Pennsylvania Commission: Another Horse Removed From Trainer, Active Investigation Underway

by | 12.19.2017 | 3:18pm
Penn National Racecourse

Days after the Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission extended penalties given to owner/trainer Mario Rafael Rodriguez for “failure to provide proper veterinarian care” to a horse with a broken ankle, the commission confirms there is an active and ongoing investigation into Rodriguez's operation at Penn National. State veterinarians and commission officials removed another horse, a gelding named You R Wonderful, from Rodriguez's possession Dec. 15 after they determined the horse needed immediate veterinary care.

According to Dr. Kathryn Papp, an independent veterinarian involved in the earlier case of the gelding with a broken ankle (Silent Ruler), a horse was found dead in its stall in the Rodriguez shedrow Dec. 15 after it had been treated for colic earlier in the day. Commission officials were called to the scene and subsequently chose to examine the dozen or so horses remaining in the owner/trainer's possession. The condition of 4-year-old gelding You R Wonderful prompted officials to call Papp for an independent assessment.

Her examination revealed the horse, who finished fifth in a maiden claiming contest on Dec. 1, to be lame at the walk and had an injury to his suspensory ligament and a crack in the cannon bone on the same leg. The horse also had a bowed tendon, which appeared to be an old injury. Papp was asked by commission and state veterinarian representatives to remove the horse from the barn and stabilize him for further treatment.

“A cooperative effort has been undertaken by the PA Horse Racing Commission, Penn National and the PA HBPA to attempt to insure the welfare of the horses,” said Tom Chuckas, Bureau Director of Thoroughbred Racing for the commission. “There is an active investigation regarding Mr. Rodriguez's stable.”

Two Rodriguez horses that had been entered to run on Dec. 16 were scratched by the stewards. He has two entries remaining for this Wednesday, Dec. 20. Eric Johnston, racing director for Penn National, did not return multiple requests from the Paulick Report for comment on the status of Rodriguez's ability to enter horses or his stalls at the track.

Papp reported the condition of Silent Ruler to the commission when the gelding was found with a severely swollen ankle in late September which later turned out to be a serious fracture requiring $12,000 in surgery and rehabilitation. A CANTER post in that case indicated the horse had been lame following a race approximately one month prior and no diagnostics were done to determine the cause of that lameness.

A board of stewards initially gave Rodriguez a fine of $500 and suspension of 45 days for “failure to provide proper veterinarian care” in the case of Silent Ruler. Last week, the commission amended that ruling to a one-year suspension and $2,500 fine. The suspension is set to commence Dec. 26. Rodriguez was given 10 days to appeal the commission's modified ruling.

  • Denise Mosimann

    He should have his license revoked.

    • Meg Hiers

      He should have had his license immediately revoked the moment that Silent Ruler was discovered. The fact that it wasn’t is the worst thing the racing establishment could do to itself. One cruel trainer that shouldn’t be in possession of any animals is a bad apple. The regulatory body that turns a cold shoulder to the suffering of the animals upon which the sport is based is a whole orchard of rot. Every one that sat on the board that handed down that punishment with no apparent followup should be immediately removed from their position and banned from holding similar positions.

    • Beth

      God will get him. I knew a trainer like that, and he fell down an elevator shaft and literally broke every bone in his body. He laid in the hospital for two weeks in agony and then died.

      • If I saw this trainer laying at the bottom of an elevator shaft in this condition, I’d like to think that I could look down the shaft at him and tell him I’ll be back to help him in a month or so.

      • Ya see there? God does answer prayers!

    • ben

      At least, some jail time would be better.

  • Pbchi

    And after they found the horse with the broken leg, those “ responsible” for the well being of the horses at this track did not check on the others in this barn? They are worse than a joke. Pitiful.

    • StrideBig

      Exactly!! How the heck could they overlook the rest of his horses?


    • Hamish

      Somebody with the ability and position to do so, must have been protecting this guy Rodriguez?

      • CEOmike

        The PA Racing Commission.

    • Danielle Roberts

      read the original story once Silent Ruler was found the vets inspected every horse in his barn & that is obviously given the dates given when this additional horse was found injured.

      • Bryan Langlois

        Actually…that is not true. Silent Ruler was found and treated by Dr. Papp and PARR weeks before any other horses were looked at in his barn. He continued to enter and race horses up to this past weekend. It was only after another horse died in his barn that a full inspection of all his horses took place this past Friday.

