Horse Dies After Winning Ruidoso Futurity; Trainer Banned

by | 06.13.2013 | 7:16am
Ruidoso Downs in New Mexico

Thoroughbred racing saw a spike in unexplained sudden deaths when seven horses trained by Bob Baffert keeled over and died during or immediately after racing or training during a 17-month period from November 2011 until March of 2013.

Quarter horse racing, where Baffert began his Hall of Fame career in the 1970s, has seen it, too, most recently this week when 2-year-old Cartel Quick was stricken while pulling up from his victory in the $750,000 Ruidoso Futurity at Ruidoso Downs in New Mexico on Sunday. Efforts to revive and stabilize the horse lasted until Monday, when trainer Alonso Orozco said Cartel Quick was euthanized because of “kidney failure.”

Vince Mares, executive director of the New Mexico Racing Commission, recently told the Paulick Report he is “absolutely” convinced the number of unexplained deaths of horses has increased in recent years at racetracks his agency regulates. Mares, a former police chief who was named executive director in January 2012 after serving as chief investigator for the commission, said he believes the abuse of the therapeutic drug clenbuterol and other banned concoctions, with names like “purple pain,” “oxygen shots,” “holy water,” and “Mexican clenbuterol” are responsible for many of the deaths.

The Baffert horses died from a variety of ailments, including cardiac arrest, pulmonary hemorrhage, and internal bleeding. The seven corpses were sent to a laboratory that conducts post-mortem examinations and toxicology tests on all deceased horses at California Horse Racing Board licensed facilities. The necropsy program is part of a long-standing CHRB policy. With the exception of trace elements of a rodenticide discovered in one of the Baffert horses, nothing unusual was found in toxicology tests, and CHRB officials have not suggested Baffert, his veterinarians, or staff were doing anything illegal or unethical that led to the deaths of the seven horses. So the cause of sudden deaths to seven otherwise healthy horses in one barn over a 17-month period will likely remain an unsolved mystery.

Cartel Quick was sent to a state lab in Albuquerque, N.M., where the body will be examined and toxicology tests conducted. The New Mexico Racing Commission began post-mortem examinations of what Mares called “suspicious” horse deaths in 2012.

In the meantime, Shaun Hubbard, general manager of Ruidoso Downs Racetrack and Casino, said Orozco will not be permitted to race at the New Mexico track until the investigation into Cartel Quick's death is completed. Orozco has one horse in a Derby Trial this Friday that was entered prior to Sunday's Ruidoso Futurity and will be allowed to compete. Orozco will be banned from the facility, Hubbard said, through the track's private property right of exclusion.

Orozco, who according to published reports gave up a career as an attorney in Mexico to train horses, has been leasing stalls at a private facility adjacent to Ruidoso Downs, Hubbard said. “That property had access to the track until recently,” Hubbard said, “but the gate is now shut.”

Mares said Orozco was suspended in 2012 for a clenbuterol violation but an attorney filed an injunction in district court to put the suspension on hold. “We have had his appeal hearing and the hearing officer's report is set to be on this month's commission meeting agenda,” Mares said.

Orozco has won with nine of his 26 starters in 2013, according to the American Quarter Horse Association. He has been leading trainer at Sunland Park, leading owner at SunRay Park, and one of his horses, Sea Ola Go, in 2008 set a world record over 350 yards  of :16.946 while coming off a two-year layoff at recognized tracks. At the time of that victory, Orozco said Sea Ola Go had won “six or seven match races” in Mexico.

Hubbard recognizes Quarter horse racing has been tarnished by illegal drugging and deaths of horses at Ruidoso Downs and other tracks. In March 2012, Ruidoso was the focus of the first part of an award-winning New York Times series on horse racing called “Death and Disarray at America's Racetracks.”

“We've been front and center of doing things to better our sport,” he said after the Cartel Quick incident. “Ruidoso and the racing commission jointly are working together.  We are making strides. It may be hard to see, but things are improving drastically.  It is a process, however, and we are committed to continuing to do everything we can, and we will. We are doing something that I will not mention, for obvious reasons, but we are taking very stringent steps to cleaning this thing up.”

The New Mexico Racing Commission, for the time being, has moved its testing to the Kenneth L. Maddy Laboratory at the University of California-Davis after the Iowa State University laboratory with which it previously contracted said it was getting out of the equine drug testing business, Mares said. A new RFP process is in the works for other labs to bid on New Mexico's equine drug testing contract.

California's Maddy lab recently received a sample of what is known as an “oxygen shot” in order to develop tests, Mares said. Sources told the Paulick Report the performance-enhancing concoction, which acts similar to the alkalizing agent of bicarbonate loading (milkshakes), leaves a chlorine-like smell on horses.

Another example of a drug that has caused concern among regulators is a compounded substance that goes by the name of “purple pain,” which its distributors describe as being similar to dermorphin (also known as frog juice) in its pain-killing abilities. Though it's ingredients are unknown and its claims questionable, the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium said in a bulletin to regulators that, because “purple pain” is unclassified, it should be considered a Class 1 drug under Association of Racing Commissioners International guidelines.

  • Andrew A.

    The Baffert deal will remain a mystery with a little help from his friends. The odds of that happening to one Trainer is at least a million to one. Some people have said it’s more like 5 million to one. Nobody has EVER heard of 7 sudden unexplained deaths out of 14 in all of California Racing but because it’s B.B. it’s all good. I was glad to hear from his PR firm a couple of months ago that they had the best experts in the world working on finding out what happened. When I asked his PR guy if he could name at least one of these so called “Best Experts in the World” none could come to mind. Maybe he meant Celebrity Equine Medical Director Rick Arthur who chalked it all up to an “ANOMALY”. Most jurisdictions conduct investigations after one of these deaths but apparently it took 5 before the red flag was raised according to what I’ve read. The best part is that before the CHRB meeting B.B. was seen meeting with one of the commissioners (Bo Derek) and after the meeting CHRB Chairman David Israel went and sat in his box. Can anyone imagine what would have happened if it was ANYONE ELSE? And the beat goes on in Ca. Racing with certain rules for some and different rules for others.

    As a Horseplayer I never wanted to believe that a lot of people were giving some horses stuff that endagered their lives in order to keep up a high win percentage and make money. The Bob Baffert incidentS changed all that for me. I believe it.

    • ElliotB

      Andrew you can believe it and unfortunately it is happening every day by some of the best known and “respected” trainers. It happens in every sport and until the powers that be alter the punishment and penalties so that crime doesn’t pay…it will continue. It is what is destroying the sport. I applaud Hubbard and others that rule these criminals off utilizing the private property right of exclusion.

    • Desederada

      It’s all about who you are and who you know.

      • ElliotB

        Don’t agree. It’s the Wild West Basically on the rare occasion someone is caught by the incompetent “police”…they are only given a slap on the wrist. That is true whether they are prominent or not.

      • hoofandpick

        and MONEY and LOTS OF IT $$$$$

        • RobinDean Hood

          You need to go hug a tree! You make it sound as if all horse trainers cheat, don’t care if they kill horses, and money is the only thing that matters. A few bad apples are out there granted, but most people who race horses, LOVE horses and take very good care of them! Ive been in the Business my whole life, and have had every job imaginable on the backside. Its people like you, who probably cant even ride a horse, that give a bad public opinion of anyone in the horse business. Your probably a PETA member, and I detest your dismal perception of horse racing!

          • I realize that you believe racehorses are treated well and loved. But they are treated and loved like objects, not like the sentient creatures they are And though all trainers probably do not cheat, I would venture 90% overuse drugs, and inject joints that need rest. Horses are not cave dwellers and confining them to cages – by whatever name – is inhumane. Horses are herd animals and they are prevented from being with other horses. Absolutely nothing about life at the track is in any way natural or beneficial to horses – only to man. Feeding large amounts of grain causes ulcers. Giving Gastroguard prevents hydrochloric acid production by the stomach – thus preventing natural digestion and other issues. How many trainers know WHY feeding large amounts of grain causes ulcers? Not many I would bet But I will tell you, the horse’s stomach has 2 halves and sits somewhat upright. Total capacity in about 8 liters. (Please don’t forget water will be in there.) The bottom half of a horse’s stomach has a lining like ours, however the top half does NOT. When you feed a large amount of grain, some hay is already in the stomach, along with water, and the grain pushes material up into the unprotected area – along with the hydrochloric acid it has already been saturated with, burning the stomach lining. For those willing to actually study the information now available on horses, there is a wealth of it out there. There is no longer any need to rely on old wives’ tales and superstition. I will close with this: Back in the day the Arabs’ horses were loose and stayed by their encampments – even though those horses worked very hard. The Native American tribes also had their horses loose and they stayed and were on hand to work. How many horses would stay at the track if they were loose and the gate was open? The test of whether or not a horse is treated well and loved – by HIS standards – is what happens when he’s free to do what he wants.

