The California Horse Racing Board has confirmed that 5-year-old Highly Rated – who was originally reported as “went wrong, pulled up, vanned off” at Golden Gate on January 18th (7th race) – was in fact euthanized for “multiple open fractures” in her right foreleg. In just her last year alone, Highly Rated was bought and sold five times, enduring six – yes, six – different trainers: Jerry Hollendorfer, Michael Machowsky, John Martin, Vann Belvoir, William Morey, and, finally, Gary Greiner.

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Also at Golden Gate, 17 days after a December 30th training incident in which she “went over the rail” and sustained “severe lacerations” to her shoulder and chest, 3-year-old Under Study Career was “found dead in [her] stall.” This is horseracing.

From the January Cal Expo (harness racing) Stewards’ Minutes:

“Driver Mark Eaton was fined for violation of the ‘House Whipping Rule’ – ‘ANY BLATANT OR EXAGGERATED MOVEMENTS OF THE WHIPPING ARM WHICH WILL RESULT FROM RAISING THE ELBOW ABOVE THE DRIVER’S SHOULDER HEIGHT AND/OR ALLOWING THE HAND HOLDING THE WHIP TO REACH BEHIND THE DRIVER DURING THE USE OF THE WHIP.’ Mr. Eaton had to agree that his whipping action was excessive and accepted the penalty.” Upshot: $50 fine.

“Driver Tim Clevenger appeared in the Stewards office in order to review his drive aboard Bluebird Cheetah. The burly Clevenger used his whip excessively and with unnecessary force throughout the stretch drive. The Stewards told Clevenger a repeat performance of his January 11th actions will lead to an immediate and significant escalation of sanctions. Clevenger agreed with the Stewards evaluation of the drive.” Upshot: $100 fine.

“Driver Patrick Galbraith appeared in the Stewards office in order to review his actions in the stretch drive of last night’s first race. The Stewards all felt Galbraith was over zealous with his use of the whip… Taking the driving crop back behind the head prior to its usage is not allowed by the stewards. A penalty will be issued regarding this matter. More to follow.” Upshot: “more to follow.”

And finally, on January 16th, “Following the running of the fourth race seventh place finisher St. Lads Kingpin collapsed while pulling up past the finish line. Shortly after…it was reported that St. Lads Kingpin had expired on the track.” Upshot: dead.

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The following horses were casualties on American tracks last week. This list, however, includes only raceday victims, for while I’d prefer a more complete reckoning, the training carnage, with but two exceptions (NY, Cal), is almost entirely covered up.

Reported as died, euthanized, or “broke down” – racing-speak for dead:
Hidden Angel, Turf
Trail’satwosteppin, Charles Town
Paramounts Fortune, Sunland

Reported as “vanned off” – left via ambulance, a better-than-even chance of dead:
Sunrise Sail, Mahoning
Southern Flash, Oaklawn
TI Doublegrrr, Sunland
Tantors Dream, Turf
Warrior Forever, Charles Town
Fox Drive, Charles Town
Boston Brute, Delta
My Uncle Frank, Tampa Bay
Miss Macarena, Aqueduct (later confirmed dead)
Luckysdream, Aqueduct
Jake Mo, Oaklawn
Flying Jessica, Hialeah
Kukaluka, Santa Anita
Snaff, Fair Grounds
Springsteen Road, Oaklawn
In for the Money, Sunland
Colstons Leaving U, Louisiana
American Sun, Santa Anita (later confirmed dead)
Get Down Running, Sunland
Cozy Nicole, Turfway

Other:
Clever Louise, Mahoning, “returned lame”
Girls Can Fly, Los Alamitos, “stumbled badly,” DNF

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