Racing’s Casualties, 3/6/17-3/12/17

Last week in American horseracing (not including training and harness casualties).

(Remember, “broke down” is racing-speak for dead; “vanned off” translates to good-chance dead. If in doubt, see my year-end FOIA kill reports.)

Bugtime Shine “vanned off” at Louisiana
Sir Lowry’s Pass “pulled up in distress, vanned off” at Mahoning
Steve Says No “pulled up lame, vanned off” at Parx
Toccetive “vanned off” at Turf
Sweet Lu “vanned off” at Turf
Mahanco “fell at the 8th pole and was euthanized” at Delta
Perfect Game “vanned off” at Fair Grounds
Itsgoodinthehood “bled” at Aqueduct
Fillet of Sole “bled” at Aqueduct
Zarla “bled” at Delta
Smittys Cougar “vanned off” at Fair Grounds
Rhett’s Image “collapsed after the finish, vanned off” at Golden Gate
Brews Jj “vanned off” at Sunland
Sc Dustychampion “vanned off” at Sunland
Candy Waltz “vanned off” at Tampa Bay
Proletariat “vanned off” at Aqueduct
Zen Papa “fell, DNF” at Laurel
Royal Saint “broke down” at Laurel
Eagle Bayou “vanned off” at Remington
Mastery “vanned off” at Santa Anita
Nowalking “vanned off” at Santa Anita
Miss Sugars “vanned off” at Santa Anita
Secret Missile “vanned off” at Turfway
Read the Dream “took some bad steps…euthanized” at Aqueduct
Baby Lia “vanned off” at Gulfstream
Tito Control “fell over fallen foe, DNF” at Gulfstream
Stormy’s Return “fell, got vanned off” at Gulfstream
Initiative “vanned off” at Los Alamitos
Bv Midnite Express “vanned off” at Remington
Bobbie Lincoln “vanned off” at Santa Anita (after winning)

images (3)

(source: Equibase)


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  1. Yet another week of maiming, and killing.
    Racetracks are now coffins for many racehorses, but leading up to their deaths is an ongoing cruelty circus where they are being maimed on a daily basis.
    Forced to be trained and run at the ripe old age of 2 years old long before their muscoskeletal systems and mental maturity has developed.
    Whipped and/or beaten in the stretch when most likely tired and/or sore.
    Beaten to fill races and increase wagering profits.
    Doping cocktails to mask pain, and suffering – to keep them going for bucks and egos.
    If through some miracle they happen to survive then the kill auction is the next stop in many cases.
    We now have states, Kentucky, actually classifying the beloved horse as livestock to ensure that every single law afforded to a domestic animal is stripped from the racehorse.
    If anybody up to this point had the audacity to defend this maiming and carnage then they should have changed after this Bill was passed last week.
    Kentucky has made it clear that racehorses are private property, like slaves, and are there to be used, abused, maimed, and killed as they see fit.
    They don’t want anybody to interfere with their modern day slavery ring.
    We get it, and that’s why nobody should support this VILE business.
    We will continue to be a voice for these voiceless slaves who are forced into slavery for profits.

    • Callmeback broke down in race 8 at Mahoning today. Heard a slab fracture to knee. This is on a day when temps were 20 degrees and 20-30 mph winds in white out conditions with half the track covered in snow. Weather was anticipated to be so poor that they had cancelled training today. And still races. I can only imagine how horrible it felt to breathe and run in that cold air

  2. Yes Gina, were appalled that the so called great horse state of Kentucky has declared horses “livesstock”! Horses should have the protections of companion animals which most people we know think of them as. We once thought of relocating to the bluegrass area and are now glad we took the advice of our family members and did not. The death and carnage of daily racing is incredible to have knowledge of and we have told several people of Patrick`s site in the hopes of educating people of the true daily nature of racing and the people within the business as we have experienced it.

    • If this is the way you feel why do you breed horses and advertise them as racing prospects and such I mean no disrespect at all just curious to your thought process

      • We no longer advertise them as racing prospects. We place them in the hands of families and individuals for pleasure riding horses. We have our win photos on our website so as to have people realize our horses can run fast so they won`t make the mistake of teaching them to run without knowing, as has happened to us many years ago. Some thoroughbreds can run fast some cannot.We have the racing prospects portion of our listing deleted. Our webmaster volunteer hopefully has done this on all listings. If we could, we would not have a price for any of them, but due to our states onerous property taxes and regulations we have to. To live in the country of our state you have to show income on farm zoned land, otherwise your property taxes triple.We appreciate your curiosity and question. We are so disgusted with the racing industry and to what we have seen / experienced we are determined to have our small farm survive WITHOUT any subsidies that we could participate in such as the FREE registration of our foals paid for by a HUB tax levied by our state. There is no more joy to us than with a teenager riding a good tempered horse from our farm as we have some pictures of. We have even a person from South Dakota who has come all the way to our farm last year to pickup a colt. He is to pickup another next spring as we were able to get the very special name approved by the Jockey Club last week. We want our horses to become family members for others and considered companion horses which to us they are.

      • Joan and Fred, I have to admit that I was taken aback when I saw your post about breeding and then placing the horses in the “hands of families and individuals for pleasure riding horses.” First of all, anyone who possesses a basic understanding of the horse business must realize that we already have way too many horses on this earth and I find it morally indefensible to produce even more when we can’t find good, forever homes for the ones already here. Earlier today, I saw a post from a colleague on Kelly Smith’s FB page. Kelly started her post with this, and I quote, “Let’s start a post on why you should not breed your mare.” Susan Kayne, who was involved in racing for four decades and left about five years ago, had this to say in her comment and I couldn’t agree with her more….

        “I’ll tell you exactly why you should not breed your mare. ANYONE who chooses to breed a horse in this day and age is contributing to slaughter. As long as one horse is being slaughtered, one too many is being bred. Every single person who chooses to breed a horse in this day and age is complicit in slaughter like it or not.”

        Strong words? Absolutely, but Susan speaks the truth. If you simply must breed, then keep the foal for the rest of its life. Anything else is indefensible UNTIL every horse on this earth has a good, forever home. End of story.

      • As far as breeding as a means to save on your taxes, I assume that Joan and Fred are talking about CAUV which is a agricultural farming exemption that many farmers employ. My family and I have had farms in CAUV since the late 1960’s and there are other ways to save on taxes other than breeding and selling horses. In fact, boarding horses qualifies as does crop production. There is NO need to breed horses in order to show income on farmland.

    • Joan and Fred thanks for your valuable contribution on this site.
      With all due respect, I realize that you are working hard trying to obtain your tax exemption so you can be independent.
      I support most of what you say, but I will never support the breeding of racehorses in any capacity whether that’s for riding pleasure or not.
      There’s just too many horses going to the slaughterhouse.
      There are not enough homes to go around.
      I don’t support breeding of any kind.
      That said, have you considered a few cows on the property to get that exemption?

      • Gina wouldn’t the cow just be taking the horses place in that senario.I wonder what the laws are there does having cows on your property classify as a farm property or would you have to show revenue on cows also how does that work joan and fred

    • As far as the breeding thing – admittedly I bred a mare for a race baby too. (Sadly was born sick and I opted to euthanize same day as it would have never made it anyhow) – but…. after having watched the Fasig- Tipton and OBS mixed sales this year – I was appalled – and most assuredly will NEVER breed again. At both sales – there were HEAVILY pregnant mares that were bred to top stallions – that no one was buying even for $1,000. As in – not even making bids for $1. And mares that weren’t bred had no chance at all. I wanted to cry, very truthfully. At OBS – there were 1 year old babies that were from top stallions such as Afleet Alex – that NO ONE bid on, for even $1,000. People were shocked at how poorly that sale went. Simply too many lower end horses with no market. I wish I had a bigger farm, an unlimited budget, a younger body to keep up with stall cleaning, and a whole lot more stalls. I wanted to get every last one of those mares that were unsold.

      • SD, your post brought tears to my eyes. Quite a few years ago, Fred Bauer, who is a contract killer here in Ohio, told me, when I picked up a horse that a colleague had helped to “save”, that his men made a trip through the Bluegrass every week to pick up horses. I will bet you the family farm that some of those horses were the barren broodmares. They have given their all and, when they can no longer produce for their connections, they are sold to a kill buyer. There are thousands of low end horses with nowhere to go and the racing apologists continue to support breeding. Donna and Dallas Keen run a rescue in Texas. I’m sure you have heard of it (Remember Me Rescue) and they also have a racing operation. They are aggressively marketing their four stallions and two or three of those stallions stand for $500 to $1000 which is the definition of low level. I find it particularly reprehensible that someone who supposedly understands the concept of the “unwanted” horse is committed to bringing even more horses into this world. Of course, it really is all about the money. Whenever a horse is PURPOSEFULLY bred, it is because the goal is to make a profit 99% of the time. I find breeding to be truly reprehensible and those that participate should be required to follow those horses for the rest of their lives. Oh, and I don’t want to hear that the person only breeds a “few” each year. Again, the goal should be NONE, not a FEW.

        About twelve years ago, I adopted a beautiful TB mare from New Vocations. Her JC name was Banking House and her stable name was Nadia. Nadia was drop dead gorgeous and had been shown, fox hunted and used as a school horse until she developed navicular. I adopted her and she was with me for eight years until she was humanely euthanized. When I first adopted her, I thought, for a brief second, about breeding her since she was an awesome hunter, was a joy to ride and possessed the classic hunter conformation but then I asked myself if I would be able to keep her foal forever. I didn’t want that responsibility so breeding her wasn’t an option. That to me is responsible ownership.

      • Mary – (apologies- I don’t have the option to reply to you directly) -ironically, I read a post on just this week, from the daily racing form, entitled “Saudi Poetry; From royalty to reject” – about barren mares at sales. I did actually cry. And it was what made me decide never to breed again. I had been contemplating – as Fred and Joan are stating- to start breeding to help with taxes and to help support the horses I already am retraining off the track, with their upkeep. The article makes me want to send money to the people in the article to help with the support of Saudi Poetry and to maybe help them buy more mares from sales instead of me spending the money on making my place a breeding farm. I commend them. And especially since I saw that whole Barren and pregnant mare situation unfold firsthand while watching the sales, I realized it would be unethical of me to add to that situation. I need to hit the lottery instead. I love foals and training youngsters – but I need to save more- not create more.

      • I read the same article, SD…I cried, as well, imagining the aged Saudi Poetry standing at that final auction.

        It’s very telling YET disturbing that the author – a former racing trainer, currently a racing breeder – writes so matter-of-factly regarding aged broodmares in this Daily Racing Form article…”[the crowd is] hoping that the aged, skinny, un-pregnant mare before them may find a loving forever home and all will be right in the world – that she will attain the retirement she’s earned and not meet the fate of far too many: the stark terminus of the slaughterhouse”. They KNOW it…they KNOW countless numbers of their horses that “have done everything that has been asked of them” go to slaughter…they know.

      • SD, thank you for doing the right thing and opting NOT to breed any mares. I, too, feel it is morally and ethically reprehensible to add to the problem when there are already too many horses on this earth. Please don’t make your farm a breeding farm. You hit the nail on the head by saying that you need to save more, not create more.

  3. I appreciate your response and honesty I get the property tax deal and thats just another sham with the government in my mind most definitely unfair I looked at your website thats why I asked you still have horses listed to race just to have you aware I see yous as good people with great intentions and I know your against racing thats what sparked my curiosity so I had to ask thanks for the continuing knowledge

    • Rhett’s Image, a 2012 bay gelding – chart says “collapsed after the finish and was vanned off”. AT2016’s comment informed readers the (not quite) 5-year-old broke both of his front legs – so of course he collapsed. Anyone who saw Eight Belles after she suffered bilateral ankle fractures can visualize the horrific scene when Rhett’s Image crumpled to the ground and, I imagine, tried to stand.

      Did they REALLY van him off? Or was “vanned off” used just to avoid saying what really happened? – that he was euthanized?

      Then again, in reading the 2016 “Thoroughbred Race Day Injury Management Guidelines”, a 10-page document developed by the AAEP Racing Committee (16 veterinarians), hiding racehorse deaths is crucial. Here, from page 7 – the particular paragraph, “Catastrophic Injury Management”; “The regulatory veterinarian should make EVERY [all caps are used in the document] effort to load the injured horse into the ambulance before euthanasia.” EVERY effort – they strive to hide the injured horse instead of ending his suffering as quickly as possible. They, in fact, must know the additional pain he will endure being made to limp up and into the waiting van…bearing weight on injured limbs while being transported back to the barn…then unloading.

      Veterinarians made these decisions – what about the “prevention…of animal suffering”?

  4. More HORSE ABUSE in the Month of March

    Racing Cart Trainer Beat Horse to Ground
    the Indiana Horse Racing Commission has Suspended his racing license for 15 Years.
    He has had over 44 actions against him by the Racing Commission in his 20 years of racing.
    Brower, age 54, is accused of whipping, kicking and beating a harness race horse, B ABland, until it collapsed from exhaustion

    By Dale Williams March 13, 2017

    Muncie, Indiana – Bobby Brower’s history of abusing horses, and humans, is catching up with him, and the Indiana Horse Racing Commission has fined him $40,000 and suspended his racing license for 15 years. Brower’s attorney neglected to file a request for hearing on time, which allowed the default judgement to be entered.

    Brower, age 54, is accused of whipping, kicking and beating a harness race horse, B ABland, until it collapsed from exhaustion. After collapsing, Brower continued to beat A ABland in an attempt to get the horse to stand. The abuse happened at a training facility, Pace Setter Farm, a couple of miles from Hoosier Park. Brower’s explanation is the horse slipped on concrete wet with sweat from other horses and is fine.

    The Racing Commision also accused Brower of intimidating witnesses and interfering with the investigation. “As I read the history of this person, I am not upset this will be a career-ending decision,” Commissioner Susie Lightle said ahead of the career ending vote.

    Brower is no stranger to allegations of abuse, and has numerous drug violations for drugging horses beyond the legal limit, reckless racing, purchasing illegal drugs through the mail, and whipping other than using a wrist action. He has had over 44 actions against him by the Racing Commission in his 20 years of racing.

  5. Omg – why is this guy still allowed to be around horses and racing??? Much like Jamie Ness now – who is serving a suspension and fine for multiple drug violations from yearsssss ago – and yet his wife is allowed to race their horses now as trainer – please. Like the same offensives aren’t occurring under wife vs. the husband.

    • I watched many scoundrels get away with maiming, killing, and cheating from the bottom to the top level.
      You find out quick that there are 2 sets of rules on a racetrack.
      There are the Trainers that are IMMUNE to the rules and regulations, can get away with killing.
      Then there are the Trainers who get fined for sneezing the wrong way.
      It’s a corruption pit, and no outside neutral agency is over looking the rampant cheating and killing of racehorses.
      Most racehorses are doomed before they hit the stall floor coming out of their broodmares womb.
      Even if the racehorses had one iota of a chance of being protecting from cruel, and abusive connections – they no longer have any in Kentucky since they passed the Bill to classify them as livestock.
      This says it all.
      This Bill is an indefensible display of enabling the ongoing abuse and killing of racehorses on Kentucky tracks.
      It’s a disgusting shame and anybody who participates in the business is a heartless enabler who upholds this legitimized cruelty circus, and death camp.

  6. QUESTION _ Does Anyone know what happened to Cheyenne Stable’s Mastery

    I HOPE they Retire Him !!

    Mastery Suffers Condylar Fracture After Dominating San Felipe

    Cheyenne Stable’s Mastery was the dominating winner of Saturday’s G2 San Felipe Stakes on the Road to the Kentucky Derby, but worries immediately surrounded the 3-year-old son of Candy Ride as Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith pulled the colt up sharply on the gallop out. It was not immediately clear what went amiss with the Bob Baffert trainee, but he was unsaddled and loaded into the horse ambulance for a ride back toward the stable area. He did enter the ambulance under his own power. Mastery had recorded a final time of 1:42.28 for 1 1/16 miles over Santa Anita’s fast main track, winning by open lengths, and will be credited with 50 points toward the first Saturday in May.

      • After recovery time – the connections will decide whether to return Mastery to training or retire him to become a breeding stallion. They are “excited at the stallion prospect” that he is. Good for them- I’m not. A young horse who has soundness issues to continue passing on more soundness issues….

