Killed in Action, 2014

In keeping with its deceptive core, racing tries mightily to hide its dead athletes. Currently, but two states, NY and California, give up their killed on public websites; in all states, only a small fraction of deaths – typically those of superstar horses – garner press coverage. So, confirmations are hard to come by. On the charts, euthanasias are rarely reported; typically, bad news is delivered in the intentionally nebulous “broke down.” But virtually without exception, “broke down” is a euphemism for dead.

Furthermore, the vast majority of harness and training deaths are not reflected here, for that information is even more secretive (NY excepted). But for context, training accounted for a full 43% of NY’s racing-related fatalities last year.

Also, this list does not include what NY refers to as “non-racing” fatalities. (Although when information presents itself, I report these in individual posts.) That said, it is the unequivocal position here that horseracing bears full responsibility for all deaths involving still-active horses, whether on premises or off, whether from racing/training breaks or other causes – laminitis, colic, infection, “cardiac event,” “accident.” All are industry kills.

And finally, this list does not include those horses reported as “vanned off” – unable to walk under their own power (see our weekly “Casualties”). But consider this: In the estimation of two renowned experts, roughly 90% of the vanned-off eventually succumb to their injuries. And this says nothing of the “in distress,” “lame,” “stopped badly,” “pulled up,” and “eased.” In short, what follows is far from a complete reckoning of racing’s carnage.

American racehorses reported as dead or “broke down” in 2014:

