Through a FOIA request to the New Mexico Racing Commission, I have confirmed the following 59 kills on New Mexico tracks in 2015. (Note: This list does not include horses killed at private farms or off-site training facilities.)

3-year-old Hiclass Local, January 4, Sunland 3
“collapsed and died”

5-year-old Warrens Venedalucy, January 17, Sunland 7

2-year-old Go See Too, January 18, Sunland 7

4-year-old Paramounts Fortune, January 24, Sunland 4

3-year-old Birdie Brew, January 26, Sunland 10

3-year-old Bounty for Devon, January 31, Sunland 10

4-year-old Strawberry Park, February 2, Sunland, training
“cardiac arrest”

3-year-old Saint Rafael, February 6, Sunland, training

3-year-old Wildly Quiet, February 8, Sunland 10

3-year-old Delphia, February 13, Sunland, training

6-year-old Indian Flag, February 13, Sunland 10

4-year-old Penny Ante Cat, February 18, Sunland, training

1-year-old Over the Fence, February 22, Sunland, training

3-year-old Let’s Dance, February 27, Sunland, training

4-year-old Derby Hat, February 27, Sunland 7

2-year-old Wise Option, March 2, Sunland, training
“skull injury – not euthanized, died in paddock”

4-year-old Dandy Guy, March 7, Sunland, training

3-year-old Texas Rapper, March 7, Sunland 8

4-year-old Diabolic Diva, March 9, Sunland 3

3-year-old Hot Dom, March 13, Sunland (pre-race)
“died after post-lasix injection”

3-year-old Sovereign Desire, March 13, Sunland, training

3-year-old Polish Justice, March 14, Sunland 10

2-year-old Stolis Bud, March 28, Sunland 5

4-year-old Criminal Element, March 29, Sunland 7

5-year-old Axle, March 30, Sunland, training

4-year-old There’s a Dream, March 30, Sunland 7 (euthanized April 3)

2-year-old I’ll Be Dom, April 3, Sunland 7

5-year-old Lucy’s Tacos, April 3, Sunland 10
“stroke”

3-year-old Dans Pot of Gold, April 10, Sunland, training

3-year-old Gabis Fortune (probably sic), April 25, Ruidoso, training
“run off track and hit pole – broken hock”

2-year-old Cash in the Wagon, April 27, Ruidoso, training (coming off first start)

4-year-old Devlins Flash Dance, April 29, Albuquerque 1

2-year-old James Bordeaux, May 5, Ruidoso, training
“EIPH” (exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage)

3-year-old Jess Special Baby, May 6, Albuquerque 1

4-year-old Red Mills, May 12, Ruidoso, training

3-year-old Fast Down the Track, May 24, Ruidoso 7

4-year-old Phyilming, May 25, Ruidoso, training
“right front knee shattered”

4-year-old Thebiddingisclosed, May 31, Albuquerque 8

6-year-old Zenon’s Star, June 8, Ruidoso 2
“cut LH to coffin bone”

4-year-old Lamar Special, June 12, Albuquerque 5

4-year-old Kicking Bear, June 12, Ruidoso 8

5-year-old Might Be a Eagle, June 14, Ruidoso 5
“broke back and neck” – not euthanized
(Although FOIA document revealed “died on track,” chart merely said “fell, vanned.”)

2-year-old Smiling Seen (probably sic), June 19, Ruidoso, training
“got loose, slid on pavement, hit rail and died”

8-year-old Im Royal Quick, June 20, Ruidoso 7

2-year-old Mo Valiant, July 4, Ruidoso 11
“end of race – died in van” – not euthanized

5-year-old Cut to the Front, July 4, Sunray 2

2-year-old Lethal Sham Bo, July 5, Sunray 1
“spinal injury”

2-year-old Jessa Smoocher, July 10, Ruidoso 10
“carpal collapse”

4-year-old Grace Victoria, July 12, Ruidoso 2
“hit rail”

4-year-old JB Concern, July 13, Ruidoso 6

5-year-old Gallant Version, July 17, Ruidoso 1
“hit rail”

2-year-old Kama Corona, July 31, Ruidoso 3

2-year-old Vf Corona N Fire, August 2, Ruidoso 1 (died next day)

3-year-old Jn Takethehardcash, August 3, Ruidoso 3

7-year-old Flyin Fish, August 9, Ruidoso 8
“horse collapsed [and died] after race”

2-year-old Hot Royal in Rio (probably sic), August 10, Ruidoso, training

2-year-old Rinks Last Rodeo, August 15, Sunray 5
“put down on track”

2-year-old Winners Vision, September 13, Zia 3

8-year-old Al’s Best Boy, September 19, Zia 6

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In addition, these 13 still-active racehorses died on track grounds from what the industry refers to as “non-racing” causes. While technically true, morally they are no less casualties of this vile business than the ones above.

5-year-old Change Dancer (probably sic), February 24, Sunland
“death of unknown cause”

8-year-old The Real Rabbit, February 27, Sunland
“hind leg cellulitis”

Brothers Johnanddon (probably sic), March 5, Sunland
“colic”

2-year-old Wagon #1 (probably sic), March 10, Sunland
“found dead in stall”

2-year-old Mystic Dragon, May 16, Ruidoso
“unknown” – not euthanized, though

7-year-old Speedy Trick, June 20, Ruidoso
“colic – died in stall overnight” – not euthanized

7-year-old Buroing the Cash (probably sic), June 22, Ruidoso
“colic” – not euthanized

2-year-old Mister Dark Eagle, June 23, Ruidoso
“tracheal collapse/trauma”

6-year-old Sanford (perhaps sic), July 10, Ruidoso
“head injury – flipped over backwards”

4-year-old Boy Named Lou, July 20, Ruidoso
“spider bite” – not euthanized

2-year-old Sequoya, July 22, Ruidoso
“colic” – not euthanized

4-year-old Why Not Wine, August 3, Ruidoso
“head injury – flipped”

8-year-old unidentified, August 8, Ruidoso
“colic” – not euthanized

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.

From the Los Alamitos Stewards Minutes, January 1:

“Jockey Santiago Mendez was in to review his ride in the eighth race from the previous Sunday evening, when he over-cropped his horse, #5 “Ivy’s Storm,” approximately a dozen times without a pause. Mr. Mendez offered no excuse other than he blanked out and kept hitting the horse and forgetting the rule as he was in the heat of battle for the win. The following ruling was issued.

JOCKEY SANTIAGO MENDEZ IS FINED $100 FOR VIOLATION OF CALIFORNIA HORSE RACING BOARD RULE #1688(b)(6) (USE OF RIDING CROP-MORE THAN THREE TIMES IN SUCCESSION WITHOUT GIVING THE HORSE A CHANCE TO RESPOND-FIRST OFFENSE WITHIN THE PREVIOUS 60 DAY PERIOD).”

“Over-cropped his horse approximately a dozen times without a pause” – “no excuse other than he blanked out” – $100 fine.

Speechless.

The “battle” he was in, by the way, was for a share of $20,000; 2-year-old Ivys Storm finished 2nd, earning $4,500 for her “connections,” including, of course, Mr. Mendez.

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