Last week in U.S. Horseracing (not including training, not including harness).

Jet Black Oil “fell, vanned off” at Louisiana
Tiz Mattie “fell…euthanized after the race” at Mahoning
Disruptor “suffered an injury, vanned off” at Parx
Westa “vanned off” at Sunland
Miss Contessa “vanned off” at Gulfstream
Saraya “vanned off” at Mahoning
It’s Two Hot Benny “vanned off” at Gulfstream
Dontridetheclutch “vanned off” at Penn
Taylor Spit “bled” at Remington
Decapi Kid “pulled up lame, vanned off” at Remington
Pancho Villa “bled” at Sunland
Shafiro “vanned off” at Tampa Bay
La Sola Ranger “vanned off” at Fair Grounds
Serengeti Empress “pulled up bleeding from the nostrils, vanned off” at Fair Grounds
There Goes Bella “vanned off” at Gulfstream
Tashreeh “vanned off” at Oaklawn
Racheybullbah “apparent distress, vanned off” at Parx
Buffalo Gold “fell, vanned off” at Sunland
Whiskey Train “vanned off” at Tampa Bay
No No Noah “bled” at Aqueduct
Strengthinnumbers “pulled up lame, vanned off” at Golden Gate
Indian Blitz “vanned off” at Remington
Blame Smarty “was reluctant to load, bled” at Sunland

“broke down,” “euthanized” – speak for themselves
“vanned off” – many if not most will resurface on my year-end FOIA killed-reports
“bled,” “returned bleeding from nostrils” – typically indicates pulmonary hemorrhage

(source: Equibase)

Norman Chad is a respected sportswriter whose weekly column appears in The Washington Post, among other papers. The following ran in yesterday’s edition of the Post. Mr. Chad, we thank you.

Horse racing is dying. It should be dead. (Boy, do I hit the ground running with a sports humor column, or what?) I say this not in response to 22 horse fatalities at Santa Anita racetrack since Dec. 26, I say this because horse racing would not exist without the involuntary participation of its four-legged athletes.

They are now changing medication rules and reducing the use of the whip and examining track surfaces, but this is nothing more than shuffling deck chairs on the backstretch of a moribund industry. Besides being imperiled by other forms of gambling, horse racing should be felled by a simple, moral fact: It’s just plain wrong.

You might look out your bedroom window and disagree, but Couch Slouch would like to believe we have evolved as a culture. With our evolution comes the realization that other living beings — horses, dogs, lions, bass, even pigs — should not be used for our sport or entertainment, or, frankly, for our food.

What, you think Affirmed woke up every morning thinking, “Man, I want to kick Alydar’s butt on Saturday?” Don’t tell me these horses are bred to run; they are forced to run. They have no choice, like when my mother used to tell me to finish my chickpeas. (This happened as recently as two years ago.)

As a 9- or 10-year-old, I used to take my right foot and smash anthills I saw along the sidewalk; I am truly embarrassed by this. As a 39- or 40-year-old, I used to go to the racetrack and gamble on the ponies; I am truly embarrassed by this. And, now, as a 59- or 60-year-old — I’ve lost count of the birthdays — I finally know that animals deserve better treatment than as our play toys or prey targets.

So, please, no more sled dogs or show dogs. No more greyhounds or horses racing. No more cockfighting or dogfighting. No more elephants at the circus or orcas at SeaWorld. No more hunting and fishing. I’m not even sure we should lazily ride horseback on a country trail. Would you want to carry someone on your back for a half-hour? I’m a big Lone Ranger fan, but he should Uber to his next crime scene.

(full Post column)

Some of the racehorses sacrificed in 2018, for, I remind, gambling, entertainment. (Quoted material direct from state racing commissions.)

Hokie Fever
“open fracture of radius with large fracture piece found on the ground”

Mr Dynasty
“head trauma – fractured skull, brain bleed”

Chloes Smoke N Fame
“chest impalement”

Paiges Magic Man
“fractured cannon – open [broke skin], comminuted [multiple fragments], displaced”

G P’s Girl
“collapsed on track…horse was in agonal breathing and the mucus membranes were white…stopped breathing within seconds of arrival [of help]” (five years old)

Jess Pure Class
broke both front legs

Mischievous Star
“luxation with disruption of tendon and suspensory ligaments; condylar fracture; compound, communited sesamoid fracture” (one horse, one death)

