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Monzante: G1 racehorse, winner of >$500k, dies for $4k

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  • #61
    Unfortunately its too easy for owners to compromise their morals when money is involved...you know, it is supposed to be a business, an investment..if you have say a horse who is declining in ability and maybe soundness and definitely value, do you say drop it in a $20k claimer with the hope of cutting your losses and cashing out, paying some bills with that money or reinvesting it...or do you retire the horse and keep feeding it and maybe pay for retraining, with the hopes to sell it for maybe $2k as a riding horse IF it is sound enough.

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    • #62
      Originally posted by Slewdledo View Post
      I will take offense at the 'those who run in $4k claimers are "bottom feeders."' Or at least with the use of that term, given its connotation.

      I WOULD like to know why this horse was allowed to run, given that he was a vet scratch in June and had no works since. At least here, if you're a vet scratch you go on the vet's list and you have to work to get off of it. Running a horse off a 7 month layoff with 1 work 6 weeks ago? Uh, no.

      I had a "vet scratch" once because I forgot a coggins expired the day before the race... What a mess that was. Probably not the case here, but just saying....

      "Pat the horse; kick yourself" - Carl Hester

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      • #63
        Originally posted by Angelico View Post
        I had a "vet scratch" once because I forgot a coggins expired the day before the race... What a mess that was. Probably not the case here, but just saying....
        No it wasn't the case, and he was given extra scrutiny before the race.

        http://www.drf.com/news/monzante-dee...regulator-says

        Be interesting to hear what the injury actually was. The fact that he was "salvageable" doesn't necessarily bother me, especially if the prognosis was poor.

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        • #64
          Thank you for posting that article kcmel... it certainly sheds a different light on this situation. Obviously the track has quickly started asking questions -- perhps they will change some policies concerning trainer infractions. Im sure a necropsy will be done telling even more answers.

          Interesting to note how ignorant the general public is of the racing industry as seen by the comment page -- there Are funds put aside for rehoming programs. I dont know the particulars of this track -- i also wonder how many of those folks donate -- in any way...

          At least this will be thoroughly looked into, giving the horse the respect he deserves. Sad no matter what.
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          • #65
            Personally, I don't see anything too terrible in this horse's history, FWIW. It's the same as the histories of probably the majority of race horses today. Nor does the fact that he was euthanized bother me at all, given the severity of his injuries, whatever they were.

            After saying that, however, maybe there should be a no claiming after five or six years old rule. That would, perhaps, protect some horses who would be retired before they broke down. I should point out that the North America is the ONLY area that I'm aware of that has claiming races as the base of the racing pyramid. They are practically unknown in much of the rest of the world. The reliance on claiming races here is a huge part of the problem that we have today.

            I personally would not believe anything that comes from the Louisiana Racing Commission. Given the trainer's previous propensity for using drugs to keep horses in races, one wonders if a drug test was done on the horse after it broke down.
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            • #66
              Sad though this may be, euthing even for a "salvageable" injury (which by itself leads one to believe that he wouldn't have been a good UL event prospect), this is far better than winding up at an auction for $35 as the other horse on this page did.

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              • #67
                Originally posted by betonbill View Post
                Sad though this may be, euthing even for a "salvageable" injury (which by itself leads one to believe that he wouldn't have been a good UL event prospect), this is far better than winding up at an auction for $35 as the other horse on this page did.
                I tend to agree with that. Of course no one likes to watch a breakdown, but bottom line, when they are owned by someone who worships money above all, euthanasia is MUCH kinder than what could have happened to our $30 stallion. He got lucky but as you know, many do not.

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                • #68
                  Originally posted by vineyridge View Post
                  After saying that, however, maybe there should be a no claiming after five or six years old rule. That would, perhaps, protect some horses who would be retired before they broke down. I should point out that the North America is the ONLY area that I'm aware of that has claiming races as the base of the racing pyramid. They are practically unknown in much of the rest of the world. The reliance on claiming races here is a huge part of the problem that we have today.

                  Heck, I'd be all for the "no claimers" thing and I DO find it interesting that other countries have much less reliance on claiming races as the base races.

                  But that's there and this is here. Once you run through the conditioned/allowance races, unless you're really a pretty good horse, it is hard to make money with one. And I don't mean in a "LET'S MAKE EVERY DOLLAR POSSIBLE OUT OF OUR LAME OLD HORSE" way of making money, I mean in a "if I race this horse way over his head in class, we'll go bankrupt" kind of way.
                  There seems to be a perception, though, that "claimer" equals "lame, washed-up, one step to the slaughterhouse, poor old nag" and that's just not the case. Some horses are what they are. They aren't all top-notch. I don't think age really has anything to do with it in a lot of cases either. We've got a couple of these in our stable. Just because they're not stakes/allowance/condition horses doesn't mean they can't be useful racehorses.
                  So, I would be all for condition/allowance-type races that would allow people to race their mediocre-type horses competitively without a tag on their head. I suspect, though, that that wouldn't stop the people who were going to run their horses into the ground to run their horses into the ground.

