While I can certainly appreciate the usefulness, if not downright necessity, of social media, personally I am loath to engage, preferring instead to say what I have to say here and through more traditional media platforms. Fortunately, we at HW have a wonderful group of volunteers fighting the Facebook and Twitter wars – promulgating truth, exposing lies, and, because it comes with the territory, addressing idiocy. Still, every once in a while, I myself feel compelled to deal with the last, though it almost always leaves my distaste for the medium reconfirmed.

Two years ago, a particularly smug apologist took to Facebook with the inane question, “What is your plan for the 100,000 horses who would be out of work should you get what you want (an end to horseracing)?” Vegans, of course, are quite familiar with this tactic – you know, “if the world goes vegan, what will happen to…?” Like I said, stupid. What I didn’t like and what prompted me to respond, however, was her assertion that upon polling some of our Saratoga protesters, all she heard was “crickets.” So, breaking my self-imposed rule, I engaged:

All was good until the “sterilize to extinction” part. Although I pride myself on writing as clearly and succinctly as possible, here I came up a bit short. In my defense, it was at the end of a long day and I was in no mood for vacuity wrapped in the guise of cleverness. What I meant, and what most reasonable people have no difficulty seeing, is that we are against the breeding of horses for racing – using (the decidedly racing terms) Thoroughbreds, Quarterhorses, and Standardbreds as a substitute for racehorses in general. Again (and of course), we do not want to kill off all horses. We are out to end horseracing; by extension, and as I wrote two years ago, when that last track closes, no more breeding racehorses. Clear? I should hope so.

The NYS Gaming Commission has disclosed that Easy Livin, five, “collapsed on jogging track exercising and died” at Monticello Saturday. Again, she was five years old.

The following day, Ro Bear “died in the barn at Belmont from an apparent impaction colic.” No mention of euthanasia. Imagine that. Ro Bear was six and had been put to the whip 40 times, most recently at that same track in May.

For Monticello and Belmont, this makes 6 and 17 dead racehorses in 2019, respectively.

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

Saddle in Commando “clipped heels, went down, vanned off” at Arapahoe
Calmack “pulled up in distress…euthanized” at Louisiana
Pozzuoli “vanned off” at Mountaineer
Billy Youre Fired “returned bleeding from the nostrils” at Parx
In Va Star “vanned off” at Indiana
Anatolian Heat “fell, vanned off” at Indiana
Honest Bandit “vanned off” at Louisiana
Proper Touch “bled, vanned off” at Thistledown
Coraline “suffered an injury” at Thistledown – subsequently confirmed dead
Navy Typist “pulled up in apparent distress, vanned off” at Evangeline
High Beam “vanned off” at Churchill
Well Graced “went wrong…had to be euthanized” at Delaware
So Noted “bled” at Finger Lakes
Peculiar Sensation “vanned off” at Belmont
El Cochito “vanned off” at Churchill
Man O Work “vanned off” at Los Alamitos
Theperfectvow “vanned off” at Prairie
Price “vanned off” at Ruidoso
Tizjohndeersway “vanned off” at Arizona Downs
Parlapiano “vanned off” at Belmont
Curlin’s Prize “in distress, vanned off” at Belterra
Spicey Corona “vanned off” at Delta
Latent River “in distress, vanned off” at Fair Meadows
Cold Brewster “bled, vanned off” at Fair Meadows
Blazer “vanned off in distress” at Fairmount
Hero’s Welcome “fell, vanned off” at Laurel
Time Flies By “fell over the fallen Hero’s Welcome, DNF” at Laurel
Homefield “fell over the fallen Hero’s Welcome, vanned off” at Laurel
Soul Seekin “in distress, vanned off” at Louisiana
Orra Moor “severely injured, euthanized” at Monmouth
Brayden’s Start “fell, DNF” at Parx
Colonel Dax “pulled up lame, vanned off” at Penn
American Proud “appeared to injure herself, fell, vanned off” at Ruidoso
Equal the Score “vanned off” at Belmont
Clyde’s Image “vanned off” at Belmont
Taki’s Choice “vanned off” at Emerald
Follow the Petals “expired after falling” at Laurel
Mz. Foo Do “bled” at Monmouth
Cinnamon Latte “hit gate, fell, DNF” at Parx

“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)

Through a FOIA request to the Arizona Racing Commission, I have confirmed the following kills on that state’s tracks through April 30:

Popyhowuspelcupcak, Jan 1, Turf R – “fracture left front leg”
Tribal Hero, Jan 5, Turf T – “fracture left front leg”
Cause for Eviction, Jan 8, Turf R – “fracture pelvis”
Velocitation, Jan 13, Turf R – “fracture left front leg fetlock”
Unusually Striking, Jan 16, Turf R – “fracture left front leg”
Rose Dynasty, Jan 20, Turf R – “fracture spine or pelvis”
Dancin N Moonlight, Feb 2, Turf T – “cannon bone fracture”
Majesty Marie, Feb 9, Rillito T – “fracture left front cannon bone”
Junior G Man, Feb 20, Turf R – “fracture right front fetlock”
Serbian Syclone, Feb 25, Turf R (euthanized Apr 14) – “fracture front leg”
P T Bruiser, Feb 27, Turf T – “fracture right carpus”
Vergelito Two, Mar 3, Turf T – “fracture shoulder”
Ls Power, Mar 31, Turf R – “fracture spine”
Redneck Humor, Apr 7, Turf R – “fracture right front leg”
Lion Command, Apr 15, Turf R (euthanized Apr 16) – “fracture right front leg”
Caramelo P, Apr 28, Turf R – “fracture left rear leg”

In addition, these still-very-much-active racehorses died on track grounds from what the industry craftily calls “non-racing” causes. Technically true, perhaps, but morally they are no less casualties of this vile business than the ones above.

L ‘s Choice, Jan 10, Turf – “illness – lungs”
Top Hat Wildcat, Jan 23, Turf – “laceration abdomen”
Jubilance, Jan 27, Turf – “flipped in stall, hit head, spinal cord trauma”
Surely a Bullet, Feb 4, Turf – “weight loss, cancer”

One day after a three-horse fall (still attempting to secure updates; one source has Hero’s Welcome as dead), Laurel Park saw a confirmed kill in the 2nd Sunday. According to Equibase, “Follow the Petals…forged clear under pressure leaving the three sixteenths then expired after falling soon past the sixteenth marker.”

“Expired after falling.”

Follow the Petals was five; this was her 35th time under the whip. Once again, Laurel struck all ugliness from the official replay – and yet, they still saw fit to show the Winner’s Circle celebration. (Follow the Petals is #5, jockey in red.)