Two More Killed at Saratoga; Death Toll at Six

Two more horses are dead at Saratoga, “the oldest sporting venue in the nation,” after breaking down during morning training hours today. Howard Beach, two, and Positive Waves, three, suffered broken legs within about an hour and a half of each other; both were euthanized on the track. In its account, the Daily Racing Form said this:

“Two horses suffered fatal injuries while training over Saratoga’s main track Saturday morning, while another horse suffered a non-life-threatening injury during Friday’s Curlin Stakes, leaving horsemen and racing officials searching for answers.” Allow me to save them time: Horseracing kills horses, lots of them; what’s more, there’s nothing they can do to stop it.

Not even out of July and Saratoga ’17 counts six dead:

Lakalas, May 28, “collapsed and died after breezing”
Queen B, July 6, “fractured leg while breezing…ambulanced to clinic – euthanized”
Wanztbwicked, July 22, “suffered an injury while breezing – euthanized on the track”
Angels Seven, July 28, “pulled up, injury to LF leg – euthanized on the track”
Howard Beach, July 29, “suffered a fracture to RF leg breezing and was euthanized”
Positive Waves, July 29, “suffered a fracture to his RF leg breezing – euthanized”

Please help end the madness – stop betting; stop attending; stop patronizing racinos.

65 Comments

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  1. They start them way to young. I say start at 3 slowly, then ride at 4 years race at 5 years! 2 years is just a baby! A Thoroughbred is part Arabian and Arabian horses don’t fully mature until they are 7 years old. If they started them at a older age (like I texted above) we wouldn’t see nearly as many breakdowns…): Sad world we live in…its mostly All for the money not the poor horse!

  2. “……..horsemen and racing officials searching for answers.”
    They bloody well know the answer: horse racing kills horses.
    HOWARD BEACH: trainer is the infamous HBPA connected Richard Violette who has multiple racehorses drop dead under his “care.”
    Yet, the industry does nothing about it.
    POSITIVE WAVES: trainer is the infamous Anthony Dutrow who had another horse drop dead just about 1 month ago, and it had the exact same pattern as this one. Purchased for $170,000 equine insurance policy most likely in place, doesn’t perform as expected, and drops dead with insurance payout if it had one.
    Anthony Dutrow’s Dad had equally suspicious activities going on for YEARS until he was finally suspended.
    There is a completely other business going on in horse racing and it allegedly involves killing racehorses for insurance money.
    This is one reason why they don’t want medical records released, nor do most racing jurisdictions require a necropsy when they drop dead.
    They are running their own private death camp, and thank goodness for Blogs like this that are exposing them for the slime balls that they all are.
    This despicable torture chamber, and their sadistic supporters needs to go now!

    • Your ridiculous statements about Larry Bramlage are ignorant. Dr. Bramlage was already a noted equine surgeon when Alydar was injured and put down. Tied his leg to a truck and drove off? Jesus, woman, how did they get him back in the stall? Drag him behind a truck and shove him in the stall? I suspect J T Lundy had something to do with Alydar’s death, but Dr. Bramlage? No, never. He has worked his entire career to save horses, not do them harm. And not just racehorses. Yes, insurance scams exist in the horse world and have for decades with some very famous cases involving show horses. Insurance scams exist in all businesses.

      • Texas Monthly: The Killing of Alydar.
        Read it.
        While in his stall they, allegedly, tied his leg with a rope connected to a truck, where they drove off jamming and breaking the leg in the stall entrance – all physical evidence was tried and agreed upon in a Texas courtroom.
        Lundy’s story that Alydar jammed his leg in the stall because it came off the rollers was not only ridiculous, but it was also physically impossible given the mathematical dimensions in the court room documents for your perusal.
        After all, Alydar had lived in that stall for years!!
        Of course being forced to impregnate 100+ broodmares every single year would make a horse somewhat grouchy.
        His groom reported that Alydar, towards the end of this life, HATED going to the breeding shed so much that they had to rub the vaginal juice of a broodmare in heat on his nose to activate his hormones – lovely isn’t it?
        You will find this passage in “Wild Ride: the rise and fall of Calumet Farm” for your perusal.
        Isn’t the world of horse racing so “caring” and “loving?”
        Dr. Bramlage has made a ton of money off the broken bones of racehorses, and he supports this business even after he sees the destruction that this industry causes.
        To me, he’s just an enabler of the abuse.
        No different than racehorse rescue groups who see the hundreds of racehorses dumped every year, but still supports this industry.
        Sure their intentions are good, but it sure as hell does nothing for the racehorse.
        Perhaps his allegedly shares in multiple racehorse syndicates has something to do with it?

    • Carol, I do believe that the vast majority in racing know, although they may not admit it, that horses need time to develop skeletally but the racing industry is based on generating revenue and allowing a horse the time to grow doesn’t fit into the business model. Horses are very expensive to maintain and a horse standing in a stall, or grazing in a pasture, isn’t producing revenue for the horse’s connections. Getting the horse to the track becomes the goal irregardless of whether that is best for the horse. The lure of a paycheck is a powerful motivator.

  3. Its true horse racing only benefits greedy humans. Many of these horses are abused under the guise of being pampered atheletes.

  4. There is something all trainers can do. Train your horse properly. No short cuts. And breeders, stop breeding willy nilly and do it the proper way, not just for speed, but for anitomical soundness!

  5. Allison, what you propose will never happen.
    Those in the business, at every level, care about the money and not about the horse.
    I have heard it said, the so called “trainers” are better at doping horses and injecting joints than they are at real training.

  6. For those interested in reading about how exercise benefits race horses at a young age, here is an excellent article about it, with quotes from Dr. Larry Bramlage. Young horses benefit from early training, and it is very important to their skeletal developement. The last thing you want to do is keep a horse in a field until he is 5 and then start training them. It is asking for physical and emotional behavior problems. Horses deserve better.
    No one wants to see a horse die on the track due to injury.Horse racing does not appeal to everyone. However, if you want to argue the facts, you need to become informed. The article highlighted in one of the earlier posts from The Horse is 16 years old. Newer science , again, is proving that the proper exercise is important, and beneficial for young horses.There is a lot of information about this. If you are truly interested in the welfare of horses, then you owe it to them to be informed before you make conclusions. http://www.drf.com/news/bramlage-short-high-intensity-workouts-might-be-best

    • Eqinue Media Management (media management for what? – the racing industry?) – I will search for my response to another apologist regarding this same “study” and if I can find it will C&P it…but until I’m able, Bramlage is nothing but a paid mouthpiece for the racing industry. And if HE truly cared about horse welfare, he wouldn’t be taking racing’s money and betraying the horses he took an oath to protect.

    • Equine Media Management…my previous response regarding the same claim…

      Katie …“countless studies”? You do realize, don’t you, that studies can be performed and resulted to demonstrate the desired outcome of the individual DOING the study? – like the so-called study I’m certain you’re referring to? I believe pro-racing Bramlage uses that “study” to defend the industry that pays him well…yet, I’ve seen his comments from a RECENT racehorse summit where even HE questions the strenuous work literal racehorse babies are subjected to.

      And that being said, any “study” that promotes racing 2-year-olds because of “less breakdowns than those started at 3 and 4” doesn’t acknowledge up front that if a horse isn’t starting as a 2-year-old, it is MOST likely that the horse wasn’t SOUND as a 2-year-old. It is common knowledge that owners want a return on their equine investment – a racehorse standing in a stall is not going to provide that return. So those horses that didn’t start until they were 3 or 4 and subsequently broke down? – you can bet they were unsound 2-year-olds.

      Equine youngsters most definitely require exercise/activity to develop strong bones (certainly NOT standing in a stall 23 hours a day and let out of their confinement only to be galloped 4 or 5 furlongs!)…but the kind of exercise needed is what horses, of their OWN accord, would do naturally. Watch foals in their paddocks – short bursts of speed, stopping and starting, turning left and turning right, bucking and rearing…nothing about their natural play that builds durable bones and resilient muscles resembles what is done to youngsters pointed to racing.

