“In a Bit of Distress,” Dead at Aqueduct

In the 9th race at Aqueduct January 28, Purring On Empty was, according to Equibase, “pulled up after the finish in a bit of distress and subsequently vanned off.” Turns out, at least in this case, “a bit of distress” translates to about to die: The NYS Gaming Commission reports the 2-year-old as having suffered a break – euthanized. In his only other race, in October, Purring finished in a virtual tie for last – 28 lengths back.

This is horseracing.


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  1. How in the hell was this 2 year old (a baby) allowed to race again after coming home an unacceptable distance of 28 lengths in its debut start? How can that be allowed? Clearly this baby couldn’t cope with racing. Yet the callous connections went ahead with racing him again with the APPROVAL of the relevant racing authorities. The death of this 2 year old baby horse is a classic example of aggravated animal cruelty resulting in death.
    Ah yes, Aqueduct. notorious for killing innocent racehorses.
    “In a bit of distress” eh, yes, I can just imagine what a terrible state this poor baby was in when he suffered a catastrophic injury, the excruciating pain, panic, fear and shock, all alone with his abusive killers.

    Defend this, racing apologists!

  2. When I was into horse racing, I was into it. I loved reading the Racing Form and trying to figure out who would win or place or show. Portland Meadows in Portland Oregon always had a neon sign of a jockey riding the horse. When I would see that I would want to go there as often as possible. i thought I was going to be rich. I was mentally ill. It was a delusion . I have quit horse racing because I no longer believe i will win. I do now see the exploitation of the horses and also the people who groom and take care of the horses. I now acknowledge it’s cruel, but I used to rationalize the injury and death of the horses and jockeys. I always thought it was an accident.

    I”m committed to going against horse racing now. I was glad to see that list of horse racing tracks that have gone out of business.

  3. I agree; this is cruelty at its element ~ that poor horse šŸŽ the agonizing pain and fear his two short years brought him is not just tragic; but actually criminal šŸ¤¬šŸ˜£šŸ˜¢šŸ’”

  4. It’s seems very likely that Purring On Empty had this pre-existing issue in the first race, and probably during his entire training up to his first race, and leading up to the race in which he didn’t make it out alive.
    They probably loaded him full of dope to keep him going knowing full well that he was in pain, suffering, and was risking his life every time they sent him out to the track.
    As I’ve previously mentioned these so called horse “lovers” keep their medical records SECRET – guard them like Ft. Knox so that nobody else can see what exactly is going on.
    There is every indication that he had serious issues going on, but it would be the vet records that would really tell the truth behind this death.
    This vile business continues to hide their dirty little secrets, but they can’t hide the Death facts listed herein, which tells the true story behind these abusers, and enablers of the abuse.
    They are anything but horse “lovers,” they are horse exploiters who think nothing of masking suffering.
    So sorry for you POE.

    • Hey Gina,is it just me or am I a dumb ass.You know that pre-race vet exam where the groom runs or jogs the horse off twenty yards there and back,while the vet looks on to see if he’s sound to race.What is the vet going to see after the horse has just been inactive and rested for the past 24 hrs.Would it not be more prudent to check the horses after their races to discover anything that might be bothering the horse especially horses that finish 20 lengths behind.Obiously finishing 20 lengths back there is going to be some distress which an expert vet should be able to detect,after a maximum effort rather than after 24hrs of rest.Lets use some common sense and not to continue to do things just because that’s how it’s been done for the past 200yrs.Lets see some initiative,some change for the better.Had this young horse been examined immediately after his first poor performance something may have been discovered thus saving his life by not allowing his ignorant trainer to race him while being on the verge of a catastrophic breakdown most of these deaths are not accidents,as the track management wants the unknowing public to believe.It’s easy to say it’s an accident then the racing assoc. has no responsibility.There’s no need to change anything and if it’s said to be an accident,well “it’s the racetrack,accidents happen all the time.”This is a perfect example of a broken antiquated system with so much wrong with it,I’m no genius,maybe even a notch below average but can someone use common sense.Even this little change could save some horses from deadly breakdowns.Can’t anyone do something right for the horses or at least make it look like they care,No,Nothing.Not a fucking thing.Who ever is in charge,it’s not the track surface(unless sloppy)it’s not over racing ,let the racing commission admit,this is a case of many ignorant trainers that should have never been licensed to begin with,due to incompetence.An example is the retired jock,do you think just because he rode races,does that make him qualified to train horses,that’s just one example of selective favoritism,this is more important to track management than making positive change.Have they ever heard of the term Undiagnosed Muscular Dysfunction.If they did,they would deny it existed because this would open a whole can of worms,such as licensing incompetent people as trainers,conflicts of interest,corruption and just plain overall incompetence.Looking in mostly all the wrong places,for the reason.Why do horses really breakdown?

      • I don’t think your a dumb ass at all.
        That said, I think the most prudent thing to do is to make vet records available 1. to the vet who is conducting the pre-race checks for starters, and 2. on the commission website for public preview.
        However, if they were to make these medical records available then the vet would scratch most of the racehorses based on the medical evidence provided.
        This would result in decreased fields, and subsequently a decrease in wagering profits.
        Secondly, the wagering public has a strong legal argument to have access to these medical records before placing a wager according to the attorney we consulted with in California.
        The availability of these medical records would expose this industry for the scam that it is plus would have every horse lover, animal advocate, and animal rights activist using this evidence to expose the ongoing abuse of these racehorses.
        The industry knows this – profit and racehorses dying are mutually exclusive.
        This industry can only exist if racehorses die – that’s the sad truth, and that’s why it needs to shut down.

      • Correction: “The industry knows this ā€“ profit and racehorses dying are NOT mutually exclusive.

  5. All these comments are the cold, hard truth about racing. I do not go to the races here in CA and Patrick
    has done a hell of a job with the “facts> I just wish we could close it all down !

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