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.)

unidentified 2-year-old, May 3, Santa Anita T
“LEFT FRONT LEG: complete, comminuted fracture of MCIII; severe tearing and hemorrhage of the soft tissues surrounding the area of fracture; LEFT REAR LEG: complete, comminuted fracture of the right tibia and fibula; severe tearing and hemorrhage of the muscles surrounding the area of fracture (that’s two broken legs)

Bella Sierra, May 10, Santa Anita R
“comminuted, complete, displaced articular transverse fracture of the medial proximal sesamoid bone, with: avulsion fracture, axial margin, medial proximal sesamoid bone; longitudinal and transverse rupture, intersesamoidean ligament and fibrocartilage; marked fraying, sesamoidean ligaments; marked fraying and partial transection, deep digital flexor tendon and superficial digital flexor tendon”

Fast Munny, May 19, Santa Anita R
“horse was trailing field and suddenly collapsed and expired at the wire – extensive hemorrhages of the left caudal lobe, hemorrhages in multiple organs, diffusely congested liver and kidneys, and chronic gastric erosions/ulcers” (five years old)

Waya Ed, June 2, Santa Anita R
catastrophic fracture of the right tibia; several variable size bone fragments within the two main fractured bone fragments; severe tearing and hemorrhage of the muscles of the leg surrounding the area of fracture”

unidentified 9-year-old, June 2, Santa Anita
“history of colic for 2 days – owner declined referral hospital visit for further dx and tx; horse had a large enterolith in the right dorsal colon-small colon junction…the area presented congestion, suggesting that there was intermittent and/or partial obstruction, that must have been responsible for the clinical signs observed”

Amada Rafaela, June 7, Santa Anita R
severe pulmonary hemorrhage; horse staggered and collapsed…rapid onset of agonal breathing with white mucus membranes; both lungs presented many sub-pleural hemorrhages; large amount of red-tinged stable froth in the trachea and lower airways; acute hemorrhage, pelvic fracture, vertebral fracture(s)

unidentified 3-year-old, June 14, Santa Anita T
“complete, displaced, articular, fracture of both proximal sesamoid bones, with a focal area of subchondral sclerosis of the medial proximal sesamoid bone (chronic, likely predisposing lesion), with: avulsion fracture, axial aspect of the proximal lateral sesamoid bone; rupture, inter-sesamoidean ligament and fibrocartilage; rupture, cruciate ligaments; rupture, annular ligament”; other leg: “cartilage thinning

Tiffany Diamond, June 17, Santa Anita R
catastrophic left hind fetlock failure – there were over 40 bone fragments of varying sizes; extensive subcutaneous hemorrhage and edema in the metatarsal area and the suspensory ligament; [multiple] tendons were surrounded by hemorrhage and edema.” other back leg: “subcutaneous and periarticular hemorrhage and swelling of the fetlock joint and the proximal interphalangeal joint”

unidentified 10-year-old, June 28, Santa Anita
“horse was found dead by barn personnel following an unexplained struggle in the stall – presumptive heart failure with: severe pulmonary congestion and edema

unidentified 3-year-old, July 8, Santa Anita T
“humerus had a comminuted, complete, displaced fracture of the diaphysis; at the caudal aspect of the bone, specifically in the neck, there was a focal irregular red area, interpreted as a callus – the fracture line traveled through this callus…[then] traveled distally through the teres major tuberosity reaching the distal third of the humerus, then traveled along the musculo-spiral groove back to the neck of the humerus”

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”

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.)

yet-to-be-named, January 16, Santa Anita T
right forelimb: closed, comminuted, complete, displaced, articular, transverse fracture of the distal metacarpus III; below the transverse fracture line, there were innumerable small fragments of bone; there were two large bone fragments that stayed in place; all articular surfaces of the fetlock had marked scoring of the cartilage and were covered with innumerable small irregular bone fragments; “left forelimb: in general, findings are similar as described above; there was an open (8 cm long skin tearing at medial distal aspect of the MCIII, with protrusion of a fragment of bone), comminuted, complete, displaced, articular, transverse fracture of the distal MCIII; all articular surfaces of the fetlock had marked scoring of the cartilage and were covered with innumerable small irregular bone fragments” That’s two broken legs.

