Death at the Track, Described

Through a FOIA request to the California Horse Racing Board, I have confirmed the following deaths at that state’s tracks in 2018. (Please note: The Board redacted the names of the dead horses; any identifications below came via other channels.)

We Have a Favorite, March 10, Los Alamitos R
“Comminuted, complete, displaced slab fracture of radial carpal, intermediate carpal, ulnar carpal and carpal III, plus osteochondral fragmentation of the palmar aspect of the proximal articular surface of MCIII (acute). Chronic cartilage lipping and osteochondral disease [both] front limbs.” (she was but three years old)

unidentified 12-year-old, March 18, Los Alamitos
“Hauler got to Los Alamitos, noticed blood on trailer. This horse was picked up from Burns Ranch earlier and likely went down on trailer during transport. Fracture, open, complete, severely comminuted. Subcutaneous and intramuscular hemorrhage, severe. Hemorrhagic puncture wound of skin. As suspected, she was pregnant with a 5-6 week gestation embryo.” (again, pregnant)

Native Jaylo, April 20, Golden Gate R (died April 22)
“Pulled up at 1/8 pole. Grade 4 lame RF with hyperdorsiflexion at R carpus. Radiographs diagnosed fracture of C3. Today 4-22-18 during surgery to compress fracture, filly experienced cardiac arrest and died.”

Carulli, April 20, Los Alamitos R
“Open, comminuted, complete, displaced condylar fracture with rupture of the articular capsule, annular ligament and collateral fetlock ligaments. Open, comminuted, complete, displaced fracture of the medial proximal sesamoid bone with avulsion fracture of the tip and avulsion fracture of the axial surface; rupture of the intersesamoidean ligament and fibrocartilage. Deep gastric ulcers.”

unidentified 3-year-old, May 9, Los Alamitos T
“Open, comminuted, complete, displaced fracture of MCIII. Missing bone fragment(s).”

Blackhawk Beauty, May 11, Golden Gate R
“Horse had an open, displaced fracture in the fetlock with fractures of the proximal sesamoid bones and tendon/ligament rupture. Gastric ulceration was severe.”

unidentified 3-year-old, May 30, Golden Gate T
“Complete humerus fracture with an additional fractured proximal bone fragment. Marked hemorrhage within the surrounding soft tissues which also are partially torn.”

Irish Spring, August 4, Del Mar R
“Horse was in tight and appeared to clip heels and fell. Horse was dead upon arrival. Complete, comminuted, displaced fracture of C 3, with complete transection of the spinal cord and extensive hemorrhages.” (he broke his neck)

unidentified 2-year-old, August 4, Los Alamitos T
“Upon arrival horse was dead. Viewers described slowing down and stumbling to outside rail, then collapsed, DX: cardiovascular failure. Pulmonary congestion, edema and extensive pleural hemorrhages. Tracheal congestion and hemorrhages, marked. The stomach had numerous irregular deep ulcers.” (again, two years old)

Mz Brown, September 2, Del Mar R
“Catastrophic breakdown of the left front fetlock. Fractures of the proximal sesamoid bones. Full thickness, transverse rupture of the palmar annular ligament. Full thickness, transverse and longitudinal rupture of the intersesamoidean ligament.”

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  1. The fact that 2 and 3 year old horses have “chronic “ anything is extremely telling as to how abusive this industry is to horses. And to think, IF these 2 and 3 year olds actually survive and continue to race on to 8,9,10 or even 13 and 14 year olds, how bad will those chronic issues be for those horses?! And yet apologists will say, “ oh but he’s sound and happy”, “he’s game and loves his job”… without them really seeing all the internal wear and tear that has been created.

  2. Another vile set of evidence clearly shows what these poor racehorses go through and continue to go through.
    This business attracts animal abusers – period – and the commissions do little about it.
    I’ve watched this go on for years as an industry insider and you quickly realize the trainers who are training for members of either the racing commission, CEO’s of tracks, and/or politicians – under hidden ownership and program trainers.
    They can do no wrong and it takes years to suspend them or to protect the racehorses from these monsters.
    Take for example Trainer Mike Pender and Marcelo Polanco.
    First of all they are not trainers as this is just a label that is given to them by this vile business.
    In actuality, they are racehorse abusers who should be charged on Felony Animal Cruelty charges,
    This business has been operating under total impunity for years, total lack of transparency while collecting millions in taxpayers/casino money that should be going to communities.
    I’ve provided 3 links to these trainers and invite people to peruse them and you decide for yourself.
    https://www.thoroughbredrulings.com/default.asp?RTReport=2&From=SRCH&EPID=240902&L=Pender&M=%20&F=Michael&LAST=PENDER&BRD=&SHOWSEARCH=YES
    https://www.thoroughbredrulings.com/default.asp?RTReport=2&From=SRCH&EPID=41604&L=Polanco&M=%20&F=Marcelo&LAST=POLANCO&BRD=&SHOWSEARCH=YES
    https://arci-members.azurewebsites.net/publicpages/publicrulings.asp
    I remind you that this only goes back so many years so it’s very possible that this list is the short one if you can imagine that.
    I sob to think about racehorses going into the stalls of these monsters and there are so many more.
    Now the “good folks” of horse racing sit back and watch this go on every single day even if they don’t perpetrate the abuse directly they sure as hell are the enablers of the abuse.

    • Follow-up.
      Please be advised that both Mike Pender and Marcelo Polanco were recently charged with such egregious acts of racehorse cruelty and abuse on the Santa Anita grounds that the CHRB is refusing to release the details at this time.
      Please anybody who lives in California find out about what exactly happened and post it here because the CHRB is paid for by California taxpayers, is a PUBLIC business, that is legally mandated to release records and what’s going on.
      My point is racehorse abusers and killers, like Mike Pender and Marcelo Polanco, have been doing this for YEARS and NOTHING is done about it.
      Just look at their rap sheet and this is what we know about!
      One can only imagine what they do in the corner cobwebs of the stalls or off grounds of the track.
      The other day at the California Senate hearing, yours truly, Bob Baffert (multiple racehorses dying under his “training” regime) said that the horse racing business can “police themselves.”
      What planet is this dude on?
      How in the hell can we accept this any longer?
      Their lies, their delusions, their lack of accountability, and their lack of getting rid of the racehorse killers.
      If they were policing themselves than Bob Baffert should be the first to go.
      Actually, it should all go – shut it down.

  3. Hi Patrick,

    Keep up the good work.

    I was wondering if they provide the body weight of the horse in the autopsy reports.

    I think horse body weight is very important information to know as there are some studies by saddle companies and horse health organizations (none by horse racing industry) that show that horses should not carry more than 10 to 15 percent of their body weight while only walking or they become noticeably lame… for racehorses the ratio undoubtedly should be lower.

    Adding heavy weight to race horses “for handicapping” slows them down because it hurts them. To make matters worse, the weights were increased about 10 years ago to accomodate a few favored jockeys who weren’t naturally small. It’s the root cause of the rampant injuries, need for drugs, and catastrophic breakdowns.

    Regards, Pam Garcia

    On Tue, May 21, 2019, 5:33 AM Horseracing Wrongs wrote:

    > Patrick Battuello posted: “Through a FOIA request to the California Horse > Racing Board, I have confirmed the following deaths at that state’s tracks > in 2018. (Please note: The Board redacted the names of the dead horses; any > identifications below came via other channels.) We Hav” >

  4. Well the pro-horse racing clan was at it again when brought before the California senate yesterday.
    The same old lines spewed out like years before this, and nothing has changed, will never change, and racehorses will still suffer and die on a massive scale because of this vile business and the vile people who support it.
    Kathy Guillermo of PETA was the “outsider” who spoke and she sold out the racehorses lock, stock, and barrel.
    Shame on you Kathy.

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