3-year-old Aunt Meanie, January 1, Fair Grounds 9
5-year-old Uncle Smokey, January 2, Aqueduct 7
3-year-old Shand, January 2, Santa Anita 8
4-year-old Sassy Cherokee, January 4, Charles Town 1
3-year-old Classic Ford, January 4, Fair Grounds 10
2-year-old Side Street, January 4, Gulfstream 3
8-year-old Caixa Eletronica, January 4, Belmont, training
3-year-old Six Drivers, January 4, Belmont, training
2-year-old Blonde for Ever, January 6, Parx 3
4-year-old Clodhopper, January 6, Turf 3
8-year-old Devils Afleet, January 8, Turf 3
2-year-old Casey Lynn, January 9, Delta 1
3-year-old Battle Silk, January 9, Delta 9
4-year-old Skip the Limit, January 11, Charles Town 6
4-year-old Golden Archway, January 11, Tampa Bay 3
10-year-old Stormy Surge, January 12, Golden Gate, training
3-year-old Go Canes Go, January 13, Belmont, training
6-year-old Mystery Taste, January 14, Beulah 7
4-year-old Past Glory, January 16, Charles Town 8
3-year-old Forgot to Duck, January 16, Golden Gate, training
3-year-old The Mikester, January 16, Penn 1
5-year-old Actin Lucky, January 18, Charles Town 7
4-year-old Diplomatic Gal, January 18, Charles Town 7
6-year-old More Nuggets, January 18, Hialeah 3
4-year-old Trick the Queen, January 18, Laurel 5
3-year-old Longevity, January 18, Oaklawn 3
2-year-old Top Data, January 20, Fair Grounds 9
3-year-old Soul Searcher, January 20, Golden Gate 8
4-year-old Vanessa Flag, January 21, Sunland, race 9
5-year-old Holleran, January 22, Beulah 2
3-year-old Miss Go Free, January 24, Golden Gate, training
4-year-old Shesonlyseventeen, January 24, Los Alamitos 7
2-year-old Electric Eddie, January 25, Santa Anita 10
3-year-old Dixie Sparkle, January 26, Aqueduct 7
3-year-old Silent Blessing, January 26, Calder 2
4-year-old Gimmenosass, January 26, Turf 8
4-year-old Royal Affair, January 29, Beulah 1
2-year-old Valar Dohaeris, January 30, Belmont, training
3-year-old Budding Affair, January 31, Golden Gate, training
4-year-old Flashy in Pink, February 1, Belmont, training
4-year-old Charlie Company, February 1, Golden Gate, training
2-year-old Tizardo, February 1, Oaklawn 9
4-year-old Minotaur, February 4, Turf 1
5-year-old Silver Cloud, February 5, Tampa Bay 9
2-year-old Salt Block, February 6, Laurel 4
3-year-old Cougarontheprowl, February 6, Santa Anita 4
4-year-old Mr Manske, February 7, Charles Town 4
4-year-old Malibu Affair, February 8, Sunland 9
1-year-old Manchas Mojave, February 13, Golden Gate, training
8-year-old Moscato, February 14, Golden Gate 7
5-year-old Code of Conduct, February 14, Santa Anita 7
4-year-old LG Jet, February 15, Turf 2
4-year-old Vero’s Hero, February 16, Gulfstream 1
3-year-old He’s Not Too Shaby, February 17, Santa Anita 9
5-year-old Gracias, February 17, Turf 2
3-year-old Sum Royal, February 20, Charles Town 2
3-year-old Very Elusive, February 21, Golden Gate, training
3-year-old Andromeda’s Coming, February 22, Aqueduct 3
9-year-old Miss Palatine, February 22, Hawthorne 2
4-year-old Body of Evidence, February 22, Hialeah 2
7-year-old Scottie C, February 22, Buffalo 3 (harness)
3-year-old Byerley Barb, February 23, Golden Gate, training
2-year-old Chica de La Noche, February 23, Louisiana 7
7-year-old Pay Tribute, February 26, Buffalo 7 (harness)
5-year-old Giant Indian, February 26, Laurel 7
4-year-old Sea Rep Run, February 28, Charles Town 6
5-year-old Sound of Drums, March 1, Aqueduct 7
2-year-old Syeshacat, March 1, Mountaineer 4
3-year-old King Moon, March 2, Oaklawn 4
3-year-old Aggressive Prize, March 3, Louisiana 5
2-year-old Changeinaction, March 5, Belmont, training
6-year-old The Program, March 6, Fair Grounds 8
1-year-old Ruby Jo, March 6, Golden Gate, training
2-year-old Miss Da Sunrise, March 7, Fair Grounds 4
5-year-old Cellophane, March 7, Golden Gate 6
6-year-old Tawdry, March 10, Mountaineer 8
9-year-old Hickory Louie, March 12, Monticello 8 (harness)
2-year-old Uncle Betty, March 13, Charles Town 5
3-year-old Kenai Warrior, March 14, Gulfstream 6
6-year-old Cooper River, March 14, Laurel 3
4-year-old Concept, March 15, Aqueduct, training
7-year-old Itsagoodtendollars, March 15, Belmont, training
4-year-old Candy’s Jewel, March 15, Los Alamitos 1
3-year-old Fardan, March 15, Santa Anita 1
3-year-old Broadway Peyton, March 15, Tampa Bay 6
5-year-old El Altanero, March 17, Beulah 7
3-year-old Hot Little Thang, March 17, Turf 1
3-year-old Pure Afleet, March 19, Laurel 1
4-year-old Colonel By, March 21, Charles Town 2
3-year-old Finesse, March 21, Oaklawn 7
4-year-old Garden Tavern, March 22, Charles Town 2
4-year-old Diva On Demand, March 22, Laurel 4
4-year-old Sweetly Put, March 22, Penn 9
6-year-old Vagabond Shoes, March 22, Santa Anita 4
3-year-old Vengeful, March 23, Gulfstream 2
6-year-old With a Miracle, March 23, Sunland 7
6-year-old Kern River, March 28, Fonner 2
3-year-old Art of the Game, March 28, Gulfstream 8
2-year-old Russian Silk, March 29, Santa Anita 9
3-year-old Causewere Gamblers, March 30, Santa Anita 3
4-year-old Notbyemyrules, March 30, Santa Anita 9
2-year-old Jojonotjoelowe, April 3, Aqueduct, training
6-year-old No Shenanigans, April 4, Pimlico 5
6-year-old Crystallo, April 6, Mountaineer 3
6-year-old Hudson Ridge, April 6, Pimlico 9
8-year-old Casey’s On Call, April 9, Hawthorne 2
2-year-old Ivebeensaved, April 12, Parx 6
4-year-old Alondra Sky, April 13, Gulfstream 4
5-year-old Here Comes Drz, April 15, Charles Town 6
4-year-old American Iron, April 15, Finger Lakes, training
2-year-old Crimson Flyer, April 16, Golden Gate, training
3-year-old Sicard’s Sensation, April 17, Evangeline 10
3-year-old Recovered, April 18, Finger Lakes 3
11-year-old Southwind Tabor, April 21, Yonkers 12 (harness)
10-year-old Laredos Goose, April 26, Cal Expo 5 (harness)
4-year-old Marcelino Springs, April 26, Golden Gate 8
5-year-old Marine, April 26, Gulfstream 9
5-year-old Cuban Devil, April 27, Atlantic City 5
8-year-old Golden Mexico, April 27, Golden Gate 4
2-year-old La Jolla Cove, April 27, Santa Anita 2
6-year-old Caverna, April 28, Beulah 2
5-year-old Rock Elle Ten, April 30, Evangeline 2
3-year-old Handstand, May 1, Belmont 6
6-year-old Hotradamus, May 1, Santa Anita 3
3-year-old Polar Pal, May 2, Evangeline 7
2-year-old Onebaddancer, May 2, Golden Gate, training
5-year-old Granny Calling, May 2, Santa Anita 1
3-year-old Canadian Winner, May 3, Churchill 13
9-year-old Boston Chief, May 3, Finger Lakes, training
3-year-old Zion Hill, May 4, Mountaineer 6
4-year-old Liberty Cruise, May 5, Yonkers 5 (harness)
2-year-old Nightfall, May 8, Santa Anita 5
5-year-old Looks Like a Saint, May 9, Indiana 6
6-year-old Mad Magic, May 9, Pimlico 1
3-year-old Aztec Secret, May 10, Louisiana 3
3-year-old Gameboy Luke, May 10, Santa Anita 4
4-year-old Mr Lemon Tree, May 11, Santa Anita 9
5-year-old Rhythm of the Moon, May 14, Suffolk 4
2-year-old Bold Fashion, May 15, Golden Gate, training
3-year-old Oriental Silk, May 18, Louisiana 8
5-year-old Blushing Martha, May 18, Mountaineer 8
4-year-old Caillech’s Quest, May 18, Parx 4
3-year-old Lucky for You, May 18, Saratoga, training
4-year-old KZ Too, May 20, Monticello 8 (harness)
5-year-old Summa Cum Boom, May 20, Parx 3
3-year-old See the Music, May 21, Belmont 7
5-year-old Never Tell Lynda, May 22, Churchill 1
3-year-old Stadtpark, May 22, Santa Anita 4
3-year-old Reflective Glory, May 24, Emerald 6
5-year-old Big Note, May 24, Santa Anita 2
5-year-old Silver Arch, May 27, Parx 7
4-year-old Kingston Jamaica, May 29, Belmont, training
3-year-old Jess a Speeder, May 30, Arapahoe 7
5-year-old Kissinginthedark, May 30, Finger Lakes 1
5-year-old Berrymeaux, May 31, Mountaineer 2
3-year-old Archie’s All Heart, June 1, Parx 4
4-year-old Der Boss, June 1, Pimlico 2
5-year-old Samuels Blond Lady, June 5, Belmont 2
4-year-old Sweet Teri K, June 7, Belterra 4
5-year-old Lemon Sundae, June 7, Finger Lakes 1
4-year-old Tebows Big Play, June 7, Golden Gate 9
5-year-old Stormdefrere, June 7, Penn 3
9-year-old Faith N Moon, June 8, Buffalo 5 (harness)
8-year-old Lobo Del Norte, June 8, Parx 5
5-year-old X Country Girl, June 8, Parx 7
3-year-old Nics First Rainbow, June 9, Ruidoso 5
