Midnight Visitor Dead at Saratoga – 9th Casualty There This Year

From the NYS Gaming Commission: At Saratoga, 3-year-old Midnight Visitor “reared up while being walked to Assembly Barn and fell…removed to Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital where it [was] euthanized this morning [Thursday].” The “it” was slated to be raced in that day’s 4th. She is the ninth dead “athlete” at Saratoga this year.

This is horseracing.

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    By Mary Carol McGlone

    They run like the wind with beauty uncompared
    The glory of rolling thunder beneath the hooves of despair
    They mesmerize with every movement of pure grace
    The heights of heaven flows through the ground they embrace
    They prance and they frolic through the plains with delight
    Inspiring our hearts at the awesome sight
    How great the creator of such wonder we behold
    How great is this gift of splendor He gave us to hold
    Why then are we unthankful and cold without care
    Of the wonder of God’s spirit that flows through the mare
    For how can we so unmercifully abuse and destroy
    These magnificent creatures, God’s awesome vessels of joy
    Their speed we trade for money we gamble their glory away for a dime
    And when the hooves begin to slow and the strength begin to pine
    Without mercy we end the life of the friend that God gave into our care
    Cruelly silencing the rolling thunder beneath the hooves of despair
    The pure spirit of God’s creation will in all eternity be with the giver of all life
    But I wonder the unrepentant heart who has sown for profit
    so much pain, misery, and strife
    So for money we abuse God’s precious beast
    And we are free to do so now as we please
    Truly there is a time when we shall all be made to repay
    Ponder carefully your actions and your heart before that day

    • Beautiful writing .Sadly the truth for all horses racing.The day of reckoning will come for these awful people who abuse these animals just for playing the dollar in gambling, It is not the greatest game!

  2. I am so saddened once again to hear this!!!! I am beyond mortified!!!! I live a mere 15 mins from this track and it was a favorite destination of mine every summer!!! But now I can’t even think of setting foot anywhere near it!!!! This poor creature wasn’t even in the middle of a race…. Was his handler distracted?? As far as the horse who was found mysteriously dead outside his stall…. These are multi million dollar investments…. Which while I don’t condone that…. Who’s watching the stalls????

  3. Just to give you folks who may be newbies to this Blog I reviewed some notes from NY Racing Commission minutes 2009.
    The DEATH RECORD was so extensive that it would take up pages of this Blog.
    Here’s just a glance:
    WARRIOR’S HERO Fractured R carpus during race – euthanized.
    MIDNIGHT SLAMMER Fractured RF Cannon bone during race – euthanized.
    PRIVATE DETAILS Fractured LF Cannon bone during race – euthanized.
    Tin Cup Chalice SB snapped back leg off during race – euthanized.
    ROURING SPOUSE LF Fetlock lateral condylar fracture – euthanized.
    DELLA CREME – collapsed and died.
    CLOUD NINE Fractured R Hind Cannon bone – euthanized.
    PRECIOUS KISS Fractured LF sesamoids – euthanized.
    Come on people. This DEATH CAMP has been going on way too long now. It must be shut down.
    Yet another racehorse being extensively abused is HALOS AND ANGELS that supporters claimed a few blogs ago that this poor filly was retired to a grassy paddock!
    She wasn’t.
    Sent to the cruelty circus today for yet another round of abuse to finish last by 30+ lengths!
    This filly is just another number for this pathetic industry.
    I can’t even begin to imagine her horrific life, and the ongoing abuse of this poor filly.
    Yet, the people who “love” her the “good” folks of horse racing , the commissions who should protect her not allow her to run – say nothing.
    They suddenly become deaf, dumb, and blind.
    Well I’m numb from it all.
    This is horrific animal cruelty, and abuse and it must stop.

    • Right on Gina. Horses like Halos and Angels are used to fill races or meet a stall quota. Or trainers trying to milk more day rate money from their owners. (Some tracks require that trainers have a certain amount of starts to keep stalls). Why else do that to a horse? The racing industry sure isn’t looking out for their athletes, but will go to great lengths to cover-up all the abuse and death.

  4. I believe that the dead horses are nothing more than a tax write off for the phony snob owners.

    As a horse owner for over 30 years, I know that any time you take a horse at age two or younger and start forcing him to run at top speeds with weight on his back you’re asking for a disaster. Also, pumping them up with drugs makes them very unpredictable not to mention the fact that it’s illegal, but who’s watching?????????

    • We’re watching, Sue.

      Horseracing Wrongs protest at a New York track (Saratoga) today.

      Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses protest at a Melbourne track (Sandown) today in Australia.

      7 August 2016

  5. 12 DEAD AT DEL MAR ( 2 weeks into the meet) – 9 DEAD AT SARATOGA ( 2 weeks into the meet) – these are the TOP race tracks in the WORLD – imagine the deaths at the small time tracks ?

  6. The abuse of racing HALOS AND ANGELS into the ground continues. On 6 August at Thistledown this long suffering mare came home 8th/8 last by 31 LENGTHS!

    Proud of yourselves, trainer A Daily and owner O MASON RACING STABLE?

    • Meant to add that she endured this for the grand sum of $94. She races with a FOR SALE sign on her head – each of her 28 starts to date have been in the insidious CLAIMING RACES.
      This is horseracing.

  7. I’m currently trying to play “catch up” reading the Paulick Report…and in an article regarding revoking a jockey’s license because a buzzer was found in his possession, I read this comment – copied and pasted below in its entirety. Just read it. And a reminder, it was from a racing supporter/former industry member.

    From Jack Frazier; “When I rode races from 1963 until 1983, machines were standard equipment to carry and if a jockey wouldn’t or couldn’t pack, he or she just didn’t get many live horses to ride. Anyone who doesn’t believe this to be the case now is living in a dream world and I would expect that with the technology we have in todays world, the newer ones, powered by micro-chips will be virtually impossible to find. I do not see the advantage of a jockey wearing gloves unless there is something embedded in them. Although trainers and jockeys will deny it, anyone who wants a rider to pack can find someone to do it by paying them a little cash on the side. Do any of the top riders pack? Watch the races and see which riders consistently have horses re-break while others are just marking time and also which riders seem to get more out of a horse by hand riding rather than using their whip. I rode a race once in which there were five or six horses a nose apart at the finish line and not one rider had a whip drawn. The stewards called everyone in and told us that the next time that happened there would be hell to pay.

    Back in the day there were a variety of machines to use. There were those like the one pictured but there were also ones built into the whips, gloves and rings. There was one called a California Special that used two batteries .

    The question is why are they used and the simple answer is that they work. Not all horses will run from a joint. Some will just stop, some will buck or duck away from the shock and some will look like they rebroke at the quarter pole. Sound familiar? The physiological response is one in which a horses adrenaline kicks in. We all know that horses are fight or flight animals and this just makes them react by increasing the adrenaline. I only rode a couple of horses that improved with the use of a machine and it was mind boggling how many lengths those horses would move up. The unethical part of this is that to fix a race, riders wouldn’t pack.

    Should a vigorous crackdown occur? Sure but just as the illegal medicine is a problem that the tracks just can’t fix, this one will be very difficult as well.”

    From a former insider – “just as the illegal medicine is a problem that the tracks just can’t fix” – ADMISSION of doping horses that cannot be “fixed” yet continued support. Leaves me speechless.


    • Joy, thank you for the post. I’m not at all surprised re the “buzzers” since this business is a cheating gambling game built on the backs of the voiceless. It takes a huge measure of moral depravity to participate in this game. Everybody at every level knows what goes on and nobody does anything about it. Any “effort” to stop the cheating and abuse is a sham because they know it can’t be enforced and the bottom line is that they don’t really care.

      “The unethical part of this is that to fix a race, riders wouldn’t pack”. Unethical part ? I would like to know what on earth IS ethical about racing.

  8. Thank you Joy for posting this comment.
    There is no doubt in my mind that high technology has made its way into buzzers.
    Furthermore, there’s no doubt that this contributes to catastrophic breakdowns.
    Perhaps it’s not the main cause, as we know that doping is, but it sure as hell forces a horse to run beyond its capability.
    These poor racehorses. It’s utterly disgusting what they go through, It’s blatant animal cruelty, and nobody seems to give a damm.
    This high technology buzzer, including microchips, is allegedly used by top Trainers especially in California.
    They could put an end to it, but refuse to.
    Simple, relatively inexpensive, scanning devices at jockey weigh-in stations could end it, but the industry failed to implement this when I suggested it in California.
    Here we have a multimillion dollar industry that fails to implement basic technological advances into their protocol including. closed circuit cameras in stalls, and the stable area.
    So one would have to conclude that they don’t give a damm about the health and welfare of the racehorse as they portray. 2. They don’t give a damm about people who invest in the industry 3. They don’t give a damm about the integrity of their wagering product. 4. They allow the cesspool of corruption to continue unabated.
    Anybody who subjects their racehorse to such cruelty, and abuse doesn’t “love” them.
    The subjugation of racehorses for profit, coupled with corruptive practices, often leads to them dying in the dirt.
    This is the despicable world of horse racing.

    • Gina, I appreciate your posts very much.
      I have been tied up with sick animals. No horses involved until today when my 7 yr. old OTT mare had to be euthanized because of colic.. We tried hard but to no avail. Sad, sad day here.