      Lastly, we are not advocating for horses of ANY age to be forced into risking their lives and limbs in this gambling industry. But for those who are unaware of how equine age is likened to human age, a 10-year-old horse is not akin to an individual in his 40’s or 50’s…rather, a 10-year-old equine would be similar to a 30-year-old human. And we see professional hoops’ stars in their 30’s frequently (participating of their own accord, I might add – and pocketing their own earnings THEY worked for).

      • The vast majority of young thoroughbreds have tons of miles in them, generally up to 2 miles per day, 6 days a week, before they ever go to the racetrack. Horses in the field generally play a bit, but usually end up eating about 3/4 of the time. If the grass is lush, they get fat, not fit. As far as racing 2 year olds, much of the time they make only a start or two because of mental and physical maturity. Genetics are a good indication of how likely a tb is to make the races at two.

    • THANK YOU! Exercise builds stronger bone. Yes, freak accidents happen, but the vast majority of race horses retire sound enough for a second career. I work at a show barn, and those horses are pampered and conditioned expertly, but they still need medical intervention and/or lots of supplements to stay sound. The only way to make certain horses NEVER get hurt is….pretty much never ride them,and pasture accidents still happen.

      • Linda Edwards Edwards – the points you made regarding the race training of immature horses and what horses do naturally confirm what we are trying to get across AND are in contrast to what so many apologists like to claim.

        1), “horses in the field generally play a bit but usually end up eating about ¾ of the time” – absolutely. Yet the apologists exclaim, when defending forcing horses to compete for fans and bettors, this; “they LOVE to run” – “it’s what they do naturally” – “you can’t make a 1,000-pound animal do something it doesn’t want to do”. Lies. Horses run very little of their own accord, and when they do, it looks nothing like what racehorses are forced to do. As I’ve said before, running is their means of survival…NO horse is going to run like what you described and like is seen in a race. Humans have exploited their means of survival and have made into a “game” for their own entertainment. Horse racing is unnecessary. It doesn’t NEED to exist. It does nothing to benefit the animal being used in it…but what it DOES do is cripple and kill thousands of them.

        2), “the vast majority of young thoroughbreds have tons of miles on them…before they ever go to the track” – again, BINGO! Is it any wonder we saw and continue to see YOUNG horses…3, 4 and 5 years old…coming off the track with osteoarthritis (a well-documented case is that of 2012 KD and PS winner I’ll Have Another)?!? Didn’t you just say horses left in their fields choose eating over playing (running)? But because racing breeders/owners CHOOSE to race a horse, that animal is denied what he/she would choose but instead, is placed into an entirely unnatural life.

        3), “the only way to make certain horses never get hurt is…” – whatever your suggestions are to do what we can to prevent horse injury and death, it’s a sure thing that as long as horse racing exists, there WILL be countless horses finding themselves in any of the following tragic situations; homeless, with crippling injuries, being euthanized due to those injuries, at auction, and/or next in line to have a metal bolt slammed into their heads.

        Our society CAN make certain horses aren’t being hurt and killed in racing. Do away with it. Why should it continue?

  7. I am not sure why you would criticize one of the most prominent world renown Equine Surgeons, but most people would be very happy to have his help and expertise on a case.
    Your characterization of him is misguided.
    Everyone has a right to an opinion, however.
    I am pointing out some facts that your “followers” may not know about. If they are interested in pursuing facts, then good. If not…, that’s their choice.
    There’s no need to follow up here…I have no interest in a volley with you. It’s OK, like I said, we are all entitled to our opinions.

    • Why would I criticize Bramlage, equine media management? For the same reason I disapprove of Jack Hanna’s support of the exploitation of marine animal life at SeaWorld – Hanna, a world renown conservationist and animal expert…and zoo director. Both Bramlage’s and Hanna’s bank accounts benefit greatly by supporting their particular animal-exploiting industries with their skewed “expert opinions”. They are sell-outs.

      I neglected to address something in your first comment – “the last thing you want to do is keep a horse in a field until he is five and then start training him – it’s asking for…problems – horses deserve better.” They certainly do – don’t start training them for use in a gambling/entertainment industry at ANY age. There are plenty of other forms of betting fun…non-consenting animals don’t need their lives risked for it.

