On the same day I reported that Del Mar had hit at least 18 dead on the summer, another horse was felled. 3-year-old All the Marbles was euthanized, says the Daily Racing Form, “after suffering a catastrophic ankle fracture just as he was completing a workout.” 19, and counting – “cool as ever.” (The San Diego Union-Tribune says that 16 horses have been killed racing or training. I have been able to identify 12 of those.)

Presidential Air, July 15, race 6
Dynamite Charge, July 17, training
Pacific Swell, July 21, race 5
Whisky and Wine, July 23, training
Big Book, July 23, training
Dutchessa, July 23, race 2
Fasnacloich, July 24, race 2
Summer Scorcher, August 11, race 6
Hadfunlastnight, August 12, race 3
Unusualy, August 15, training
Alicanto, August 20, training
All the Marbles, August 21, training

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While the NY racing world (and much of the rest of the country) remains fixated on Saratoga – where, incidentally, 10 racehorses have died thus far – kills are still coming in from other Empire State tracks. According to the NYS Gaming Commission:

6-year-old Iwannabejustlikeu was injured in the 2nd at Batavia August 3 and underwent surgery. On August 20, “she was found in duress” – euthanized.

5-year-old Tighten Up was “pulled up” in the 3rd at Yonkers August 19. On-track exam revealed shattered leg – euthanized where he lay.

7-year-old Git On Bob “collapsed at the 1/4 pole” of yesterday’s 5th at Finger Lakes. Dead. “Investigation to follow.”

New York’s 2016 Death Toll stands at 69.

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Last week on U.S. tracks (flats only; does not include training or harness casualties):

Froggyville, Mountaineer, “vanned off”

Elma, Indiana, “vanned off”

Hendricks Twolimes, Indiana, “vanned off”

Jess Roll the Dice, Albuquerque, “vanned off”

Lull, Saratoga, “fell heavily, DNF”

Moving West, Belterra, “vanned off”

Lady Bull, Canterbury, “vanned off the course”

Joan of Arch, Del Mar, “returned bleeding in the mouth”

Bayisthenewblack, Penn, “went bad…vanned off”

Laugh At Life, Remington, “returned lame, vanned off”

Fourth Dimension, Charles Town, “sore”

Carlita Shake, Evangeline, “vanned off”

Sweet Shop, Golden Gate, “went wrong, vanned off”

Horatio Jetta, Louisiana, “vanned off”

Catcher, Monmouth, “vanned off”

Flash for Corona, Ruidoso, “vanned off”

Teller Baja, Ruidoso, “vanned”

Deadly Truth, Canterbury, “vanned off”

Ton Eighty, Emerald, “bled outwardly”

She’s My Cookie, Golden Gate, “vanned off”

Stella Belle, Gulfstream, “vanned off”

Fallen Leaf, Gulfstream, “ducked sharply into the rail, DNF”

Reign Sprinkles, Penn, “returned sore”

Fools Cartel, Prairie, “flipped over the inside rail”

Tarrant, Ruidoso, “vanned”

King Volcom, Ruidoso, “fell, vanned”

A Tres, Ruidoso, “bad step, vanned”

Kindly On Fire, Ruidoso, “vanned”

Liberty Fuze, Saratoga, “pulled up in distress, vanned off”

Total Posse, Thistledown, “stopped abruptly, bled bilaterally”

Rgr Down N Dirty, White Pines, “pulled up badly, vanned off”

Coconut Cream Pie, Albuquerque, “vanned off”

Spectacular Star, Belterra, “bad step, DNF”

Wild Heiress, Gulfstream, “vanned off”

Memphis D Nasty, Ruidoso, “vanned”

Volcom Bay, Ruidoso, “vanned”

“broke down” – virtually without exception an industry euphemism for dead
“vanned off” – horse unable to walk off track under own power; good-chance dead
“bled”; “returned bleeding from nostrils” – as a rule, indicates pulmonary hemorrhage


(source: Equibase)

Saratoga and Del Mar continued their ignominious summers of killing yesterday:

At Saratoga, 3-year-old Prince Corredor “suffered a cardiovascular collapse and died after breezing” (Gaming Commission). “Cardiovascular collapse” at the human equivalent (in physical maturity) of a grade-schooler. But rest assured – “investigation to follow.” Prince was being prepped for his first race.

At Del Mar, another 3-year-old, Alicanto, whose only race was a last-of-10, 27-lengths-back over a year ago, broke down – “badly,” says the Daily Racing Form – and, relays the LA Times, was “humanely destroyed.” Dr. Rick Arthur, adviser to the California Horse Racing Board, had this to say (LA Times): “We always monitor things very carefully. There’s no trend we can identify. We will continue to look at this well past the end of the meet. We’re obviously concerned whenever there’s a fatality. We’re aware of what’s going on.” You may be aware, but you can’t stop it.

Combined, Saratoga and Del Mar, some of Racing’s most hallowed real estate, have accounted for at least 28 dead “athletes” this summer. Is this, America, what is to pass for entertainment in the 21st Century? For shame.

The names we know:

Hadeed Fi Hadeed, May 30, training
Squire Creek, July 16, training
Zamjara, July 23, race 1
Rootformejustin, July 23, race 5
Indian Nobility, July 27, race 3
Domestic Warrior, August 1, race 4
Lebowski, August 2, “found dead outside stall”
Jonrah, August 3, training
Midnight Visitor, August 4, prior to race 4
Prince Corredor, August 20, training

Del Mar
Presidential Air, July 15, race 6
Dynamite Charge, July 17, training
Pacific Swell, July 21, race 5
Whisky and Wine, July 23, training
Big Book, July 23, training
Dutchessa, July 23, race 2
Fasnacloich, July 24, race 2
Summer Scorcher, August 11, race 6
Hadfunlastnight, August 12, race 3
Unusualy, August 15, training
Alicanto, August 20, training

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The willfully ignorant excepted, everyone in and around Racing knows that slaughter happens – that is, that “retired” American racehorses (of all breeds) are being shipped to foreign abattoirs to be shackled, hoisted, slashed, bled-out, and butchered for European and Asian dinner plates. While hard numbers remain elusive, the prevailing wisdom is thousands – likely tens of thousands – annually. But because of this nebulous terrain (in stark contrast to my kill lists), the racing people are able to squirm and slither their way around the issue with boasts of “zero-tolerance policies” and “aftercare programs.” Every once in a while, however, some honesty surfaces.

In a recent Paulick Report article entitled “How Do You Protect Horses After You Sell Them?” (how bout don’t sell them?), $46 million owner/breeder Maggi Moss said this:

“The anti-slaughter policies, they’re worthless. The track policies are not going to do anything at all. I’m not an extremist, I just love horses, and I have seen what is truly happening to our racehorses. What is happening is what no one wants to talk about. I have sat down with the head of The Jockey Club; I have sat down with some of the biggest owners and trainers in the country. I start talking and I promise you, they start staring at the ground. They do not want to hear it.”

“They start staring at the ground.”

The article continues:

Moss said the slaughterhouses work with facilities belonging to middle men who often are stationed within an easy drive of racetracks (she alleges one operates within 30 minutes of Churchill Downs). Moss stated that she led an undercover investigation of a kill pen in Louisiana that was used as an outlet for moving horses on to slaughter in Mexico. She described deplorable conditions and horses with their racing plates still on, some of whom still had sweat marks from racing saddles removed after competing at a Louisiana racetrack.

Moss said after publicizing her findings and alerting legislators and law enforcement, she received threats via social media… Her experience leads Moss to believe trainers use these middle men specifically so they won’t face house rule sanctions from racetracks.

What more can I add…except perhaps this reminder: