Mon-Thurs: 17 Horses Down

Unless otherwise noted, the following horses were “vanned off” American tracks this week.

6-year-old Vamoose, Albuquerque, race 8
3-year-old Drama Magnet, Indiana Downs, race 1
3-year-old Crown Her First, Mountaineer, race 7

3-year-old Ramrod Key, Parx, race 2 (broke through the fence)
4-year-old Steve’s Adventures, Parx, race 7
2-year-old Toyon Bay (first ever race), Turf Paradise, race 4
2-year-old Phantom Favorite, Zia Park, race 4

3-year-old Sun Beauty, Charles Town, race 9
2-year-old My Hip Hop Honey, Delta Downs, race 5
3-year-old Pulp, Indiana Downs, race 6
5-year-old Sunday Groom, Indiana Downs, race 8
4-year-old Notoriously Noble, Indiana Downs, race 11
7-year-old De Romance, Penn National, race 2 (not vanned off but a “bleeding from both nostrils” DNF)

5-year-old Turbo Tweaked, Laurel Park, race 2
4-year-old Time for Wine, Penn National, race 5
6-year-old Triple A Rating, Penn National, race 5
3-year-old Si the Ocean, Santa Anita, race 8


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    • Sue, you are right. I do not understand how this criminal activity flies under the radar. It is rife with animal abuse, cheating and stealing. It is cesspool of a subculture that is ignored by society. Some good investigative reporting is badly needed here to trace the money and expose the politics !!!

  1. This is outrages, that the racing Industry, and the Organizations haven’t figured out to do something about this.. This is unnecessary, to use these animals up, and throw them away.. I have STOP going to races just because of this insensitive, cruel training and racing practices..

  2. This is why I don’t watch horse racing anymore. I still remember watching Ruffian break down in her match race many years ago. That was when I began to realize how wrong racing is. The horses are started too young and pushed too hard. Horses are bred for speed without much concern for conformation. People are too concerned about making money at the expense of the horses. And now I know about the foals that are thrown away so that a mare can become a nurse mare for an expensive thoroughbred foal and the horses that are sent directly from the track to the kill buyers without being given a chance to find a home.

    • I agree with you Laura, that’s why banning of exporting horses from the US is also needed. If they can’t transport, they can’t slaughter.

  3. I have stopped going to the races, I cannot support this form of cruel and abusive treatment of these wonderful animals. Soon they will wipe out a whole generation of champions. Shame on you owners and trainers.

  4. 17 horses broke down?? NO. Equibase comments say 1 broke down, 15 were vanned off 14 after the race. No they don’t get vanned off because they are doing good but there are numerous reasons for vanning off. They could be bleeding,either out the nose or a body part, the could be lame, I have seen horses that have lost shoes vanned back. Jockeys at all race track are informed that if there is ANYTHING abnormal they are to get off the horses and have them vanned back or they will be fined or suspended. One of the horses comment was “eased”. He could of just lost contact with the field and the rider knew he would not catch up and took it easy on the animal.
    So lets look at this objectively there are 40 major race track racing this week. On average they have 9 races a day with say an average of 8 horses in each race. That would be for 4 days. That number is 11,520 horse raced. Give or take a hundred or two. So 1 broke down, 14 vanned (one bled) and a eased horse. I would be willing to bet there were at least 10 times that many horses injured in their pasture.
    So when are we going to rally against horses being in pastures because the averages here do not support that racing is cruel and abusive treatment as some have just commented.
    Fair Hill MD. This week is having a 3 day event. Who is going to count the number of lame horses, broken necks, or broken legs?? I am willing to believe that I will not be able to find that discussion….

    • First, to use your logic in reverse, not all horses that are euthanized are vanned off; some walk right back to the barn. Second, the racing industry lacks the courage (for obvious reasons) to fully disclose breakdown/death information (NY appears the lone exception), so we must glean what we can from the charts. Although I make no claim that all 17 of these horses are dead, the good bet is that some to most are. In the absence of a definitive database, “vanned off” (“broke down,” “lame”) is one of the code phrases used by the industry to relay something bad without revealing the ultimate fate. But in the end, does it really matter whether a horse is killed (The NY Times estimates that about 24 horses die on American tracks each week, a figure surely too low) or just “bleeding out the nose”? Just keep repeating to yourself: it’s all for $2 bets.

    • Please tell me you are not that naïve…..they van horses off so the public won’t see what really happens later. They have quit shooting horses on the track. They somethimes are forced to euthanize them by vet. But when they haul them off, I is to fool the public and naïve and uncaring people like………you. You reasoning is that of a sociopath. One that has no empathy for the fact that these horses have no choice. You obviously know nothing about horse racing and I have been around it all my life. Talk to me and quit dealing in smoke and mirrors. You look exactly like what you are. Uninformed and never having seen behind the surface, because you don’t know what really goes on. It is obvious. Talk about something that you really KNOW about. Of course you are the kind of person that knows everything about everything. Run into people like you every freaking day. ugh!!!!

      • I am sure in your demented little mind you are quite the horseman. Thank you for informing me that they quit SHOOTING horses on the track. Patrick J Battuello this is your reader base??