      And when it comes to the suffering of living creatures, “opinions” shouldn’t even be in the dialogue. There is right. And there is wrong. Simple.

      • Right on Joy – follow the money and there’s your answers.
        Bramlage has a lot more going on then just equine surgery.
        Just look at his history!
        Remember the famous ALYDAR?
        Calumet farm?
        Bramlage was a new vet graduate struggling for cash when he was called out to Calumet Farm to repair the shattered rear leg of Alydar which was, later determined, done for insurance money.
        This evidence was established in a court of law in Houston, Texas.
        These bastards took his leg, tied him to a truck and drove off.
        Every single shred of physical evidence points to this.
        Bramlage did what all horse racing people do – he kept his mouth shut.
        He’s no dummy, and it’s alleged that he knew exactly what was going on, but he had a huge vet bill to invoice and a new rich client with lots of racehorses.
        He knew who greased his palm and he sacrificed Alydar for it as some people have looked at it this way.
        He allegedly owns shares in a ton of horses – a vet racing syndicate.
        What better person to have on your horse racing team than a vet who knows what drugs are being tested for, and knows what doping cocktails to use?
        It was Bramlage who allegedly engineered a surgery that scrapes the scar tissue off the cannon bone of 2 year-old racehorses in order to keep them going.
        He is quick to defend running 2 y.o’s stating that training them hard is the only way to prepare them for the rigors of racing, and Bob Baffert has said this exact thing when questioned about it.
        “…..and when it comes to the suffering of living creatures, “opinions” shouldn’t even be in the dialogue..”
        Completely agree, and the only way to prevent this suffering is to shut down this horrific business.
        It can’t come soon enough for me nor the horses.

    • Something may be wrong with the track itself. I’ve lived in Saratoga most of my life and while I don’t agree with horse racing…the common denominator is that they were all on the track at the time.

    • Track surfaces – always looked to when desperately trying to explain away injured and killed racehorses. I’d laugh if this subject matter wasn’t so serious – my horses (including my ex-racehorses AND the ex-racehorses I’ve fostered), over the nearly 30 years of living with them, have run (when they DO run which is infrequent) over such uneven surfaces in their paddocks and pastures yet not ONE of them has ever suffered a fractured bone or soft tissue injury because of it. The same goes for my many equestrian family, friends and acquaintances – with the exception of two horses…and those two were OTTB’s (pre-existing injuries?).

      Are there track surfaces in poor condition? – not properly maintained? – of course there are and you can bet there were horses who were hurt because of it. Surfaces as hard as concrete + the speed demanded of racehorses = injury and death.

  8. Not to say that the horses horses should die in an actual race but why are so many having broken legs while breezing. these horses are breezed at other track and during training. is something wrong with the footing. or perhaps the legs should be xrayed more often. horrible.. situation for all. especially the horses. they are young and start working as young horses. they need to make the law 3 years old. before their first race and give the legs a chance to mature

  9. These money making owners just can’t wait for their big bucks to come in so they have to run these babies when their legs are not even fully grown. The only good thing about this is ha ha they’re out the purchase price. Killers.

    • No Joyce, in many cases, they are NOT out the purchase price.
      High priced racehorses, 6-figures, are almost always insured.
      It’s called equine insurance.
      Here’s how it generally works:
      If somebody purchases a horse for $200,000 then the horse is insured for that.
      If the horse doesn’t live up to high expectations, mainly stake races, then the only way they can get back the $200,000 is if it dies during active training and/or racing.
      So a horse is greatly “devalued” when it starts to lose or when it’s driven off the track for lay-up.
      It’s like a new car that immediately depreciates when driven off the lot so a racehorse (sore or otherwise) must remain in training in order for the owners to get back their purchase price.
      Recently, there has been a distinct pattern of certain racing outfits who purchase 6-figure horses and they die when they are not performing which usually fulfills the equine insurance policy contract resulting in them getting reimbursed for the purchase price.
      There is also “claiming insurance” in place so if a person claims a horse and it dies during the race they get their claiming money back.
      So dying is a completely other dirty business going on in horse racing that is actually lucrative when done properly.
      Hello FBI – where are you?

      • This is all so crazy. I cannot stop reading I’m a palled at the industry and my heart breaks for the horses 😤💔💔💔. ladies and gentlemen keep up the fight Keep up the good fight for the horses like one girl said where is the FBI?

  10. They race them too young bones are fragile and are still forming they need to raise the age limit that they can race until they do that many more will have broken bones I have a thoughbred that a rescued at 2 and she will live a long happy life with me

  11. This just makes me so mad I have always thought that racing horses was inhuman and now all these deaths are just proving what I have been thinking all along STOP THE RACING find another hobby DO NOT BET ON HORSE RACES !!!!!!!! It’s CRUEL AND INHUMANE TO THESE BEAUTIFUL CREATURE OF LIFE AND LOVE !!!!

  12. It’s better for the trainer to have the horse PTS and claim all the insurance than take the time and money getting the poor animal back to health …… Anyone else remember Sea Biscuit?

  13. This is cruelty to animals for sure these owners of the beautiful animals are looking to to win money they don’t give a shit how the horses are taken care of ..this is bull shit make the owners workout and run in this heat see how they feel . I think they need to be broughtv up on charges

  14. The NYS government does a horrible job managing anything they touch. Needs to be privatized again. The state thinks they can do better and they cannot as there has been a rise of deaths ever since they took over. They are using extreme toxic-pesticiding the grass and entire track, I see signs weekly. Horses are very sensitive and this has to be attributed to their deaths in some way. It can all play a factor in their abilities. It also doesn’t help that all the bleachers and buildings smell like pure bleach was dumped all over and the track smells like a chemical perfumed deodorizer has been dumped on the dirt. Poor horses. If humans can barely breathe there, imagine them?!

    • I’ll make this very easy: don’t enslave racehorses at these hell holes and then there wouldn’t be this issue of “fumes.”
      Perhaps you may want to take into account the “fumes” that people complain about who live close by.
      When you have about 1000 racehorses all pooping about 10 times per day that translates to POUNDS of manure, methane gas release, and e-coli going directly into the sewers.
      So you make a great point, the environmental aspect of this business is a gigantic disaster not to mention the massive ground water poisoning surrounding the slaughterhouses where most of them eventually end up.
      This business from start to finish is nothing but an environmental and moral disaster and has no place in the 21st century.
      I can’t wait for the day that racetracks start getting sued for their environmental destruction.
      So far, they have been protected by our politicians who are, more than likely, getting their palms greased.

  15. To be honest if I’m counting correctly there are 10 dead horses in Saratoga between the Harness track and the Saratoga Race course can you verify this. I have the first being a harness horse named Maelstrom that wasn’t 3/1 euthanized due to colic 4/1 Incognito injured racing and euthanized , 6/22 Sporty Big boy another harness track horse injured during a race and euthanized, 6/29 Eds Dream harness race horse died on the track after a race. I am at the prostest and the signs say 4 more dead , 6 more dead by my count is at ten I am wondering whats keeping these horses from being counted These are the 6 Lakalas, Queen B, Wanztbwicked,Angels Seven, Postwaves and Howards Beach. but what about the other 4? I am wondering also why we are not also at the harness track because it’s happening there too.
    I am just curious!

    • You are correct – four dead at Saratoga Harness, six at Saratoga Race Course. While I most definitely do document every kill I learn about, including those four, the two tracks are separate entities, not parts of one larger operation. Hence, why we publicize the six while protesting at the Race Course. We do, as you know, talk about deaths nationwide, as evidenced by the six large banners, banners that contain the names of Saratoga Harness victims. All that said, a protest at the harness track is a very good idea.

    • It’s not being reported at Saratoga harness and othe harness tracks because this particular sport flies under the radar of the public and the media. Same thing has been going on rampantly since the mid 80’s.. Racing commissions in both horse racing industries must go after the big stables. Start testing with the utmost stringentcy. Then and only then these horses will benefit from not giving their lives to these money mongrels.

