Crane farm fire, indictments, more: The week in social media

by | Mar 13, 2020 | Breaking, Business, Regionwide, Top Stories


Alwaysmining cruised in the 2019 Private Terms Stakes at Laurel Park. Photo by Dottie Miller. 

Laurel Park will celebrate National Pi Day this weekend, a Pennsylvania farm was devastated by a barn fire, and a shocking discovery was made public when it was announced that 27 individuals were indicted for administering illegal drugs to Thoroughbred and standardbred racehorses.

Here is the 411 on what racing fans in the Mid-Atlantic region have been talking about on social media over the past week:

Four stakes – but no fans – at Laurel Park

Though no fans will be able to attend, live racing will continue at Laurel Park on Saturday (and Sunday).

Saturday’s card features 11 races, with first post at 1:10 p.m. EST. The highlight of the day will come in the form of not one, not two, but four stakes races, each with a purse of $100,000. The Nellie Morse Stakes will kick off the black-type action at 3:13, with the Beyond the Wire Stakes, the Private Terms Stakes, and the Harrison E. Johnson Memorial Stakes following soon afterward. The Private Terms, for three-year-olds, and the Beyond the Wire, for three-year-old fillies, are Maryland’s next steps on the road to the Preakness and Black-Eyed Susan, respectively.

Deadly barn fire

A devastating barn fire wreaked havoc last Saturday at Crane Thoroughbreds. Located in Lebanon, Pa, the thoroughbred facility suffered the loss of 15 of their horses in the fire.

In the aftermath of the fire, Clovis Crane confirmed that the 15 horses that lost their lives were all two-year-olds. Crane was first alerted of the fire by his daughter, who spotted the flames and smoke coming from the barn Saturday morning. Crane entered the burning barn and began making a desperate attempt to save his horses. He was able to pull seven horses out of the barn and to safety, but when he went back in for an eighth horse, the filly refused to budge. With the toxic smoke getting the better of him, Crane had to make the difficult decision to abandon his efforts and exit the building. Two of the rescued thoroughbreds were then sent to Maryland to receive treatment in a hyperbaric chamber, while the other five are receiving veterinary treatment at the Crane Farm.

Crane Thoroughbreds is best known for breaking, training, and sales prep.

A GoFundMe has been created in order to help the Crane family rebuild during this difficult time. Proving that many of those involved in the sport of horse racing are a family, several people in the industry have been reaching out to help as well. Jodie from the consignment of Grassroots and Susan of SBM spent Monday collecting donations for the farm in the Ocala Breeders’ Sale parking lot. A truck was then offered by Glen Brok and Brookledge to take donations from Ocala all the way to Pennsylvania as those in the sport continue to rally around the Crane Farm.

There has been no official statement made yet on the cause of the barn fire.

If you wish to make a donation to the Crane Farm’s GoFundMe you can do so by clicking here.

27 indicted in horse doping scandal

Shocking news spread throughout the world of thoroughbred horse racing on March 9, when it was made public that several individuals were charged with the administration of illegal performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) to racehorses. The U.S. District Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York listed a total of 27 indicted individuals. Among those indicted were Jason Servis, the trainer of recent winner of the $20 million Saudi Cup, Maximum Security, and Jorge Navarro, who picked up his seventh consecutive training title at Monmouth Park last year.

“These defendants engaged in this conduct not for the love of the sport, and certainly not out of concern for the horses, but for money.” Manhattan Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman stated in the aftermath of the indictments, “And it was the racehorses that paid the price for the defendants’ greed.”

For much more on the indictments and their aftermath:



About The Author

Chelsea Lowman

A native of Carroll County, MD, Chelsea is an avid racing fan and a recent college graduate with an AA in Marketing. She has a racing blog called "Down to the Wire" and can be found on Twitter @Down2TheWire.

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