  • Lisa D. Jeannette

    Let’s not even think about the amount of needless suffering these horses have endured at his hand, or consider how long this practice of ignoring injuries has gone on. His license should be revoked and charges filed for animal cruelty.

  • Vivian Snow

    Ban him for life. Everywhere, not just PA, in every country.

    • CEOmike

      It is unlikely already any other country except the USA (and Canada) would allow this POS to be a trainer. They have National Commissioners that would not allow this.

  • Susanne Conway

    Thanks Dr. Papp….

  • travkarjeff

    Just shows that Throughbred Racing needs Goverment Supervision, the Tracks do not care.

  • jojo

    What is wrong with horse racing?
    The people in it! Ive shifted from hard core fan, to luke warm, now barely there. Im for the horses, and I have freinds working, and care about their welfare. But Honestly, I wouldnt be sad if the sport just disappeared. So sick of the abuse with no consequences

    • really?

      You are correct. It is an anachronistic “sport” riddled with cheating and abuse of horses. Unfortunately there is so much money at stake, including farms, auctions etc that to dislodge it from this planet is impossible. Do the only thing you can, do not watch on TV, do not wager, and do nothing to promote the sport among those you know.

    • Minneola

      Your feelings are also demonstrated by the massive amount of fans who have left the sport to where it is it is fading away so quickly that we may see its demise sooner rather than later. And, there is plenty of blame to point towards. But, in particular, if there is an entity to blame, it is those that govern the sport. They turn their heads and look the other way far too often. How could the track management have been such willing accomplices in this matter? They did so little to safeguard the safety and welfare of the horses at their track. They should be held accountable along with the trainer.

    • CEOmike

      It is ONLY THIS WAY IN THE USA, other countries have bigger handle per population (actually bigger in total too) use less drugs, more horses, better care, fairer wagering, better tracks, because they have NATIONAL COMMISSIONERS.

      • Mama Ann

        Needs to be done. Put people in place to govern everyone before you get the government involved.

  • Richard C

    Such a ghoulish operation should have all licenses immediately revoked.

  • Guest

    I’ll take a wild guess: this trainer more likely than not fills races. That’s often why tracks tolerate bottom feeders. These are the ones who help the racing secretary and, indirectly, the HBPA. It’s all about field size, people…

    • Richard C

      Those folks are treated like racing royalty — because they deliver dead money wrapped with a bow into the wagering pools.

  • leven60

    In June, Pennsylvania signed into law making numerous acts of animal abuse a FELONY. I guarantee you that if felony animal abuse criminal charges are levied in this case, this practice will stop immediately. The Pa. state horse racing commission needs to either: 1. Contact the county District Attorney’s Office to pursue felony charges or; 2. File a criminal complaint in magistrate Court to initiate a felony investigation by the DA’s office.

    • CEOmike

      They won’t because they are the felons, the “bosses.”

  • Erin Casseday

    So, where did he aquire this gelding, and if the one injury was older, should not the previous owner and or trainer be held just as accountable?

    • Minneola

      Agree with you. From what I have understood, there were some breeders who gave him horses that they couldn’t sell as well as trainers who funneled their horses, that were no longer able to race, to this trainer. How could they not be on the hook for being, at least, partially liable for the acts of this trainer? Too many of these horses were unsuitable for racing because of physical issues. They can’t plead ignorance of what they were doing.

      • Richard C

        This is an issue just waiting for an extensive investigative report.

        • Minneola

          But, are any of us going to hold our breaths for this report? Also, who would investigate it? The PA Horse Racing Commission, Penn National or the PA HBPA ? Seems as if they have either been asleep at the wheel or have deliberately avoided doing what they should have done far before now. There is a reason for the reluctance of having a centralized governing board? It takes away the authority for those of these local jurisdictions and would make them be held accountable by someone else.

          • Richard C

            — Media —

          • Minneola

            I’d have to believe that it would be the racing media rather than mainstream, which rarely covers anything other than the TC races. And, how many in the racing media, other than the PR, ever hints at any impropriety in racing? It might take some really negative news about the biggest name(s) in racing for the mainstream media to give any notice of it. And, those big names are protected.