Justa Minyun
“pastern subluxation…the result of a mid-race collision” (see below)

Cruzin Wrangler
“tibial fracture, skull fracture, DOA…the result of a mid-race collision” (see above)

Big O’s Tavern
“comminuted sesamoid fracture, mid-body lateral fracture, and complete rupture of [ligaments]” (one horse, one death)

Mr. Euro
“was humanely destroyed after suffering a catastrophic injury – left-front medial and lateral midbody sesamoid fracture, complete rupture of the superficial and deep flexor tendon, torn suspensory branches, and an open wound” (one horse, one death)

Ctimene Sweep
“apparent heart attack – expired on track” (two years old)

E Licious
“horse collapsed just past the finish line – was dead when vet reached [her]” (three years old)

Star Quest
found dead next morning after being “vanned off”- “suspect pelvic fractures and hemorrhage”

St. Barts
“collapsed – pulmonary hemorrhage”

“complete rupture of [multiple] ligaments and subluxation of the fetlock joint”

Bird of Trey
“open, comminuted fracture sesamoids; MCIII; ruptured suspensory and sesamoidean ligaments; disarticulation” (one horse, one death)

Get Mad Gracie
“fractured ankle – shattered”

First Prize Choice
“collision with rail, catastrophic head injury, possible injury prior to impact”

El Gran Noel
“rupture of internal carotid”

Lucky Lucky Liam
“collapsed after winning the race” (three years old)

R Caan
“euthanized following injury during shipment” (slated to be raced that day)

So First N Famous
“laceration of both back legs”

Giant Breeze
“after racing the horse became recumbent…they got the horse up…it went down and never got up again…severe heat stroke…euthanized”

“found expired in stall” (three years old; was last raced just one week prior)

American Diplomat
“diagnosed with right hind cellulitis and foundering and sinking of left hind P3…humanely destroyed” (two years old)

Semper Frey
“horse went down and was dead before [vet] got to the horse”

Cool Breeze De Vie
“collapsed and died upon returning to the paddock immediately following the race”

Intrepid Humor
“fracture with lacerated femoral artery”

Favorite Dividend
“bled”; died, not euthanized

First Attempt
“compound fracture MCIII, sesamoid fracture, ruptured collateral ligaments”

Mischief Maker
“after training knuckled over…shattering his pastern”

illegible name
“hemorrhage into respiratory tract”

Ready Poncho
“collapsed dead on track…exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage”

My Erin
“fetlock was completely dislocated, open fractures, sesamoids and supporting ligaments completely avulsed” (one horse, one death)

“bled, died on way to barn”

Royal Blessing
“was found dead in his stall – ileal rupture”

Happy Andyversary
“suffered a seizure and expired”

Geremel Hanover
“fell over another horse, pulmonary hemorrhage, died instantly”

“fractured both sesamoids, avulsed ligaments, dislocated fetlock joint”

Cash Poor
“horse collapsed and died after finishing fourth in fourth race”

Bs Cartel
“found dead in stall – stomach rupture” (two years old)

“severe displaced fracture of the right carpus”

Every Intention
“severe injury to ankle, open wound into fetlock joint – euthanized in pit”

Getaway Car
“fractured ankle and ruptured tendon after wire”

Top Street
“horse dropped dead post-race”

Major Hit
“fractured both [italics added] knees during race; blood collected before euthanasia”

Brindis Secret Life
“found dead in stall” (two years old, last raced two weeks prior)

Lady Jodie Perry
“severed tendons and ligament”

C Red Illusion
“signs of acute pulmonary hemorrhage [morning after racing]”

Formal Summation
“was examined and determined to be terminally lame…humanely euthanized; postmortem report indicated complete cartilage erosion of both front metacarpal III’s medial condyles, right front medial sesamoid base eroded” (five years old)

“horse was found dead in stall” (four years old)

Russian Greek
“fractured ankle – open, dislocated – euthanized on track”

Bee Boppin Baby
“shipped in with P1 fracture” (yes, transported with fracture)

Ride This Train
“pulmonary hemorrhage” (two years old)

“fell and died acutely”

Quick Study
“shipped in with stifle fracture” (yes, transported with fracture)

Put It Back Jack
“fractured [and] dislocated ankle; blood collected before euthanasia”

Steve’s Image
“horse died [note: not euthanized] in stall from apparent colic”

Papa’s Missile
“apparent heart attack – expired on track” (six years old)

