Racing’s Broken Bodies, 2/23/15-3/1/15

The following horses were casualties on American tracks last week. This list, however, includes only raceday victims, for while I’d prefer to submit a more complete reckoning, the training carnage is almost entirely covered up.

Reported as died, euthanized, or “broke down” – racing-speak for dead:
Aerial Dancer, Turf
Macho Mia, Louisiana
Bracket Buster, Parx
Stormy Dan, Parx

Reported as “vanned off” – left via ambulance, a better-than-even chance of dead:
Swingin Hero, Hialeah
Jones Destiny, Sam Houston (“bleeding from the nostrils”)
Sir Bing, Delta
Bella Serenade, Gulfstream
It’s a Sin, Tampa Bay
Blue Ballerina, Aqueduct
Indict, Fair Grounds
Mullers Canyon, Fonner
Derby Hat, Sunland
What Do You Mean, Hawthorne
Please Everyone, Los Alamitos
Supreme Sissy, Sam Houston
A Fathers Blessing, Sam Houston
Sirikoi, Santa Anita (“bleeding from the nostrils”)
Out the Door, Tampa Bay
Conquest Outlaw, Tampa Bay
Run Robby Run, Tampa Bay
Oro Vero, Aqueduct
Beattie Feathers, Hialeah
Angel Diane, Santa Anita
Myintention, Santa Anita
Ld Red Hot Blue, Sunland

Other:
Tripski, Gulfstream, bled
Playing a Joke, Aqueduct, “stumbled badly,” DNF
On the Right Side, Golden Gate, fell, DNF
Miss Lucky Lauren, Aqueduct, bled
Easy Bling, Mahoning, “stumbled badly,” DNF
The Great War, Turfway, bled
Sherman Bartlebort, Los Alamitos, fell, DNF

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  1. Unfortunately, also add Cavalryman to the list, who sustained a serious fracture in his right hind leg while running in the G3 Nad Al Sheba Trophy at Meydan on Saturday, 28 February. R.I.P.

  2. A note on Sherman Bartlebort, the last horse on the list. He was making his first start after a year and a half “layoff.” In a 4 1/2 furlong $2,500 claiming race. This is the cheapest price claimers run for in Southern California. He was one of the favorites in the race but was struggling all the way around. He stumbled badly in the stretch, but he was out of the frame when he fell, so I couldn’t see his fall. But he did get up and ran off down the track. So he’ll have another opportunity to break down in his next start in a bottom-level claimer… Clearly hopelessly beaten, his jockey continued to whip him just before he stumbled and fell. In some racing jurisdictions elsewhere in the world, a jockey will receive a fine and/or a suspension for hitting a hopelessly beaten horse. In the US, racing keeps pushing back on limiting ANY whipping. And to my knowledge, the US is the only natiom that uses the awful practice of claiming races. Sherman B, now six years old, was a $50,000 stakes winner as a two year old. Where are the former owners of this stakes winner? They should step forward and BUY him for that $2,500 and give him a well-deserved retirement or opportunity to retrain to be somebody’s nice little pleasure horse before the worst happens. It’s gutwrenching to see this same scenario played out dozens of times in the US every day.

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