the above’s necropsy photos…


Verraco, January 19, Santa Anita R
“right radius/ulna fracture, open, comminuted, complete, displaced, acute, with: 5 major bone fragments, smaller missing fragments; avulsion of proximal 2/3 of ulna from radius; bone fragment protrusion through hemorrhagic, gaping skin tear; humerus osteochondral fragnentation [sic], complete, displaced, acute; pre-existing degenerative joint lesions; gastric ulceration chronic

Verraco’s necropsy photos…


Syndrome, February 11, Golden Gate R
“in the respiratory tract, the trachea contains a small amount of pink frothy fluid; the lungs are diffusely distended and do not collapse when the chest was opened; the parenchyma is light red pink with diffuse congestion and edema with frothy fluid exuding from the cut surfaces of the airways – cause of sudden death not identified

Tribal Fighter, February 15, Santa Anita R
acute suspensory apparatus failure with disarticulation of the metacarpophalangeal joint; marked, acute excoriation/ulceration of articular cartilage; moderate/marked subcutaneous and deep soft tissue hemorrhage extending from the mid-shaft of the cannon bone to the distal extremity of the 1st phalanx”

Tribal Fighter’s necropsy photos…



unidentified, February 16, Santa Anita T
fractures of the proximal sesamoid bones…comminuted, complete, displaced, articular; complete transverse transection of the intersesamoidean ligament; transection of the lateral collateral sesamoidean ligament; fraying and hemorrhage of the lateral collateral ligament of the fetlock joint, and of the medial and lateral branches of the interosseous ligament; partial transverse rupture of the deep digital flexor tendon with fraying and hemorrhage of the proximal and medial segments up to the midline at the level of the fetlock joint; fraying and hemorrhage of the lateral margin of the superficial digital flexor tendon; hemorrhage of the common digital extensor tendon; hemarthrosis of the fetlock joint, and extensive hemorrhage…of the soft tissues extending along the length of MCIII to P2″

Del Mar Darling, February 16, Santa Anita R
fractures of the proximal sesamoid bones, comminuted, mid-body, complete, displaced, articular; transverse and longitudinal rupture of the intersesamoidean ligament; transverse rupture of the superficial digital flexor tendon with fraying and hemorrhage; complete rupture of the deep digital flexor tendon…with extensive fraying, linear fissures and hemorrhage of the proximal and distal halves; complete rupture of the medial collateral ligament of the fetlock joint and of the medial collateral sesamoidean ligament, and extensive fraying and hemorrhage of the lateral collateral sesamoidean ligament and collateral ligament of the fetlock joint; avulsion fracture of the distal end of MCIV, and incomplete fracture of the distal end of MCII”

unidentified, February 21, Santa Anita
chronic laminitis – top of coffin bone thru the sole – both front limbs

the above’s necropsy photo…

Game Piece, February 23, Los Alamitos R
MC3 is completely shattered into 50-100 variably sized boney shards and fragments; there are four complete fractures through the articular surface; the skin overlying the mid-diaphyseal region of the dorsal aspect of MC3 is multifocally torn with extensive subcutaneous hemorrhage and protruding shards of bone

Game Piece’s necropsy photos…


Silverado Mist, March 1, Santa Anita R
fracture of the proximal sesamoid bones; rupture, intersesamoidean ligament and fibrocartilage; rupture of the short and cruciate lateral sesamoidean ligaments; marked fraying and extensive hemorrhages of the suspensory ligament; palmar osteochondral disease…MCIII (chronic) [in both front legs]”

Silverado Mist’s necropsy photo…

unidentified, March 10, Santa Anita T (euthanized March 13)
catastrophic fracture of the right hind 1st phalanx following surgery; the two osteochondral fragments of the proximal bone were largely held in place (with some displacement) by the 3 inserted surgical screws; however the mid-distal diaphysis of the bone had shattered post-surgery…with exposure of surgical screw

the above’s necropsy photos…



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.)