          • Richard C

            ESPN’s E:60, OTL, ESPN the Magazine and The Sporting Life with Jeremy Schaap have the investigative resources and tenacity for such a story.

  • Michael Castellano

    I’m pretty sure that half the tracks in the country, the ones that get sent the animals that cannot win at the larger tracks that can pay more in purses, have such problems. The horses mostly cannot ever be bred are only worth what they can win in purses and will get as little care and treatment as possible given the low purses. And when they further deteriorate, they become disposable. It is the dark side of racing, and I don’t think anyone has a solution at hand. Other than close many of the smaller tracks where this problem is most severe.

    • CEOmike

      The solution is not allowing near monopoly trainer conglomerates. All horses by the same trainer in the same race need to be run as an entry with the purses split among owners. That would force more quality horses to be spread out to smaller trainer stables, allowing for more profit at the lower levels.

      Also, there needs to be a National Commissioner with an association that has gate equalization. Every other major sport figured this out – if every team is trying to eat the smaller, it eventually destroys the sport, supporting the smaller “teams” grows the base.

    • Would you like to know what happens to those horses from those little tracks when they do close them down? Well Michael, in the past, they have resorted to slaughtering these beautiful sentient beings without any way for them to earn their keep. Is that really what you’d like to see happen again in this country?

      • Michael Castellano

        Of course not, but sadly that is likely what already happens to many horses across the country than can no longer race and have no breeding value. After care is a great concept, but I would hate to see the statistics (I’m sure there are none) for how many actually make it into an aftercare situation or some other type of competition. The primary force driving the industry leaders is profit, and aftercare is a low priority to them, regardless of any of their public statements.

        • It is what happens (documented) and I’ve been fighting it for more than 10 yrs. in the U.S. and now the BLM is going after our Wild Mustang to kill them. They’re supposed to vote tomorrow on this. If they get their way, they’re going to eradicate them to extinction!

          • Now they just ship the horses into Mexico, where the slaughter methods are horrendous, or to Canada. Any type of slaughter is barbaric and inhumane to the max!!

        • There are statistics and I’ve got a good friend who’s been keeping them for probably 25 or more years. John Holland is his name. You can Google him. He lives in the Shenandoah Mtns. VA.

        • I should’ve kept reading, sorry. John keeps statistics on the slaughtered horses.

  • Missy Smith

    This piece of filth should be banned for life, pay a multi million dollar fine as trainer/owner, and tossed in jail!
    There is absolutely NO, I repeat NO excuse for this piece of crap to own, train or be allowed around horses or track anywhere in the world again! I am so very very tired and ticked off that these people get off with a slap on the hand😫!

  • thisismyonlypostonthesubject

    Well, Mr. Chuckas, there are the gamblers and then there are the little old ladies and the little old men who may not gamble, but who care about the horses.

    There you have it. Two of your primary audiences. Frankly, not all that many involved, total.

    Once upon a time, the little old ladies and the little old men who do not gamble but who care about the horses may have been easy to ignore when they offered opinions about your sport. A couple of old crackpots writing you letters.

    But now the little old ladies and the little old men have phones and tablets and laptops. Their hips might be a little arthritic, but their fingers work just fine. And being retired and all, they have all the time in the world to work those fingers and let the world know just what they think about your actions–good AND bad. Online. Not in a private letter. But for public consumption.

    They are watching, and they are offering their thoughts. All the time. After awhile, if they don’t believe offering their opinions when they feel that your actions are not in the best interest of horses or the sport is doing any good, they might just decide to find another pasttime. If that is the case

    You are down to essentially one primary audience. And I don’t think gamblers alone are enough to sustain your industry.

    • Minneola

      And, especially, when other pro sports are given the same opportunities for wagering that horse racing has had in a monopoly form for decades. When that occurs, the last leg of the stool will be knocked out from under this sport. Unless someone with a creative brain comes up with another legal and viable way for this sport to gain revenue and survive, we may be seeing it disappear too soon.

  • Samantha

    I wonder if this is representative of the horse racing business all across the country and not just this particular track. And I agree, those horses should have been pulled after the first one. Do you really have to be a genius to figure that one out? In my opinion what has to happen is to have better people who work for the track to continually check on all the horses. And I agree with some here that this owner/trainer should never be able to run horses at any track ever again.

