R Free Roll Dead at Belmont

The NYS Gaming Commission reports that 5-year-old R Free Roll is dead after breaking down during morning “practice” at Belmont yesterday. Along with the disclosure, of course, comes the familiar (and utterly meaningless) “investigation to follow.” R Free Roll was last raced on November 1, a $20,000 place-finish in Belmont’s “Pumpkin Pie Stakes.” This, as well as a 2014 graded-stakes win at Saratoga and over $600,000 “career earnings,” means her death will probably not go unnoticed.

This is horseracing.

(R Free Roll photos here)

11 Comments

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  1. R FREE ROLL this mare foaled on April 2, 2010. She began racing as a 2 year old on August 9, 2012 and in that race she was up for claiming for $40,000. Over 3 years of racing/training she had 25 starts: 9-7-2 $617,208 averaging $24,688 per start.
    Ahh yes there will be an investigation, she was valuable and headed for the lucrative breeding barn and no doubt well insured. It will be interesting to see what this investigation finds, assuming that the NYSGC will publish same.
    Looking at the photo of her being led by strapper after winning the Honourable Miss Handicap…… her mouth and eyes say it all. Racing in the mud whilst being beaten with a whip when you’re tired and sore. Where in any of these photos does it look as though she’s “enjoying” racing? The fear and terror in her eyes is obvious. She worked so hard and earned a huge amount of money for her connections et al only to die a painful death in the dirt! How more SICK can this get?

  2. R.I.P. R Free Roll – Run Free Baby, your worst days are behind you. Your right Jacqueline, horse racing is nothing more than murder and exploitation. The horses don’t stand a chance, due to the over racing, drugs, racing them sore and injured, you name it. The suffering and abuse they endure is criminal. Damn the racing industry, I wish it would die a quick death and stop murdering beautiful, innocent, and defenseless creatures.

    Stop betting people, you are all directly responsible for the carnage each time you punch out a bet. Why don’t we send you out to run for your life in fear, force you into a gate you are terrified of, whip you till you bleed when you are running as fast as you can, drug you up so you won’t feel the pain from the injury you sustained in your last race 4 days ago, and stick you into a small stall for 18 to 20 hours of isolation. This is what they go through on a good day, if they are lucky enough to make it to the next day.

    This is what you are supporting, go look at yourself in a mirror and tell me what you see. It’s never to late to change and walk away. You will be a better person for it, give them a chance to live a life free from bondage, suffering and death.

    Marlene Thornley

  3. I live near Belmont training track and when I hear the siren go off I know that’s trouble. a short siren means a loose horse but yesterday the siren went on for almost 10 minutes that means a breakdown. I knew a horse has broken down but I did not know who. now I know.

  4. R Free Roll was a well-cared for horse trained by a good trainer whom I know to be a caring and skilled professional. The product of 400 years of selective breeding, she was literally born to race and did it because that is what she liked to do best of all. A valuable and accomplished race horse, her fatal injury was an unfortunate accident that can happen to any horse who runs at speed. Any insinuation that her unfortunate death was because of knowing abuse is absurd.

    • “…she was literally born to race and did it because that is what she liked to do best of all”; “…her fatal injury was an unfortunate accident that can happen to any horse who runs at speed.”

      You are tragically delusional. A racehorse is created and exploited solely for the purpose of making man money. A racehorse is but a thing.

    • “an unfortunate accident” it was not. Racing killed her – it’s as simple as that.

      She began racing at 2 (a baby) and we know how wrong that is and she raced at fast speed for over 3 years whilst being beaten with a whip “well-cared for”? And in her very first race she was up for claiming for $40,000.
      $617,208 she earned was obviously just not enough. The connections had the choice of retiring her from racing but they chose to keep her going, more money to be earned and therefore increasing her value in the breeding barn.
      Well she didn’t get there, did she! Pure greed was the highest priority – her safety, health and well-being was not a consideration. Glad that’s not on my conscience!

      And for good measure, let me reiterate

      “Looking at the photo of her being led by strapper after winning the Honourable Miss Handicap…… her mouth and eyes say it all. Racing in the mud whilst being beaten with a whip when you’re tired and sore. Where in any of these photos does it look as though she’s “enjoying” racing? The fear and terror in her eyes is obvious. She worked so hard and earned a huge amount of money for her connections et al only to die a painful death in the dirt! How more SICK can this get?”

    • NL

      What You are saying is absurd.

      No horse is born to race at breakneck speeds at an age when their bodies are not even formed. Racehorses are consistently drugged and beaten and forced to run.

      You must work in the racing industry or perhaps you gamble on race horses. Who is the trainer you are talking about. Was this horse ever hit with a crop ? Was this horse drugged with Lasix. It is tragic to see how money causes people to shut down their heart and block out the truth. that state of consciousness is beyond absurd. It is tragic.

      Horse racing = horse abuse and leads to Pain, suffering and oftentimes death.

      Horse racing also creates very bad karma for people who participate in this horrific abuse. Please wake up !

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