“Fell and Expired”: Death at Presque Isle (video included)

While the chartwriters’ lexicon comes fairly uniform, stylistic differences occasionally arise. “Broke Down,” of course, is the euphemism of choice for dead. But in the 3rd at Presque Isle yesterday, a first (for me): Isutalkintome, a 7-year-old under the whip for the 38th time, “fell and expired.” Yes, “fell and expired.” (Another horse, Burst of Fire, “collided with the fallen horse and was vanned off.”)

In yet another departure from standard operating procedure, the track announcer did not ignore the death, instead shouting, “Oh no! Oh my God! There’s a breakdown.” Then, with voice fading, “oh gee.”

The kill can be seen here – click Sun 7, race 3 (around 1:57 mark).


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  1. This is sickening.
    Like I’ve always maintained horse racing is a cruelty circus, and a death camp.
    That said, I want to focus on a theme that horse racing supporters comment on:
    that a racehorse who is bred in opulent surroundings with rich owners are somehow immune to the cruelty and/or death – of course most of us know that nothing could be further from the truth.
    Every racehorse is subjected to whipping/beating, doping, dumping, and/or dying at some point during their servitude.
    Take for example, Burst of Fire, bred by one of the richest owners in the country Frank Stronach’s Adena Springs Farm. His multimillion dollar facility located in Paris, KY is nothing less than stellar. This racehorse was bred in opulence, and was vanned-off crippled just like all the other horses. His fate still not known.
    Take another example,PERFECT KAY, bred by another very wealthy owner Barbara Banke’s Stonestreet Farms, owner of Kendall-Jackson Winery. This filly was bred into opulence. However, she ran on August 6, 2016 at Gulfstream Park in 120 Degree F (with humidity) temperatures. She finished 7th by lengths.
    Why would somebody who really cares about their racehorse permit them to run in such heat.
    My 18 y.o retired OTTB was in a stall with a fan, and makes me no money.
    Go figure.

  2. It’s interesting that every time the media mentions you or the protests, NYRA or Saratoga responds with the same tired and inaccurate stats about “per thousand starts,” as if it means anything. Friends of mine have asked me about it, and I have referred them to your discussion of it. The tracks talk about improving their kill records, but it really can’t be done at the track level. It has to go all the way back to the breeders who create pretty, speedy, but fragile thoroughbreds— and the trainers who, when these horses have the inevitable injuries and weaknesses, drug them up with impunity as they train them, injuries and all, for races they should not be running. And when the horses die, as they do, the track PR people wring their hands and talk about fixing it as if they can do it.
    Half the owners don’t even know what their trainers are doing. Think how many horses are owned by syndicates, corporations,and groups of horse-ignorant people who decide it would be fun to invest in a racehorse. They put the onus on the trainer to make them some money, and could care less about the cost to the horse.

    • You’re exactly correct, Jody B. And yes, the “per thousand starts” is incredibly misleading – and they know it. The uninformed is going to assume that the “thousand starts” translates to one-thousand horses…but that’s totally false. One thousand starts isn’t the number of horses, but rather, the number of races. Let’s say an average claimer runs every month – so that ONE horse ran 12 times in a year. That ONE horse “took up” 12 of those one thousand starts. Quick math tells us that it only takes 84 horses (running once a month) to make up 1,000 starts over a year! Now their stats of 2.2 dead horses (or whatever they’re now claiming) out of 84 horses doesn’t look so wonderful, does it!!

      They are intentional in their lies.

    • A favorite saying by trainers on the backside is ‘owners are like mushrooms…keep them in the dark…and feed them sh_t’ but there are also owners who more than aware, and winning to them are all that matters.

  3. Thanks for the clarification Joy.
    They skew the math to make it appear good.
    This is done throughout the industry including sales results.
    They spew the same BS year in and year out to the unsuspecting public so it’s up to us to dispel it.
    For example, almost every month they tout how high the wagerin is that it’s increasing – I have my doubts.
    Since they are the ones who control it with no oversight it’s hard to factually dispel, but all indicators point to major decrease in wagering across the board.
    This entire industry is based on one big delusion.
    They have been getting away with it for so long now that they wouldn’t know how to change.
    The sad truth is that it can’t change so they must keep the delusion going.
    In the midst of all this racehorses continue getting maimed, and killed for their stupid bets.
    This is the dirty world of horse racing.

  4. I am going to start providing links to help spread awareness, as I cannot explain and include everything in a comment. This is an article about a vet in the racing industry http://www.nbcnews.com/news/investigations/every-day-i-almost-quit-confessions-racetrack-veterinarian-n106791 The talk about racing reform is this article is misleading, as this industry cannot regulate itself. An example of this is here http://www.nbcnews.com/news/investigations/every-day-i-almost-quit-confessions-racetrack-veterinarian-n106791 Please read the comments from racing insiders on how DMSO is used to cheat.

  5. Thanks so much 20+ Insider for the links.
    Your valuable contribution to this Blog is greatly appreciated.
    I love all comments, but especially the ones from insiders who have, at one time, participated in this delusion.
    We have seen the horror, and know it.
    However, people don’t have to participate in the horror to realize that it’s so wrong, and cruel on every level.
    The facts are the voice of the voiceless racehorses as they lay DYING in the dirt.

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