      I just can’t wrap my mind around the callousness that is such an integral part of this business of horse abuse and death.

      • Oh Rose!…I am SO SO sorry! I have missed you here but we all get busy with “life” …I just assumed that was your case and you’d be back when time allowed – I never thought that you might be having issues with your animals!

        Oh but my heart aches for you. To lose any of our four-leggeds is devastating – to lose one so young is unbearable. Please know you will be in my thoughts and prayers.

      • Rose…I had to find the following for you – I read this on a FB friend’s wall the other night…she was remembering a mare she had lost a while back. My hope is that your heart is comforted in knowing your mare KNEW she was loved and that there are those of us who truly share the pain of your broken heart…

        “There is a cycle of love and death that shapes the lives of those who choose to travel in the company of animals. It is a cycle unlike any other. To those who have never lived through its turnings and walked its rocky path, our willingness to give our hearts with full knowledge that they will be broken seems incomprehensible. Only we know how small a price we pay for what we receive; our grief, no matter how powerful it may be, is an insufficient measure of the joy we have been given.” – Suzanne Clothier

      • OH Rose – so sorry.
        My heart is aching for you, and for your non-human child mare.
        The only consolation I can give is that you knew she was loved, cared for, and that you made her comfortable.
        Euthanasia is what a loving, responsible horse owner does when the pain exceeds the comfort.
        She knew you cared, and loved her.
        That’s the most compassionate thing any pet owner should do.
        I sure missed you Rose, and I’m so happy that your back.
        When your done grieving, there are many more that need our voice.
        I look forward to your comments.

      • So sorry to hear this Rose. You were there for her and gave her all the love and care that she needed.

  9. Thanks for putting this up 20yr+ industry insider!
    When I voted several hours ago, it was something like 52% NO and 44% YES.

  10. Joy, Gina, Carolyn, thank you for your kind words and understanding. This is a hard time for me and all her “friends. We called her “Mo” and for four years she was loved and taken care of. She got a chance to be a horse unlike the vast majority of Thoroughbreds brought into this world.

    And Joy, Suzanne Clothier summed it up beautifully. I can’t imagine my life without my animals.

  11. Horses rear and fall all the time. It’s not usually lethal. My concern is that they are taking a non-lethal injury and euthanizing because it’s the cheapest route. I find it difficult to believe that all of these horses have sustained lethal injuries.

    • Agreed, it’s not always lethal. At the very least, the horse suffers shock, a degree of bruising and fear. In a natural equid setting, a horse might rear but he would not fall over. When a horse rears on a racetrack, whether it be on raceday or in training, it is usually indicative that the horse is not comfortable with its environment and it will usually try and escape from its handler. I’ve seen this happen in training, horse bolts in a desperate attempt to escape it’s miserable life, crashes into a structure, suffers career ending injuries (NOT life ending injuries) and is euthanased because it’s no longer a useful commodity. I recently investigated the death of a 2 year old filly. She was in training and yet to have her first race start when she pulled away from groom leading her and bolted. She was smart enough (these horses are never given enough credit for their intelligence) to head for the area where she was brought in, found the gates but they were locked and she went smashing into them. Because she was very valuable, bred by the current top sire in the world, she was rushed to the best equine hospital in the state which was up the road just 5 mins. away. Sadly, her injuries were so severe that they couldn’t save her and she was euthanased.
      On raceday, I come across horses that rear in the gates and thrash around suffering injuries.
      Sometimes they become cast and I have in my data instances where attempts to get the horse up fail and the horse is down for a long period of time. Then all the other horses are removed, taken back to the enclosure and race delayed while they get the injured and distressed horse out. Some horses rear and flip over behind the gates when waiting to be loaded in fear of the task ahead of them. The worst injuries occur in the acutely confined metal structure of a gate stall. There are cases where a horse has become “fractious” (very upset and fearful) in the gates, broke through the front, galloped at fast speed and in an attempt to escape, jumped a fence, suffered serious injuries and was euthanased.

  12. I’ve seen racehorses rear up in the paddock, and all were maimed and/or died due to severe head injuries AKA brain trauma’s.
    Perhaps some are euthanized because they will no longer be profitable or possible to rehab., but the ones that I saw had blood coming out of their mouth, eyes, and/or ears – horrific.
    The racetrack environment is very stressful on a horse.
    Few handle it well either physically or mentally.
    It’s not a natural place for them nor are they bred to run.
    Their bred, trained, and raced to be beaten/whipped, doped, dumped, and/or killed.
    This is horse racing.

  13. It is such a tragedy when a beautiful house breaks down and is put down. We all have to remember that these horse are bred to race. It’s in there blood to race. If horse racing didn’t exist these beautiful animals wouldn’t exist. Just like anything in life there are risks.

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