Southwick’s run in the 8th at Mahoning yesterday, as relayed by the Equibase writer: “SOUTHWICK…suffered a catastrophic injury and was euthanized.” Southwick was three years old; his entire “career” – all under trainer/owner Brooken Brinsfield:

Dec 19, last of 9, 36 lengths back
Jan 9, last of 8, 47 lengths back
Mar 25, 7th of 9, 25.5 lengths back
Apr 17, dead

Made. Abused. Killed. Sleep well last night, Mr. Brinsfield?

This from the NYS Gaming Commission, April 11, Tioga Downs: “Atomic Sealster fell over after completing a training mile, subsequently stopped breathing on track.”

This is horseracing. Every day.

The most recent Stewards Minutes from Santa Anita reveal this: “Veterinarian Report, 4/1-4/7, Fatalities 1.” Yes, that’s right, while the increasingly desperate racing world has been busy congratulating SA for a “safe” couple of weeks, implying of course that recently implemented “protocols” are working, yet another horse has died, leaving SA at 28 dead (and counting) since Christmas. Now, because the above is the extent of the current information (I will FOIA current-year necropsies soon), we do not know how this (unidentified) horse died. What we do know, however, is that he or she died in the servitude of Horseracing – making him or her a Horseracing casualty. Period.

The Los Alamitos Minutes, though still anonymous, were nonetheless more specific: “One equine death was reported this week due to racing injuries.” The “week” in question comprised three days – April 5-April 7 – during which three horses were “vanned off”: Jessa Sweet Dasher on the 5th, Texting and Thorny on the 6th. It’s a good bet that the dead horse is one of those.

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. Also, because of the sheer volume, I will be posting in increments of 10.)

Mourinho, March 12, Santa Anita T
fracture of both proximal sesamoid bones; rupture, inter sesamoidean ligament and fibrocartilage; marked fraying and partial transection, straight and lateral oblique distal sesamoidean ligaments; complete transection, short and cruciate sesamoidean ligaments that were attached to the lateral sesamoid bone; marked fraying and hemorrhages, lateral branch of the suspensory ligament; rupture, medial collateral ligament and the medial collateral sesamoidean ligaments”

Onde Ah Mo, March 17, Santa Anita R
acute catastrophic failure of right carpus: radial carpal bone fracture, complete, comminuted; intermediate carpal bone fracture, complete, comminuted; 3rd carpal bone fracture, complete; articular cartilage excoriation/ulceration; pre-existing degenerative lesions, [both front] fetlock joints; gastric erosion/ulceration, chronic

Boom Boom Bango, March 18, Santa Anita R
“open, comminuted, completed, displaced fracture, MCIII; open, comminuted, articular, displaced fracture, medial proximal sesamoid bone; avulsion fracture, lateral proximal sesamoid bone; rupture, intersesamoidean ligament and fibrocartilage; marked fraying, flexor tendons; marked fraying, suspensory apparatus; marked fraying, straight distal sesamoidean ligament; moderate fraying, oblique distal sesamoidean ligaments; marked fraying and transection, cruciate sesamoidean ligaments; transection, collateral sesamoidean ligaments; closed, comminuted, complete, displaced, articular fracture of the proximal epiphysis, metaphysis, physis and diaphysis, proximal phalanx; biaxial linear cartilage erosion, both sides of the sagittal ridge, distal articular surface of MCIII (Chronic), [both front limbs]”

unidentified, March 19, Santa Anita T
“comminuted, complete, displaced fracture, distal MTIII; plantar osteochondral disease, MTIII (likely predisposing lesion); comminuted, complete, displaced fracture, medial proximal sesamoid bone; avulsion fracture, lateral proximal sesamoid bone; rupture, intersesamoidean ligament and fibrocartilage; marked fraying, distal sesamoidean ligaments; rupture, cruciate ligaments; marked fraying and hemorrhages, suspensory ligament; focal hemorrhages around the superficial digital flexor tendon; comminuted, complete, displaced fracture of P1; [other back leg]: subcutaneous abscess; plantar osteochondral disease; stomach: ulcers, chronic