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                  • #69
                    My vet contacted me for my opinion on one of his client's horses. She was a small chestnut mare with nondescript breeding, no real race record and with a reportedly horrid temperament and a pretty severely new bowed tendon. I have helped place countless horses for his clients over the years which is why he was asking me what I thought. We came to the agreement that euthing her was the best course of action. I wasn't happy about helping end her life but I do believe it was the decision that made the most sense for everyone involved. The chances of her ending up somewhere good for the next couple decades were slim.

                    The horse in the OP probably could have gone to Old Friend's or somewhere like that before the injury but even they don't have the resources to do extensive surgery and rehab on a horse not in their possession.
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                    • #70
                      Because Monzante was salvageable doesn't mean euthanasia was wrong. Presuming he was worth about $4k, when you spot that "value" against far more in vet bills to make him pasture sound, plus live long maintainance, it makes sense to destroy him.
                      Here on COTH we regularly see questions to the effect of "my horse is chronically lame, he will never be sound... What should I do?" Support is offered for the poster if they choose to euthanize, because they cannot afford a very expensive but unusable horse. I see their point but how is that different from the racing owner in the same position?
                      While I think that what happened is terrible, why is it any worse than the breakdown of a horse that was never anything but a low level runner?
                      The fact is that to the owner, this was a horse they bought for a few thousand dollars. They didn't have him when he won the GI. Why is no onus falling on the people who raced him to elite level success then sold him when he was no longer competitive on their circuit? Why not blame them for not noticing that he was entered and "vet scratched" before last weekend and rebuking him?
                      Last edited by Linny; Jul. 24, 2013, 11:33 PM.
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                      • #71
                        In the lower levels you don't have owners with a lot of money. If a horse is not going to be racing sound after an injury, euthanasia is a better fate than sending the broken down off to slaughter to make a few more bucks off of them, which still happens.
                        Some people don't see racehorses as living creature with their own lives; they are a vehicle with which to make money, and you make decisions on them based on finances. These folks knew this horse had a flat tire and they were probably trying to dump him on some unsuspecting person who would claim him and they could get a few dollars out of him. At that point the horse's welfare is nowhere to be seen on the radar. Horses are moved to different tracks with less stringent vetting to run after vet scratches all the time. People run horses with significant injuries all the time. They have nothing to lose; maybe the horse will hold up and they make a little money or get claimed, maybe they breakdown and you cash out. I used to be involved in a little mare that was running on a bad ankle with nasty chips for a while. She was running really well and no one wanted to take her out of training for surgery. She won her last race and broke down after the finish. Vanned off, no win photo. I was irate because the writing was on the wall for a long time that this was coming. The trainer told me "The only place a good old racehorse doesn't have chips is in their teeth". I used to work with a gelding that was a multiple stakes winner. He was claimed by an unsuspecting (read: naïve) owner who thought he could grab a steal by getting the horse in a $40k claimer without wondering why the horse was there. His pastern was fractured, that's why. We tried to rehab him, the pastern didn't heal, the vet told the owner he wasn't racing sound, owner sent him back to the track anyway. Horse was the most gentle thing you could imagine and it was heartbreaking to see him sent back. Ran him for $20k. 20 seconds into the race and SNAP. Pastern gone. Horse claimed. Vanned off and destroyed. Previous owner happy to turn $40k loss into $20k loss. We were in tears at the farm and I doubt the previous owner gave it one second thought.
                        As Peter, Paul, and Mary say, a dragon lives forever.

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                        • #72
                          Originally posted by Pronzini View Post
                          I like Steve and he is usually pretty measured but this isn't. The horse didn't win a stakes for Asmussen or Romans so I don't why he pulled them into this unless he is seriously expecting them to be a safety net for every horse that ever passed through their barn which he says in the article he's not. I certainly don't speak for Mitchell but a man with a brain tumor might have other things on his mind than a horse he trained 5 years ago. I know he's still an active trainer but he's also a very sick man. So that leaves Juddmonte and the owners when he won the Eddie Read. Maybe they have a moral obligation- I know I would feel that I did - but how does racing a continent away realistically enforce that? To put it more bluntly, does everyone reading this know where horses they formerly owned are right now and are they prepared to take them back at a moments notice? Just saying " well they are rich and they can" begs the question and also puts a condition on the rule.
                          Is it possible or would it be possible that there could be a way on the papers to identify that a certain owner expresses interest in retiring a horse? I am sure there are lots of breeders or owners that would love to retire their horses or ensure that they don't fall through the cracks. But, even if you care about a horse... show horse...breeding horse... race horse... how do you keep tabs on your former horse... especially if there are 100s or thousands of former horses.
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                          • #73
                            http://www.equibase.com/profiles/Res...ype=T&eID=2552

                            Does anybody know if there is a reason for the gaps between 1998 and 2005? It just jumped out at me when I was looking at the stats.
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                            • #74
                              Originally posted by Linny View Post
                              The fact is that to the owner, this was a horse they bought for a few thousand dollars. They didn't have him when he won the GI. Why is no onus falling on the people who raced him to elite level success then sold him when he was no longer competitive on their circuit?
                              I think the most blame in this whole thing is with the owners who had him when he won the G1 race. For most owners, the graded stakes winners are few and far between. He kept racing after they had him so it wouldn't have been hard to keep track of where he was and what he was doing. A few online searches tell you everything. I guess some owners don't give a horse another thought when they don't own them anymore, but I think they owe the horse more than that when the horse was so successful for them.

