NY is the only state in the nation that maintains a public website listing its dead racehorses. Theoretically, any horse who dies on or at a NYS track ends up on this list – and in real time. That said, something very strange is afoot in The Empire State. The last reported death was Tornado City January 26th at Belmont (training). Granted, this is a slower part of the year. Still, five of the seven harness tracks are live, and so is Aqueduct – Aqueduct, which lost 20 horses from October 31st to January 22nd.

In the five full calendar years preceding this one, the longest gap between reported deaths was 29 days (Feb-Mar ’13). Right now, we are at six weeks and counting. Perhaps it’s just a lucky run. Then again, perhaps not. NYRA received a lot of negative publicity during that early Aqueduct spate. And really, would a conspiracy of silence surprise anyone even remotely familiar with this industry? Certainly not me.


The following horses were casualties on American tracks last week. This list, however, includes only raceday victims, for while I’d prefer to submit a more complete reckoning, the training carnage is almost entirely covered up.

Reported as died, euthanized, or “broke down” – racing-speak for dead:
Hecky Dorn, Mahoning
Zenaro, Oaklawn
Mm Paul Revere, Louisiana
Mr Weaver, Mountaineer
Texas Rapper, Sunland

Reported as “vanned off” – left via ambulance, a better-than-even chance of dead:
Columbia Crest, Hialeah
Take It Out Back, Louisiana
Heza Fast Lajolla, Louisiana
TI Doublegrrr, Sunland
Keep’em Flying, Delta
Lively Stone, Fair Grounds
Artistic Touch, Gulfstream
Senora Sola, Los Alamitos
Lantzman, Santa Anita
Effortless Eagle, Sunland
Black Betsy, Santa Anita
Happy Harvey, Gulfstream
Hay Runner, Sunland

Balotelli, Mahoning, “stumbled badly start,” DNF
Power of Gospel, Mahoning, “collided and fell over stricken horse,” DNF
Ncc Thunderandice, Mahoning, fell, DNF
Freud’s Vale, Mahoning, “stumbled badly,” DNF
Rick’s Pick, Mahoning, “returned bleeding from the nostrils”
Thelesusaythbetter, Sam Houston, “eased up…while bleeding from the nostrils”
Odd Man Out, Sam Houston, “stumbled badly,” DNF
Trippin On Jaxon, Sunland, fell, DNF
Minister Cyberset, Sunland, fell, DNF

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I have confirmed that Texas Rapper is dead after breaking down in the 8th yesterday at Sunland. Prior to dying in the New Mexico dirt, the 3-year-old gelding had been put to the whip 11 times, all under trainer Johnnie Nall. His fatal fall can be seen here (two other horses went down with him – no word on their conditions):

http://www.sunland-park.com/streaming-live-video-replays/ (Sa 7, race 8)