  5. I do not know why the harness horses and those in training are not included. They should be. They died at the track.

  6. I am sure you will not believe anything I say but I have been around Thoroughbred racing for 34 year and have never seen a horse walk back to their barn and be euthanized. If the horse is able to walk back to the barn what reason would there be for it?? I am not expecting you to agree with anything, but there are things you say I agree with. What I don’t agree with is the way sites like this go about it. You understand a huge percentage of your readers are NOT race trackers or even horse people. So sites say dramatic things or use lingo that readers are unfamiliar with simply for shock value. You know and I know those 17 horses should not be classified as “Broke down”. I am very sure some of them did, but i am positive some didn’t. I waited to comment because i know one of the 17. Not going to mention the name because I do not want the horses connections brought into this. The horse is there in the stall, standing square, and eating. Is it 100% sound?? I don’t know did not bring it out of the stall.You bring up that “Vanned Off” is code well so is “Broke Down”. Hater site put broke down out here for the shock value when race track don’t for the same reason. I don’t know you but just wondering have you ever been in a athletic competition?Have you ever at the end or even half way though bent over to catch your breath,pulled a muscle,stubbed your toe,or just been stiff and walked off the court less then 100%?? Well at most race tracks if that happens to a horse they make sure the horse is “Vanned off”. The jockeys know to get off and wait for the trailer, if they don’t they will get fined or suspended. Am I saying that is what happened to those 17?? NO. I am sure some “Broke Down” but some didn’t. Your followers are going to think the worse, because that is what you tell them. Just like (can’t remember the name) when a horse broke down, nice old horse the owners claimed he was part of the family( i too believe that to be bullsh*t) your comment was “He had the POWERFUL pain killer PHENYLBUTAZONE given to him 36 hours before racing”. Bute is an anti-inflammatory not a POWERFUL PAIN KILLER. Yes it takes down inflammation and in doing so alleviates some pain. If people want to classify it as POWERFUL maybe that is because it is a horse drug. 1000lb animal,needs to be a little strong I would think. What kind of effects do you get a “Day and a half” after taking an anti-inflammatory? A day and a half before he raced.36 hours sounds better though. Do you have a site like this for the Amish or rodeos?? Why TB racing?? I understand there are some real scumbags in this business but what business doesn’t have them?? Unlike Washington DC the tracks are trying to get the scumbags out. Giving out huge fines and suspensions. What sites like this do is make it impossible for the people that do things right. The people that don’t run their horses into the ground, that don’t rush their horses, that X-ray their horses knees to make sure they are growing properly before letting them breeze,the ones that notice their horse isn’t quite right and give them time to recuperate if needed. You don’t want to talk about those people. They are the boring ones.The ones no one wants to read about. Just for the record, I don’t bet…

    • You know very well that there is an awful lot wrong in the racing “business” from start to finish and it is all about money and ego. The horse is the means to that end. Horses are drugged and mistreated, especially as they descend in the claiming ranks. Many of these so called cheap claimers were former winners of substantial money and even stakes winners. There is an org. that helps rescue these unfortunate horses if the earnings are $500,000 or more. Those with earnings below that level are out of luck in the vast majority of cases.
      Also, I know of a recent case of outrageous abuse. The trainer was observed beating a horse with a 2×4 because the animal refused to go on to the training track. Another trainer intervened on behalf of the horse. Others, including the outrider did nothing. The horse was in pain because of bucked shins……. I could go on with more incidents but feel they would fall on deaf ears. If this abuse goes on in front of others I shudder to think of what happens in “private”. Racing has evolved in a sick fashion and, unfortunately, attracts way too many bad actors !

      • Yes Rose there is a lot of wrong in this business and it does attract the wrong kind of people. I was born around it and I make an HONEST living in it. Don’t own or train a horse.There are scumbags that drug them and beat them, but not all are like that. As for this “Rescue” that only takes horses that made over 500k. Why is that?? Could it be that those are the horses that make publicity?? Are those the horses that get plastered all over facebook?? Why yes they are.. So what is there angle?? Their angle is MONEY!!! The bigger the horses name the more they can get “Donated”.. What humanitarians they are..NO! These are the people that sit at the auctions,watch horse after horse go through waiting for one with a tattoo. Then they start raising there hand. Then after they get the horse and sometimes before, they start calling all and every connection to this horses ever trying to get donations. My opinion they care little about any horse and all about the money.They will threaten to call the Racing commission where you are at and try to get you barred from racing if you don’t donate or buy the animal back for a very elevated price. If they cared why would they sell it back to the person who very likely took the horse there to begin with. Now if the horse is a big money horse with a good name they will plaster his picture with some sad story all over facebook.Again trying to get donations. I have seen a horse i knew, stakes winner of almost 400k that the “Rescue” had on facebook. I also saw a past owner (years past) offer to buy the animal and give it a forever home. They were turned down flat. Why would they turn down a forever home for that horse. Is that not the main goal of saving these horses?? Or is it all about the money?? They knew they could pull at the heart strings of people and get major donations and then when he stopped being a money tree they would sell him to the original person who offered to buy…Sounds like the money,greed and bad actors is not only limited to the race track..I hope you are not putting your eggs in one of the “Rescues” basket,because they will pull you down with them in the long run…

      • You are aware of all the outrageous conduct in the business. The rescue of horses that have high earnings is not, as you said, all about the money and even if it were the horse is destined for a better life instead of the truck trip to slaughter. Plus, it is an expose of former owners who made lots of money before subjecting the animal to the downward spiral of the claiming game or, more correctly, the dumping/disposal game. As you well know there is lost to expose in this business.
        As for any involvement in rescue, believe me, I know exactly what I’m doing and I’m very aware of the scams. It is a sad commentary on the industry to say that even “rescue” has it’s dark side…

  7. One of these “Broke Down” horses you changed to “Vanned Off” Toyon Bay ran Nov. 2 2013 Turf Paradise. Won by a half a length. Paid $14.60 $3.20 $2.40 for all you “$2 betters”… Don’t figure that to make your head lines. Not enough shock value…

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