Jess Call Me J R
“found dead in stall” (two years old)

My Music
“found dead in barn after race” (five years old)

broke both front legs and neck

Dragon Dread
“found deceased in barn stall this morning”

Ladies Day
“was recumbent and could not rise – euthanized following day”

A Thousand Dreams
“found dead in stall”

Tarzan On Fire
“suspect internal rupture” (two years old)

“cecal rupture intestines”

Move Bingham
“collision on racetrack with another horse”

“collision on racetrack with another horse” (see above)

fractured cannon and “exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage”

Evening Up
two broken ankles

Shelby’s Ideal
“found dead following treatment for acute colic the day prior”

“died in stall – possible colic” (two years old)

“euthanized for a fractured pelvis” (seven weeks after incurring injury)

Bm Cartel
“collapsed under inside rail”

Js Chickenchit
“found dead in shedrow – colitis and infection” (two years old)

Claret Jug
“collapsed at the finish line, died two minutes later” (three years old)

White Lightning
“heart attack or aneurysm” (three years old)

Beaus Famous
“collapsed…died on track” (four years old)

Prime Number
“broke both sesamoids, torn suspensories”

Terry O Geri
“found dead in stall two days after having colic surgery”

Swell Chap
“died suddenly on track”

Sharp Skirt
“horse found dead in stall” (two years old)

Baby Lightweight
“laminitis both [italics added] front limbs – euthanized” (four years old)

yet-to-be-named filly
“received lasix at 5:30; at 6:30 she was down in the stall with no pulse”; cause of death: “no idea” (three years old)

“died suddenly during training” (three years old)

“sudden death post race” (five years old)

Legendary Vision
“open sesamoid fractures and complete rupture of [ligaments] with disarticulation of the fetlock joint”

“sudden death”

Sea Boss
“dislocated fetlock”

Felony Pursuit
“colic, ulcers, peritonitis”

Eight Da Hardway
“compound fracture of both sesamoids”

Dauns First Desirio
“heatstroke – renal failure”

Dig That Mine
“cardiac arrest” (three years old)

Black Angel
“possible electrocution – mare dropped dead in stall after touching metal door frame; screw eye was red hot”

Marathon Boy
“sudden death” (four years old)

Rebel Rithms
“suffered a catastrophic injury while grazing outside its barn, apparently flipping and landing on its neck…report indicated a broken neck”

Early Bid
“horse died acutely in stall [24 hours after racing]” (four years old)

Run for President
“sudden death on track” (three years old)

Livid Luke
“found unresponsive; believed to have escaped from stall and died overnight”

“horse collapsed on track – possible cardiovascular death”

My Giant
“suffered what appeared to be cardiac arrhythmia near the finish line…removed with dignity [italics added] to the holding area”

Street Heat
“cardiac arrest” (five years old)

My Flying Dragon
“flipped over on blacktop in barn area; suffered major head injury”

Dominator Sr
“horse found dead in stall; [possible] colic”

Hamburg Gig
“horse found dead outside stall; [possible] colic”

Skylander Boy
“slab fracture with ruptured ligaments”

“horse escaped from stall and ran into car”

Love Is All
“horse fell near finish line – compound, comminuted fracture of metacarpal”

Smooth Stone
“ruptured [tendon] and suspensory ligament”

Jett Bound
“flipped in barn – acute hemorrhage”

Half Ready
“broke down breezing; suspensory apparatus failure of previous surgery with screws”

Master Manipulator
“ran loose in barn area, was caught and returned; upon return, collapsed and died”

Diamond Don
“collapsed on the track during training” (four years old)

Magic Mangus
“right dorsal displacement; also – “laminitis, pneumonia, colic” – imagine this poor animal’s suffering

Im Insatiable Too
“exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage”

“ruptured ligament in stifle”

Aqua Bel Sar
“collapsed in area of 1/16th pole”

Casual Honor (probably sic)
“fever, diarrhea, founder” (two years old)

Matthew’s Thunder
“comminuted fractures of the sesamoids…suspensory ligament ruptured”

Charnley River
“collapsed and died after the finish – possible aneurysm”

Greed Is Good
“comminuted fracture both sesamoids with associated suspensory disruption”

Tell You What
“suffered fx cannon bone resulting in humane euthanasia on the track”

Sweet Reef
“possible heart attack” (five years old)

I Like Dreamin
“collapsed – apparent cardiac event”

