The method has changed, but racehorses are still being put down at an alarming rate
This story appears in the April 30, 2012 NFL Draft issue of ESPN The Magazine. Subscribe today!
TELLER ALL GONE was not a horse of distinction until he was dead. In fact, he was so unexceptional when he was alive, the details of his biography remain hazy. According to the Lazy E Ranch in Guthrie, Okla., the farm where he was born, he was foaled on Feb. 12, 2009, from Algonquin, sired by Teller Cartel and registered with the American Quarter Horse Association as a sorrel gelding. But according to a video once posted online by the ranch, he might have been a she, a brown filly foaled from Check Her Twice.
Whatever his gender and dam, Teller All Gone definitely traveled as a yearling from Oklahoma to New Mexico, where he was auctioned at Ruidoso but passed through without a buyer. He went on to run three races at Ruidoso Downs last summer, placing second once, earning $1,570. Here, there is no debate. The money is always exact.