3-year-old Amplify’s result in the 6th at Laurel yesterday afternoon, as relayed by the Equibase writer: “AMPLIFY…was under a hard ride leaving the far turn, sustained a catastrophic injury near the three sixteenths and was euthanized.”

“was under a hard ride” = was being whipped

“sustained a catastrophic injury” = snapped or shattered a leg

“was euthanized” = was killed

The most recent Stewards Minutes for Del Mar report two “deceased” for the period August 8-August 12 – identities withheld.

The NYS Gaming Commission has disclosed the following kill at Belmont on August 6: “Gabriella sustained pelvic fracture while training, vanned off, euthanized.” Gabriella was three years old and her most recent race was at Saratoga on July 23.

The California Horse Racing Board has disclosed the following kill in the 9th at Santa Rosa on August 5: “Rewired suffered a left foreleg injury and was given a ride home in the horse ambulance” – sesamoid fractures, euthanized. Rewired, too, was three; ’twas his ninth time under the whip.

Killing from coast to coast – this is horseracing.

According to Equibase, My Perfect Gem was “pulled up and vanned off [after] appearing in distress” in the 4th at Finger Lakes yesterday. We now know (NYS Gaming Commission) that that “distress” translated to death back in the barn. My Perfect Gem was four, and this was his 17th time under the whip.

Also yesterday at Finger Lakes:

In the 2nd, “LOHENGRIN TWO [the ‘winner’]…responded and was kept to the whip to the end.”

In the 3rd, “SUNDANCE JOY [the ‘winner’]…was whipped left handed leaving the sixteenths pole…”

In the 4th, “ANYTHING PAZIBLE slammed at the start…ADIRONDACK DREAM ducked in slamming QUALITY ISLAND at the start…QUALITY ISLAND slammed by ADIRONDACK DREAM at the start.”

This is horseracing.

From the California Horse Racing Board for Los Alamitos, July 27-July 29: “Three equine deaths were reported this week [the week in question was three days] due to racing injuries.” Unacceptably, however, no names were disclosed. We know from other sourcing that one was Unusual Kiddy in the 8th July 29; it’s a good bet that, based on the charts, the other two are from this group: Amore Di La Mamma; Provodnikov; Dramatic Angel. Regarding UK, I received the following email:

Dear Patrick,

My name is Laura. I have always been a lover of all creatures, vegetarian since age 4, and highly sensitive to any stories of animal mistreatment. Until last Sunday, I knew almost nothing about the horse racing industry. It has been a very heartbreaking week.

My Dad used to work at a track when he was a teenager, and since we moved to Los Alamitos last year, he has wanted us all to go together to see some races. My life partner and I are expecting, and so we decided to take my parents there for dinner and share our happy news.

The night began innocently enough. We marveled at the beautiful horses, enjoyed our dinner, and laughed as my Mom picked a winner five times in a row. It was down to the final race of the night, and for the first time all night, I did not put my $2 on the horse with the greatest odds stacked against him, Unusual Kiddy.

What happened seconds after the horses left the gate has replayed in my mind hundreds of times this week. Unusual Kiddy tumbling several times before coming to a motionless stop. Ambulances. The winner being called over the speakers, no discussion of the carnage on the track. Watching through my tears. A silent drive home. A sickening feeling of guilt and despair. A sleepless night.

When I called in to the racetrack the next morning, the person who answered the phone was sympathetic to my teary request to know what happened. They called me back within the hour with the awful truth: Unusual Kiddy had broken his neck when he had fallen. He was paralyzed and lost consciousness on the track, was transferred to the ambulance and euthanized.

I have spent the better part of this week reading about horses and horse racing, and sharing this story with whoever would listen. I found your site, and wanted to share this poor animal’s story. Sunday I am going to a rescue sanctuary and sponsoring a racehorse that was saved from shipment to a slaughterhouse. This small intervention does not even dent how helpless I feel.

Thank you for all of your efforts to call attention to the dark side of this industry. I wish I could help save them all. The cruelty of human beings towards animals truly breaks my heart. Please feel free to put this story on your website so that this animal may be remembered.

Laura Snoussi