Rees: ESPN anchor out of bounds with Rapid Redux comment

by | 12.14.2011 | 4:13pm

A comment made by ESPN Sportscenter anchor Stan Verrett has stirred an angry reaction in the Thoroughbred racing community.  Rapid Redux was featured in ESPN's top 10 Tuesday after the five-year-old tied the modern-era record for most wins in a calendar year.  His victory at Laurel Park checked in at number 10.

But at the end of the brief mention, Verrett said this about it possibly being Redux's final race:  “So you know, if it's a horse's last race, that means only one of two things: Either it's going to retire to stud or, well, you know…”

The comment prompted a fiery reaction on the Internet including this from Louisville Courier-Journal turf writer Jennie Rees:

“Surely many people will think I'm too sensitive. But for anyone who loves horses and horse racing, and who every day sees the extensive efforts to find good and dignified homes when these equine athletes are through racing – behind-the-scenes efforts that never will make SportsCenter – it was just a tacky, over-the-top comment that showed a decided lack of any knowledge about or interest in horse racing.”

“It would be like me saying that when pro football players are through competing, one of two things happen: they either suffer the effects of brain trauma or work for ESPN – or both.”

  • ASL

    Love Rees’ retort.

  • DawnP

    Retired to stud….he’s a gelding you idiot!!

  • Ron Taylor

    They suffer the effects of brain trauma or work for ESPN or should be GELDED themselves…..

  • elktonstable

    Stan Verrett needs to find another job if that sort of destructive thought lurks in the back of his mind. The racing industry does not need idiots like this acting as ambassadors to the negative. This exposes his ignorance and his lack of understanding of thoroughbred racing. Zero tolerance here for this sort of caustic inappropriate assinity. Go cover girls field hockey.

  • wabstat

    ESPN lost its way long ago.

  • Buglet

    I suggest everyone click on the link and read the whole piece.

    Excellent response. Like a dagger in the heart.

    Go Jennie!

  • HOY Rapid Redux

  • Tankeppl

    You go Jennie!

  • J

    Well, You Know – Can Mean A Number Of things!  One of Those Things Could Be –
    Slaughter House. I think “Well, You Know Is Open For Interpretation!!!
    What Happened to “Shake You Down” ? I Do Not Think That Was A Happy Ending?

  • DrDeath

    Maybe they should re-hire Rush again. I didn’t hear the comment because I use the mute button 99.9% of the time.


  • DrDeath

    And one comment on the TVG/Tampa Bay dispute. Maybe TVG should raise it’s per bet fee to 75 cents. Xpressbet charges ZERO fees. Why would anyone pay TVG 25 cents for each bet when Xpressbet charges nothing? The on air talent get a lot of money for what is nothing more than a tout service. Another thing I don’t understand is why TVG is complaining. Don’t they realize that by NOT showing Tampa, they have more time to talk and force us to look at Todd and Simon and Gregg and so on. And one last rant. How come Directv didn’t make absurd demands to TVG for allowing them to be on  Directv as they did to HRTV? Think TVG is helping block HRTV from getting on Directv?
    Good job Tampa. You have our support about boycotting TVG! Maybe TVG can show the Barrel racing from northern Floriduh next Monday.

  • Rachel

    Well, you know, what’s she getting all offended for? 10000 TB’s and 52000 other horses had “well, you, know” endings last year…

  • Phar Lap

    When 1/3 to 1/2 of an entire NA Foal Crop ends up in the slaughterhouse…the ESPN comments are surprisingly accurate. The industry wants to act like everything is rosey.

  • Bill Landes

    Who is Stan Verrett?(and who cares?)

  • Susan Salk

    So, okay, that last quote made me laugh. I think it’s a pretty fair comparison to the other quote.

  • Cindy Rullman

    It would be different if his comment weren’t true, but since nearly one out of every three Thoroughbreds will end its days in the slaughterhouse, and we know from history that a great race record does not mean a horse will live “happily ever after,” he was not out of line.

  • Ida

    OMG I don’t even know what to say…I worry myself sick over what can happen so some of the TBs racing who end up on someone’s table.  The shock from learning what happened to my beloved Ferdinand will never really subside. And he was a Champion for God’s sake. All that was needed was one call and I’m sure someone would have loved to have him and give him a forever home. So if he couldn’t be saved, what makes us think that something equally horrible cannot happen to Rapid Redux. My only consolation is that I’ve heard the owner wants to retire him to Old Friends which would be a blessing for any horse. Having said all this, this guy’s an idiot!! There is a time and a place for everything. This was not the time to bring up such a heartbreaking reality.

  • Onerabbit1972

    What a bunch of whiners you all are. An ESPN anchor cracks a joke, and the overrated Jennie Rees and everyone on this board gets all butt-hurt over it… Grow up, and if yopu are going to hurl insults at the guy, try to make them better. You look like a bunch of tools.

  • David

    The world is not going vegetarian (even though it could for the most part) any more than horses will cease being bred for non-essential reasons.  Racing is worthwhile enough and, yes, there are wonderful, unselfish efforts to reduce its portion of the (slaughter) issue but, lets face it, applauding the game for having given these wonderful creatures a chance at the life of a t’bred runner may be a stretch.  Yes, a tacky remark but we might want to callous up a bit.  As to ending up on tables, if the pros are correct, most runners will be non-starters due typical regiments of medications during racing careers.

  • Steve

    I sent a formal complaint to ESPN through the website.  I ask all of you that care to do the same.  Here is the link –

  • Ida

    If insinuating that an animal, and a beloved animal at that, could be butchered after retiring is supposed to be a joke, then I totally miss the humor.  Of course, if you think that’s funny, you’ll love what they do to baby seals in order to make pretty fur coats. Oh, and then of course there’s the cage killing of exotic animals for sport…now that’s hilarious. Oh I almost forgot the millions of kittens and pupplies euthanized each year because people don’t spay or neuter their pets…I’m making a broadway musical about that…

  • Bellwether


  • Bellwether


  • Bob C

    Can you and Rachel back up your claims with ACTUAL statistics?

  • Money Mags
  • Jeffrey H

    That person should be rather on Fox Sports, much the same way that Michelle Yu got kicked out of TVG for hating Female Jockeys.

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