    • Dr.Fager

      This is nothing exceptional, particularly at smaller tracks. If the fans on here who are primarily horse lovers had any clue about what actually happens on the backside, they would call for the abolishment of racing.

      • Mama Ann

        I might be wearing blinkers but I’ve been to the tracks where they run for 3500 claim and Ive been to tracks where they host the Breeders Cup. What I see around me are caring people that when a horse sustains an injury they call the owner and turn them out if it’s like a bow but I’ve also seen a guy top notch trainer hold on to a horse that needed surgery for two months to collect the day money.maybe the tracks should keep better track of horses that are still on the grounds and haven’t worked and send a vet around to check on them. in this case thank God someone checked and didn’t wait.

        • Dr.Fager

          Yes, there are a lot of caring people. And plenty who see horses as livestock to be used for profit, just as they would a cow or chicken.

        • The Jockey club and others are working towards doing that I’d read very recently. So maybe another data base will tell us a lot more about who these offenders are and what perhaps we can do about them. One can hope.

  • thestockbroker

    and Ron Ellis gets $10k and 60 days…really??? Travesty

    • thisismyonlypostonthesubject

      I feel your ire at the imbalance. However, just because one trainer hasn’t gotten his–yet–doesn’t mean another trainer should be let off the hook.

      • WT

        Ron’s mistake is no where near the abuse that has been happening in this guy’s barn.

    • Gerard

      TOTALLY Travesty!

  • Lynn Errickson

    Why is this a hole allowed to even be near a horse ? Lifetime ban !

  • Billy

    How does a horse pass a pre race exam with a bowed tendon???? Not to mention this horse was run 22 times this year…“A cooperative effort has been undertaken by the PA Horse Racing Commission, Penn National and the PA HBPA to attempt to insure the welfare of the horses”….this is your job 24/7 365 days out of the year and you have failed and failed miserably…..eric johnston why dont you grow a pair and put your foot down too worried about filling the race cards man up your in charge…since you wont talk to paulick if i come to your office tomorrow and ask the status of mario rodriguez are you going to run away from me….what do you think pennlive or wgal would have to say about this story fox 43 maybe….all you guys ever wanna do is keep everything hush hush well that games over

    • Hey Billy, how are ya? Just thought I’d let you know, that many horses race with bows. It’s not uncommon for a horse once turned out for about a year, their bows set pretty good in many cases and they return to train and race just fine with ’em. I agree it’s probably not a good idea, but it is what it is.

      • Billy

        That horse is 4 ran 30 times in 2 years with speed figures in the low 50s suspensory injury cracked cannon bone and an old bow….what for chance does this horse have for a fair life…and to answer your question of how i am im furious cant be more pissed off penn is 10 min from me and ive had it with that place

        • I’m not saying it’s smart Billy, and personally I don’t agree with racing a horse with a bow. I’d actually answered your question before I’d read the whole article. Just kinda skimmed through it. I’ve read it thoroughly since, and with the cracked cannon bone also, old bow, whatever else may be wrong with the horse,… ? I agree bad idea, especially with Mario Rodriguez being the trainer. Loving the track life as I do, even with it’s many faults, I’d really hate it if I lived that close to Penn National, knowing what I’ve learned about it. You definitely have my sympathies. I think you enjoy racing when it’s done right. I’m furious MR is still allowed to train also, and I’ve made lots of calls about him also. Will any of ’em do any good at all? I doubt it. 30 times in 2 yrs. is excessive. By the speed figs alone, I’d not have even bothered keeping him at the track. Possibly another career is in order or a life as a pasture pal might be the best for this guy.

          • Billy

            Loving the track life as i do even with its many faults….can i ask you why….i love the horses i stand for them i cant fathom whats being done to them….its one thing getting shot up as a person but the same injury to a horse could be life threating why race why push the issue for the money of course ive played sports hurt enough to where i shouldnt have ive been shot up to play and i see first hand what it does to you but it was my choice we as people have to take that extra step and the decisions made should always be in the horses best interest too many people will never spend the money to allow that. Its not about athletics its about the money thats my biggest issue im not against racing horses im against them being drugged stalled all day being hit with a whip while giving there all being looked at and used like an old car they just like people how come they dont get treated as such if that makes sense to you too many horses go to the gate that should be retired or are just used up its not about them and their athletic proformance its about winning money to many people in this for the wrong reasons

          • Why do I love it? Is that the question? I love it because of what racing’s been to me my whole life. I love the beauty, the strength, and the grace of watching or racing God’s greatest creation to the wire. It’s the thrill, the power under you, the adrenaline, the excitement, the wonder that is the Thoroughbred to me. But I think that’s only a small part, Billy.

