Through a FOIA request to the Ohio State Racing Commission, I have confirmed the following kills at that state’s tracks through June 30:

Shezaflirtyshack, Jan 6, Mahoning T – “ran into chain link fence, recumbent with swelling around poll/neck, deteriorated” (two years old, being prepped for first race)

Delightful Offer N, Jan 6, Northfield R – “coming out of final turn, horse broke down”

Mama Lela, Jan 22, Mahoning R (euthanized Jan 23) – “head trauma”

Gunsandgigglesjoe, Feb 3, Mahoning T – “collided with rail, catastrophic chest injury”

Mobil’s Lemonesque, Feb 22, Mahoning S – “cast overnight; colic, suspected torsion”

Leo Meister, Feb 24, Mahoning T – “collapsed at wire and died” (four years old)

Dance Electric, Feb 24, Mahoning T – “flipped, bleeding from ear, probable skull fracture”

Rollin Inside Out, Feb 25, Mahoning R – “fractured ankle out of gate, euthanized on track”

Two Putt, Mar 2, Mahoning T – “double fracture” (had been raced 54 times)

Brainfreeze, Mar 4, Mahoning T – “displaced fracture”

A P Quickly, Mar 7, Mahoning T – “fractured tibia”

Corky’s the Name, Mar 10, Mahoning S – “colicky, severe distention, declined overnight”

Sky Chaparral, Mar 14, Mahoning T – “bled and lame after morning work” (hadn’t been raced in almost two years)

Emery Parker, Apr 10, Mahoning T – “suspected fracture fetlock/pastern”

Bird Walk, Apr 15, Mahoning S – “pneumonia, lung abscess” (coming off first race)

Johnny Utah, Apr 30, Mahoning S – “colic” (eight years old, 56 races)

I’llmakeitanywhere, Jun 11, Thistledown T – “displaced fracture”

Candy Kettle Corn, Jun 13, Thistledown R (euthanized Jun 15) – “fractures both [italics added] knees”

That’s a Bingo, Jun 20, Northfield R – “collapsed on track, died before I got there”

Ready to Rocket, Jun 27, Thistledown R (euthanized Jun 30) – “displaced slab fracture”

Opalescent, Jun 30, Thistledown R – “fractured knee”

Abuse, thy name is horseracing.

Sweet Circle was born in May 2008. Curiously, his first race didn’t come till over five years later – September 29, 2013, at Mount Pleasant in Michigan. He finished second-to-last for trainer Alison Krul and owner Lauren Steen. Next race came two months later at Beulah in Ohio: dead last, 25 lengths back. Same owner, new trainer – George Iacovacci Sr. Next time out, in January 2014, “did not finish.” Oh, and yet another new trainer: Kristi Van Meter. Quite a start, huh?

The Steen/Van Meter team ran Sweet Circle six more times, then Van Meter handed him off to yet another trainer, Jimmy Williams. At this point, Sweet Circle was running “maiden claiming” – “For Sale” every time out, and still without a “win.” In August 2014, Steen brought him back to Michigan to be raced at Hazel Park – under another new trainer, Ray Patton. Back to Ohio in October, at which point Steen assumed the trainer’s role herself. On September 20, 2015, SC’s price tag had plummeted to $3,500.

A year later in Illinois, Iacovacci returned as trainer (Steen still owner). In April 2017, Steen brought in another trainer – Roger Salvino. On May 19, Steen was back training; in that race, Sweet Circle finished last, 27 lengths back. Next time out, 35 lengths back. On April 7, 2018, Steen raced the now-nine-year-old a mere seven days after his previous race. Outcome: last, 45 back. He was then sold.

On June 19, 2018, Sweet Circle ran his first race for trainer/owner Robert Fiesman. He was then sold back to Steen. Several races later, sold again – to Richard King; Robert Pompell, trainer. Five races for this pair followed, the last two of which SC finished last and last, a combined 37 lengths back. Then nothing. Until, that is, Tuesday.

After being off the charts for over a year, Sweet Circle resurfaced under – you guessed it – Lauren Steen. The result from Fairmount is what you might expect for a 12-year-old coming off a 14-month layoff: last (of 10), some 20 lengths back. But it’s worse still: Tuesday’s race was a “maiden claiming” (and a cheap $4,000 one, at that). Yes, that’s right, in a “career” going back seven years and 45 races, Sweet Circle has never finished first. Not once. And yet, Lauren Steen et al. keep throwing him back out there. They do because there’s still money to be made: That woeful finish Tuesday still garnered $93 for Steen, as Fairmount pays first-last. Oh, and of course he’s under the yoke of yet another new trainer, Michelle Booker. (By my count, that makes 10 different trainers, 11 trainer changes, and at least five times sold.)

This poor, poor animal. This vile, vile industry.

Jumped Bail’s run in the 2nd yesterday at Thistledown: “JUMPED BAIL was bumped at the start, flashed speed, stopped, was eased to the wire due to a catastrophic injury and was euthanized” (Equibase). The 3-year-old was under the whip for the 7th time. He was also “For Sale” – at the (cheap) used-car price of $5,000 – the day he died.

This is horseracing.

Through a FOIA request to the West Virginia Racing Commission, I have confirmed the following kills at that state’s tracks through June 30:

Sassy Diva, Jan 2, Charles Town S – “founder” (three years old, yet to be raced)

She’s Quiet, Jan 18, Charles Town R (euthanized Jan 27) – “fractured sesamoids”

Chobee Girl, Feb 1, Charles Town T – “fractured pelvis”

Tumble Pass, Feb 1, Charles Town T (euthanized Mar 6) – “comminuted fracture”

Rumers Are True, Feb 3, Charles Town S – “found dead” (five years old, last raced Jan 17)

Lethal Shot, Feb 3, Charles Town T – “fractured sesamoids”

Fire Boss One, Feb 8, Charles Town S – “allergic reaction” (very first race was the day before; came in last, 22 lengths back)

Riveter Gloria, Feb 14, Charles Town R – “multiple fractures”

Freet Dem, Feb 17, Charles Town T – “dislocation”

Flip a Coin, Feb 25, Charles Town S – “equine protozoal myeloencephalitis” (four years old)

Rendezvous for Two, Feb 27, Charles Town T – “cellulitis” (three years old, yet to be raced)

Princess Rashelle, Feb 28, Charles Town R – “fetlock fracture”

Satan’s Last Train, Mar 2, Charles Town T (euthanized Mar 3) – “multiple fractures”

Ship Quick, Mar 7, Charles Town T – “fractured sesamoid”

Rush Express, Mar 10, Charles Town S – “flipped over, spinal fracture”

Purgatory, Mar 31, Charles Town S – “infection post-surgery”

Chance for Cash, Apr 1, Charles Town S – “equine protozoal myeloencephalitis” (two years old, yet to be raced)

Jenny D, Apr 27, Charles Town T – “hit another horse, never got up”

Giant Dreams, May 9, Charles Town S – “paralyzed artenoid”

Miss Casuarina, May 13, Charles Town S – “found dead, swollen neck”

Heckler’s Veto, May 15, Charles Town T – “comminuted, dislocated fracture”

Brennivin, May 22, Charles Town T – “injured starting gate – head and neck”

Shared Silence, Jun 2, Mountaineer R – “fractured sesamoids”

Tun Tun, Jun 20, Charles Town R – “carpus fracture”