  7. I don’t think it’s a soundness issue more like a pushed to hard to far to early issue the horse is a baby still will grow for 3 or 4 more years I often wonder how many stallions are conformationaly sound here in the US to my knowledge there are no rules about breeding the only thing that’s looked at is pedigree earnings and race records I don’t believe we would have half the problems we do if policies were in place such as they have in. Say Germany I look at the rest of the world and then I look at the US rightfully I don’t agree with any of it for us to be the most powerful nation the precedents we set no wonder the world hates the US what we as people do to such an American icon such as the horse is unbearable to me for what horses do for people and what they’ve done for this country for us to pay them back the way we are is intolerable I’m sick of people looking at the horse as what can the animal do for them not what we can do for the animal

    • La la, thank you for this info. We know that approximately 1,200 horses die in the dirt annually but that number doesn’t include the ones that make it off the track alive only to later be euthanized due to injuries incurred while racing. The racing apologists always seen to refute the number of horses killed in this gambling industry. I personally believe that many more die than we know about and racing wants to keep it that way.

      • Mary, that 1,200 you cite comes from an old New York Times study; that study was flawed and more important, did not include training deaths. Horseracing Wrongs was the first, and still only, site to seriously – and in great detail – take this issue on. With respect, my figure – upwards of 2,000 track-related kills annually – should be the number we use.

      • Patrick, yes, the 1,200 deaths is way too conservative. I was acknowledging the horses that die in the dirt during a race but I should have included training deaths. Of course, neither of those numbers include the horses that limp back to the barn and are later euthanized due to the severity of their injuries…horses such as Bionic Brine, Slade, and Sounds O K. They are racing fatalities, as well. The fate of many TB’s is dismal when looking at racing/training deaths, euthanasia due to injuries and those that enter the slaughter pipeline. Approximately two-thirds of the foal crop will EVENTUALLY give their lives so that humans can be entertained. Reprehensible….

  8. Another huge factor that needs to be considered are the deaths at PRIVATE training centers, and there are PLENTY.
    These private training centers are are not obligated in any way to report any deaths on their property.
    Private Training Centers tend to have a hub of illegal activity from unlicensed Trainers/Jockeys, (who are suspended for one reason or another), unregulated doping of racehorses including abusive treatment towards the horses with no legal repercussions whatsoever, illegal undocumented Mexican labor who are often exploited.
    Both the racehorses, and labor are exploited with no legal protections whatsoever.
    It seems reasonable that Kentucky has a silent standing order with the Immigration Department to keep out of Private Thoroughbred Training Centers in that state since Highpointe, one of the Private Training Centers outside of Louisville, was full of undocumented workers, but was never raided while we were there.
    Its about 15 minutes from the Department of Immigration in Louisville, KY.
    We also observed multiple racehorses completely lame being forced out onto the track.
    These centers are often advertised as “lay-ups,” which are euphemisms for crippled, sore, and forced to go out to the track and get maimed and/or killed if they get through this process.
    After all it would be awfully inconvenient to show such a display of torture on racetracks so this is kept out of the public’s eye.
    The upper echelon, wealthy private training centers are not immune to such activity either.
    They just seen to have more of a direct line to those in authority which keeps the maimed and/or killed racehorses one big secret.
    All of this going on with ZIPPO accountability making the reported Death Statistics minimal at best.
    Unfortunately, it’s about to get much worse with the recent classification of racehorses as LIVESTOCK – as if it wasn’t worse enough.

  9. I have good news about Sir Lowry’s Pass from the above list- he had suffered a rebow of the tendon on his right front leg – and the owners blessed me with allowing that gorgeous boy to become mine!! He is happily mowing the lawn now and becoming good friends with his donkey pasturemate! I wish I could post his picture -he is beautiful!

    • I can vouch for SD – she does have the beauty…and I’m so grateful to her for “watching over” SLP while he was running and for stepping up to offer him a home when he came out of his raced injured.

      Where would he be if SD had not been vigilant? And wasn’t able to give him a loving home?

      Good ending…due to the caring of a non-industry member. TY, SD!

      • Aw thank you Joy- your post brought happy tears to my eyes! Lowry was well-loved by his wonderful connections and kudos to them for retiring him and ensuring he rehabs and heals well and has a good life post racing. I have no doubt that they would have kept him forever but were just as happy to have found a good home for him. As you can vouch – he was definitely well fed! Lol. Wish there were more out there involved in racing like these folks.

    • Good for you SD, but I disagree that these are “good” folks because to run a horse on a bowed tendon, to take that chance with his life, is not good.
      When we must praise people for getting their racehorse out alive, and for giving them a retirement just shows the depth of this legitimized animal cruelty.
      I will never support anybody who participates in this business.

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