Dial Me In, March 23, Santa Anita R
“complete, comminuted, articular fracture of the scapula through the neck and distal end of the spine; the major distal fragment is split into two major fragments by a fracture that enters the glenoid and splits the glenoid into halves; in addition, the caudal fragment is split into 3 major fragments longitudinally”

unidentified, March 26, Santa Anita T
fracture of medial proximal sesamoid bone, complete, articular, displaced, comminuted; fracture of lateral proximal sesamoid bone, complete, articular, displaced, with pre-existing lesion; hemorrhage and fraying, lateral branch of suspensory ligament; rupture, intersesamoidean ligament and fibrocartilage; tear and fraying of straight distal sesamoidean ligament; tear and fraying of oblique distal sesamoidean ligaments; fraying of dorsal side of deep digital flexor tendon”

Smart Knows Smart, March 30, Santa Anita R
catastrophic breakdown of the left forelimb with: fractures of the proximal sesamoid bone; rupture of the palmar annular ligament; rupture of the superficial digital flexor tendon with fraying and hemorrhage and longitudinal tears of the lateral half of the tendon at the fetlock joint; full thickness ruptures involving the medial and lateral margins with fraying and hemorrhage and longitudinal tears of the center at the fetlock joint; longitudinal fissures with hemorrhage of the lateral and medial branches of the interosseous ligament; complete rupture of the intersesamoidean ligament, and complete rupture of the cruciate sesamoidean ligaments; longitudinal fissures and hemorrhage of the collateral ligament of the fetlock joint, the lateral collateral sesamoidean ligament, of the proximal third of the straight sesamoidean and lateral oblique sesamoidean ligaments; hemarthrosis of [both] fetlock joints” (that’s one horse, one death)

unidentified, April 13, Santa Anita T
“horse presented non-weight bearing with the leg dangling – catastrophic right tibial breakdown; severe tearing and hemorrhage of the muscles of the leg surrounding the area of fracture; MCIII bone [in both hind legs] presented osteochondrosis characterized by thinning of the cartilage; the stomach presented many, irregular ulcers; horse had been kicked by another horse on RH and had laceration repaired with 6 staples 1 week ago; horse has chronic history of LF lameness” (seven years old)

My Sweet Emma, April 15, Santa Anita R
“avulsion fracture, proximal sesamoid bone; rupture, inter-sesamoidean ligament; fraying and hemorrhages, superficial digital flexor tendon; fraying, lateral branch and medial branch, suspensory ligament; fraying, both oblique distal sesamoidean ligaments; marked scoring, all articular surfaces of the fetlock; multiple ulcers

Xten, April 20, Santa Anita T
“thoracic lumbar trauma (horse collided with another horse, fell) – given several hours to attempt to rise, unable to; exhibited tremors post-injury; a severe, comminuted (+40 fragments) fracture of the thoracic vertebrae; extensive hemorrhages in the spinal canal, bones and adjacent skeletal muscle; due to the large numbers of fragments, it was not possible to evaluate for predisposing lesions”

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

Sojourn “vanned off” at Turf
Karls Ragtime Band “vanned off” at Sunland
Union Wise “vanned off” at Aqueduct
Mandel “went wrong, vanned off” at Keeneland – subsequently confirmed dead
He’s a Brat “injured past the wire, vanned off” at Mahoning
Miss Franluda “came back bleeding from the nose” at Charles Town
Drew’s Shot “vanned off” at Evangeline
Cashel Rock “vanned off” at Hawthorne – subsequently confirmed dead
Fashion’s Touch “bled” at Keeneland
Everyonelovesjimmy “vanned off” at Keeneland
Shell Fire “bled and was vanned home” at Oaklawn
Night At the Opera “fell, vanned off” at Santa Anita
Wandering Patrol “vanned off” at Santa Anita
Night Rythm “vanned off” at Tampa Bay
Dreamy Martini “bled while racing” at Gulfstream
Wildcat Blast “vanned off” at Gulfstream
Mon Chevalier “vanned off” at Gulfstream
Don’t Quit “vanned off” at Gulfstream
Cincinnatus Eagle “vanned off” at Los Alamitos
Wiwi Celebration “vanned off” at Tampa Bay
Rocking Chieftain “vanned off” at Turf
Super Beautiful “vanned off” at Tampa Bay

“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)