In its latest Stewards Minutes, Golden Gate Fields reports three kills in five days:

In the 8th December 26, 3-year-old Into Kings “[was] pulled up but was later euthanized due to severity of injuries.”

In the 8th December 30, 3-year-old Pequena Maty “was pulled up and euthanized.”

Earlier that morning, 4-year-old Fervent Femme “was injured” while training – “euthanized later due to the severity of injury.”

Three dead horses in five days. For gambling. California, are you not better than this?

As I have previously stated, in the U.S. there are at least as many private training centers as open-to-the-public racetracks. Quite obviously, kills at those sites are typically beyond my reach. The result: scores of racehorses dying in anonymity. Every once in a while, though, a report surfaces because, invariably, the dead horse in question was worth a lot of money, was a star. This is the case with the Canadian horse Leavem in Malibu who, according to multiple (racing-press) sources, was killed while training at the Palm Meadows Center (Florida) Monday. The 4-year-old Graded-Stakes winner was in the States for Gulfstream’s upcoming $16 million – yes, $16 million – Pegasus World Cup. In light of that last part, the meaning behind trainer Mark Casse’s words is (despite what he’d like us to believe) impossible to miss: “I’m still in shock about it. It’s extremely sad and unfortunate” (Paulick Report).

This is horseracing.

From the most recent Stewards Minutes at Santa Anita: “Am I Blue was being pulled up [in the 1st December 29] when he was injured and fell to the track – euthanized, right front suspensory failure.” Am I Blue was four; this was his third race.

The NYS Gaming Commission has disclosed that state’s first kill of 2018: Alex the Terror while training at Belmont Tuesday. During the course of his five-year life, in a “career” that spanned but three years, Alex was bought and sold several times (with six different trainers). Chattel. A thing. A nothing. How profoundly sad.

Another day, another kill at the Mahoning Valley Race Course, and with these latest two, the Racing Death-Machine demonstrates (yet again) not a hint of age bias. One day after 11-year-old Electric Alphabet went down in his 83rd race, 2-year-old Honor the Empire, in his fourth time out, “took a bad step…was pulled up and euthanized” (Equibase). “Took a bad step” – as if but a matter of fickle fate. Vile, indeed.

For nine years and 82 races, the horse christened Electric Alphabet toiled at racetracks across the American heartland – from Arkansas, to Kentucky, to Louisiana, to Iowa, to Illinois, to Indiana, to Ohio. Nine long years of servitude. Nine long years of suffering. But today, it is over – not, mind you, in some fantastical safe-landing sort of way; rather, he is dead, killed yesterday at Mahoning. Killed because his long-time owner, Tracey Wisner, was hellbent on extracting every last cent from his surely battered body. Killed because track officials, in their endless desperation to fill cards, simply looked the other way. (In November, Mahoning allowed this almost 12-year-old horse to be raced three times in 27 days.) Killed because some think it innocuous to gamble on the backs of innocent animals. Killed, in fact, for nothing at all.