Patrick J Battuello

Archive for 2014|Yearly archive page

2-Year-Old Kamarius Dead at Saratoga

In Dead Athletes on August 23, 2014 at 12:00 pm

Todd Pletcher-trained Kamarius was vanned off after the morning “breeze” today at Saratoga and was subsequently euthanized. He was two. This is the eighth death at Saratoga since the meet began and ninth on the year. For all NY tracks, 75 kills and counting. And this, on Travers Day.

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Little Tower Becomes 14th Horse to Die at Del Mar

In Dead Athletes, Tracks on August 23, 2014 at 6:08 am

A 2-year-old colt named Little Tower is dead after breaking down (“on his own”) in last night’s 3rd race at Del Mar. He was ridden by William Antongeorgi, trained by Sal Gonzalez, and owned/bred by Tricar Stables. Little Tower – the rough equivalent of a 6-year-old boy – is the 14th horse to die at Del Mar in the past six weeks. This is horseracing.

4-year-old Corlett Drive, July 13, training
4-year-old Kokaltash, July 17, race 5
2-year-old Mont Saint Michel, July 24th, found dead in stall
3-year-old Dance With Fate, July 24, training
4-year-old Yes She’s Unusual, July 25, race 6
5-year-old Longview Drive, July 25, race 7
5-year-old Lil Swiss Echo, July 26, race 5
3-year-old J Kat, July 26, race 9
2-year-old Chilled Mousse, July 27, training
3-year-old Chattering Gambler, August 2, race 3
3-year-old Steppingood, August 13, race 8
4-year-old Serious, August 14, from July 31 race 7
3-year-old Bayview Drive, August 16, race 10
2-year-old Little Tower, August 22, race 3

Saratoga Is a House of Cards

In Dead Athletes, Horseracing as Sport, Tracks on August 22, 2014 at 9:28 am

Horseracing, we are told, is a proud sporting fraternity, an extended family, if you will, comprised of both people – breeders, owners, trainers, jockeys, etc. – and the equine “athletes” themselves. So when the House of Saratoga lost yet another of its daughters on Thursday (victim 7 on the meet), surely a wake or a funeral or, at the very least, a suspension of the day’s activities was in order. Alas, for 3-year-old filly M B and Tee, who collapsed and died after winning the 7th race, not even the perfunctory moment of silence. The show, as it were, went on, with the last three races of the day going off sans delay.

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So, horseracing, enough with your declarations of equine love. For each time one falls, your entire corrupt “family” betrays its true colors: This month’s other Saratoga casualties (listed below) became instant refuse, replaced, ever so easily, by brand-new cogs in the gambling machine. Your “sport” is inherently cruel and regularly deadly. And you know it.

4-year-old Lifeguard On Duty
3-year-old Double Gold
3-year-old Father Johns Pride
3-year-old Lavender Road
2-year-old Sir William Bruce
4-year-old Regretless

M B and Tee Whipped to Her Death at Saratoga

In Dead Athletes on August 21, 2014 at 9:12 pm

From Saratoga’s 7th this afternoon: “[3-year-old] M B and Tee…held on safely [for the first place share of an $83,000 purse], then fell heavily after crossing the wire and was euthanized.” On the track. Here are this pathetic creature’s last two minutes on this planet (hit “Race Replays,” Thursday, Race 7). Please note: the kill is captured at around 2:20; the announcer utters not a word on the matter. Not a word.

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One last thought: Though comfortably out front in the stretch, jockey Junior Alvarado felt it appropriate to continue whipping his mount – right to her death. M B and Tee was trained by Dominick Schettino, owned by MeB Racing, and bred by EH Beau Lane.

To those who wager on horseracing, we implore you to reconsider. And ultimately, you hold all the cards: no more bets, no more races; no more races, no more kills. And – no more separating foals and moms, no more abusing unformed bodies, no more confining, no more whipping, no more drugging, no more doping, no more buying and selling and trading and dumping. No more auctions, no more kill-buyers, no more transport trucks, no more abattoirs. No more pain, no more suffering. No more.

