, Madam, but that makes you a killer. A big killer. One might even say—a serial killer. And these 29 are not the only racehorses killed on your watch, are they?

The Punters

Back to you gamblers. Why . . . . why would you continue to bet on racing at Santa Anita? How is that wisdom? Where is your bloody conscience?

Sorry, but you are as complicit as all the others mentioned here. “You bet. They die.” Get it?

But you can redeem yourselves.

We are calling on all gamblers to boycott Santa Anita. Do not gamble on their races for the rest of the season. Come on. It’s not like there’s nothing else to bet on. Or don’t you give a damn about the horses either?

Sources: Horses & Trainers

• Joe Drape; The New York Times; June 6, 2019

• John Cherwa; The LA Times; May 20, 2019

Santa Anita racing schedule »

Related Reading

• The slow and merciless death of American horse racing; Vivian Farrell; May 28, 2019

H.R. 961 — Calling all Californians against horse slaughter

US Capitol Dome and Flag.

US Capitol Dome and Flag.

Call to Action on H.R. 961

Hey there Golden State-ers.

Are you ready to take part on behalf of horses and help get us the necessary cosponsors to blast H.R. 961, The SAFE Act of 2019, out of Committee?

When The SAFE Act becomes law it will totally abolish the practice of slaughtering horses for human consumption. Imagine the impact on the lives of our Quarter Horses (America’s Horse), Thoroughbreds and Wild Horses & Burros. There is so very much at stake.

Magic Number — 290

Here’s what we need to do.

We need a minimum of 290 to take advantage of the newly instituted Consensus Calendar Rule which will move the Bill onto the House Floor for debate and vote.

As of this writing, H.R. 961 has 149 cosponsors.

Below are all 53 U.S. Representatives from the State of California. Those who have cosponsored are marked with a big YES.

If they have not cosponsored, you know what to do. For those new to the process, here’s a link that will take you through it right here on Tuesday’s Horse.

Please note that this is a bipartisan issue.


District 1: Doug LaMalfa (R)

District 2: Jared Huffman (D) — YES

District 3: John Garamendi (D)

District 4: Tom McClintock (R)

District 5: Mike Thompson (D) — YES

District 6: Doris Matsui (D) — YES

District 7: Ami Bera (D)

District 8: Paul Cook (R)

District 9: Jerry McNerney (D) — YES

District 10: Josh Harder (D)

District 11: Mark DeSaulnier (D)

District 12: Nancy Pelosi (D)

District 13: Barbara Lee (D) — YES

District 14: Jackie Speier (D)

District 15: Eric Swalwell (D) — YES

District 16: Jim Costa (D)

District 17: Ro Khanna (D) — YES

District 18: Anna Eshoo (D) — YES

District 19: Zoe Lofgren (D) — YES

District 20: Jimmy Panetta (D) — YES

District 21: T. J. Cox (D)

District 22: Devin Nunes (R)

District 23: Kevin McCarthy (R)

District 24: Salud Carbajal (D) — YES

District 25: Katie Hill (D)

District 26: Julia Brownley (D) — YES

District 27: Judy Chu (D) — YES

District 28: Adam Schiff (D) — YES

District 29: Tony Cárdenas (D)

District 30: Brad Sherman (D) — YES

District 31: Pete Aguilar (D) — YES

District 32: Grace Napolitano (D)

District 33: Ted Lieu (D) 2015 — YES

District 34: Jimmy Gomez (D)

District 35: Norma Torres (D) — YES

District 36: Raul Ruiz (D)

District 37: Karen Bass (D) — YES

District 38: Linda Sánchez (D) — YES

District 39: Gil Cisneros (D) — YES

District 40: Lucille Roybal-Allard (D) — YES

District 41: Mark Takano (D)

District 42: Ken Calvert (R) — YES

District 43: Maxine Waters (D)

District 44: Nanette Barragan (D)

District 45: Katie Porter (D)

District 46: Lou Correa (D) — YES

District 47: Alan Lowenthal (D) — YES

District 48: Harley Rouda (D) — YES

District 49: Mike Levin (D) — YES

District 50: Duncan D. Hunter (R) — YES

District 51: Juan Vargas (D) — YES

District 52: Scott Peters (D) — YES

District 53: Susan Davis (D) — YES

Source: — H.R. 961 Cosponsors by State in Alphabetical Order.

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Take Action

Contact the YES’s to say thank you (believe us, they will remember you did); and the non YES’s to ask them to please cosponsor.

You do not need to wait until your State is called here on Tuesday’s Horse. Take action today no matter what State your are from. Thank you!

Last updated 6/10/19 7:56 a.m. EST


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