5-year-old Gulf of Aden, June 10, Parx 1
5-year-old Bear’s Spirit, June 12, Aqueduct, training
4-year-old Shared Sacrifice, June 13, Los Alamitos 3 (Q)
6-year-old J.B.’s Marquis, June 14, Louisiana 5
5-year-old Hot Necker, June 14, Mountaineer 5
4-year-old Socialbug, June 15, Churchill, training
4-year-old My Jordy, June 17, Presque Isle 2
2-year-old Fran’s Kid, June 18, Belmont, training
2-year-old Summer Sanctuary, June 19, Delaware 4
3-year-old Ol’ Bob, June 19, Louisiana 4
4-year-old Chiffy, June 20, Penn 2
5-year-old Lake Brilliant, June 20, Prairie 2
3-year-old Cole Forty Five, June 20, Santa Anita 8
6-year-old Birthday Wish, June 21, Belterra 7
3-year-old Shanes Social Cat, June 21, Lone Star 2
5-year-old How Far We’ve Come, June 22, Parx 8
6-year-old Griffin Rock, June 23, Parx 1
4-year-old Roses for Romney, June 25, Belmont 8
5-year-old Mel’s Game, June 26, Santa Anita 1
7-year-old Elsaroarin, June 27, Finger Lakes 9
4-year-old Western Grit, June 28, Finger Lakes, training
6-year-old Commandeer, June 28, Belterra 2
4-year-old Papa Doc, June 28, Charles Town 4
4-year-old Halos Wild, June 28, Lone Star 9
5-year-old My Belle Etoile, July 4, Ellis 5
3-year-old Michonne, July 4, Finger Lakes 9
2-year-old Finns Huckleberry, July 4, Ruidoso 1
5-year-old Guidopanzini, July 5, Oak Tree 9
3-year-old This Guy Is Blue, July 6, Belmont 9
9-year-old Streaterville, July 6, Mountaineer 6
7-year-old Back Talking, July 9, Mountaineer 5
5-year-old Our Deputy Express, July 10, Delaware 2
5-year-old Lone Star Sizzler, July 12, Evangeline 7
4-year-old Music Maid, July 13, Belmont 2
4-year-old Corlett Drive, July 13, Del Mar, training
5-year-old Finally Together, July 14, Mountaineer 9
4-year-old Kokaltash, July 17, Del Mar 5
4-year-old Indomitable Woman, July 17, Finger Lakes 5
5-year-old Could Be a Rumor, July 18, Charles Town 6
4-year-old Generator, July 18, Evangeline 8
5-year-old Piskacha, July 19, Belterra 4
3-year-old Missy Zelliott, July 20, Belmont, training
2-year-old Washington Dacat, July 20, Canterbury 7
3-year-old Ithink I Can Dance, July 22, Mountaineer 6
5-year-old Mr Percussionist, July 22, Parx, race 1
3-year-old Gryphon Gold, July 23, Santa Rosa, from July 20 Sacramento 7
Shocker Topper, July 23, Santa Rosa, training
3-year-old Dance With Fate, July 24, Del Mar, training
4-year-old Lifeguard On Duty, July 24, Saratoga, training
3-year-old Rue the Day, July 25, Charles Town 6
4-year-old Yes She’s Unusual, July 25, Del Mar 6
5-year-old Longview Drive, July 25, Del Mar 7
3-year-old Movin’ On Up, July 25, Louisiana 8
3-year-old Elusive Cowgirl, July 25, Monmouth 6
3-year-old Double Gold, July 25, Saratoga, training
5-year-old Lil Swiss Echo, July 26, Del Mar 5
3-year-old J Kat, July 26, Del Mar 9
3-year-old Chichita, July 26, Finger Lakes 1
5-year-old Rockabar, July 26, Santa Rosa 8
2-year-old Chilled Mousse, July 27, Del Mar, training
7-year-old Gimmeanotherwink, July 28, Finger Lakes 2
3-year-old Father Johns Pride, July 28, Saratoga 7
5-year-old Majic Laughter, July 29, Batavia (harness)
5-year-old Quorum, July 29, Finger Lakes 6
4-year-old Cool Under Fire, July 29, Parx 8
5-year-old Intimate Storm, July 30, Charles Town 6
4-year-old Patinka, July 30, Presque Isle 3
3-year-old Chattering Gambler, August 2, Del Mar 3
5-year-old Markyour Territory, August 2, Fairmount 1
2-year-old Sir William Bruce, August 2, Saratoga 5
7-year-old Maji Moto, August 4, Mountaineer 7
3-year-old Cat O Gold, August 8, Arapahoe 7
3-year-old Western Sword, August 8, Penn 8
4-year-old De Rage Girl, August 9, Parx 6
3-year-old Trail Blaze, August 9, Parx 7
4-year-old Who’strickingwho, August 10, Arapahoe 1
7-year-old Bonita Muneca, August 10, Belterra 2
5-year-old Exultant, August 10, Belterra 4
4-year-old Regretless, August 11, Saratoga 4
3-year-old Steppingood, August 13, Del Mar 8
3-year-old Bullwhip, August 14, Charles Town 1
3-year-old Deputy Gulch, August 14, Charles Town 2
4-year-old Serious, August 14, from July 31 Del Mar 7
3-year-old Bayview Drive, August 16, Del Mar 10