In a landscape that abounds with other gambling options – real sports involving autonomous human beings, casinos, lotteries – hasn’t the time at long last arrived to let the racing horse be? You, the bettor, have within the capacity for mercy. We ask only that you exercise it. Please. For the horses.

The January 2014 Casualties Today

In Vanned Off on August 20, 2014 at 8:42 am

An update on the January 2014 casualties.

The following were reported as “vanned off”:
Holy Simone, Delta, Jan 1, still active
Leavin Here, Parx, Jan 1, hasn’t been heard from since
Ezinmotion, Portland, Jan 1, hasn’t been heard from since
Ben’s Starry Night, Portland, Jan 1, hasn’t been heard from since
Trando’s Tremor, Santa Anita, Jan 1, hasn’t been heard from since
Time for Alex, Turfway, Jan 1, hasn’t been heard from since
Beyond Midnight, Laurel, Jan 2, still active
Buckel Bunny, Sunland, Jan 2, hasn’t been heard from since
Music and Me, Santa Anita, Jan 3, still active
Behind the Bossman, Turf, Jan 3, hasn’t been heard from since
Madelyns Itsybitsy, Fair Grounds, Jan 4, still active
Shimmering Star, Golden Gate, Jan 4, still active
Chicks Luv Roses, Sunland, Jan 4, hasn’t been heard from since
Yankee Romance, Los Alamitos, Jan 5, still active
Chatterboxsecret, Los Alamitos, Jan 5, hasn’t been heard from since
Hye I’m Jack, Santa Anita, Jan 5, hasn’t been heard from since
Baran’s Prospect, Tampa Bay, Jan 5, still active
Practice Squad, Delta, Jan 8, hasn’t been heard from since
Shoeless Jackson, Turf, Jan 8, still active
Holy Waters, Charles Town, Jan 10, still active
Minister Machine, Los Alamitos, Jan 10, hasn’t been heard from since
Slick Invader, Los Alamitos, Jan 10, hasn’t been heard from since
Trukarma, Fair Grounds, Jan 11, still active
Flat in Charge, Gulfstream, Jan 11, still active
Danderek, Santa Anita, Jan 11, hasn’t been heard from since
Lea’s Exchange, Tampa Bay, Jan 11, hasn’t been heard from since
Pass the Tap, Aqueduct, Jan 12, hasn’t been heard from since
Ambassy, Los Alamitos, Jan 12, still active
Penamaniac, Sunland, Jan 12, hasn’t been heard from since
Cute N Famous, Sunland, Jan 12, hasn’t been heard from since
Wakati, Sunland, Jan 12, hasn’t been heard from since
Wishingonastar, Aqueduct, Jan 13, hasn’t been heard from since
Bounce Twice, Beulah, Jan 14, hasn’t been heard from since
Western Pine, Sunland, Jan 14, hasn’t been heard from since
La Capitana, Turf, Jan 14, still active
Mr Oz, Tampa Bay, Jan 15, hasn’t been heard from since
Amy H, Tampa Bay, Jan 15, hasn’t been heard from since
One Fine Yank, Delta, Jan 16, still active
Tiz Tee Time, Oaklawn, Jan 16, hasn’t been heard from since
Miss Aisle Band, Penn National, Jan 16, still active
Surfer Dave, Turf, Jan 17, hasn’t been heard from since
Wolfgang, Turf, Jan 17, hasn’t been heard from since
Sporting Gent, Turfway, Jan 17, hasn’t been heard from since
A Boy Named Em, Penn National, Jan 18, hasn’t been heard from since
Made Strong, Sunland, Jan 18, hasn’t been heard from since
Wealth Transfer, Sunland, Jan 18, still active
Classic Harbor, Golden Gate, Jan 19, still active
Running Out of Time, Sunland, Jan 19, hasn’t been heard from since
Ha Dee, Sunland, Jan 19, still active
Cash At the Line, Sunland, Jan 19, still active
Could Be Michael, Beulah, Jan 20, hasn’t been heard from since
Soul Searcher, Golden Gate, Jan 20, hasn’t been heard from since
Raised for Speed, Gulfstream, Jan 20, hasn’t been heard from since
Cameo Lady, Gulfstream, Jan 20, hasn’t been heard from since
Suzzona, Gulfstream, Jan 20, hasn’t been heard from since
Diamonds Fallin Star, Hialeah, Jan 20, still active
Warren’s Rail Bird, Santa Anita, Jan 20, hasn’t been heard from since
Hi Moon Beams, Sunland, Jan 21, still active
Three G Speed, Sunland, Jan 21, hasn’t been heard from since
One Foxy Private, Sunland, Jan 21, hasn’t been heard from since
Horizonbound, Turf, Jan 21, hasn’t been heard from since
Holleran, Wednesday, Beulah, Jan 22, still active
Shakitsugaree, Turf, Jan 22, still active
Worldly Lad, Golden Gate, Jan 24, hasn’t been heard from since
Mo’s the Man, Gulfstream, Jan 24, hasn’t been heard from since
Inexcsessofperfect, Los Alamitos, Jan 24, still active
Shesonlyseventeen, Los Alamitos, Jan 24, hasn’t been heard from since
Aful Alibi, Sunland, Jan 24, hasn’t been heard from since
Said I’m Lucky, Sunland, Jan 24, hasn’t been heard from since
Skinny Margarita, Aqueduct, Jan 25, hasn’t been heard from since
Concrete Cat, Charles Town, Jan 25, hasn’t been heard from since
Polly’s Dancer, Los Alamitos, Jan 25, hasn’t been heard from since
Girl On the Lam, Santa Anita, Jan 25, hasn’t been heard from since
Alasharchy, Santa Anita, Jan 25, hasn’t been heard from since
Cancan Magee, Sunland, Jan 25, hasn’t been heard from since
My Mans No Lady, Portland, Jan 26, still active
Pepe Le Feu, Portland, Jan 26, still active
Us Chicks, Sunland, Jan 26, hasn’t been heard from since
Nicolas Cajun, Turf, Jan 27, hasn’t been heard from since
Divine Daniell, Delta, Jan 31, still active

