“The Bone Had Separated” – Back in Dixie Killed at Keeneland

Friday’s 9th race at Keeneland was a $100,000 Grade 3. In other words, the kind of race that typically garners press coverage. Owing to such coverage, we now know that one of those under the whip that evening, a 4-year-old filly named Back in Dixie, broke then was euthanized. Dead. (Much as they’d prefer to ignore such unpleasantries, the beat writers are almost forced to acknowledge deaths in big races. How unfortunate, though, for dead animals tend to mar otherwise happy recaps.)

The Lexington Herald-Leader’s account included jockey Channing Hill’s description of and reaction to Back in Dixie’s death:

“…it really felt like someone grabbed me, like grabbed my hind end because she kind of stumbled. By the third step I knew…the bone [had] separated. She just showed her class by keeping herself up. This is absolutely heartbreaking. You don’t get too many classy mares that are this nice. This is the worst part about the game, especially the horses that give you everything.”

“showed her class by keeping herself up”

“absolutely heartbreaking”

“don’t get too many classy mares that are this nice”

“worst part about the game”

Repugnant.

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  1. Yes, a cruelty circus that involves beating/whipping, maiming, dumping, and/or dying every day results in repugnant remarks like these.
    Absolutely pathetic redundant remarks by pro-horse racing people who uphold the ongoing, and inhumane treatment of horses who are reduced to disposable slaves in order to generate profit.

  2. If the jockey felt that then she should of pulled.that filly up. Heartbreaking that she made this filly keep running.

  3. I really try to stay focused on the facts at hand: racehorses are dying for $2 bets.
    However, the entire industry is rife with cruelty to racehorses for the sole purpose of filling races for $2 bets.
    For example, doping racehorses seems to be off-topic for outsiders who have been sold on the “treated like kings,” “grassy paddocks for retirement,” scenario’s, but the ongoing doping of racehorses to mask chronic lameness issues are common place. Even worse, Trainers who are caught usually get away with it, and are still allowed to Train. ( See the above comment by 20+ industry insider).
    That’s like giving the keys to a drunk driver. Everybody else usually gets hurt except for the perpetrator. Despite all the evidence proving that doping maims and/or kills both equine, and human athletes the industry does little to clean up the multiple drug violating Trainers.
    For example, Doug O’Neill. He is a multiple drug violating Trainer who never gets permanently suspended. After years of drug positives, and racehorses dying under his care, he finally got a 6 month suspension. Just weeks off of this suspension another racehorse broke down and died in his care. I don’t think a lifetime suspension is appropriate. I do think that animal cruelty charges in the court system banning him from ever owning or training any animal is in order.
    This blog has addressed the infamous “Drug O’Neill” here:
    https://horseracingwrongs.com/2013/08/06/laughing-at-doug-oneills-horse-abuse/

    It’s no secret that doping up racehorses is a huge contributing factor to catastrophic breakdowns.
    In the lower claiming ranks, the doping is allowed so that crippled/lame horses can fill races for $2 bets.
    In the upper ranks, the doping is usually focused on getting a competitive edge which can often result in racehorses being doped to run past their natural ability.
    Again, the ongoing doping of racehorses often results in maiming or death.
    Where the industry really protects the ongoing doping, and dying of racehorses is by claiming that vet records are “private,” and refuse to release those records leading up to the deaths of racehorses on tracks.
    While thousands of vets every year disclose and share domestic cat, and dog records the horse racing industry focuses on the privacy of vet records instead of disclosure.
    This deliberate cover-up by the industry accomplishes several things: 1. it protects the multiple drug violating Trainers 2. it protects the owners whom in many cases are well aware of the drug cocktails being used on their horses despite claiming innocence 3. it protects the racetracks from lawsuits from jockeys who are maimed or killed while riding racehorses who are doped up to run.
    Overall, the ongoing use of doping on racehorses greases the wagering machine because it keeps lame racehorses filling races when they should otherwise be rested or retired from the physical/mental brutal demands of this cruelty circus.
    So by addressing the doping issue we are essentially addressing both the ongoing abuse and deaths of racehorses.
    Simply put, the industry requires the doping so that the racehorses can fill races, keep running, and generate profit.

  4. Gina-Thank you. I could never explain it so well. Horses have been doped, nerved, run on cracked cannon bones. I have been in every kind of those spills. I survived, but most horses did not. You have know way to know. The pain is masked enough to hide the signs. Horses so doped up with medication, they will snap their legs off and continue running. And I agree with about animal cruelty charges through the court system. We have both been on the ‘inside’ long enough to know racing will never clean up its act. The blatant abuse of Nehro proved that there is no justice for these horses. It will have to be done in the court system or not at all.

    • Exactly 20+ industry insider. Nehro is a very good example of a doped up horse to mask horrific foot/hoof issues that negated immediate retirement from any physical activity let alone the brutal demands of horse racing.
      For those of you who are not familiar with the horrific ongoing doping, abuse, cruelty and eventual death of NEHRO please refer to PETA video of Steve Asmussen’s racing stable. Here’s the link in case you missed it:

      The video of top Trainer Steve Assmussen’s racing stable is often difficult to watch as racehorses are given injection after injection on a regular basis with many of the drugs used not for therapeutic purposes. They were treated like profit slaves forced to perform via needles.
      The video is blatant animal cruelty. NEHRO is the epitome of the nightmare that many racehorses endure only many don’t endure the brutality when they die. The tape speaks for the poor racehorses as they are doped to run.
      If this isn’t enough the industry today announced that Steve Asmussen has been indicted into the Racing Hall of Shame!
      I thought that I was reading a joke on the Bloodhorse website.
      This guy should be banned for life from ever training a horse. Instead, the industry reveres, and rewards him for being the abuser. The tracks where the abuse took place claimed that there was no wrong doing!
      Well if this industry can’t see that this was wrong then there isn’t anything that anybody or any trainer can do to a horse that would be considered abusive.There is zippo chance for reform.
      For anybody to continue participating, and supporting this cruelty circus after viewing the tape, you are in a deliberate delusional denial stage.

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