3-year-old Zuni Tunes, August 16, Golden Gate 8
6-year-old Winter’s Wildchild, August 17, Columbus 7
7-year-old There Goes Kevin, August 17, Los Alamitos 1
5-year-old Kevinator, August 17, Los Alamitos 1
4-year-old Royal Hard Spun, August 17, Monmouth 3
4-year-old Bonnie Lass, August 18, Delaware 2
3-year-old M B and Tee, August 21, Saratoga 7
2-year-old Little Tower, August 22, Del Mar 3
5-year-old Celzo’s Birdie, August 22, Ferndale 4
2-year-old Kamarius, August 23, Saratoga, training
2-year-old Ludicrous, August 23, Saratoga 4
7-year-old Magic Beam, August 24, Del Mar, training
3-year-old Matagorda Bay, August 24, Gillespie 2
3-year-old Elena Strikes, August 24, Saratoga, training
8-year-old Be a Pro, August 25, Presque Isle 3
7-year-old Makari, August 25, Saratoga 1
3-year-old Run for Papa, August 26, Fairmount 1
3-year-old Vanessa Halo, August 26, Finger Lakes, training
3-year-old Manda Moo, August 26, Parx 8
5-year-old Posh Acres, August 28, Charles Town 1
3-year-old Cause Im a Bigshot, August 28, Del Mar, training
2-year-old Divine Guidance, August 29, from August 27 Saratoga 5
4-year-old See See See, August 29, Belmont, from August 15 Monmouth 4
3-year-old My Kinda Girl, August 30, Charles Town 4
3-year-old Kitagal, August 30, Louisiana 3
4-year-old Paper Tigress, August 30, Parx 8
6-year-old Washington’s Rules, August 30, Suffolk 6
3-year-old Nacho Preacher, August 31, Golden Gate 5
3-year-old Runaway Bridle, August 31, Thistledown 4
3-year-old Florida Bull, September 3, Thistledown 8
2-year-old Ligety, September 5, Los Alamitos (T) 3
3-year-old Ifyougotthenotion, September 6, Parx 8
3-year-old Gerryland, September 7, Finger Lakes, training
3-year-old Kitt’s Kool Katt, September 7, Finger Lakes, training
4-year-old Ego Friendly, September 10, Belmont, training
3-year-old Frat Man, September 10, Charles Town 7
3-year-old I Love Penny, September 10, Penn 3
2-year-old Funnys Man Dream, September 11, Belterra 1
5-year-old Kingliest, September 11, Belterra 6
4-year-old Foxy Syd, September 11, Penn 5
4-year-old Eddington Bay, September 11, Penn 9
6-year-old Tale of Lucknfame, September 12, Belterra 7
4-year-old Strategic Player, September 12, Retama 5
3-year-old Freddie Freud, September 13, Belmont, training
4-year-old DJ’s Hope, September 13, Finger Lakes 5
3-year-old X Why Zee, September 13, Parx 10
3-year-old Matched Ruler, September 13, Thistledown 8
2-year-old Souper Arch, September 14, Monmouth 4
5-year-old Paul Ford, September 14, Pleasanton, training
3-year-old Jackson Station, September 18, Remington 2
4-year-old Kiwi Ruler, September 19, Penn 6
2-year-old Tale of the Spa, September 19, Saratoga, training
3-year-old Hearts n’ Diamonds, September 20, Monmouth 7
3-year-old Kat Alpha, September 22, Mountaineer 3
6-year-old Italian Nany, September 24, Penn 7
3-year-old Men Dee Go, September 26, Lone Star 3
3-year-old Run Albert Run, September 27, Penn 6
3-year-old Showmewhatyougot, September 27, Stockton 6
4-year-old Native Tea Rose, September 28, Los Alamitos (Q) 9
4-year-old Forward Momentum, September 28, Monmouth 8
3-year-old Get Your Praise On, September 28, Stockton 4
4-year-old Secret Memo, September 28, Stockton 5
2-year-old Here in a Hurry, October 1, Belmont, training
4-year-old G W’s Hammer, October 3, Finger Lakes 5
4-year-old Tangible Assets, October 3, Thistledown 8
4-year-old Stormy Henry, October 4, Parx 6
4-year-old Dave’s Cutie, October 4, Thistledown 7
4-year-old Bizzy E F, October 5, Thistledown 1
3-year-old Bee Boppin Along, October 9, Charles Town 7
3-year-old Grand Arrival, October 10, Belmont, training
2-year-old Velvet Sandy, October 11, Parx 1
3-year-old Intelligent Girl, October 11, Remington 1
2-year-old Giant Hearted Lee, October 13, Belmont 5
5-year-old Cactus City Road, October 13, Laurel 2
4-year-old Masaru, October 14, Indiana 8
4-year-old Platitude, October 14, Indiana 8
3-year-old Put It Back Martha, October 15, Charles Town 3
2-year-old Sheza Freak, October 17, Delta 7
5-year-old Fly to Freedom, October 17, Santa Anita 3
3-year-old Dreamo, October 18, Penn 9