Of the 80 horses loaded onto ambulances, 53 – or 66% – have simply disappeared.

Although not reported as vanned off, these 7, too, have not resurfaced:
Lexis Hero, Parx, Jan 1, bled
Havanadaydream, Calder, Jan 10, bled
Lady of Athens, Golden Gate, Jan 12, bled
Sizzling Dot, Sunland, Jan 19, “returned sore”
Corona Favorita, Hialeah, Jan 26, “returned lame”
Chilean Brothers, Gulfstream, Jan 31, bled
Cartel Tease, Hialeah, Jan 31, bled

Equibase reported 5 horses as “euthanized”:
Uncle Smokey, Aqueduct, Jan 2
Blonde for Ever, Parx, Jan 6
Casey Lynn, Delta, Jan 9
Battle Silk, Delta, Jan 9
Dixie Sparkle, Aqueduct, Jan 26

…and 23 as “broke down,” all of whom either later confirmed dead or vanished:
Aunt Meanie, Fair Grounds, Jan 1
Shand, Santa Anita, Jan 2
Sassy Cherokee, Charles Town, Jan 4
Classic Ford, Fair Grounds, Jan 4
Side Street, Gulfstream, Jan 4
Clodhopper, Turf, Jan 6
Devils Afleet, Turf, Jan 8
Skip the Limit, Charles Town, Jan 11
Golden Archway, Tampa Bay, Jan 11
Mystery Taste, Beulah, Jan 14
Past Glory, Charles Town, Jan 16
The Mikester, Penn National, Jan 16
Actin Lucky, Charles Town, Jan 18
Diplomatic Gal, Charles Town, Jan 18
More Nuggets, Hialeah, Jan 18
Trick the Queen, Laurel, Jan 18
Longevity, Oaklawn, Jan 18
Top Data, Fair Grounds, Jan 20
Vanessa Flag, Sunland, Jan 21
Electric Eddie, Santa Anita, Jan 25
Silent Blessing, Calder, Jan 26
Gimmenosass, Turf, Jan 26
Royal Affair, Beulah, Jan 29