Flirtin N Flashin
“broke down in the stretch – euthanized on track”

Rahy’s Bandit
“suffered a fracture to her front leg and was euthanized on the track”

KJ Henry Michael
“found deceased in stall early morning” (two years old)

A True Giant
“severe laminitis subsequent to injury sustained three weeks prior – euthanized”

Hashtag Fast
“found dead in stall – presumed choke”

Buddy’s Tiz
“collapsed and died”

Smooth Move
“sustained pelvic fracture”

“collapsed and died after walking down the track after being unsaddled”

“comminuted fracture sesamoid and open condylar fracture”

Coming in Hot
“sudden death/collapse due to circulatory failure”

Formal Event
“found deceased in stall; horse was under treatment for gastrointestinal issues”

Frankies Rockngirl
“took bad step, sustained fracture – ambulanced off track and euthanized”

Warrior Lake
“cardiac arrest” (four years old)

Unusual Champ
“collapse – pulmonary hemorrhage”

The Hero Within
“broke down suspensory/ankle; previous fracture of knee; vanned and euthanized; blood collected before euthanasia”

Polished Rock
“fractured ankle” (finished last five times in final six races)

The Albany Business Review ran a piece yesterday on the shortage of H-2B visas (for seasonal workers) and how said shortage will impact the upcoming NYRA meets. Says star trainer Todd Pletcher: “This shortage will have devastating consequences on our business and on the racing season as a whole.” First, the obvious, any time “devastating consequences” and “on racing” appear in the same sentence ’tis good. But it was a quote from another famous trainer that really caught my eye.

In bemoaning the fact that, for the most part, Americans are unwilling to do the work that these foreign temps do, Gary Contessa said this: “You have to work with animals that spend the better part of the day trying to put you in the hospital.” Well, Mr. Contessa, if indeed these animals are “difficult” or even at times a bit dangerous, there’s ample reason. How do you suppose your psychology would be affected if you were to be locked in a tiny space for over 23 hours a day – deprived of your autonomy, removed from your kind, your nature utterly negated? But more revealing is the general attitude this comment speaks to. Which calls to mind this post from 2014:

For four months last year [2013], PETA had an undercover investigator working for highly successful trainer Steve Asmussen – at Churchill Downs and Saratoga Race Course, no less. What follows are some of the investigation’s highlights:

Trainer Scott Blasi, Asmussen’s top lieutenant: “Fuck these horses. These motherfuckers…these cocksuckers. There’s always something wrong with ’em.”

“You ought to see these limping motherfuckers I see this son [of] a bitch out here [Saratoga] jogging every day.”

“You could not believe how many [horses] they hurt and kill before they ever even get to the racetrack.”

Farrier working on 5-year-old Nehro, one of Asmussen’s charges: “That’s all missing! His foot is a little bitty nub. …he lost Z-bars on both feet multiple times until he had bloody holes in the bottom of his feet.”

“He doesn’t even have a pulse in this one, and he’s barely got one in the… Stick your thumb in there. Right there in that frog. …No, it’s been like that for three months…it rotted.” Blasi: “…listen…I know the fucker hurts.” Farrier: “Let me show you this hole. This is treacherous. We’ve tried superglue in that hole.”

Blasi, to Nehro: “Quit being such an asshole. …Aggravating son of a bitch.” A few days after this exchange, Nehro died of colic. Blasi: “I have seen a lot of shit. That is the most violent fucking death I have ever seen.”

Blasi on “shockwave therapy”: “Shockwave therapy is, like, it dead[ens] – it kills pain. That’s why you can’t do it close to [race day]. ‘Cause people used to do it like two or three days out, and then these motherfuckers go out there and snap their fucking leg off.” Then this: “It fucking hurts like hell. I can’t believe them fucking sons a bitches can take it.”

Blasi on electric shockers, which are used for “motivation”: “I’d tell [jockey Ricardo Santana], ‘You got the maquina [shocker]?’ ‘Boss, I got the maquina.'”

Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens: “So, long story short, I win the race…and I reach over to pull this off, and I, I shock the shit out of myself [audible laughing around the table].”

Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas: “Well, we used to go behind the gate at Ruidoso. And it was just like it was a full-blown orchestra. Zzz. Zzz. Zzz. Zzz. Everybody had one [shockers]. Everybody had one.”

Blasi, after losing an underperformer – a “rat” – to a claim: “I could just do a fucking cartwheel right now.”

This is horseracing: