Likely That Over 2,000 Horses Are Killed on U.S. Tracks Annually

An update on the March 2014 American horseracing casualties.

86 horses were “vanned off”; 5 of whom were later confirmed dead:
Sound of Drums, Mar 1, Aqueduct 7
Tawdry, Mar 10, Mountaineer 8
Candy’s Jewel, Mar 15, Los Alamitos 1
With a Miracle, Mar 23, Sunland 7
Causewere Gamblers, Mar 30, Santa Anita 3

Of the rest, 68 have not been heard from since:
Mean Season, Mar 1, Aqueduct 3
Beer Is Good, Mar 1, Aqueduct 10
Mommieslilmonster, Mar 1, Charles Town 6
Tacara Mucho, Mar 1, Golden Gate 2
Malahide, Mar 1, Hawthorne 6
News Bulletin, Mar 1, Hawthorne 8
First Time John, Mar 1, Turf 2
Armed Intelligence, Mar 2, Parx 6
Candy Eye, Mar 2, Santa Anita 5
Decoy, Mar 2, Sunland 9
Natural Shelter, Mar 2, Tampa Bay 10
Goodbye Charlie, Mar 2, Turf 7
Thegallopingghost, Mar 5, Mountaineer 4
Jalouzi, Mar 6, Charles Town 2
Thwack, Mar 6, Charles Town 5
Run in Aruba, Mar 7, Calder 4
Bravo Romeo, Mar 7, Laurel 2
Direction to Pay, Mar 7, Tampa Bay 7
Warren’s Hopeful, Mar 8, Charles Town 9
Prado Cat, Mar 8, Gulfstream 6
Holy Wildcat, Mar 8, Gulfstream 7
D’wildbill, Mar 8, Mountaineer 1
Diamondsontheinside, Mar 8, Remington 11
Jack Brookshire, Mar 8, Remington 14
Dats Dee, Mar 8, Sunland 10
The Fed Eased, Mar 9, Calder 3
Compromising Txt, Mar 9, Los Alamitos 3
Ko Ko Fleur, Mar 10, Mountaineer 5
La Tonga, Mar 10, Turf 4
Passport Denied, Mar 11, Mountaineer 9
Honor Spirit, Mar 12, Turf 6
Ask Her Out, Mar 13, Charles Town 3
Chickatari, Mar 13, Penn 5
Promise Me Pyc, Mar 13, Remington 9
Tripski, Mar 13, Santa Anita 1
Bertie, Mar 14, Santa Anita 3
J Rose Gal, Mar 14, Tampa Bay 1
Anskey’shero, Mar 15, Fonner 4
Fulmerized, Mar 15, Oaklawn 2
S S Tribal Girl, Mar 16, Fonner 2
Starlight Dreamer, Mar 16, Hawthorne 1
Next Right, Mar 16, Santa Anita 1
Tanjero, Mar 17, Mountaineer 7
M Two Forty, Mar 17, Turf 6
Donnas Dynasty, Mar 18, Sunland 9
Pure Afleet, Mar 19, Laurel 1
Love Contract, Mar 20, Aqueduct 8
Eternal Ruler, Mar 21, Gulfstream 8
J W Blue, Mar 21, Laurel 1
Bulletsinthegun, Mar 21, Remington 11
Jess Wave, Mar 21, Sam Houston 7
Tempting Prize, Mar 21, Sunland 1
Pat’s Back, Mar 22, Golden Gate 5
Royal Gallant, Mar 22, Gulfstream 5
Letmegetmybroom, Mar 23, Mountaineer 3
Am Another Lover, Mar 23, Santa Anita 9
Shop Keeper, Mar 25, Sunland 7
Eight Stitches, Mar 26, Turf 3
Tapits Wildcat, Mar 26, Turf 8
Renards Lapin, Mar 27, Aqueduct 2
Eyes a Stoli, Mar 27, Sam Houston 7
Yu Tiger Yu, Mar 28, Hawthorne 6
Potomac River, Mar 29, Fair Grounds 8
Jurzenski, Mar 30, Fonner 5
Some Way Some How, Mar 30, Oaklawn 4
Lewkacy, Mar 30, Turf 6
Carvey, Mar 31, Beulah 1
Raptitude, Mar 31, Beulah 2

85% of the vanned off were either later confirmed dead or have simply disappeared.