Taking into consideration that a few of the vanned may have been “retired”/rescued, I think it reasonable to assert that some 85 horses – or almost 3/day – were killed in January 2014 (which is among the slowest racing months). But remember, that’s just in-competition, Thoroughbreds and QuarterHorses – no harness or training deaths are reflected here. In short, more than 24 racehorses are dying on American tracks each week.

(If any of the above are alive, their current people – whether racing, rescue, or private – should disclose; if done, I will dutifully report.)

Despite 7 Dead, Presque Isle Remains Proud

In Dead Athletes, Horseracing as Sport, Tracks on August 20, 2014 at 7:47 am

On Sunday, the Erie Times-News published an article by John Guerriero: “Despite horse injuries, Presque Isle Downs’ safety record remains good.” In it, Guerriero touts Presque Isle’s supposedly lower-than-national-average breakdown rate (despite, that is, seven kills in the current meet, which, Guerriero concedes, represents an “uptick” from last year’s five). I say supposedly because Presque Isle doesn’t identify its dead; it offers but a raw number that cannot be verified.

As for the horses who do die for $2 bets, Guerriero writes: “Martinez [Joe of the Pennsylvania Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association] said that horse racing is an extreme sport that sometimes leads to injuries, just as some athletes in other sports suffer career-ending or even life-ending injuries.”

Mr. Martinez, do tell which other sports regularly lose their athletes on the field. Major League Baseball? One death (from a beaning) in 140 years. The National Football League? One death (from advanced arteriosclerosis) in 95 years. The National Basketball Association? Zero deaths in 70 years. This year alone, some 2,000 “equine athletes” will perish on American tracks, making your comparison both dishonest and obscene. Oh, and not to mention that troublesome little matter of consent.

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Guerriero continues: “Martinez said it’s heartbreaking when a horse goes down. ‘We cry about it at times, and we always feel bad. No one feels worse for the animal than we do,’ he said.” First, I’m quite sure that animal advocates feel worse about dead horses than you do. But beyond that, if you do indeed grieve for the fallen, stop doing what you’re doing – it’s just gambling, after all. As for you, Mr. Guerriero, act like a real journalist and report the truth – about racing, that is. Stop peddling their Big Lie.

Three Dead at Charles Town, One at Belmont

In Dead Athletes on August 18, 2014 at 9:57 pm

We have confirmed three recent deaths at Charles Town:

5-year-old Intimate Storm, July 30th, race 6, trainer Charles Frock
3-year-old Bullwhip, August 14th, race 1, trainer Jeff Runco
3-year-old Deputy Gulch, August 14th, race 2, trainer James Dean Locklear

Also, Saturday on the Belmont training track, unraced 2-year-old Cashion broke down and was euthanized. She is the 72nd horse to die at a NY track this year.

In All Likelihood, Most Retired Racehorses Are Being Slaughtered

In Slaughter on August 18, 2014 at 10:15 am

According to the Equine Welfare Alliance, last year, 152,814 American horses were shipped to foreign abattoirs for the shackle-hoist-and-slash. A “Wild for Life Foundation” study (2002-2010) found that on average 19% of the slaughter-bound are Thoroughbreds. Even if we were to use a lower percentage (the racing industry, of course, claims 19% is too high) – say, 13% – the number of erstwhile racehorses who exited via the butcher line last year practically matches the Jockey Club’s estimated “foal crop” (21,275).

