4 Fillies Killed in California – One From a Pair of Broken Knees

As with Saratoga in New York, a single California track dominates the summer scene, garnering, along the way, (mostly) fawning coverage from mainstream media and racing press alike – Del Mar, of course. And yet, just like NY, other tracks are running – and killing. From the Stewards Minutes:

August 7, Santa Rosa: 4-year-old McCann’s Half Full snapped a leg training. Dead. She was last raced nine days prior – last of 8.

August 12, Santa Rosa: 3-year-old Miss Special Regard suffered “multiple fractures” in the 2nd. Dead. She was coming off a last-of-10 in early July.

August 13, Santa Rosa: 3-year-old Foxie Gotham “bled outwardly post workout – collapsed on walking machine.” Dead.

August 13, Los Alamitos: 3-year-old Kr Crusin Cartel fell after crossing the finish line in the 9th. “She appeared to have broken both knees…euthanized on the track.”

In addition, there is this note in the Santa Rosa minutes: “Jockey PEDRO TERRERO who rode THE WAY TO WIN in the third race on August 12 is hereby fined the sum of $500 for causing welts or breaks in the skin.” It’s called animal cruelty, folks.

This is horseracing.


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  1. As I do not like what happens to race horses when they break down, I hate is see them go to the killers. At the track they are put to sleep asap, Mexico they are tortured over and over. Do not understand why the killers can’t use a gun? If you shot them in the head in the right spot they gone asap. I pray for all of them, it would be nice if this would stop.

    • Janice Patterson…not all broken down racehorses are euthanized ASAP. Some linger for days and even weeks…no diagnostics and no treatment – not even humane euthanasia. I witnessed it.

    • Joy is 100% correct.
      I’ve seen it with my own eyes.
      August 20, 2005 WHAT A SONG Owners: Bob & Beverly Lewis. Trainer: Bob Baffert.
      Purchase price: 1.9 million from Barrett’s California sale.
      Broke down at Del Mar after a routine gallop.
      The horse suffered for HOURS while Baffert, Lewis, and the insurance company debated over the insurance policy. I saw it with my own eyes.
      That was one of the worst suffering I’ve ever seen.
      It’s important to note that Victor Espinoza (American Pharoah beater) was the regular rider for What A Song so one could consider that whipping/beating this horse to perform could have contributed to his eventual demise.
      When a horse is sore, and getting beaten they get conditioned to ignore their soreness because they anticipate getting whipped/beaten.
      So no not all racehorses are immediately euthanized.
      We provided the link to What A Song on another post, but it’s important to note that only a few newspapers reported the actual situation while some downplayed it noting What A Song was euthanized a couple of hours after he went down.
      Even a couple of hours is prolonged suffering on fractured sesamoids – very painful.

      • It’s been about 34 years, but I remember how I felt at watching a suckling colt with a foreleg dangling below the knee, being held for two hours in the paddock, while the owners were notified and the insurance company finally gave the go-ahead to euthanize. That was a Tartan Farm, Ocala, Florida. I have forgotten the owners, or the little guy’s mama’s name, Whatever happened to the colt, it happened while the foreman was ‘feeding the paddocks’ with a pickup truck. I forget a lot of details, but I will never forget the suffering of that beautiful little chestnut – because money was more important than his pain.

  2. The Thoroughbred Industry operates in such a way that Thoroughbreds are “backed” as yearlings and raced as 2 yr olds….. Their skeletal systems often fail because they have not finished growing. They are also bred to have a slighter ‘build’ for more ‘speed’.
    Breeding Thoroughbreds is horrifically expensive and the ‘great’ ones are few and far between but the racing industry not only ENCOURAGES starting them as babies, they provide the venues and the horses are simply commodities…..unless, of course, they have a fabulous, PROFITABLE racing career…..Those horses make up a TINY percentage of all those who are foaled each year.
    It is possible to purchase an ‘unsuccessful’ TB after a non profitable racing season for MEAT prices.
    Fortunately, there are Thoroughbred Rescue Organizations that retrain and find homes for some, sadly, not ALL.

  3. The TB’s break down because they are started when they 18mos or younger and stressed in fast racing at 2-the Europians race on turf FIRST at 5 years old and they last a lot longer.I personally I think the racing industry is the cruelest industry in horses.Too much breeding,too many hurt thrown away horses and they are such sensitive and wonderful friends.In Australia there is the same problem and they go to slaughter rampantly -terrified and lost.People should be ashamed.No more racing ,no more torture

  4. I hate horse racing, the whole thing is discussing, all for money on both sides, the owners of the horse and gamblers all put pressure on the horses with no regard to their health.. Do you think a horse in its natural environment would run its self to dealth or run so hard as to break its legs around a track for fun? NO!! But of course big money in this dishonest game.. So it continues.. Talk about 3 rd world countries how they treat their animals, really, we run ours to dealth.

    • Thank you Jo MrsC.
      I do hope that all horse lovers, animal rights activists, and animal advocates shut this deplorable cruelty circus, and death camp down.
      Whether in the USA, Canada or Australia it’s all the same.
      Racehorses bred to be exploited for profit then dumped at the slaughterhouse if they make it out alive.

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