28 Comments

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  1. You left off one…April 27, Santa Anita, first or second race, baby broke down, had to be put down. His name escapes me…will come to me at some point.

  2. June 21, 2014 – San Anita Race 4 – 5f- “Is This Georgia” 2 yr old. Debut race. Vanned off.
    June 25 the horse was worked out 4f, just 4 days later. Worked again on July 2 for 5f, and again on July 7 for 5f.
    July 24, 2014 – Del Mar Race 9 – 5.5f- same horse ran again. I believe the horse finished 3rd in this race. Either the horse was vanned off as a precaution or there is some serious abuse here.

  3. I know about this but I’m still shocked. Thank you for exposing it. I can’t help thinking the way race horses are started so young is partly to blame. They are shod and ridden while they are still growing so how will their bodies cope? Also, the way they are kept confined to stables for much of their day cannot help them as athletes. I have blogged about it myself if you want to take a look on http://www.nakedhorse.wordpress.com.
    Good luck

  4. Almost of the horses who have broken down that I’ve checked so far seem to have the au current fashionable US race breeding–Mr P and ND in vast numbers with quite a bit of Seattle Slew and Deputy Minister.

    If anyone is good at statistics, something useful could probably learned from these lists.

  5. Let’s not forget the ones who live… and to what end? I’ve been keeping a database of my own for a long time. I’ve found horses on the vet list in California running at Emerald Downs, Beulah (look up Fancy Lashes, on the CA vet list as barred, last ran at River Downs, still under Doug O’Neill’s name), TUP, etc. Then there are those who simply fall off the grid. Here is one out of thousands of examples:

    02/06/2014 Trainer William E. Morey. CLAIM VOID. Horse, 4YO colt Very Elusive (15 starts 3-1-2, earnings $67,460) found to be unsound in receiving barn during post-race examination after finishing 4th in a $6.25K CLM, placed on vet list as unsound. This one was imported from Ireland, began its U.S. career with Simon Callaghan, didn’t perform well, slipped down through the ranks and ended up lame, running for a cheap tag in the barn of William Morey… sad story. *REMAINS ON VET LIST AS OF 08/17/2014. Golden Gate.

  6. Also, it’s popular to blame running them as 2YOs and to blame certain bloodlines, but in my 50+ years in the business, that’s not what I’ve personally observed.

    What I’ve seen is a radical shift from barns run by horsemen where the only drugs used were to hop ‘em or drop em on race day, and nobody trained on all the drugs which have become the new normal. When steroids and bute hit the scene, it coincided with the rise of the nouveau riche, big-money mega-barns and a core group of trainers crossing over from the QH side of the street.

    Along with all this came a new emphasis on early speed. Trainers stopped running young horses up through conditions and jumped them from MSWs and 2YO ALW races (where they could build the bone needed to have a safe, long career) into stakes company.

    It is no accident that the horses with the longest careers — those without histories of significant layup — are rarely running for the new-money owners or for the glamor-boy trainers with hundreds of head in their barns… I had a mare who made 80 starts, walked off the track as sound as the day she walked on, and became my jumper (bon sang, that girl could jump — knees up to her chin, cracked her back in the air — absolutely spectacular to watch). After her jumper days were over, she worked as a school horse, then as my personal chill pill mare (trail rides and low fences). Sweetie was put down due to infirmities of old age when she was almost 30. Sweetie Pie was heavily line-bred to Native Dancer. Her sire’s sire was Secretariat. She made eight starts as a 2YO…

    IT’S THE TRAINING MEDS, THE LUST FOR EARLY SPEED, THE LACK OF HORSEMANSHIP, AND ABOVE ALL THE LOSS OF HONOR ON THE BACKSIDE WHICH HAS DESTROYED RACING.

    I say this with confidence not because I’m delusional about being the smartest or most experienced horsewoman on earth. I say this with confidence because the statistics back me up and because I’ve been watching (and recording — first in my diary — now in a database) what has been going on since I first went to the track with my daddy as a small girl…

    *Thank you Patrick.* Thank you for tracking these needless tragedies.

    According to my own research (and according to the Texas State Veterinarian), somewhere around 95% of catastrophic injuries are due to a pre-existing condition, either at the site of the new injury or because of overloading on a non-injured limb.

    With the technology we now have (and the low cost of a simple pre-race radiograph of knees and ankles — in the last 20 years, we never sent one to the gate without a few x-rays, x-rays which are a whole lot cheaper than the garbage juice most everyone else trains on), there is no excuse for any of this.

    Keep in mind that I spent my whole life in the horse business. I was galloping racehorses, riding in match races while still in my early teens. Not one time ever did I see a horse suffer a disarticulated ankle, sesamoids ground into dust or any other catastrophic breakdown… much less see a single horse drop dead for no reason (“heart attack” they always say, even though horses do not have heart attacks). This was, of course, before bute hit the scene. I saw horses with soft tissue injuries or a hot ankle get turned out for six months and come back better than ever. I saw horses who obviously couldn’t run become pony horses or pleasure horses or hunters and jumpers. I saw horses who ran hard all summer, got turned out in a herd all winter, then came back to run sound summer after summer after summer…

    What’s happening now is, to my way of thinking, out-right animal cruelty. Yes, there are some good men and women in racing, but the sport itself… the chemical culture on the backside and the bullshit “bad step” excuse from track officials and trainers’ publicity machines… the lies and the secrecy… myself being on the receiving end of some vicious rumors started by a name trainer (rumors generated when his lawyers told him to forget the threats of a lawsuit because his medication records would become mine as part of the discovery process) — rumors designed to discredit me for telling the truth about him (it didn’t work)…

    THANK YOU PATRICK AND ALL WHO CARE.