unidentified 4-year-old male, January 5, Santa Anita T
“breakdown of the left fore fetlock joint with: complete, articular, non-displaced, lateral condylar fracture of MCIII; extensive fraying and hemorrhage of the medial and lateral branches of the interosseous ligament, more severe on the lateral branch; fraying, hemorrhage and edema of the lateral collateral ligament of the fetlock joint and of the lateral collateral sesamoidean ligament; hemarthrosis of the fetlock joint”

unidentified 7-year-old female, January 7, Cal Expo
“gross findings suggestive of sand colic; sand colic results from chronic accumulation of sand in the large colon when horses are kept on sandy pasture or fed hey [sic] or grain in sandy area; marked dilation of the stomach and cecum with large amount of fluid is likely due to the obstruction from the impaction; the lung edema and congestion/hyperemia were likely terminal in nature; presumed fecalith rupture”

unidentified 4-year-old female, January 12, Del Mar T
“possible right humerus fracture soon after coming back from extended layoff; right humeral fracture, complete, comminuted, non-articular, diaphyseal, oblique, closed and displaced, with severe pre-existing sub-periosteal callus intersecting the line of fracture on proximocaudal aspect of the neck of the humerus”

Arunachala, January 12, Santa Anita R
“left acute fetlock failure with: fracture of medial proximal sesamoid bone, basilar, complete, simple, articular, displaced, closed; fracture of lateral proximal sesamoid bone, mid-body, complete, comminuted, articular, displaced, closed; hemorrhage and fraying of lateral branch of suspensory ligament, focally extensive; rupture of intersesamoidean and annular ligaments; tear and fraying of straight distal sesamoidean ligament; tear of short and oblique distal sesamoidean ligaments; fraying of deep digital flexor tendon; chip fracture of dorsal border of lateral facette of proximal articular surface of P1; osteochondral fragmentation of dorsal border of medial facette of proximal articular surface of P1”

Toro Medina, January 13, Los Alamitos R (found dead next morning)
“discomfort after race…found dead the following morning; pulmonary hemorrhage and edema, diffuse, severe, acute; subendocardial hemorrhages in the heart, focally extensive, acute; subcutaneous and muscular edema and hemorrhage on the left side of the body, acute; renal congestion and hemorrhage, diffuse, acute”

Nick A. D. Mass, January 14, Golden Gate T
“this horse had a severe comminuted fracture of P1 that extended to both articular surfaces; additionally, there were degenerative changes in the carpal bones in both forelegs; gastric ulceration was marked and chronic”

unidentified 4-year-old male, January 17, Santa Anita T
“left fore fetlock/suspensory apparatus failure, acute, closed, with: medial proximal sesamoid fracture, complete, displaced, simple, articular, transverse, mid-body; lateral proximal sesamoid fracture, complete, displaced, simple, articular, oblique, mid-body; intersesamoidean ligament/metacarpointersesamoidean fibrocartilage transection, transverse and longitudinal; straight sesamoidean ligament fraying/fissuring, marked; cruciate sesamoidean ligament fraying, mild; lateral branch/body of suspensory ligament fraying and hemorrhage, moderate; lateral collateral sesamoidean ligament fraying, mild; superficial and deep digital flexor tendons fraying and partial transection, focal, moderate”

unidentified 6-year-old male, January 24, Santa Anita T (euthanized January 26)
“horse was diagnosed with condylar fracture earlier galloping this week; surgical repair attempted today but horse re-fractured above repair site – closed, comminuted, complete, displaced non-articular spiral fracture of the mid and distal diaphysis of the third metatarsus; and a closed, simple, incomplete, non-displaced, non-articular fracture of the distal dorsal aspect of third metatarsus”

I Dream of Bugsy, January 26, Golden Gate R (euthanized January 27)
“this horse pulled up and was grade 4 lame…vanned off, placed in his stall and treated with Phenylbutazone; tentative diagnosis was an incomplete, non-displaced fracture of the pelvis or tibia; this morning the incomplete fracture of the tibia displaced and the limb became unstable and painful – owner elected euthanasia; evidence of pre-existing stress fractures in the affected tibia [and] a healed lateral condylar and other fractures in the medial sesamoid bone and middle phalanx”

unidentified 3-year-old female, January 27, Cal Expo T
“pulmonary hemorrhage and edema, severe, acute”