Although not reported as vanned, these 7, too, have not resurfaced:
Cherokee Mystery, Mar 2, Parx 8, “broke in a tangle,” DNF
Bandini Girl, Mar 7, Turfway 2, bled, DNF
Cooper River, Mar 14, Laurel 3, fell, DNF (later confirmed dead)
Accelerare, Mar 16, Gulfstream 7, bled
Finesse, Mar 21, Oaklawn 7 (later confirmed dead)
Rockinpop, Mar 26, Gulfstream 7, bled, DNF
Coleman Barricks, Mar 29, Charles Town 3, “came back bleeding from the nose”

Equibase reported 4 horses as “euthanized”:
Aggressive Prize, Mar 3, Louisiana 5
The Program, Mar 6, Fair Grounds 8
Miss Da Sunrise, Mar 7, Fair Grounds 4
Sweetly Put, Mar 22, Penn 9

…and 18 as “broke down” – racing-speak for dead:
Syeshacat, Mar 1, Mountaineer 4
King Moon, Mar 2, Oaklawn 4
Cellophane, Mar 7, Golden Gate 6
Uncle Betty, Mar 13, Charles Town 5
Kenai Warrior, Mar 14, Gulfstream 6
Fardan, Mar 15, Santa Anita 1
Broadway Peyton, Mar 15, Tampa Bay 6
El Altanero, Mar 17, Beulah 7
Hot Little Thang, Mar 17, Turf 1
Colonel By, Mar 21, Charles Town 2
Garden Tavern, Mar 22, Charles Town 2
Diva On Demand, Mar 22, Laurel 4
Vagabond Shoes, Mar 22, Santa Anita 4
Vengeful, Mar 23, Gulfstream 2
Kern River, Mar 28, Fonner 2
Art of the Game, Mar 28, Gulfstream 8
Russian Silk, Mar 29, Santa Anita 9
Notbyemyrules, Mar 30, Santa Anita 9

Allowing that a few of the vanned may have been “retired”/rescued, I think it likely that some 100 horses from our March casualty lists are dead. But remember, that’s flat-track, in-competition only – this report does not include harness and training deaths. For context on the latter, though: Of the 98 on-track (or back in the barn) deaths in NY last year, 43% came in morning practice (thus far in 2014, 45%). If we were to add a similar percentage to the above, the toll grows dramatically. In addition, there were surely other euthanasias not reflected here – horses merely “pulled up” or “eased,” even some who per Equibase finished their races without incident.

In short, I think it reasonable to assert that the New York Times figure – 24 dead horses a week – should be doubled, leaving us with well over 2,000 track-kills annually. And this says nothing of the thousands more sent to slaughter. All, for a 20th Century gambling game that can no longer compete on product alone. Please help end the madness: Stop betting on animal races.

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


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  1. I would love to know what happened to Mean Season – saw him at Aqueduct where he won his 3rd straight race in a row but he pulled up with an apparent soft tissue injury – he was vanned off – never got his picture taken in the winners circle

  2. Step by Step horse racing needs to be shut down.

    One of the steps is to get people elected that will pass laws to stop horse slaughter, stop drugging of horses at the race track, and any other horse abuse that is going on.
    There is a list of candidates that HSUS put out that they say are pro animal on important measures.
    There is also a list to show how they vote on animal issues. It goers back to 2005.

  3. I have one more thought for tonight.

    As I have mentioned before, I was telling a friend about the TV show “Heartland” filmed in Alberta Canada that is a show about horses that have been rescued from different kinds of abuse (every episode a different storyline) and she started telling me about the drugging of horses at the race track with Lasix and that is what started my research on this heartbreaking subject.

    One more point of abuse I would like to mention tonight is the way Elephants are treated. Patrick has a very good article on this subject in the archives under Circus.

    there was a man who was known as the “Elephant Whisperer” and when he died Elephants came from miles around to mourn his death.

    Just as horses are Far more intelligent than many people give them credit for so are elephants.
    This is an amazing story.

    For 12 hours, two herds of wild South African elephants slowly made their way through the Zululand bush until they reached the house of late author Lawrence Anthony, the conservationist who saved their lives.

    The formerly violent, rogue elephants, destined to be shot a few years ago as pests, were rescued and rehabilitated by Anthony, who had grown up in the bush and was known as the “Elephant Whisperer.”

    “They had not visited the house for a year and a half and it must have taken them about 12 hours to make the journey,” Dylan is quoted in various local news accounts. “The first herd arrived on Sunday and the second herd, a day later. They all hung around for about two days before making their way back into the bush.”

    So, how after Anthony’s death, did the reserve’s elephants — grazing miles away in distant parts of the park — know?

    “A good man died suddenly,” says Rabbi Leila Gal Berner, Ph.D., “and from miles and miles away, two herds of elephants, sensing that they had lost a beloved human friend, moved in a solemn, almost ‘funereal’ procession to make a call on the bereaved family at the deceased man’s home.”

    “If there ever were a time, when we can truly sense the wondrous ‘interconnectedness of all beings,’ it is when we reflect on the elephants of Thula Thula. A man’s heart’s stops, and hundreds of elephants’ hearts are grieving. This man’s oh-so-abundantly loving heart offered healing to these elephants, and now, they came to pay loving homage to their friend.”

    What Anthony did to save the elephants.

    Then, in a flash, came the answer. I would live with the herd. To save their lives, I would stay with them, feed them, talk to them. But, most importantly, be with them day and night. We all had to get to know each other.”

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