            You say many see horses as used cars, and yes, maybe I suppose some do. I’m personally in awe of the horse. Any type horse at all. I feel blessed to be in the company of horses every day and I’m always going to feel this way. To me, they’re a wondrous being that I’ve loved my whole life and had a passion for them since I can remember. It’s never been about the money for me, or the gamble, or whatever others are in this for. So how can I possibly answer the questions you ask? I understand your frustrations, and all that is wrong in racing and all that. I’ve used my voice for many years standing up for what I believe is wrong in this industry. But I never wanted out of it either. I can only make things better for the horses I work with every day. That’s all I can do anymore, Billy. Oh sure, I can write letters, make phone calls, and I do these things often, you’d be very surprised how often in fact.

            I agree with putting the horses first in every single case when I know all the facts of the case I mean. I can remember when I’d first begun racing at the track. I was working for a guy who’d not known a lot about the business or racehorses really either. He pretty much depended on my knowledge of loping and working horses to get us by. He came to the barn once a week to see me work the horses, and write my check. Everything left to me. I’d worked with racehorses for a lot of years prior to this, and knew something. about the scheduling and fitness etc. But I remember it’d never been about money. When I’d been on the track a week, and the clerk of scales came up to me and handed me an envelope I’d asked him, what’s this? He said that’s your check for the week! I can still recall so well how I’d literally started jumping around and said all this and we actually get a paycheck too? I was over the moon and couldn’t believe that I got to ride races and get paid for the privilege to do so. A couple other jocks had approached me and had been thrilled to see how much pleasure I’d gotten just being able to be around horses. The money was just an added bonus to me. Nothing more than that.

            The Consortium is supposed to address the issues that you speak of Billy. I can’t answer questions as to why anyone runs a horse well past their careers or even the ones that retire them to stud too soon either.

            I agree with you, there’s a lot wrong that happens every day on the racetracks across the country. I can speak up when I’ve witnessed something, but that’s all I could ever do. And I have raised my voice on many occasions too.

            Many owners look at horses as commodities, and I get what you’re saying. It’s not right at all. But who are those people? Do we know them really? Regardless of whatever else we may feel about the horses, and what’s right or wrong,… who are we to say? The horseracing industry is a business and many view it as such. I don’t and you obviously don’t, but that we feel how we do, won’t change that very real fact. It’s big business too!!

            When I’ve seen things in the past, I spoke up, but my words fell on deaf ears more often than not. Oh sometimes I’d been able to help horses out of a situation and that’s a good thing to do when I could. I think so anyway. But I’m one person, and while there’s many out there just as emotional as I am about horses, we won’t be able to fight the business this industry is.

            Wish it all could change overnight. But it can’t and won’t be a quick change if things ever do change at all. If they don’t, horseracing will be doomed to end a horribly sad finish. I hope and pray for better things to come, what else can I do?

          • Billy

            You mind if i respond to you via email??? I see what the horse means to you and if everyone looked at things such as yourself this industry wouldnt have the issues it does…too many people are in this for the wrong reason because of the big buissness it is when you have a system such as that the horses will pay the price everytime….just like with what you stated about if the smaller tracks closed… sorry these horses are living breathing creatures theres too many horses that are looked at as worthless to their people simply because they cant race anymore….these horses deserve a life outside of the track way to many never get that chance

          • Your pain is palpable, Billy. Sad to read your comments.

      • WT

        Yes, horses can come back from a bow, but they won’t last long. The scar tissue is not elastic and will eventually tear again. Thus, they bow again.

        • Some actually last pretty long if they’re lightly raced, and carefully managed. I don’t have any records or names you can look up, and I agree most don’t last long,… if they in fact even make it through the rigors of training to race again at all. I wouldn’t race one with a bow, as I’d said, it’s probably not a good idea. But it’s been done with a certain amount of success also.

          • Dr.Fager

            Chad Brown brought Awesome Feather back off a bow to win a Grade 1 I believe.

          • Some do come back to race very well. I’ve ridden many who’d been bowed. Never had any of them re-bow under me. Not to say it didn’t ever happen, but not with me aboard. Thankfully.

          • Kpete311

            Little Winston @ Penn National in late 1990’s .

        • Lehane

          Agree. I was involved with a mare who bowed a tendon, she had 9 months off, told she’d be fine but then failed in her 2 starts when she resumed racing. Fortunately she was immediately retired.

    • Also, how come PR closed down the Penn National MR page for comments?

      • Billy

        My guess is because of this post

    • Rob B

      I bet there are 100 horses racing today country wide that have an old bow. That alone is not enough to scratch a horse. I’ve seen horses pass with 2 old bows.

      • Billy

        Just like the one with a slab fracture rob….i get what your saying i do but look at the horses pp doesnt even have a layoff line…..theres plenty of horses that should never make past the prerace at penn and im sure you already know that dudes runnin horses every 7 to 14 days cmon and were not talking one horse its every damn one he runs

        • Rob B

          The last thing I’m trying to do is stick up for Penn or these DB trainers believe me.

          • Billy

            Oh i know and i do understand what you said… much respect ill never be ignorant to you and dont take what you say to me offensive

      • Lehane

        Well that’s not on.

      • Billy

        You ever see any of the necropsy reports rob? When you see whats wrong with these horses after watching them race for the past however long….its terrible when you see all that was wrong with them

        • Rob B

          No I haven’t but could only imagine. Most of them have issues with widespread EPM being one of them but at that low level unfortunately most trainers have a don’t ask dont tell type of approach. Or what they don’t know won’t hurt them.

          • Billy

            Have only seen one or two with epm but know its an issue…what you say about the trainers aint that the truth…its outta control here prolly alot of other places to

  • Livestrong

    Every official at that track should be fired. What a joke that place is. I’m sure there are many more like it also. Totally pathetic. You people should be ashamed of yourselfs and embarrassed for your children that they are related to you.

    • Jon Luman

      Now you’re talking, probably a few owners to ban too. There is nothing barring Pennsylvania from bringing back standards.

  • Back in the day we use to have “Stall parties” with a nap in the sht pile for pukes like that (humm must have gotten kicked ) it reflects on everyone.

  • Bryan Langlois

    I will be live streaming the PA Racing Commission meeting tomorrow starting at or around 1PM. For those who cannot attend you can view it on my YouTube Channel. You can just search for my name to get to the channel when you go to the general site. You can also get the link by following me on Twitter @animalsheltrdoc or on my facebook page. I am very curious to see how the Commission addresses all this come tomorrow.

    This is also the first time I have heard anything from the PAHBPA on this issue, even though it was indirectly through a quote from Mr. Chukas. I am surprised they have not come out saying this is not what they desire from their members and wish for the same higher penalties to be enforced for the good of the horse. They just spent a lot of money putting out a few professionally produced videos stating how much they care about the welfare of the horse and the integrity of the game. If they really are a part of the solution…I would hope they are getting ready to make a pretty nice donation to PARR to cover all the costs incurred by Dr. Papp to treat these horses and give them a chance.

    • Hi Bryan, are you a Vet.?

      • Bryan Langlois

        Yes I am…albeit on the small animal side. I do rescue and humane society work. I am also a passionate fan of racing hence my interest in all thast is going on in PA and my desire to help bring about the change that is needed.

        • Yeah, not surprised at all that you’re a Vet. I figured you had to be by the way your comments read. You know way too much to be just a fan of the game. Not to say that some fans don’t know a lot, because I know many that know quite a bit. Your answers and comments just go a little bit beyond the norm is all. Thanks, and it matters not one bit that you’re a small animal Vet., or not to me it doesn’t. Thanks again.

    • Yes Master

      Please keep us informed of what transpires. And to Kathryn Papp, DVM, thank you you are fighting the good battle.

