07/25/2013 4:26PM

Louisiana regulators drop probe into Monzante's death

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Tom Keyser
Grade 1 winner Monzante, seen winning a claiming race at Belmont Park in October 2011, was euthanized last Saturday after suffering an injury in a race at Evangeline Downs.

The Louisiana Racing Commission is satisfied that the state’s policies and regulations were followed during the handling of Monzante, the 9-year-old gelding and Grade 1 winner who was euthanized last Saturday after suffering an injury in a $4,000 claiming race at Evangeline Downs, the top official of the commission said Thursday.

Charles Gardiner, the executive director of the commission, said two state veterinarians had examined Monzante prior to his start in the race and applied additional scrutiny to the horse because of his history, in line with the commission’s prerace policies. He also said it was the trainer’s right to decide to euthanize Monzante after the horse apparently fractured small bones in his right-front fetlock joint.

“The commission is satisfied that everything that the commission was required to do was done,” Gardiner said. “Unless there’s something else that comes up, we’re going to consider this closed.”

The commission launched an inquiry into the incident after the horse’s death generated intense discussion on social-media sites and within the racing community.

On Wednesday, the horse’s trainer, Jackie Thacker, said he decided to put down Monzante after the horse began displaying signs of severe distress and pain. He said he and his wife, Geraldine, “loved the horse,” and that the decision was painful to make.

“We can’t take away that right for him to make that call,” Gardiner said of Thacker’s comments. “It’s just one of those unfortunate things, what happened.”

Monzante won the Grade 1 Eddie Read Handicap in 2008 and had career earnings of $583,929. He was bred by Juddmonte Farms and raced by five different owners before he died Saturday. Thacker had owned the horse since claiming him for $10,000 in May 2012 at Evangeline Downs.

Raymond Hackinson More than 1 year ago
There are many more who die out of the public eye This sad story is similar to the movie "Requiem for a Heavyweight' The poor old boxer who can no longer fight even in the cheapest ranks now has to become a buffoonish wrestler. Obviously Monzante had no choice in his career moves but this is not the first scenario where a graded stakes winner is forced to run in the bottom claiming rung. .
Gail Hirt More than 1 year ago
It's about time that the rules and regulations start favoring the horses. There are way to many of these horses out there still running in the hands of the people that can barely afford to keep them, let alone fix them if they get hurt. I rescued one that had a sesmoid fracture, had surgery and went on to be a wonderful riding horse. Monzante shouldn't have been running to begin with.
Sal Carcia More than 1 year ago
This is whole story is representative of what it is like to train at cheap claiming tracks. It's as if the whole racing community woke up one morning and discovered there are low level claiming tracks in this country. There's not much money at these tracks and this often results in poor conditions for the horses. I'll leave it at that.
jmac9571 More than 1 year ago
Have you seen the purses at these slot tracks?? That's why some continue to run these types.
Pat Diers More than 1 year ago
Get out the violins. I LOVED the horse---yeah sure, who do you think you're fooling? Get rid of this guy. No training license. We won't forget.
Debbie More than 1 year ago
This was a trainer issue of him having claimed a horse and then not wanting to care for him Its all about the money - he should be barred as a trainer and his wife should divorce him - it was her horse so if she cared about the horse like he said the horse would be alive today. They should remove all horses from his care.
Mark Deckert More than 1 year ago
Start a horse adoption agency with your $ or just get in the game and put up your $ and then continue with your idiotic "bar him/divorce him" dribble! You are clueless about the horse racing business....it is a business not a philanthropy program.
Steven Prince More than 1 year ago
Wow, a Louisiana Commission "is satisfied that the state’s policies and regulations were followed". When hasn't a Louisiana Commission on anything been anything but "satisfied that the state’s policies and regulations were followed". First, you don't get to be on a commission in the south unless you're completely willing at all times to be "satisfied that the state’s policies and regulations were followed". Saves the trouble of actually investigating. Second, it can easily be read as an admission that "policies and regulations" are extraordinarily in the favor of the owner and not the horse.
Starr D More than 1 year ago
I read that they inspected him prior to the race, but do they not have any rules regarding conditioning? A horse on the vet's list coming into a race with very few workouts posted in the last several months indicates a problem to me since virtually all horses work weekly.....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
No, thereare no rules regarding public workouts. There are horsesat every track , running every day , that you can that have no published worouts for months. In the case of two year olds, most tracks require gate workouts and schooling. Horses of older ages do not. They are inspected for infirmities. Fitness is pretty much left up to the connections, it is them risking their entry fees.
radnor87 More than 1 year ago
Most tracks require one published work in the last 30 days prior to racing. First time starters usually need a minimum of two including a gate work. There are no entry fees, unless its a stake.