Last week in U.S. Horseracing (Thoroughbred and QuarterHorse only)

Confirmed Killed
Stella’s Honor, Louisiana (“was pulled up…euthanized”)
Minor Legend, Laurel (“pulled up lame…euthanized”)
Markeesa, Laurel (“catastrophic injury…euthanized”)
Amigo, Laurel (“pulled up lame…euthanized”)

“Vanned Off” – many, if not most, will resurface on my year-end FOIA kill-reports
Makossa, Mountaineer
Oh So Quick, Mountaineer
Reigning Gal, Delaware
Waco Bodene, Prairie
Spydashing, Canterbury
Emilys Keeper, Canterbury
Mad Ant, Indiana
Irish Ballad, Los Alamitos (“cause of his own trouble”)
Fiscal Discipline, Monmouth (“took a bad step”)
Splashs Showbiz, Arlington
Lady of Miracles, Belmont
Partagas BC, Belmont
Chatter Pattern, Charles Town
Del Rio Harbor, Crooked River (“went wrong”)
Machu Picchu Sky, Delaware
D’Cruisin Patrona, Evangeline (“in apparent distress”)
Bookofmatches, Los Alamitos
Endwi, Albuquerque
Scrutinize, Belmont
Whiskey Trail, Canterbury (“awkward step, fell”)
Paramont, Prairie
Oliver’s Bull, Prairie
Miss Dale Gilr, Ruidoso (“fell after wire”)

“Bled,” “Returned Bleeding From Nostrils” – usually indicates pulmonary hemorrhage
Ice Cold Tap, Charles Town
Iron Age, Presque Isle

(source: Equibase)

In back-to-back races at Laurel Park yesterday (Equibase):

In the 8th, “MARKEESA, four wide, ranged up to loom boldly in upper stretch, lost her rider after sustaining a catastrophic injury in mid stretch then was euthanized.” Markeesa was two; this was her 3rd time under the whip. In her first two races, she finished second-to-last and last, a combined 25 lengths back.

In the 9th, “AMIGO, four wide the first turn, failed to be a factor, pulled up lame near the eighth pole and was euthanized.” Amigo was seven; this was his 30th time under the whip. In his last four races (prior to this one), he was a “Did Not Finish” twice.

With these two, Laurel has notched three kills in two days (Minor Legend Saturday). How proud they must be. And what of the people in the stands and the others who placed bets across the country? Well, had they not gone or wagered, Laurel could not have held those races; no races, no dead horses this morning. It’s as simple as that. Do the right thing: Stop supporting this wickedness. End horseracing. Now.

This, from the 1st at Laurel yesterday afternoon (Equibase): “MINOR LEGEND bore out leaving the turn, pulled up lame in upper stretch and was euthanized.”

“pulled up lame…euthanized”

Minor Legend was six and under the whip for the 44th time. He was also “For Sale” at $5,000 prior to dying. Here he is “pulling up lame,” moments before being euthanized.

The CHRB has disclosed the death of Chanted at Golden Gate July 3: “severe right hind cellulitis; opposite weight bearing foot: severe laminitis.” That’s a lot of “severe.” Chanted was five and had been raced 25 times, most recently June 9.

In reporting on another Kiaran McLaughlin-trained horse, the Daily Racing Form had this: “Meanwhile, McLaughlin said that Takaful, the winner of last year’s Grade 1 Vosburgh, was euthanized earlier this year due to an injury suffered following routine surgery. McLaughlin said Takaful underwent surgery on a hock, and when he tried to get up in recovery, he took a bad step and suffered a fracture that proved fatal.”

Takaful was four and was last under the whip in January. The DRF, of course, saw this as newsworthy because – and only because – Takaful was a very successful racehorse as measured by the kind of races he ran (“stakes”), where they took place (Saratoga, Del Mar), and, most important of all, his “career earnings” (almost $500,000).

This is horseracing.

It is our unequivocal position that no horse wants to race. Simply put, the horserace is effected though force, coercion, compulsion: From nose chains to tongue ties to blinkers, bridles, bits, and reins. And whips. From the trainers to barn staff, the starters to the whip-wielders themselves, the jockeys, every movement of the racehorse is controlled by humans. At least that’s the goal. Sometimes, though, the horse fights back. Witness this from Presque Isle Monday:

“ELFY UNSEATED THE RIDER WHEN SHE FLIPPED ON HER BACK IN THE POST PARADE AND WAS AGAIN FRACTIOUS BEHIND THE STARTING GATE. THE STEWARDS THEN SCRATCHED [HER]” (Equibase).

Immediately prior to this, Elfy was entered on June 21: “ELFY became fractious in the post parade unseating the rider and falling, was quickly apprehended…hesitated at the start…off behind the field.” On this occasion, she finished, albeit in last place.

So, two races in a row this two-year-old horse – a virtual equine babe – has been “fractious,” both times falling (“flipped on her back”). “Fractious,” for those who may be unfamiliar with the word, means “inclined to make trouble, unruly, cranky, peevish.” In other words, Elfy is communicating her displeasure (at what humans are doing to her) the only way she knows how. And yet, this little exercise will continue – continue, that is, until she is either broken down (or “breaks down”) or is simply deemed unfit and jettisoned north to the abattoirs. It is at once inspirational and so profoundly sad.