The response to my Minnesota FOIA request:

Good Morning Mr. Battuello,

I have retrieved the numbers of race horse deaths from our Chief Veterinarian. During the 2016 race meet there were a total of six catastrophic race related deaths – 3 on the dirt and 3 on the turf. There were three training related deaths at Canterbury Park during the 2016 season. There were zero deaths (racing or training) at Running Aces during the 2016 season. Minnesota Veterinarian Medicine Laws prevent us from disseminating any other identifying information.

As to the six racing kills, we do know (from another source) that Classy Star was one – felled in the 6th at Canterbury September 3. The other eight, alas, died in anonymity.

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Through a FOIA request to the Michigan Gaming Control Board, I have confirmed the following kills at Hazel Park in 2016. (Note: The Board did not forward any data on either of Michigan’s two harness tracks.)

Charlies Gun, August 5, race 8, “fractured MCIII”

Heather Belle, August 12, race 9, “large vessel rupture”

He’s Rockin, August 19, training, “fractured humerus”

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There can be no justification for the killing of animals for $2 bets. End it. Now.

My FOIA deceased-horses request to the Nebraska State Racing Commission yielded one result: Get Your Greek On in the 5th at Columbus August 7. One dead – in a word, unbelievable. Literally. Consider that Nebraska’s two Thoroughbred tracks – Columbus and Fonner – had a combined 47 racing-days in 2016. 47. And that doesn’t even begin to take into account morning training sessions. When I questioned this, the Commission contact said, that’s “the only information I have.” I pressed the issue, and received this: “There were no fatalities in 2016 on the Fonner Park racetrack.”


Last week on American tracks (not including training and harness casualties):

“Broke Down” (racing-speak for dead); “Collapsed and Died”; “Euthanized”

Roi Soleil, Turf
Pin and Win, Parx
Sharp Stick, Penn
Golden Ocean, Golden Gate
Edzactly, Penn
Sizzling Bel, Golden Gate
Lord Ruler, Gulfstream
Sir Prize, Louisiana
Sir Got Class, Turf

“Vanned Off” – required horse ambulance to get off the track; many of these names will re-surface on my year-end FOIA death-reports

Music in the Storm, Sunland
Smokey’s Legacy, Charles Town
North Pacific, Golden Gate
Bobby Blue Eyes, Gulfstream
Etchy Sketchy, Laurel
Pontificator, Santa Anita
Masonio, Turfway
Star Dog, Oaklawn
Crafty Gizmo, Parx
Peppermintonice, Sunland
Quorum of Joy, Turf
Transparent, Aqueduct
Locket Alley, Sunland
Bellimbusto, Tampa Bay
Leroi’s Thrill, Tampa Bay

“Bled”; “Returned Bleeding From Nostrils” – usually indicates pulmonary hemorrhage

Graymond, Parx
Jameson Jr, Sunland (also “vanned off”)
Dulce Arabe, Santa Anita
Up All Night, Laurel

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(source: Equibase)

The following nine horses died at New York State racetracks in January:

Fortune Faded (11-year-old being used as a “pony”), January 16, Aqueduct, “euthanized for chronic severe laminitis”

Upside Brown, January 17, Belmont, “fractured leg while breezing, ambulanced to Ruffian clinic – euthanized”

Prince Zurs, January 21, Aqueduct (injured racing, euthanized February 2)

Charming Vicky, January 22, Aqueduct, “pulled up at wire galloping on inner dirt…ambulanced to barn; x-rays revealed fractured sesamoids – euthanized”

Kristi Q, January 22, Aqueduct, “flipped over, hit head and died”

Lost Note, January 22, Aqueduct, “stumbled – euthanized on track”

Massena, January 23, Belmont, “severe laminitis due to post-op complications – euthanized”

Yankee Tales, January 27, Belmont, “breezing…fractured sesamoids – euthanized”

Jules J (10-year-old being used as a “pony”), January 27, Belmont, “diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma, developed secondary complications – euthanized”

(source: NYS Gaming Commission)