In 2012, 13% yields roughly 23,000 slaughtered Thoroughbreds (of 176,000 total American horses slaughtered), while the crop came in around 21,000. In 2011, 17,000 slaughtered against 23,000 born. And on and on: (from the “Wild for Life” study) “The study clearly demonstrates that an amount equal to 70% of the annual Thoroughbred foal crop on average, died at slaughter during the years 2004 through 2010.” In other words, in all likelihood, most retired Thoroughbreds are being slaughtered. Imagine that.

“How They Die”

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Racehorse Casualties, 8/11/14-8/17/14

In Casualties on August 18, 2014 at 6:00 am

A reminder: Virtually without exception, “broke down” is racing-speak for dead; “vanned off” translates to a better-than-even chance of same-day euthanasia or shortly thereafter.

Monday
Ketel Wons Copy, Ruidoso 3, vanned off
Regretless, Saratoga 4, collapsed, vanned off, subsequently confirmed dead
Summers Law, Suffolk 7, pulled up “and returned rank”

Tuesday
Forever Candy, Parx 2, vanned off

Wednesday
Ontology, Del Mar 1, vanned off
Steppingood, Del Mar 8, broke down
Pass the Crown, Indiana 3, vanned off
Sarge Hudson, Indiana 6, “bleeding from the nostrils,” DNF
Empedrado, Penn 4, vanned off
Grosero, Penn 5, vanned off
Royal Jest, Saratoga 8, vanned off

Thursday
Bullwhip, Charles Town 1, broke down
Deputy Gulch, Charles Town 2, broke down
Jimmy Jack, Charles Town 2, fell, DNF, “blood coming out of his left nostril”
Medal Affair, Charles Town 3, vanned off
Savethewildagain, Penn 4, vanned off
Kr On Eagles Wings, Ruidoso 9, vanned off
Im a Fancy Pyc, Ruidoso 11, vanned off (after winning)
Jk Hard Times, Ruidoso 13, vanned off (after placing)
Sporty, Saratoga 1, vanned off
Photon, Saratoga 8, vanned off

Friday
Road Time, Albuquerque 7, vanned off
Flying Cherubim, Arapahoe 2, vanned off
Scottsmen, Charles Town 6, bled
Enter Back, Emerald 4, vanned off
Ms Beauty Betty, Fair Grounds 5, bled
Rib Sox, Indiana 9, bled, DNF
Big Timer Special, Ruidoso 9, vanned off
Omagoddonna, Saratoga 1, “stopped badly,” bled, vanned off

Saturday
Amame, Arlington 12, vanned off
Bayview Drive, Del Mar 10, vanned off, subsequently confirmed dead
La Rue Lady, Ellis 7, vanned off
Zuni Tunes, Golden Gate 8, vanned off
Flashy Warrior, Indiana 5, vanned off
Lyd’s Spirit, Louisiana 2, vanned off
Call First, Penn 3, fell, DNF
Final Separation, Ruidoso 10, vanned off
Afternoon Rule, White Pine 3, vanned off
Mischivous Appeal, White Pine 10, vanned off

Sunday
Winter’s Wildchild, Columbus 7, broke down
Doinghardtimeagain, Del Mar 8, vanned off
There Goes Kevin, Los Alamitos 1, vanned off
Kevinator, Los Alamitos 1, vanned off
Royal Hard Spun, Monmouth 3, broke down
Gray Treasure, Ruidoso 1, vanned off
Pgf New Beginnings, Ruidoso 6, vanned off
Unshaken Secret, Ruidoso 9, vanned off
Amira’s Prince, Saratoga 10, vanned off

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Bayview Drive Dead at Del Mar

In Dead Athletes, Tracks on August 17, 2014 at 4:20 pm

3-year-old Bayview Drive, trained by Jeff Mullins and owned by Cellist Racing, is dead after breaking down in yesterday’s 10th race at Del Mar. He is the 13th horse to die at that storied track in the past month. In his penultimate start on July 26th – the one that saw J Kat crumple – Bayview finished 10th of 11. Oh, and by the way, this kill came on the Polytrack. What to blame it on now?

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