  7. Not gonna hog your message boards, but this is another WTF were they thinking case. Where’s the horsemanship here? When racehorses don’t start until they are four or five, they are at tremendous risk…

    01/04/2014 Trainer Mark Racanelli, owner Steven Glessner. Horse, 5YO mare Sassy Cherokee (14 starts in exactly one year, 0-0-3, earnings $6,620) BROKE DOWN DURING A $4.5K MDN CLM… dead, and for what? The mare did not start until she was a 4YO, 1st race on 01/04/2013 where she finished 9th. She went on to run 6th, 9th, 3rd, 6th, 5th, 8th, 3rd, 6th, 4th, 7th, 3rd, 6th, 4th, 7th, 3rd, 6th, 4th, 7th, 3rd, 6th on 12/26/2014 and finally DNF nine days later without ever having finished better than 3rd. *Steven Glessner owned the mare from her very first start… SAD, SAD, SAD AND CRUEL. (Country Warning was eased from this race, unrelated to the breakdown, and walked off.) Charles Town.

  8. Sorry, one last thing: Salt Block was a 3YO.

    02/06/2014 Trainer Howard Wolfendale. Horse, 3YO gelding Salt Block, broke down during the 4th race, a $40K MDN CLM… EUTHANIZED. This was the gelding’s first and only start. Laurel.

  9. Silver Cloud was a 6YO (not trying to be a pest)…

    02/05/2014 Trainer Jason DaCosta, owner same. Horse, 6YO chestnut gelding Silver Cloud (28 starts 8-8-1, earnings $281,822), broke down soon after the start of the 9th race, a $100K CLM, appears to have gone horribly wrong in the hind end, as if his back end collapsed with injuries to both hind legs… EUTHANIZED. Tampa Bay.

  10. Patrick, may I respectfully suggest that you check the ages of the deceased? I want you to be credible and have found two more errors. Longevity was a 4YO. Trick the Queen was a 5YO. Too many people are ready to attack over this sort of thing…

    01/18/2014 Trainer John Haran, owner Haran Thoroughbreds, breeder John F. Haran. Horse, 4YO Longevity (7 starts 1-0-1, earnings $21,496) broke down during the 3rd race… EUTHANIZED. This was the gelding’s second DNF; on 11/09/2013, he was trailing the field, eased during the stretch while running 12th out of twelve as the longest shot in the field during a $30K ALW and walked off. His next out on 12/22/2013, the gelding ran 7th out of seven in a $50K CLM at Hawthorne. His final start, he went straight to the lead in a $30K CLM and broke down at the ½ pole. Longevity did not start as a 2YO. Made his first start on 07/25/2013 at Arlington (ran 7th). Dead at Oaklawn.

    01/18/2014 Trainer Juan C. Vasquez, owner Rey Wan Racing and Armando Cosme. Horse, 5YO mare Trick the Queen (27 starts 4-4-4, earnings $80,740) broke down during the 5th race, an $8K CLM… EUTHANIZED. This was the mare’s second start in January. Disgraced formal SoCal golden boy Christian Santiago-Reyes in the irons. This mare was hard used. Two starts in March of 2012—two starts in April 2012—two starts in May 2012—three starts in June 2012—two starts in July of 2012, one in August, two in September 2012—followed by A SEVEN-MONTH LAYUP—ran once in April of 2012, once in May, once in June, once in July, twice in August, twice in November (finishing 6th and 7th), once in December 2013 (1st in a $5K CLM), then 5th for $6.25K on 01/02/2014 and finally… dead. Laurel.

  11. For those of you who defend a “sport” that kills horses – horseracing – please take a look at the ages of the horses listed above. Many are 3, 4, and 5 years of age…just babies. Babies that aren’t even fully developed, yet there are those that have the audacity to defend this industry. Racing is declining and is losing 4% of its fan base every year. That is the only bright spot, racing defenders. Racing is declining and it isn’t because the horses are treated well. Perhaps we, who truly care about the horses, are speaking out against the atrocities. Nobody likes their dirty secrets exposed.

  12. I disagree with “vanned off” meaning deceased! I’ve personally seen plenty “vanned off” that were not euthanized! Granted more horses die at the racetrack than there should, but assuming most horses that are vanned of are dead is an erroneous assumption on your part!

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