  16. The racing commission must firstly go after the big money stables in the horse industry. These stables are turning out a revolving door of disposable horses to use ONLY to make money for themselves and their owners. Start preracing with a serious intent to find what their vets are administering to their horses. This is the only way. It’s going to take “Buko” bucks and many top trainers to fall from their years of facade filled grace. End result,, it makes the playing field for all persons involved in the sport much more fair.. Smaller stables can compete and not be at a disadvantage, racing there horses cleaner. Secondly and most importantly less horses suffering career ending injuries and being euthanized.

  17. I thought they do not euthanize them anymore! Why can’t they put a cast on and send them to pasture. Why kill them. Sickening! Please no more horse racing, and it is to hot now to race these poor horses.

    • Erika-Sadly, when a horse literally snaps one or both front legs off – as with the first one I saw in person- there is no salvaging them. And when my former trainer sent out a horse who had already fractured his sesamoids once – and was told by the vet that after rehab could go out and race again- only to completely demolish his ankle and sesamoids again- there is no salvaging as there is no bone left to repair. Every death I saw in person was catastrophic and gruesome – there was nothing that could be repaired. The tendon bows and minor fractures they do repair and/ or rehab often – but then they are stuck with a horse who is broken goods and useless to them. And a lot of money to repair and expense of rehab – where the many of the owners and trainers in this sport are almost destitute and often are desperately running these horses to try to even make $50.

  18. There are more that die that no one hears about because its not on the track in view but in the stabling area. Also when they can make it off the track on their own with an injury, they will still be euthanized but out of sight. Why not lose the hidey curtain on the track when something happens and let the spectators be upset at watching a horse die in front of them for their entertainment.

  19. Why isn’t this the same as animal abuse. Perhaps it’s because the owners wear a shirt and tie and donate to a charity to redeem themselves. We are a greedy selfish society. No concern for the one doing all the work, just concerned about the size of your wallet.

  20. Just read article in 7/29/17 Saratogian newspaper “Jockey mourns loss of Angels Seven.”
    Please read because “this is horseracing” coming right from the jockey’s mouth. Let me give you a few quotes from the article: “These things happen in the horse racing BUSINESS, Thank goodness the horse stayed up with me and let ME get back home safely, Unfortunately these things happen to every jockey, it just comes down to when, This is part of the GAME, You get a little CALLUSED about it, You do feel the loss for the trainer and the Owner. REALLY?????
    By the way – the only reference to mourning Angels Seven was in the title, never about the horse itself. Disturbing!

  21. Article written 7/28/17.
    Also since, had another death at Saratoga, Brooklyn’s Major.
    Keep educating the public to this FOR PROFIT ONLY industry. This is animal cruelty.
    How conveniently they “shield” the public from Angels Seven death on the track. The whole industry hides the truth for money in their pockets and big egos.
    On a better note – thanks to all who post comments. One can learn a lot.

    • Thanks Trish for sharing this information.
      I DARE anybody to go track side and witness the death of a racehorse.
      It’s absolutely horrific, and for most people, once they see that, they never go back because they realize what they are supporting.
      The cameras don’t show the horse gasping in pain, the sweat, the blood, the broken bones all over the track.
      No, the far-off camera ensures that the public doesn’t really experience what that horse is going through.
      It’s repulsive, disgusting, vile, and unacceptable.
      Yet, the racing apologists just send out another horse to risk their life – business as usual.
      These participators/supporters are a sickening, abusive, sadistic bunch of demented, twisted souls in order to support this.
      They actually convince themselves that racehorses dying in the dirt is okay because it’s all part of it.
      OKAY you say?
      NO IT’S NOT OKAY at least not with a rational, and compassionate human being.

  22. Agree with all! Starting any horse at two, but especially racehorses, is a recipe for disaster. Plus, they are breeding Thoroughbreds too frequently for speed without concern for lack of bone and substance. Poor horses! The glitz and glamour of big stakes races all too often shield the racing industry of its ugliness.

  23. THEY NEED TO SHUT DOWN THAT TRACK FOR GOOD. IS IT RIGHT OR FAR FIR THESE HORSES TO SUFFER LIKE THIS ALL AROUND.. THESE HORSE OWNERS ARE BLOOD HUNGRY FOR MONEY ONLY. PEOPLE NEED TO STAND UP AND TAKE A STAND AND FIGHT FOR THESE ANIMALS..

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