          • RobinDean Hood

            That I believe? Really? Its not a belief, its a fact. I have been involved in horse racing since i was 11. Nothing wrong with stalling horses as long as they get enough exercise. Its not a damn cage as you portray it to be. Its not ideal, but if you know a better way to house 1500 horses, I’m all ears. I know all about ulcers, and do not need a lesson from you. It seems like your trying to make your argument based on your knowledge of one single topic.

            Lets apply your closing argument to children. I suppose a loving parent would let his child run loose as well. I think not. Its for the Horses safety that they need to be confined in fenced areas, just as it would be to keep your toddler away from stairs or the street.
            I invite you to come to my ranch, or barn at the racetrack, just like I did hoofandpick, anytime.

          • A stall is a cage. If a dog is in a crate, it’s a cage. If a person is in a prison, it’s a cage, if a tiger is in a cage, it’s a cage. ONLY when horses are in a cage is it suddenly not a cage. And plenty of exercise is not 7 minutes on the track (if that) and then some slow walking.

          • RobinDean Hood

            I went to your web page and checked it out. Have you raced any of the horses that are part of your experiment. Seems that some of them have been in training for 3+ years and have not raced. Hows that working out for you?

          • You are absolutely correct. I have 11 horses, I rent a farm and I must work to support myself and the horses. Since I trim feet it is physical work, and I often have to drive 5 or 6 hours a day in addition to actual work. I then have email consult clients who pay me, so I spend a lot of time on the computer. I do not have a track but a field that is too slick for galloping when wet, and also, because it is clay, if I were to ride when it’s wet, the horse’s leave deep (4″) holes, so I don’t ride because I don’t want anyone making holes that could lead to a broken leg. Last year I was very close to being able to run Money Talkin, only a few weeks away, but I fell ill due to working myself too hard and was in the hospital for 4 days with near kidney failure. Which didn’t seem too bad at the time – but I had no idea it would take well over a month before I was strong enough to work again, and not wanting a repeat, I didn’t bother riding again. This year I hope to race at Turfway’s winter meet. I am currently looking to rent a farm closer to a track – I am well over an hour from Churchill – so that I can haul in to train. If these sound like excuses that is just the way it is. If you know of a farm for rent with a track, please let me know.

          • hoofandpick

            I guess that if you have to resort to name calling, you must have a guilty conscience.

            A few bad apples????? As confirmed by Dr. Patty Hogan, 1/2 of the TB foal crop gets sent to slaughter every year. You really think that a “few bad apples” own 1/2 of the foal crop that gets sent to slaughter for human consumption? No way!

          • RobinDean Hood

            I didn’t call you any names.We are not talking about slaughtering horses, we were talking about how money was the only motive and all horses are just a means to an end. I personally don’t send any horses to slaughter, and I do not know anyone in the industry that does. I don’t know this Dr Patty Hogan, and would be very critical of her assessment on the situation. I personally invite you or anyone else to my ranch or barn at the track. Come tell me exactly how my horses are abused? Yes I am taking this personally, because I race horses for a living. I do not nor have I ever abused my animals. And for the Record, I’m a quarter horse man. All my horses that aren’t fast enough, always get sold as barrel horses or some other discipline. The ones that are retired either have a home at my place till they pass on, or are sold for other careers. Again I ask you to check your holier than thou attitude. Before you judge every person in the horse racing industry the same, (profiling) go meet some of them, and judge them as individuals.
            Wouldn’t be any different than me saying all politicians are corrupt, and all they care about is money!

          • hoofandpick

            If you wish to live in denial as Ben, MelK and Fast Filly, that’s your business. The point here is that there are more than a “few bad apples” in the racing industry. Horse slaughter is part of the racing industry whether you like it or not and to try to separate it from the industry is just another way for you to live in your little world of denial. Dr. Hogan is absolutely correct about the number of thoroughbred race horses that get sent to slaughter for human consumption. And, quarter horses are the number one breed that get sent to slaughter for human consumption.
            You need to vent your anger in the direction of the industry. There are too many people in the racing industry who abuse their horses, pump dangerous drugs into them and who send them to slaughter for human consumption.
            Again, the industry has to put the welfare of the horse first. Until they do, the public will continue to hold the industry in disrepute. Just read the articles by the New York Times (see above). And, I am not saying that “every person in the horse racing industry is the same.”

          • RobinDean Hood

            Denial? I am definitely not in denial. So you believe that horse slaughtering is wrong, I get that. How bout cows? or pigs? I bet your a vegetarian aren’t you? I want to see concrete evidence that 50% of the thoroughbred foal crop goes to slaughter. Considering how many slaughter plants are in the US, I find that hard to believe!

          • hoofandpick

            Yup, you sure are in denial. I do detest your name calling and your hollier than thou intimidation. You think I am a vegetarian and a member of PETA. That is definitely name calling and profiling. That’s your typical profile of someone who disagrees with you eh?
            You want concrete evidence that 50% of the thoroughbred foal crop goes to slaughter? You can find all of that information on the USDA website as they track American horses and breeds that get sent to slaughter every year. Last year 18,000 Thoroughbred race horses were sent to slaughter for human consumption. Foal crop is about 35,000 annually.
            Boy, you really have your head in the sand don’t you? Maybe you don’t know that there are currently no slaughter plants in the US. American horses are sent to Mexico and Canada for slaughter for human consumption. They picked up the slack after the last US slaughter house closed in 2007 rapidly and efficiently.

          • RobinDean Hood

            I knew there were no slaughter plants in the US. That’s why i find it hard to believe that 50% of the foal crop goes to slaughter. I see no such info on that website. Only the total number of horses shipped for slaughter. And for the record, not ALL thoroughbreds are race horses. some are strictly bred for jumping, and polo ponies.

          • RobinDean Hood

            Are you denying that your a peta member and a vegetarian? Or am I correct in that assumption? I know there are no slaughter houses in the US, that’s why i find it hard to believe that they are tracking horses being shipped outside the country by breed and previous discipline. I cannot find the info that you are referring to on the USDA site. Only the total number of horses being shipped. The PETA site says 10,000 horses, so I seriously doubt they would portray the number as less than accurate. And for the record, not all Thoroughbreds are bred for racing.

          • RobinDean Hood

            It just says horses, where are the statistics for thoroughbreds that were race horses?
            way they can track these horses and tell the difference between breeds.
            I’m not fond of horse slaughter either, but It happens. Its not just
            the racing industry that facilitates it.

          • Really? Now that is denial, as it is well known that slaughterhouses are open and busy in Canada and Mexico

          • You know everyone says they don’t send horses to slaughter, and I do believe that is true – not directly. And tracks are doing the best they can to avoid that happening, however the FACT is that thousands of TB’s DO go to slaughter every year. And the vast majority are racetrack discards. Go to New Holland and see for yourself if you think people are lying about it. And as for money being the motive, I’m sure there are some owners and some trainers for whom it is NOT about money, but the truth is that racing IS about the money – and the massive overuse and misuse of drugs is the evidence of that.

          • hoofandpick

            It is people like you that refuse to face reality of the horse racing industry especially if you really think that “most people who race horses, LOVE horses and take very good care of them!” As I said to Ben, race horses are LOVED as long as they are winning. When they stop winning, those horses stopped being loved. This clearly explains why 1/2 of the TB foal crop gets sent to slaughter every year.
            You may detest my “dismal perception” of the racing industry but it is the TRUTH. You just wish to live in denial like so many other people in the industry and it is likely the major reason why they refuse to change and refuse to PUT THE WELFARE OF THE HORSE FIRST.

    • Noelle

      I wonder about the “best experts in the world” too. Who are they? What sort of “coroner” credentials do they have? Is there some veterinary equivalent of Dr. Henry Lee investigating the causes of death in all these horses? I doubt it.

      • I agree. If it was a human that dropped dead a real cause would have been found. Not just pulmonary hemorrhaging – but the CAUSE of the hemorrhage.

        • betterthannothing


          “Massive pulmonary hemorrhage” was Tuscan Evening’s official cause of death released by the CHRB which has funneled millions of research dollars to U. C. David for about two decades but keeps most necropsy results secret while the injury and fatality rates remain high.

          After an undistinguished race record in the UK, Tuscan Evening began to win big in the US until she dropped dead at the end of a workout.

          If racing has nothing to hide, the cause of that massive pulmonary hemorrhage should be publicly disclosed, based on the vast experience of a university research dept. which has performed at least 6,000 necropsies on California race horses in the past few years. If racing has something to hide, gagging information is not the healthiest solution to such fatal problem.

          Accident, abuse and doping prevention is being severely stifled by secrecy, the lack of public disclosure of complete equine medical records, and in California, the public release of all U. C. Davis research findings (paid by tax-payers) including complete necropsy and toxicology reports with horse and people names.

          • I agree.

          • Roisin

            Thank you. I often wondered what caused Tuscan Evening to drop dead. Pulmonary hemorrhage, while causing, death is not the full story, obviously. What caused such a massive bleed that the mare drowned in her own blood ? There is a reason for so much bleeding to suddenly occur. And yes, there is a lot of “cover up” going on and that can only backfire eventually.

      • Jean Ortiz

        I hope it’s not a vet from Roswell, a KY Derby owner who supports the horse slaughter house adjacent to his property! Just saying ………..

    • betterthannothing

      Andrew, thank you for your post.

      This will continue until animal cruelty as well as human endangerment done by drugging horses to cover-up diseases and injuries and dope them to continue racing them as fast as possible are not criminal acts and all who abuse horses and their riders and those who know about it and all who let it happen to boost business are held responsible. We need the USADA to descend on all 38 jurisdictions. Racing needs another agency strictly devoted to protecting the welfare and safety of our races horses which would also protect riders against abuse and endangerment, horse fans against gruesome spectacles and horseplayers against fraud.

    • wildhorse

      who is his Vet?

      • Jean Ortiz

        Hope he’s not the one from Roswell :)

      • Andrew A.

        Don’t know. It is my understanding that one particular Owner had a big number of the ones that went down. The CHRB hasn’t released the names of all the horses so we don’t know for sure who all the Owners were. I don’t know if anything has changed since.

        • Knowitall

          Kaleem Shah is most likely your understanding. The man has had a streak of sad fortune that would run most out of the game.

          Baffert is a smart guy and unlikely to risk his entire career and legacy with a nefarious hop, although I completely understand that it is hard to comprehend how this could happen. I wonder, too. And wonder about Clenbuterol. And thought it very interesting that Baffert tweeted that it should be banned altogether the other day.

          Agree that he is receiving kid glove treatment in Cali, though.

    • Ben Jonas

      I understand what you say, and it is hard to refute….but isn’t it strange that this many horses have died in this most unlikely way? Bob Baffert doesn’t need to cheart, he has the best horses, the best help, the best clientele….and the best horse wins the majority of the time…especially when they get the best care and training from the best hands. The answer has to be, either contaminated feed, suppliments, or foul play from someone outside the barn, maybe even inside the barn…an employee? Recently, I’ve kept a close eye on reports on contamination from GMO crops….when the pollin is contaminating normal crops…that are not GMO. There are actual law suits against Monsanto concerning this problem. These GMO crops have proven to have different kinds of poisens genetically bred in them that eliminate certain insects…. What if horse feed is contaminated by GMO crops and horses are fed it? In horse feeds, there are all kinds of grain, including soy bean mill. I read recently that countries have refused to buy GMO crops from America? Maybe there is something to the idea of GMO contaminated feed could very well be the problem?

      • Your argument sounds very rational – and indeed there probably are things in GMO plants that cause problems both in humans and animals. However, if that WERE the case in the horse deaths there would have been more deaths and more trainers would have been affected. That almost half the horses involved were trained by a single trainer, and 3 of those were owned by the same owner, AND that no further deaths have occurred rule out GMO issues I would believe.

        • Ben Jonas

          Yeah, you are probably correct about the GMO in this case…this is really a strange case….there is certainly something wrong….and we are all struggling to understand it. Bob Baffert doen’t need to cheat, he’s a hall of fame trainer, he has too much to lose….besides the has the best horses in the world. Any top trainer will tell you, horses wins races not trainers….it just has to be something like jealousy, or hatrid from another trainer, or disgruntled ex-employee. Something is haywire.

      • Andrew A.

        It is my opinion that he had these horses on some kind of performance enhancing substance/cocktail that killed them. If anyone wants to believe it’s an “anomaly” then you’re talking about a couple of million to one shot.

  • Rockbarton

    Thank you for giving the horse a voice. So much has been taken away,especially his self-defense.Now with some of these meds a horse can’t save himself. If he feels a strain or his instinct tells him ‘slow down or be careful’ he will just keep going . So, we’ve seriously dulled his instinct and taken away his self-defense.

  • Desederada

    Oxygen shot…… it chlorine bleach or something like bleach?

    • anitabramlette

      Bob has always been a high percentage trainer. Find the proof of wrong doing before convicting or you could be the next victim of wild accusations. (Maybe aliens did it)? Ive met Bob, but we are not friends at all. Im a breeder and seller and run my own for 35 years. Shame to try and ruin a spectacular career with absolutely no evidence of any wrong doing don’t you think? This is still America!

      • Andrew A.

        When I walk outside at 12pm and there’s not a cloud in the sky I don’t need to look up at the Sun to know it’s there.

      • hoofandpick

        25 race horses die every week. Race horses that die during morning workouts are not counted in the weekly death rate. These majestic animals are given too many illicit/illegal drugs or other concoctions that have yet to be detected by laboratories. The amount and number of drugs/concoctions given to race horses makes Lance Armstrong look like a saint.

        • Fast Filly

          Where did you get your stats? I was at the RP meet and I don’t remember a single horse dieing in the morning works…

          • hoofandpick

            New York Times article:

            Title: Mangled Horses, Maimed Jockeys


            From the article: “Race officials have always done their best to hide fatal breakdowns, erecting screens around fallen horses and then refusing to disclose the tracks’ accident rates.”

            “A state-by-state survey by The Times shows that about 3,600 horses died racing or training at state-regulated tracks over the last three years.”

            3600 dead horses racing or training/ 3 years = 1200 dead horses racing or training/year. 1200 dead horses racing or training/year/365 days/year = 3.28767 dead horses racing or training/day x 7 days/week = 23 horses that died in racing or training per week. Close enough to 25.
            Race horses die during morning workouts VERY FREQUENTLY.

      • ziggypop

        This person simply asked a question, information. There were no accusations in the question.

      • Fast Filly

        Even if the horse died of natural causes, it won’t matter, the trainer has been convicted by the public…Mr Paulick loves to tear down quarter horse racing..where were the headlines when this amazing horse won the richest race in America? there were three million dollar quarter races at Remiongton Park this spring,,did he mention one of them? Of course the TB people pay for advertising on this site…so untill the quarterhorses do, he will just wright bad things, but that also gets people talking and makes him famous…follow up on some of the stories would great.

        • betterthannothing

          Fast Filly: time to remove your blinkers and stop shooting the messenger. QH racing stuck a huge bull’s eye on its filthy back. It deserves to be publicly exposed by respected investigative reporters like Joe Drape, Pete Herrera and Ray Paulick. It deserves every single inch of bad press and more. The public has to know and feel sorry for those horses to force change.

          Big purses don’t mean big quality, big integrity and big respectability. Big purses have attracted big drugs, big cruelty and big drug cartels with big loads of cash that felt right at home until recently when reporters began to expose the innards of QH racing.

  • Andrew A.

    New Handicapping angle from Del Mar Fan Forum:

    The article said “leaves a chlorine-like smell on horses.”

    “I guess that’s a new handicapping angle. Go to the paddock before the
    race and smell the horses. If any of them smell like they just took a
    dip in a swimming pool, head to windows!!!”

  • circusticket

    I wonder if they’ve distributed the winnings or hanging on until the investigation is complete.

  • In tears

    No wonder I am I am In Tears. The animal abuse is just destroying the Sport of Kings. As far as human drugging goes. That is their choice. The horse has none but to die. Take a good look at the racing American Quarter Horse. They are beautiful and willing. Heart breaking. No protection in sight for horses

    • ziggypop

      Sadly, you are correct. After all these years, still no protection in site for the horses. In their breeding, their racing and their premature deaths at the slaughter house.

    • Jean Ortiz

      Ferdinand, KY Derby winner, slaughtered for his meat in Japan. A granddaughter of Secretariat saved at the last moment from a kill buyer the other night, thanks to FB people. Champion Exceller slaughtered in Sweden. Horses are being exported live to Japan for Foal Sushi! A little known fact, Churchill Downs will expel any trainer found to sell a horse to slaughter! Join us on FB. My name is Nohorseslaughter Ortiz. Let’s get together because it’s not just the race horses, it’s all.

      • Fast Filly

        If you contact me, I have someone who now has about fifteen registered TB’s, mare colts and racing horses that is wanting to get many of these horses do you want? There is no where to go with them, and to help with the problem of slaughter, one must be ready to many as you can…slaughter isn’t what this post is about…the Paulick Report has plenty of articles on that and the same ole people show up against it…this is about a horse that died and so far they haven’t found out why…takes just as along on a human to do it right…Lets ask Mr Paulick what he has found out, or is gonna drop the subject also..

        • hoofandpick

          Fast Filly, what ever happened to the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance? Isn’t this the new TB aftercare program that is suppose to provide retirement for race horses? I sure hope this newly formed organization will be better than the current aftercare program that the industry exhaulted through press releases and articles because there is no money in the current aftercare program. This touted program is a dismal failure for race horses.
          These poor animals are literally racing for their lives.
          On average, 18,000 race horses are slaughtered every year. Slaughter is a cruel and inhumane death and these horses do NOT deserve this cruel end!

          • Fast Filly

            THey only take horses that owners can pay to have them taken care of..there is no place that I am aware of that just take unwanted horses…we need orphanges for horses…but then the goverment would have to pay for it…

          • hoofandpick

            Fast Filly, I am glad that you finally disclosed your true colors. You like many others in the racing industry regard the animals that put food on your table as “unwanted” because you and others like you could care less about them once they stop winning for you. Another nail in the coffin for you Fast Filly.

            It is also typical that the racing industry wants the non-racing public to pick up the horses you and people like you throw away like yesterday’s newspaper once they stop winning for you. Business as usual for the racing industry.

            And you and people like you can’t understand why the public has such disgust and total disregard for the industry? THIS IS WHY FAST FILLY.

          • There are many horse rescues that take unwanted horses. Unfortunately there is NOT a home for every horse and most rescues are full. There is a limit to how many horses any one group can support. And horses live a long time. In addition, many horses are not sound enough to be ridden and those have, naturally, a harder time finding a home. However, the TB Aftercare Alliance does not take in any horses themselves, they accredit other organizations who do take in horses – and are involved in fund raising. How the individual organizations work is mostly up to them, and I doubt there are many that only take horses that people will support financially. Would be interested in where you got that information.

      • nu-fan

        And, as I understand it, Golden Gate Fields has a policy to expel any of their trainers found to have one of the track’s horses found at an auction yard. Problem always seems to be in tracking these horses. So many ways for these horses to be shipped out of the country and how many auction yards are there?

    • Ben Jonas

      In tears….please understand, not all horses are abused, just a small amount at the race track, but changes are being made, race track owners and State racing commissions are stepping up the the plate. It will take some time to clean things up and set new rules and regs that will protect the horse and rider alot more efficently…as well as the betting public. Its is very sad, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Hang in there and God bless you.

  • Lynn

    In the 70’s, my father experienced three of his racehorses drop dead unexpectedly during early morning training within a three month period. To this day, we have no idea what happened or why. I agree that we need to clean up the backside regarding the inappropriate use of these illegal drugs. I think it is a little premature to forbid Mr. Orozco to continue to run his horses until the results of the autopsy are revealed. We don’t need to go into panic mode because a horse died after he tied up. I am not saying Mr. Orozco is not responsible, I am just saying lets not “jump the gun”. Overeacting to this situation prematurely will “kill” horse racing in New Mexico.

    • Roisin

      While you are correct re not to “jump the gun” in any situation do you know the history on Orozco and what may have lead up to this decision ? Perhaps there are other issues concerning this trainer that we are not privy to. And NM does not have the best track record concerning drugs and horse abuse. Perhaps they are really trying to clean it up. Also, doing nothing re these issues is the sure fire way to “kill” horse racing in the state, not the other way around as you stated.

    • nu-fan

      Lynn: You state that “Overeacting to this situation prematurely will ‘kill’ horse racing in New Mexico.” Come on. Aren’t you blaming the messenger rather than the dishonest people in this sport? What is killing horseracing is that the public is skeptical about the horses and the drugs they are given, along with shady characters who have no problem in administering them as well as betting that may/may not be fixed–and the many people who keep covering this up. The Sport of Kings is no longer perceived that way by the many of the public. Unless this sport cleans up its act, it will continue to be viewed in the negative rather than what it might have been once, a long time ago.

    • blackcatlover


  • Sally

    Don’t be so quick to pin Baffert as a “dirty” trainer. One year I had multiple deaths from Malignant Hyperthermia in a kennel population. After thousands in drug testing, spinal taps, and exhaustive necropsies, no explanation was ever found. We had never had an incidence before, and never did again. In another example, our Hunt Club had three horses die of heart attacks in the hunt field within a month. Unrelated horses from unrelated barns. Sometimes S**t Happens. Animals die, especially when they are exposed to the stressors of competition. I never blame or label a trainer until the necropsy results are in.
    We also need to take a long, hard look at breeders. Are we breeding horses with autosomal recessive genes that make them susceptible to stress mortality and breakdowns? These things rarely happen in a vacuum.

    • Andrew A.

      Nothing quick about it. Within a one year period he had 7 of 14 in the State of California. Do you think a Doug O’Neill or Jeff Mullins in the same situation would get the benefit of the doubt? How about 99% of Trainers wouldn’t get the benefit of the doubt? When the CHRB Commissioner sits in your box right after a CHRB meeting dealing with the problem then something ain’t right in Denmark.

      • Gene

        Don’t in anyway, minimize what Mullins or O’Neill have done fraudulently, ESPECIALLY O’Neill…Say what you want about Baffert or Mullins, they both have definitely cheated, but they are competent horse people. O’Neill is a complete and total fraud, who when he isn’t cheating, dropping, or running a mile the best horse, couldn’t find the winners circle.

        • Andrew A.

          O’Neill won the Santa Anita Derby under 72 hour surveillance with an unscheduled blood test. I’m pretty sure he’s admitted mistakes and some bad stuff and apologized repeatedly. In fact I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone take as much heat as he went through last year and never ducked any interview.

          Lot’s of people took liberties over the past 20 years but the ones who were targeted by Rick Arthur took the fall, and maybe rightly but It is my information that he also warned some Trainers of upcoming tests.

          What happened with Baffert happened last year and 1 into this year.

    • hoofandpick

      What was the etiology of the malignant hyperthermia? Quite a few drugs cause malignant hyperthermia. What drugs were those animals who developed malignant hyperthemia given?
      25 race horses die every week. Jon Luman is right. The public needs to put pressure on the racing industry to do a major overhaul and clean up. Horses that die during morning workouts also need to be included in the weekly death count.

      • ziggypop

        You are correct about the morning workouts being included.

  • Jon Luman

    Absolutely amazing….. no, not that it continues…. not that the principals of the industry do not solve the problem….. not that this and other negativity is pretty much the only advertising that horse racing does…. not even that so much is written on the subject matter, with no answers offered.

    What is so utterly amazing, at least to this observer, is that the remaining public that shoulders the entire burden of financial support for this industry, refuses to step in and direct that these issues be explained and resolved immediately.

    If the concerned public would just simply step up and demand that answers be issued, and resolutions made, it would be done. Because all that the public has to do is to bet elsewhere until such time….

    Horse racing needs a commissioner, and, it is you.

    • betterthannothing

      Very well said, Jon. The public needs to bet elsewhere to force change however, horses are nothing but numbers to most gamblers and some of them profit from inside dope. The rest of the public don’t gamble enough to make a difference but massive public outcry following tragedy and scandal, and the USADA would.

      • Jon Luman

        Nice to see that the imagery of the betting public is effectively installed and re-enforced as being nothing but un-caring gamblers. If it is true that, for those remaining as fans/bettors/actual financial supporters of horse racing, “they don’t care about the horses”….

        Horse racing faces certain doom as it’s actual financial supporters are further trained in the idea that, even if they do care, public outcry to the perceived “powers that be”, will continue to be fruitless, as they are further trained in the ridiculous idea that, more government fixes everything.

        U.S.D.A., isn’t that the outfit that kills the wild mustangs?

        There has already been massive public outcry to fix those things that are broken in horse racing, as the actual “powers that be” have been persuaded, for decades, to call on those powerless to fix anything, by simply walking away from America’s most loved game, as it has long since been stolen from them.

  • Mike

    Full marks to Mr. Hubbard. The crying shame is that race tracks can do more than commissions can. As a practicing steward all I can say is, you think you have read it all, you do not know the half of it.

    • Now that is the truth.

    • Fast Filly

      and what happens if the death comes back natural causes…the trainer and owners have been punished…will they make up the money they lost buy not letting them run?Guilty until proven innocent…glad it wasn’t a murder trail..

      • hoofandpick

        And what if the deaths are due to illegal drugs that there are no tests for yet? Will the owners and trainers be held accountable under those circumstances? Absolutely NOT because the best labs in the country don’t have a method to detect it.

        And why was rodenticide found in a dead horse? Do you know what the action of rat poison is? It is an anti-coagulant ie it thins the blood. Anticoagulants block the normal intrinsic clotting pathway in the bloodstream. The most common anticoagulant that humans use is coumadin. So I ask again, why did that dead horse have an anticoagulant in its system?

        • Fast Filly

          I never heard of that being found in this horse, they found some in horses that came from the feed because it was used in cow feed and when they changed the feed making machines over, it wasn’t completely out before they packaged the horse feed. and if the death was because of illegal drugs, they will find it out..and the trainers will be punished..and owners,,,they pay a trainer to train their horses. They aren’t even’s like when you are rich and have an accountant…they can rip you off and you owe all kinds of taxes and you get the blame for it…race horse trainers don’t want to thin the blood…never had…go to a track and get a job and find out…

          • hoofandpick

            Sorry Fast Filly….That’s BS. Farmers use to add monesin to cow feed but not rat poison. And, to your comment that “they will find it out….” Please read the article written by the New York Times (see above link) because this article is truthful, you are not being truthful. They haven’t investigated the illegal drug doping in race horses, the are not investigating the illegal drug doping in race horses and they will not investigate the administration of illegal drugs and doping in race horses until the public puts significant pressure on them.

            The bottom line for the racing industry is that a MAJOR CLEAN OUT AND OVERHAUL is desperately needed to save the horses, the very animal that puts food on your table fast filly.

          • Fast Filly

            I am not going to argue with you on this subject that you don’t know anything about..the NYT was not correct…it sells papers…go to>news,,it tells about the contamitated horse feed in Ca. that came up with the bad tests in race horses there..and you have never ran or trained or owned a horse that ran in New Mexico…the alltitude is hard on race horses because it thins the blood and causes bleeders. You don’t give horses blood thinner….not in any state…okey, I am done…

          • hoofandpick

            Fast Filly, Tell it to the judge Fast Filly. Owners and trainers are not suppose to give their horses anything that masks pain due to an injury such as frog juice which contains a narcotic but they do and these kind of drugs clearly play an important role as to why race horses breakdown and 25 of them die PER WEEK.

            Don’t patronize me Fast Filly. You don’t know my experiences and there is no track that is lily white not even yours.

          • Fast Filly

            The only way you can truely know that is that you have done it yourself..

          • hoofandpick

            You are a very pompous person. The idea that you would defend an indefensible industry is disgusting. Your industry puts greed and money above the welfare of horses and that’s enough to disgust any decent human being.

          • Fast Filly

            I am sorry you feel that way, I have made a livng all my life with race horses…why do you even subscribe to this report if you think it’s so discusting? Must be something that attracts to keep repling to this and all the other things about horse racing…ummm maybe you like to argue on stuff you know nothing about..I will not reply anymore to you…

          • hoofandpick

            That’s fine for you not to reply to me any longer Fast Filly. Your failure to know the number of race horses that die every week in the racing industry is enough evidence for me that you only wish to see and hear what you want.

            I am here because I hope that at some point the industry will own up to the fact that the welfare of horses must be their number 1 priority and get on with cleaning out the rift raft in the industry. A testament to the validity of my comments are two fold: Dr. Patty Hogan confirmed that 1/2 of the TB foal crop gets sent to slaughter every year and 2. even race horses that make six figures for their owners and trainers get sent to slaughter for human consumption.

          • MelK

            hoofandpick – Please give citations for your statements. I am especially curious as to which “…race horses that make six figures…get sent to slaughter for human consumption.” What are the names and owners as well as the facilities in which the horses were slaughtered and their eventual markets?

            see more

          • hoofandpick

            Lights on Broadway won over $500,000 winnings for owner/trainer. This poor horse was pulled off the slaughter truck by a trainer.



            You can use Google ( to conduct your own searches to find more horses.

          • No one can know all of that. It’s not announced when a horse goes to slaughter. But it is a fact that many successful racehorses (especially geldings) as well as broodmares who don’t produce runners or who become barren, find their way to bad endings. Some, like our Mims, after suffering for years, get lucky. Years ago TB’s were easier to find new homes for, however, the popularity of warmbloods, as well as the (foolish) desire to have giant horses has resulted in fewer potential homes.

            Below are some who were lucky:




            Those clearly are all at Old Friends. Old Friends has few true rescues, mostly taking horses whose connections contact them directly and financially support Old Friends and/or specific horses.

            Old Friends has around 100 horses I think. How many horses do you think are “retired” every year? Where do you think they go?

          • Ben Jonas

            I’ve been reading your correspondence with Fast Filly with interest, and finally, you true colors are exposed for all to see. Its ok that you have an opinion, but pompous if someone else has one. You think you know everything and someone else knows nothing….the truth is, there is alot going on in fixiing the drug problem in horse racing….State Racing Commissions are expanding regulations that promote better testing, better policing, those caught cheating are being punished more severely.
            You paint a picture of horse racing that isn’t true….most horses at the race track are pampered, treated like royalty…fed the best of feeds, groomed with care.and most trainers and owners love their horses…and do noting to hurt them. Sure, there are those that use the horse as a money maker, very few would race horses if there wasn’t a chance of making a profit. Its like all sports, horse racing is in the process of change, from old standards to new ones, punishing the cheaters when they are exposed, and eliminating the ways cheating is being done…just like baseball, football and other sports have been inproving on the same kind of changes for the past ten years or so. There will always be cheaters, those with the attitude of “win at all cost”….but they will eventually be eliminated because State Racing Commissions, Race Track Owners are stepping up to the plate, and testing technology is out-stripping the cheaters. So, things are not as bleak as you present.

          • hoofandpick

            Ben Jonas, you too wish to live in a world of denial. You need to stop trying to convince me. I am not some 16 year old kid on the street. So stop trying to fool me or pull the wool over my eyes. Your comment: “most horses …..are pampered….treated like royalty….. .” Yes but you left out the most critical part….UNTIL THEY STOP WINNING AND THEN THEY SPIRAL DOWN to claiming races, bush tracks etc until they have a catastrophic injury on the track, drop dead during training, morning workout etc or get SENT TO SLAUGHTER.
            Really, Ben, do you think the public is STUPID? All of us know what happens to these majestic animals once they stop winning.
            The pain from musculoskeletal injuries are masked by things like frog juice which contains a narcotic ie morphine like substance which kills the pain, bute, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agent that also masks pain, the animal is heel nerved which blocks the pain signals going to the brain which in turn forces the animal to rest as pain is crucial for telling you that there is something wrong or they make up some other concoction all in an effort to mask pain rendering the animal’s pain signals useless and markedly increases the probability for a catastropic breakdown.

            READ the recent New York Times article:

            From the article: “This splintered industry, with its many organizations and committees, continues to lack the leadership of a strong central figure.”

            From the article: “Despite the spectacle and the tradition of the Triple Crown races, the racing industry is trudging toward an uncertain future. Never has a sport seemed so fiercely determined to spite itself, with factions holding onto power rather than galvanizing the industry. ”

            From the article: “Centralization of power and authority has been suggested — and ignored — for decades.”
            You want the public to respect you and hold the industry in high esteem? Then, FIX IT and stop trying to defend a currently indefensible industry. The industry MUST put the welfare of the horse FIRST.

          • You are incorrect. Higher altitudes actually increase red blood cell production. That is why Mine That Bird was able to win the Kentucky Derby. He actually had a huge advantage in fitness. The longer he stayed on the East Coast, the more his blood returned to normal and the less competitive he became. You are naive if you think that people are not doping horses. Or that horses just drop dead AFTER winning for no reason.

          • Fast Filly

            Lady how many horses have you raced in New Mexico? Mine that Bird did have the advatange of more oxygen in his lungs and blood, yes blood carriers oxygen…but higher altitudes do think your blood..Colorado, N M go and in two the three days most people have slight nose bleeds..your blood is thinner….after you get climatized you don’t have them anymore…every hoses that goes to New Mexico has to be climatized before they can run up to their potential..see that’s why I hate to argue with you people, you haven’t been there or done altitude and nose bleeds and you will see that I am correct.

          • I lived in NM for 10 years. You do adapt to the altitude – by creating more red blood cells. Until you do, you do not have enough to provide enough oxygen to your body. You get nosebleeds because in the beginning your heart has to pump harder to get oxygen where it needs to be. In addition to creating more red blood cells to adapt, your body also creates more capilliaries to carry the ADDITIONAL oxygen. Your lungs get bigger and the vascular network in the muscles increases. “See that’s why I hate arguing with people who do not know the FACTS.” There is not thinning of the blood – there is enrichment of the blood.

          • hoofandpick

            Sorry, Fast Filly, you are wrong about your blood being thinner at higher altitudes. The oxygen level is less at higher altitudes so the oxygen carriage capacity is decreased. The lower oxygen carriage capacity is sensed by the kidney which releases EPO (erythropoietin) which in turn acts on the bone marrow to produce more red blood cells. The increase in red blood cells increases your hematocrit which in turn increases your oxygen carriage capacity. This is why people who live at high altitudes have an increased hematocrit. Complete acclimatization usually takes days to weeks.

          • Fast Filly

            yes, I was backwards in what it does, but still makes you bleed easier.

          • Only humans and only while adapting. As I said above horses always carry extra red blood cells which enter the blood stream on demand.

          • hoofandpick

            Fast Filly, bleeding has nothing to do with what Maureen was talking about regarding endurance and oxygen carriage capacity at elevated altitudes.

          • Knowitall

            Yeah, that must be the answer, they need to acclimatize to run well, you mean like Midnight Lucky and Govenor Charlie who shipped in from CA….oh sh!t. Wait….

          • Horses, unlike humans, store up to a third of their red blood cells in their spleen. When needed, the spleen contracts and the blood is enriched. Horses are natural blood dopers. They do not need as much time as people to adapt to altitude. However, once they HAVE adapted to altitude their blood is even higher in red blood cells.

          • Knowitall

            Yes, that would seem to be the case since shippers usually win in NM off the plane. Which was my point to FF – who seems to think that is impossible.

          • Fast Filly

            They have to be in the altitude for at least three weeks before running…

          • Knowitall

            Baffert flies them in three DAYS ahead of race, if that. Maybe it’s you that is light headed.

          • Fast Filly

            So I was backwards, but it still makes you bleed and the same with horses

          • Roisin

            No it will not ! Where are you getting your information ?

          • Knowitall

            The idea is that they thin the blood that has been thickened by EPO type meds. You have more to learn than all of the rest of us that you want to teach.

          • Roisin

            You are right and said it well. I hope Fast Filly is not caring for any horses in any capacity !

        • Jean Ortiz

          And they’d probably sell him to a kill buyer & slaughter him in Roswell, ship his meat to Europe for decent folks to eat & die on

      • Juan

        Um, nobody wins 9 of 26 starts at ANY track with ANY breed unless they are Cheating. And he has a history of it. We need to crack down HARD on these guys now, or there will be no horse racing in the US much longer.

        • Fast Filly

          It’s called training…how can you people who no nothing about this make such bad statements..good breeding and good training wins races…of course there are some out there that use illegal things, they get caught…come on…whe do you always have to see the bad in everything.

          • jon

            i agree theres good trainers and bad. when a good trainer claims a horse and feeds it, does its teeth, shoes it properly,changes equipment,puts better jockey on and trains it properly its probably going to improve.not all trainers are chemists.

          • Absolutely.

          • Juan

            No doubt, there are some good trainers left. But look up the trainers at a particular track sometime in Equibase, where you can see their records over their career. For instance, I raced in Texas and Oklahoma and some trainer that couldn’t win more than a couple races a year, all of a sudden (when the money came after the 712 bill that legalized gaming and the purse structure exploded) he’s winning 15 or 25 races a year. And the vet is telling my trainer to use xyz because everyone is doing it and they aren’t testing for it. SO, I know what I’m talking about. You claim a horse today and you are rolling the dice. If it was on one of the popular “enhancements”, it takes a while to get that out of their system and they won’t run very good anymore. Trust me…

          • Juan

            I raced for 18 years, and I do know something about it. Keep your head in the sand, or elsewhere, and you’ll see what happens to this sport. And it isn’t going to be good.

          • 7cents

            I understand your wanting to play the devil’s advocate here, because shutting a guy down before the first test is back looks a bit hinky. I kind of wondered the same thing originally. What I was told is that a “shakedown” at Orozco’s “private barn” (with racetrack access) had turned up the Holy Water and a few other nasty things from over the border. Because he rents out stalls to 6 other trainers in that barn they played a merry game of “Not mine, must be his” in a round robin with the investigators. So, the horse dying was, basically, a Last Straw for the Powers That Be to shut him down for awhile, at least.
            Regardless of what the necropsy and toxicology tests show, trust me when I say that they are not persecuting Mother Theresa here…..

        • Pocahontas

          perfectly said Juan…

        • Fast Filly

          Now just how would you pick a trainer? I pick mine by the way their horses look and the percentage in the win circle …if I am going to pay a trainer $70 or more a day, I want a winner…if I wasn’t in it to make money, I would have halter horses…the leading qt trainer at RP had a 59.9% win average…he had very good breeding to start with, his horses looked super great and ran really good…why is it when someone wins races everyone is down on them? There are trainers who use illegal stuff, they will get caught and punished…they should be, but leave the good ones alone…I sure wouldn’t want a trainer who has never won a race, it would seem like they don’t know what they were doing…it’s like going to a resturant that has no customers…

          • The fact is all horses are not going to be winners. If a trainer turns every horse into a winner there is something going on. If this trainer at RP was so exceptional at picking true winners – by which I mean naturally superior in talent – wouldn’t we have heard of him in the big races??

          • Fast Filly

            GO to Remington Park and look under handicapping..this trainer has been leading trainer there for the last ten years,,,his horses ran out $1.500,000 this year…good trainers, have good owners who buy or breed good horses…I never said he turned horses into winners, I said he trains winners…every leading trainer at every track have people who say they are cheating,,,,but most of them are good trainers, they know when the horses under their care is ready to run…then it takes racing luck…

          • Fast Filly

            If Mr Paulick would report the big races that Quarter horses win like he does the TB’s you might have heard of him..but because the TB industry pays for the advertisements on this site, you don’t hear anything about them except the bad news..there is plenty of good news, he just don’t tell the whole story..but bad news dose spark interest in everyone…look how many people are responding to this article..not near what responds to a big race being run without any conflict.

          • IMO Ray probably doesn’t report on QH racing because there really is not much good in it. TB racing needs improvement, but QH racing is in a league of its own.

        • Juan

          FF, I looked at Remingtonpark standing for QH for 2013 and I don’t see anyone winning 59% of their races. And the leading trainer is Eddie D. Willis. 42% WPS, 22% winner. Where do you come up with this stuff?

        • RobinDean Hood

          That is not a true statement! Its not unbelievable for a Good trainer to have such a high win percentage and not be cheating. Granted, some trainers are looking for that competitive edge, but they are a small percentage. Just because someone does well doesn’t mean they are cheating! The proof is in the testing! Innocent till proven guilty!

        • save the ponies


        • noe

          i am pretty sure you have “cheated” too like your saying & your just mad because when ever you do “cheat” you dont win!

      • Ben Jonas

        I agree, this trend of punishing someone that is not proven guilty isn’t the American way, shame on Mr. Hubbard. The only thing that can supersede the New Mexico Racing Rules and Regulations…is the “Law of the Land”. Mr. Hubbard has acted as the accuser, the judge, and the execusinor. Mr. Orasco is guilty until proven innocent. That is the reverse of the U.S. Constitution.

        • Fast Filly

          Do you realize that by keeping them from running, Mr Hubbard’s horse’s will have one less trainer to worry about out running.. If he is found guilty, then punish him…not before.

        • The supposed cause of death was kidney failure. If you have kidney disease you are certainly not in a condition to win a race. Especially if it is so bad you die from it only days later. UNLESS perhaps you were on drugs. It is highly unlikely that the horse’s death was due to natural causes. Those actually in attendance – who saw the horse pre and post mortem probably know a little bit more about it than you.

        • imforthehorse

          This guy isn’t even a “trainer”. He’s an attorney from Mexico that the FBI is currently looking for!! Do you really think that Ruidoso Downs wants the FBI on the backside looking for him? I think not. He also has a restraining order against the NM Racing Commission for a positive test from last year so he can keep racing horses. Hubbard did the right thing!!

          • Here is a perfect example of why punishments should be in effect while cases are appealed. Cartel Quick would be alive today. Human criminals who are convicted have to appeal from jail. Why do horse racing’s offenders get off scot-free?

          • 7cents

            Are you really that naïve? If Orozco had to serve his days the horse would have been in the name of some other like-minded individual getting the same stuff, and running the same race.

          • You miss the point. If there was actual punishment instead of appeals and restraining orders, things would change. The second guy – who took over the horses just might hesitate. Without punishment being effective at the time it’s determined there is no deterrent.

          • Ben Jonas

            Yeah, he is a trainer…he’s licensed as one there at Ruidoso, he was a former attorney in Mexico. He has appealed a possative drug test in New Mexico, and requested a stay from the New Mexico Racing Commission…which gives him the authority to continue training and racing until a judgment is decided. I don’t know where you got the FBI thing, I haven’t heard anything about that. As to Hubbard doing the right thing, I don’t think so because the man hasn’t been convicted or proven gilty of anything, except his Ruidoso winner died. I just think waiting a few days until the autopsy results come back, I just think it sets a bad presidence to punish someone that isn’t proven guilty. Of course, the Hubbards own Ruidoso and can ask anyone to leave….and they have with those that have been found guilty of recent drug tests….and we are all proud of the Hubbards for that. This was just a little premature in my opinion..

        • 7cents

          “Mr. Hubbard has acted as the accuser, the judge, and the execusinor. Mr. Orasco is guilty until proven innocent. That is the reverse of the U.S. Constitution.”

          Yes, it is opposite the constitution, but when we sign our stall apps and put our papers in the racing office we sign those rights away in so far as track privileges go. We agree to abide by the track’s rules and, even, whims to race there.

      • Pocahontas

        that’s just it, it is a murder trial..

      • Tough toenails. Rui is a privately owned business, not the US legal system

        • I agree. If you join a club or sign a rental contract or play professional sports (or college or high school sports) you are agreeing to the rules involved. So why when the issue comes up that you’ve broken the rules are you allowed to circumvent the very punishment you agreed to??? Restaurants, hotels, etc, are allowed to refuse to serve anyone. Why should tracks be different?

    • Jean Ortiz

      I worked at Belmont, Aqueduct & Saratoga. I know, too. If a Kentucky Derby winner, Ferdinand can be sent to stud in Japan, not perform well, then slaughtered for his meat, what does that say about man?

      • Guy Gaurreaux

        That some like horse meat?

  • turffilly

    what are they testing these horses for? I keep hearing, around the tracks, that EPOGEN is a big one…

    • betterthannothing

      EPO-type drugs are nearly impossible to catch after 48 to 72 hours without whistle blowers, seizures, blood passports and investigations including from an anti-doping agency like the USADA which investigated and finally nailed Lance Armstrong. Testing for EPO is expensive. Like Clenbuterol, EPO kills.

      Doping prevention and tight security, tracking, surveillance around race horses for at least one month before racing, transparency of equine medical records, strict medication control and administration of meds –therapeutic doses and frequency only– by regulatory vets, off-competition soundness and health monitoring, mandated rest and retirement, etc. would be expensive to establish and enforce but needed to clean-up racing.

  • Sue M. Chapman

    Baffert’s sudden loss of quality three year old horses says it all.
    Anyone counting Asmussen or Pletcher’s mortality rates?

    • Knowitall

      You’re suggesting that Baffert couldn’t continue to give the three year old brigade the extra edge, or are you confusing that with how reticent he is now to take any chance with any horse for fear of more public backlash?

      • Sue M. Chapman

        I’m suggesting that the ban of Clenbuterol, milkshakes and anabolic steroids is the cause. Have you ever watched a horse going through withdrawal?

  • Richard C

    Kidney failure? Let me take a guess — it was an “unknown” strain on the organ — caused by jockey error. It is tragic that the sport makes the former East German athletics machine seem squeaky clean and operated with the health and well-being of each competitor the only priority.

    • Roisin

      Unless there is a congenital kidney problem, kidneys do not just fail of their own accord especially in the young. Something caused them to shut down. Many drugs are very hard on kidneys and some can cause failure and of course some infections cause kidney failure. But with the latter, there would be obvious signs and symptoms of illness/systemic infection before severe kidney damage leading to failure. Most non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are hard on kidneys and can result in failure, especially with prolonged use.

  • ray

    It’s a shameful that our poster boys in the sport are a bunch of low life shit-balls can have hundreds of BAD test and nothing is done about it. Look at the short fields around the country and short list of owners. WAKE CALL for the racing commissions around the world before our business goes completely in the toilet. You know who these SHIT-BALLS. Grow balls and rule them off for life.

  • thevoiceoftruth69

    I don’t care if Baffert had 500 horses in his care. 7 sudden deaths in 17 month period is ridiculous.

  • Hoops and Horses

    Yet another reason why Lasix needs to be eliminated from Thoroughbred racing AND the sport needs to follow the lead of what Harness Racing is now doing thanks to Jeff Gural (in Harness racing, horses sired by stallions who are four or younger when conceived are ineligible for all major races at The Meadowlands other than the Hambletonian and for all major stakes at Woodbine/Mohawk, the other major Harness circuit). By expanding on this and going to age five, it will force changes in how horses are bred to for stamina and durability instead of speed and precociousness, eliminating over time those in for the quick buck.

    Lasix needs to be phased out over a five year period, starting with ALL races for two year olds, the Breeders’ Cup, Triple Crown and selected Grade 1 events, then expanding to all Grade 1 and Grade 2 events and for three year olds through the Belmont Stakes (except for three year olds facing older horses in races where older horses can race on Lasix), then adding Grade 3 events, all races other than claiming and finally all races. Getting rid of Lasix over five years will let horses who currently need it continue to run for the most part through the end of their careers while newer generations in many cases don’t race on it at all over time until Lasix is eliminated. That will separate the men from the boys as far as trainers are concerned.

  • voiceofreason

    keep waiving the “we can take care of ourselves” banner, and keep arguing the “merits” of all these “therapeutic meds” folks!

    this industry can die fast enough.

  • Don Reed

    With human life valued at Absolute Zero in Mexico, imagine what they’re doing with the horses.

    • Jean Ortiz

      Mexico now has “shows” where horses are in the arena & the bulls gore them & leave them to die

  • swaps55

    Years ago, the 80s, I went to a party of mostly Episcopalians in Ogden, Utah who had not ties to racing but one man said he had heard there was a designer lab creating drugs for race horses in the hills of Utah.

    It may not be trainers doing the drugging, but an employee, or a rival who wanted to sabotage and destroy a good horse in another’s barn. Some of these deaths may stem from horses not getting enough foundation to match their speed.

    Any issue of the Blood Horse and even in my mail I get advertisements for natural drugs that will build up a horse and it could be that some of these legal and well intended performance boosters are causing reactions in some horses.

    And yes some trainers may be cheating with as many cutting edge, unlisted drugs as they can come up with.

    But some of these trainers having success may actually be good trainers who can enhance a horse with their methods. Remember the Fit Racehorse method touted by Tom Ivers? I recall a recent classic winner was using a variation of that but I can’t remember which one.

    But I think Ivers was faulted because the excessive work would break down a weak horse rather than build it up.

    This is a complex issue and ferreting out cheaters and catching their drugs is going to be a long haul….and banning all drugs as a first step would be the best immediate solution. Lasix and other drugs I have been told mask other more illegal potions.

  • betterthannothing


    “Nearly every weekend, hundreds gather in the New Mexico outback for illegal horse racing that often includes big money, violence and animal cruelty.

    And while law enforcement – who suspect Mexican drug cartels might play a role in the clandestine tracks– have tried to shut down the operations, they are often unsuccessful,
    according to a four-month investigation by News 13’s Larry Barker.

    “Clearly drug organizations in New Mexico and Texas and other places are involved with these race tracks,” said Keith Brown, the DEA’s special agent in charge in Albuquerque. “Just as clearly, they are involved with the Sinaloa Cartel.”

    On a typical Sunday afternoon, spectators travel hundreds of miles – often from across the Mexican border – to participate in the illegal horse racing. In fact, it’s not unusual to find more people in the crowd at unlicensed horse racing tracks than at The Downs of Albuquerque , a legal, regulated track at the State Fairgrounds.”

    • Lynda

      Thanks for link.

    • Noelle

      I guess this is one more evil directly attributable to our government’s refusal to seal the border. Mexican cartels wouldn’t have the clout they do in the US without the cooperation of the open borders gang on Capitol Hill and elsewhere.

  • Kathleen

    A two-year-old dropped dead after a race? How can it be legal to race such a young horse? Is this allowed only with quarter horses? There bones are still forming. It’s surprising that the 2-yr-olds aren’t breaking/splintering bones in their legs. Now it makes sense why so much push to open horse slaughter in Roswell… the racing industry needs convenient disposal of horses?

    • You must be new to racing. Yes, 2 year olds race. TB and QH. They often begin their training at 18 months. Many people say this is fine – but really it’s not. As you point out – they are babies. A horse is not full grown til 6. Knees are “closed” at 2-3 and that’s all anyone cares about. Doesn’t matter that hocks come later, and the spine even later. Or that the horse is not at full strength. A quick return on the investment is what most care about. And you are right – the broke down horses are disposable.

  • In tears

    To betterthannothing. Good job on an eye opener. There is a lot more of that going on than people realize. It was going up here in the north, I heard talk about it. They would haunt sales for thoroughbreds coming off the track and go back next week for more. That is all I ever knew about the goings on. You could just imagine what happened to the horses

    • betterthannothing

      Thank you In tears. Where is “here in the north”? Could you find an investigating reporter or contact Animals Angels to investigate then expose those who buy Thoroughbreds off the track to race them again illegally? Going through so many, are they racing and tripping them then sending the survivors to slaughter when nothing can make them move?

  • DCW

    it is so simple penalize the owner along with the trainers . And watch them all scurry to an honest trainer and there out there.

    • nu-fan

      If owners were held liable, it would make sense that they would be more cautious with whom they hire as trainers.

      • Roisin

        Yes indeed, that is an excellent point. There are trainers that I would not remotely consider.

  • Horse owner

    Thanks for the article. The AQHA reported the horse was just exhausted I could not believe what they were trying to spin. I was there and it was the most sickening thing I’ve seen. The horse could not move and several guys came from the winners circle and tried to push the horse into the winners circle. The van finally came and took him. The crowd in the winners circle had their picture taken and let a loud cheer. By the way the odds on favorite was also vaned off. Hopefully the winner did not die in vane and this incident will help to clean up our sport.

    • That is horrific! To go into the winner’s circle and celebrate when the horse has collapsed. That says it all.

    • Horse owner

      Ray please keep the investigation going, there is a lot more to report on the drugging of horses at Ruidoso. The AQHA is not telling the whole story. It’s going to take someone like you to get the truth out before real changes will be made.

  • Rickey

    Seriously… Everyone needs to wake up. It doesn’t matter if Mr. Hubbard won’t allow them at the track they will just go onto the next trainer. Horses that ran in the $800,000+ race the day before were caught with demorphin last year that gave trainers lengthy suspensions. It doesn’t matter if Hubbard won’t allow Sedillo, Powell or whoever they will just find the next trainer to do… WAKE UP BOZOS!!!

  • Tama

    If they were not doing anything illegal or just wrong, all these horses would not have died!!!!!

  • Zataar

    Headline is about a NM horse dying and the trainer being banned…yet 3 of the first 4 paragraphs are about Bob Baffert? Talk about an axe to grind….what inverted pyramid journalism scholl did you go to?

  • Sierra

    My God in Heaven, what are they going to come up with next?! Anybody that will cook a horse’s insides with those kind of drugs should be hung out for the buzzards!!!

  • Jessie Baker

    Fast filly what’s your address 1212 fairytale ln never never land

  • One of Jill’s Ex-Boyfriends

    No matter which side you’re on here…can we all agree that Jill is out of her mind?

    • Knowitall

      Seems like there might be more back story to the angst with RP than some of us know about. And whatever Jill is or isn’t, her love for animals, horses, and her husband’s horses in particular is true.

  • imforthehorse

    I have a question that everyone seems to be overlooking regarding Cartel Quick. The horse was obviously in distress after the race. Why didn’t the jockey didn’t get off the horse on the back side of the track? I was at the races that day. The rider of the 4 horse pulled his up & let the van come get him but the jockey on Cartel Quick kicked & hit him all the way back to the winners circle. By the time the horse got back he couldn’t even move. The people were trying to push the poor horse to the winners circle so the picture could be taken. The track finally realized what was going on & brought tarps out to block the public’s view while they waited on the van. It was sickening & I doubt anything will be done about that. That was probably the final straw for Cartel Quick. The rider should have had enough sense to pull him up & not kick & whip him back around. My heart truly goes out to that animal who had to suffer his final hours.

    • You answered your own question – it was all about getting into that winner’s circle. The jockey should be suspended. What kind of person would do that? Jockeys are the first ones to realize there is a problem and the vast majority jump off and do whatever it takes to help the horse. This jockey doesn’t deserve to ride horses.

    • betterthannothing

      Based on “horse owner” post and your post it appears that owners, trainer and jockey are a disgusting and dangerous match.

      Owners, trainer and jockey don’t deserve a penny from the purse earned by their dead Cartel Quick, regardless of test results. That bunch should be kept far away from horses.

      The purse money should be used in the name of Cartel Quick to create a New Mexico racing and breeding horse rescue and reforms to prevent cruelty and doping and fund investigations and prosecutions.

    • Knowitall

      If true, the entire sick lot of them should be banned

    • nu-fan

      If what you state is true, I have to wonder why animal abuse charges weren’t levied? In situations like this, social media can provide the trigger to get elected officials as well as law enforcement to do their jobs. A video of this incident posted online makes it much more difficult for those who should be held responsible to avoid prosecution.

    • Roisin

      The rider may not have had much sense but he surely lacked compassion. It sounds like a disgraceful primitive scene enacted by Neanderthals.

      • nu-fan

        However, I bet that even the Neanderthals would have been dismayed in this case. This incident is over the top and should be investigated by the state. If this is not a case of animal abuse, then, WHAT IS?

        • I agree. I just looked up to see if the jockey (Tanner Thedford) is still riding – and he is, so clearly no suspension. It just shows that there is no agency there for the horse.

  • Bad Agent

    “I’ll pray for you” is Christian for ‘F*** You!”

  • savinghorses2

    This is really a sad thing to happen. And even sadder, an professional horse trainer high up in AQHA stated that the Thoroughbred owners are hypocritical because they have joined up with Animal Rights and Animal Owners to stop the slaughter of US horses when thoroughbred owners have horses dying right after a race. Where does this guy get off? AQHA is pushing horse slaughter at mach 1 and now has taken on the right to say that Thoroughbred owners are hypocrites because this happened? I demand that if AQHA can hold every other association to a much higher standard that they explain Cleve Wells, or the Barrel Racer that killed the Roping Horse because she hated the owner (AQHA) or why the American Quarter horse is the MOST overproduced horses in America and that they cover up most of the disgusting things that happen. They have the highest rate of founder in America according to one study a couple of years ago, have the highest ratio of genetic diseases, are spreading Herpes and Hepatitis in horses like wildfire and they are for slaughtering animals abusively and NOW they are putting down the entire Thoroughbred industry!?! What is wrong with AQHA and their higher ups? If you don’t agree with killing animals for food then animals cant die any other way? I love the thoroughbred industry and many things happen in other breeds also. People if you love thoroughbreds we don’t have to pushed around by the AQHA, and the people who believe they know everything meanwhile covering up their abusive trainers and spreading animal diseases, wide-spread HYPP, Coggins, and tons of other issues that went global because of one organization and it wasn’t us! Please contact anyone you can in Congress and make sure they pass the SAFE ACT And stop horse slaughter and make sure you let AQHA know we don’t have take being put down. We care about the Thoroughbred industry and because some things happen doesn’t make it a bad industry, it just means sometimes things occur in any industry. We just take steps to prevent further things from happening and make sure you ask Dave Duquette as he posted this article on his facebook to make rude comments.

  • biggar

    Seems like a great job of turning the death of a quarter horse in New Mexico into an opportunity to bash Baffert. Many of your avid followers love it.

    • Roisin

      It is all about unexplained deaths of young healthy horses that race, and the trainers responsible for their welfare. And if a trainer has an unusual number of unexplained deaths of course his name will come up .

  • Francis Bush

    Something strange here. Must be more than a specific medication involved. Its clear that Baffert trains most of his horses near race times. While that had been his practice lately, speed training usually just tires a horse after a few races and he won’t perform at the top of his game. Must look elsewhere for answers.

  • AngelaFromAbilene

    QH racing is not any dirtier than TB racing.

    • betterthannothing

      TB gets dirty faster when near QH.

      • AngelaFromAbilene

        Complete, unsubstantiated BS. I’ve been in QH’s for the past 17 years. It’s not any worse than the top tier TB races. It just gets a whole lot of bad publicity and nobody seems the least bit concerned with actual FACTS.

        • Dream on. You do not see owners of top TB’s investigated by the FBI for being involved with drug cartels.

          “Three horses who qualified last weekend for the $1,041,000 Ed Burke Million Futurity at Los Alamitos on June 24 have been seized by federal officials after their owners were arrested on Tuesday on money laundering charges involving a notorious Mexican drug cartel that used funds to allegedly purchase Quarter Horses in the United States.”

          You do not see Demorphin positives in TB’s richest races – as they were in the trials for the All American Futurity.

          TB racing needs a lot of improvement, but QH racing – at the TOP – is just thugs and crooks.

        • betterthannothing

          Angela: I am not saying that TB racing is clean, even without QH around. Some TB tracks are better than others. I got my facts from a keen interest in equine welfare and safety and research during the past thirty years and from highly respected private vets, some with TB and QH practices including one who later became the veterinary medical director of a tough state that races both breeds.

        • Roisin

          OK then lets hear the facts !!!

  • crookedstick

    No wonder Racing is becoming less and less popular? Who cares to see Millionaires doping and killing horses before their very eyes?

    • nu-fan

      You may be right. From the comments that I hear, personally, today’s public tends to view horseracing as fixed, corrupt, and brutal. While this viewpoint may or may not be true, this is a shame. I have to believe that there are many who are responsible and exceedingly cautious about avoiding doing anything that might harm their equine athletes. But, how many trainers and owners tend to rationalize their actions as being in the best interests of their horses when, in fact, they are looking for an advantage to winning–regardless of what harm might actually be done to the horses? Just need to look at the percentage of horses running on Lasix. In this article’s case, however, these people acted in an alarming manner and I cannot imagine a more profound case of animal cruelty. Does anyone know if any of these people have been charged? If not, then, why not?!

  • savinghorses2

    My previous comments got deleted because someone got his panties in a bunch. So I will write this instead. Horse slaughter is animal Abuse.

  • In tears

    Boy is that the truth!! I worked on the track, what I saw trainers do to horses to wake them up and run would stop your heart. And of course it’s I don’t see nothimg, I don’t hear nothing.

  • GeorgeHenry

    I have a good idea as to what the so called “oxygen shot” is. The article said it leaves a chlorine like smell… Chlorine Dioxide is produced when sodium chlorite is activated with a food acid such as lemon juice or vinegar. This is an oxidant and is used to kill germs in water around the world, it is a disinfectant and germicide. In dilute amounts it is non toxic. In alternative medicine circles it’s called MMS…. miracle mineral supplement. This adds a small amount of oxygen to the blood so I’m thinking that is what this so called oxygen shot might be. It is used to treat viral, bacterial, and fungal diseases and can cure malaria.

  • I am not a huge fan of Mr. Pressey, but here is an article that really every racehorse owner and trainer should read.

  • ALEX


  • In the last decade, there has been a significant increase in human disease. Much of this can be correlated with the increase in genetically modified foods. The two major modifications are the addition of the Bt-gene that produces the Bt-toxin, and the ability to withstand RoundUp. RoundUp Ready foods are deficient in essential metal nutrients and cause all kinds of problems. What is new, is that alfalfa has been added to the GM list. In other words, I would check the horses for the presense of Bt-toxin and glyphosate, and the lack of essential metal nutrients such as chromium, cobalt, magnesium and zinc.

  • Lawrence Archuleta

    The truth of horse racing and rodeo in todays world. Is money these people are not animal lovers. We will never know the truth, what rodeo bull or what quarter horse is what. Ask the stock contracter or trainer how many steroids, have you gave your bucking bulls or horses. Its basically a mafia back in 1960 or 1975 All rodeo bulls ate was grass. The truth is we are loosing the honesty of the word COWBOY. And making criminals of are selves. Call me any time. Larry A. 206-312-8785

    • longtimehorsewoman

      sad but true.

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