    • gus stewart

      Bryan you certainly care about the racehorses and the business. All of the difference of thoughts on bows and lasix and meds, its all up for debate. This business cannot continue much longer without every track being on the same page with animal treatment. Perception in the general public’s veiw, not current fans, is horrible. So how can the sport grow? Answer it wont and until this is changed and until this sport rebrands itself where the public feels these horses are treated humanly, and yes i know most people in our business do care. But its public perception thats can only drive irs sucess for the future. And as I’ve said over and over with the current leadership having no accountability its not likely to get better

      • Billy

        How long does it go without the good guys selling out the bad guys….how come no trainers or owners from penn are calling for his head….what aboit the trainers that gave rodriguez horses also….change happens from the inside out not the other way around

        • gus stewart

          Cant answer about penn im in Calif where i must say testing and checking horses before and after races has improved. But the problem lies in all of horse racing harness quarter horses too. i mean if this business is not one that can prosper in the comings years and the facts are that not enough horses cant run enough to fill races without some form of medications, ok lets talk about solutions if there are any. Im sorry i dont believe that and this product cannot succeed. I’ve chosen the word prodoct because thats what this biz is. The marketing of this prodoct has been left in the 80s my era. But again if accountability with current leaders who are completely outdated with current veiws of the public, cannot be removed its finished.

    • Hey Bryan, I don’t know how I got this mixed up, but I missed the live streaming yesterday. Is there any way to here it or see it again anywhere now?

      • Bryan Langlois

        Yep…you can go to my YouTube Channel and see the replay. It starts in the middle of the meeting because my computer was not cooperating the first part of it, but all that was really missed and not shown was financial reports. I can’t insert links on this comment forum, but just search my full name on You Tube to get to my channel.

  • CEOmike

    The real problem is the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission and all the executive and many who work there. There are always POS’s who think they can scam the system, the difference is those in charge are NEGLIGENT in their responsibilities to keep the POS’s like Rodriguez out.

    Again, US racing needs a National Racing Commissioner. Handle, attendance, professionalism, coverage etc are a joke compared to the rest of the world where horse racing is respected and is a major sport.

    Why do we not have posted vet reports, horse weight etc Why do we not have multiple high quality race cameras? Why are bridge jumpers not limited? Why is Penn even allowed to host any stakes race counting as black type? Why because you will always have either corruption or willful neglect in at least one state any any one time without a National Commissioner.

    • Barrmorr

      To take your question one step further: Why is Penn National or Parx allowed to host any horse racing at all?

  • Linda Daly

    ALL the horses should be removed from this “trainer”….and yes, permanently banned from training and owning horses.

  • gus stewart

    How can this sport continue for to much longer. You have people that read this in a paper online. Its then finds its way to the west coast. Anyone involved in this sport has to watch stuff like this and other things continue to happen with no damage control team like any other sport would do. Like i said this sport is headed by nobody and thats continuing to help its demise. The truth racings dated officials are currently doing a worse job in the mainstream media then any other sport. This now includes bowling, darts, and the newly tevelvised on espn, the thrilling exciting collegiate sport of bean bag throwing. With a sport that has all different types of entertainment value as horse racing could we just imagine if the marketing people of the other.. ahhhh sports mentioned took over horses racing.. it could possibly get more coverage then football or universal soccer.

  • Ronnie DeWitt

    Why I hate racing

  • Shasta Sam

    This entire episode only reinforces the entire shameful state of affairs in Pennsylvania racing. This sorry situation has been swept under the rug for years but it has finally been exposed. The entire “swamp” that is Pennsylvania racing needs to be drained and owners and trainers from every other jurisdiction should refuse to race or wager there. Let them either fix it or wallow in it themselves. I for one will not ever send a horse there or make a bet there until it changes.

  • Barrmorr

    Lifetime ban. Lengthy jail sentence. Substantial fine to send a message to others.
    Case closed.

  • Gunda BeSm

    He need his leg broken, no treatment, but work a 9h shift on the retail floor

  • Maybe now that there is an official investigation going on, Mario Rodriguez will get booted out of the game as he should’ve been after they’d discovered the horse with the broken leg. How about it guys? Time to say so long to this creep now?

  • CEOmike

    Penn National Racing owns this track (and several other smaller ones) They are a real estate and casino business. Penn runs races 52 weeks of the year.

    The track management has ZERO interest in anything but their bottom line.

    Penn National Racing has many connections to tracks and casinos in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, as previous owners or management partners. The connections map reads like the suspect board in an office of the FBI.

    Stronach, Kay, Carstanjen (although he may not be totally clean either) and the other good guys need to wake up and understand the greatest threat to racing are the guys like Penn National Racing. One rotten apple can spoil the whole barrel.

