The Minnesota Racing Commission regarding my FOIA request:

I have received your FOIA request for racehorse deaths in Minnesota for the 2017 race meets. Minnesota Veterinary Medicine Laws prevent us from disseminating any other identifying information. Canterbury Park: Total of 19; Racing Related: 13; Training Related: 4; Illness Related: 2.

Please note that the reported 2017 Canterbury death toll (again, 19 – in 67 days of racing) is more than the previous two years combined. How’s that for progress?

The response to my Minnesota FOIA request:

Good Morning Mr. Battuello,

I have retrieved the numbers of race horse deaths from our Chief Veterinarian. During the 2016 race meet there were a total of six catastrophic race related deaths – 3 on the dirt and 3 on the turf. There were three training related deaths at Canterbury Park during the 2016 season. There were zero deaths (racing or training) at Running Aces during the 2016 season. Minnesota Veterinarian Medicine Laws prevent us from disseminating any other identifying information.

As to the six racing kills, we do know (from another source) that Classy Star was one – felled in the 6th at Canterbury September 3. The other eight, alas, died in anonymity.

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The response to my FOIA request in Minnesota:

Dear Mr. Battuello,

I am responding to the data request you directed to our Deputy Director Joe Scurto yesterday. The information you requested is classified as private veterinary data under Minnesota law, Minnesota Statutes, section 156.082. This can only be released with the horse owners’ consent.

However, I can give you the following summary data:

1. At our licensed harness track, there were two horse fatalities in 2015; both were illness related and not racing related.

2. At our licensed thoroughbred/quarter horse track, there was a total of 8 fatalities in 2015 and we do not have summary data broken down by cause of fatality.