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                              • #75
                                Originally posted by ravenclaw View Post
                                I think the most blame in this whole thing is with the owners who had him when he won the G1 race. For most owners, the graded stakes winners are few and far between. He kept racing after they had him so it wouldn't have been hard to keep track of where he was and what he was doing. A few online searches tell you everything. I guess some owners don't give a horse another thought when they don't own them anymore, but I think they owe the horse more than that when the horse was so successful for them.
                                Slamming strangers is such a blood sport on the Internet that I hesitate to join in but I can get behind this. When a horse earns someone that much prestige and money, maybe he owes him. I've seen this before and I've thought of the former owners "Well you're an ass and you don't care who knows it." I wonder in such times if the trophy the horse won is still displayed somewhere and the win picture is prominently hung in someone's office while the horse himself has an uncertain future.

                                But that said, lots of gray in this situation and I'd be horrified to have some of people squawking the loudest (Have you read the comments on DRF and the Paulick Report lately?)having a say in how these horses are campaigned. There's got to be a middle ground.

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                                • #76
                                  Originally posted by CrowneDragon View Post
                                  Some people don't see racehorses as living creature with their own lives; they are a vehicle with which to make money
                                  And these are the people that give racing a bad name. Horses are very clearly breathing, living creatures with the ability to feel pain, soreness, hunger and tiredness. If someone doesn't believe that then they should be doing something for a living that doesn't involve an animal that is dependent upon them.

                                  Look at the Paulick Report on Convocation - his breeders/owners kept track of him on DRF and knew the horse was on his way down and they bought him back and gave him a new life before something bad could happen. You didn't see Monzante's connections doing that for him, so I do hold them responsible because I believe it was possible for the outcome to be different if someone had cared just a little bit more bout him. If I met any of the people involved in this saga in person I would be more than willing to tell them to their faces that I think they failed this horse.

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                                  • #77
                                    I don't think this was posted yet, if so I apologize. Looks like shattered sesamoids. Regardless of how he was treated before/leading up to the race it looks like the trainer made the right call to euth.

                                    http://www.drf.com/news/trainer-says...-was-suffering
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                                    • #78
                                      Originally posted by twelvebelles View Post
                                      And these are the people that give racing a bad name. Horses are very clearly breathing, living creatures with the ability to feel pain, soreness, hunger and tiredness. If someone doesn't believe that then they should be doing something for a living that doesn't involve an animal that is dependent upon them.
                                      A lot of owners are gamblers, sports people, and business people. They aren't horse people or animal lovers. These types of issues don't dawn on them, just the finances.
                                      As Peter, Paul, and Mary say, a dragon lives forever.

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                                      • #79
                                        Originally posted by M.K.Smith View Post
                                        Is it possible or would it be possible that there could be a way on the papers to identify that a certain owner expresses interest in retiring a horse? I am sure there are lots of breeders or owners that would love to retire their horses or ensure that they don't fall through the cracks. But, even if you care about a horse... show horse...breeding horse... race horse... how do you keep tabs on your former horse... especially if there are 100s or thousands of former horses.
                                        I understand the Zitos put a note on papers of horses they've had indicating contact them if the horse is in a bad place. Obviously that only works as long as the horse is racing, unless once it leaves the track its papers are kept with it religiously. There's nothing ENFORCEABLE about it. And the JC has Thoroughbred Connect, but I haven't heard yet of anyone getting a horse that way (and some posters on here have pointed out an online thing like that is not necessarily something a lot of trainers and owners are aware of or in the case of trainers at smaller tracks necessarily have easy access to.) That doesn't even begin to address racehorses who've left the track, maybe without papers because the seller didn't want them raced, maybe they've been showing under a show name...

                                        And for a lot of owners, I'm sure that they might like to retire a horse in theory, but they aren't living on a big farm with lots of room for animals. Retire to where? Old Friends can't take every hard luck case out there. And a lot of people are going to resist the idea of just killing every horse that doesn't have a "forever home", so I don't think paying to destroy them would fly.
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                                        • #80
                                          Originally posted by CrowneDragon View Post
                                          A lot of owners are gamblers, sports people, and business people. They aren't horse people or animal lovers. These types of issues don't dawn on them, just the finances.
                                          Horses are a 24/7 365 labor of love, especially at the lower levels. You don't train 4k claimers for the fame and glory. This horse was owned by his trainer so there was no gambler, business person calling his shots.
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