  • mike

    there are a lot of imposters out there.

  • Gls

    How about the horse that they found dead, did someone “ treat it “ and then leave it to die a horrible death! WTF. And if so, who did that. ? These people who can’t take care of a horse should not have a license. These cheap tracks inable this. When you see two horses in a stall, or no bedding, or someone who train about evert other day, then you have problems. Or how about the owners that brag they pay little or no day money, who do they think is getting the brunt of that deal.

  • Bob

    What owners would even want there horse with him??

  • Genellen

    OMG. This is death by a thousand cuts. Ban him for life before he ever puts a halter on another horse.

  • Myrtlewood77

    This track needs shut down and a full investigation is needed. . I’m sure there are more ” rotten apples ” in this basket !

  • Maurice B. Quirin

    Revoke the license and keep this guy away from horses, period!

  • Galen

    It is obvious that the man has no concern for the welfare of his animals in his care, people such as this are ruining the reputation and public perception of the horse racing industry. There should be some charges of animal cruelty filed and this “low life” removed permanently from racing nationwide. When will these racing Commissions step up and do the humane thing and stop worrying about just filling races instead of the welfare of these animals. If it wasn’t for them there would be no tracks or racing for us to enjoy. They are the real athletes.

  • Bill

    This guy has been a bad actor for years. Runs horses constantly regardless of how they run or at what level. He just seems to enter every race they are eligible for. Sometimes they do okay and sometimes they end up like these poor horses in this article. He is disgusting and should never be allowed in racing. He should probably never be allowed to own an animal period.

    • CEOmike

      Penn national Gaming is behind almost all the questionable things that go on in racing, small tracks to keep off the radar. Not to say Italians are criminals but organized crime is often run by Italians. What is happening here fits this organized crime pattern. Seems an awful lot of Italians are in control here? A lot of companies running casinos with questionable tracks are all related to Penn.

  • Mike Oliveto

    Pennsylvania racing needs to be humanely euthanized.

  • Rob B

    I once saw a horse who used to run every 2-3 weeks lay down in his stall and not get up for 4-5 days after each race. I felt bad for him but he was performing well and not my animal or place to say something. I was only a teenager at the time so nobody would have listened anyhow.

  • Dolly Younger

    Is he also the owner of this horse? If not, who is?

  • just saying

    tracks that run year round this is going to happen people have a sore horse keep them in the barn because free board some one should go through EVERYBODYS barn if they have horses havent started 30 days check them out doing this you might fine more stalls for other trainers can run there iam sure these aint the only ones like these

  • Shirley Mae Keller Verhoef

    I could not let to the live streaming of the Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission on the Silent ruler or “trainer” Rodriguez.

  • Pam Farmer

    Banned and barred from every track in the United States and Puerto Rico

  • Mark up Tiny

    The racing office at Penn only cares about entries. If Eric Johnston had any stones he’d stand up and give a freaking comment to Ray. What a coward.

  • nikoniko

    Why are the others stabled near him allowing this to go on? Do they all have something to hide as regards THEIR Animal stewardship? If someone did this at a boarding barn every other boarder would be up in arms! They’d be chased out with pitchforks , literally.

  • Dean Peters

    When I pull in to Mountaineer two or three years from now and start winning at a 65% clip, Mr. Rodriguez’s actions/barn will look like a baptist, Sunday school picnic in comparison to the operation that is going to be unleashed in the great city of Chester, WV.

    • Okay I’ll bite! What’s going on there in W.VA.?

  • theosmachine

    This is ridiculous. These days I don’t even look at PA racing. On all levels there is corruption and lack of institutional control.

    Shame on this accused trainer who doesn’t even deserve to have his name mentioned.

  • minismom

    just another mike gill and marcus vitali – this guy should have his license taken permanently – only problem is that he would probably run his horses in another name – sorry for the damage to the horses but the state vet and Papp are on to him –

  • Always Curious

    I missed the live stream by Bryan Langlois of the PARC meeting by Bryan Langlois of the result of their review of the “trainer” Rodriguez & their actions (or lack of) on 12/20. Anyone?????

    • Isn’t that airing today?

      • Always Curious

        Yesterday. I finally got the live stream as it was ending that discussion. I suppose it is on Utube but was hoping someone had a quick answer for me:-)

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