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.
Equibase’s cold, curt description of the end for Mama’s Hope, 7th race at Mahoning yesterday: “MAMA’S HOPE was bumped at the start, injured past mid turn then euthanized.” Mama’s Hope: made – March 15, 2014; killed – April 15, 2019.
This is horseracing.
Yesterday at Belmont, according to the NYS Gaming Commission, La Manche “suffered a fracture to his right front breezing and was euthanized.” Dead, at four. He is the 13th racehorse to die at Belmont Park since January 8 and the 5th training kill there in less than three weeks. So you see, America, it’s not just Santa Anita.
I can also confirm that Cashel Rock is dead after being “vanned off” in the 7th at Hawthorne last evening. Cashel Rock was six; this was his 42nd time under the whip.
As previously noted, Kentucky chartwriters appear to favor “went wrong” over the more-common “broke down” when trying to say dead without actually saying dead. Yesterday, in the 8th at Keeneland, 3-year-old Mandel was one of those.
In reporting the death on Twitter, industry hack Ray Paulick betrayed his true colors (yet again). After the perfunctory “sad to hear” drivel, Paulick said, “[Mandel] was claimed from the race for $25,000, and Kentucky has no ‘voided claim’ rule so buyer is out of luck unless he purchased insurance.” Pity the poor buyer, huh Ray?
Then there’s this reaction from a fan to the goings-on at Keeneland (two killed in five days; another “vanned off” today): “This is starting to move into the awful territory. I was literally watching races this weekend and my stomach was in knots because I actually spent the whole race worrying if I was going to see a horse go down. I couldn’t even enjoy the race I was so worried.”
How sad and pathetic does one’s life have to be to utter words like that?
The Equibase account of the 9th at Gulfstream yesterday: “FAST TRACK KATHERN raced off the pace, driving upper stretch then taken under restraint, moved to outside and eased to wire, pulled up in distress after wire, euthanized on track.” Dead. For $2 bets, entertainment. Fast Track Kathern was four; ’twas her 12th time under the whip.
This is horseracing.