Charles Town: 54 Dead and Counting

The News 4 I-Team (Washington) reports (11/13/13) that the Charles Town racetrack in West Virginia – one of the nation’s busiest, running, basically, year-round – has recorded 54 2013 deaths (46 in-competition) through 9/4, and 144 over the past two years. In 2011, 47 horses perished. On the spike, a spokesman for Charles Town’s operator, Penn National Gaming (yes, Charles Town is a racino, with slots and table games jacking up purses for bottom-tier racing), said this:

“Charles Town is the venue. We have, however, limited impact on the races and those horses competing at our facilities. We maintain our track, surfaces and facilities at the highest standards. We have no control over the physical condition and training of horses entered in our races. We do not know if that horse has a prior injury, has been medicated beyond legal limits or has been trained too much or too little.” How comforting.

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  1. As always, just pass the buck and take NO responsibility, NO accountability. Take the money made off the backs of these horses, but don’t take the responsibility of their welfare!

  2. What a bunch of spineless homo sapiens. Close them down. They do not deserve to be open if this is their attitude.

  3. I am told Charles Town runs 220 days a year. I rounded the number down I was given an odd number. They have 9 races a day. Lets say 7 horses a race. Again rounded down. That is 27,720 starters in 2 years. Will make it 27,700. The numbers in the article says 108 race time casualties.Lets make it 110. Remember I am a bottom feeder I need to count on my fingers and toes, so lets make it easy on me. That gives us an average of 0.397%. That is approximately 1 horse out of every 300 starters. I gave Charles Town a couple hundredths of a percent that time.
    To me for a low level race track that runs year round. That’s not too bad. Actually it is a pretty good average. I would of thought it a whole hell of a lot higher. Also they gave a list of horses, injuries,and I would guess the trainers name. Why are they trying so hard to hide the truth??? OH. I guess they aren’t…

    • The West Virginia deaths are not maintained on a public database (like NY’s); this information had to be requested by the reporter. More importantly, how can you rationalize those deaths? 54 intelligent, sensitive beings break and die so that men (and women) can make money, through gambling no less, and you try to spin it? Shame.

      • To be honest I am more surprised then anything with the numbers. I understand any death is too many. Wouldn’t you figure the numbers to be higher??
        Do you think every track would reveal their number if asked?? I would not think so but I am sure you would know better than I.
        1 out of every 300 at a lower level track. I rationalize it because I feel I am a rational person. I know there are fatalities at every track. To me it seems like they are very lucky or they are doing something that is making the difference…

  4. They dwindle their way down to charlestown from east coast tracks the horses are going bad people trying to get them claimed but the bull ring is to hard on bad legged horse

    • Charlestown is a dumping ground for the horses already ruined by this sorry gambling business and nobody gives a damn.

      Also, a recent study on Lasix in horses done in Kentucky showed the drug depletes calcium significantly. And the dehydration it causes does not illicit the normal thirst response because it maintains the balance of sodium to fluid in the system. Therefore the horse does not drink as he would with “normal” fluid loss. It takes several days for the fluid balance to normalize because the horse is not prompted to drink to bring his fluids up to balance the fluid to sodium ratio. Now consider that many horses are started with as little as 3 days between races and hit with IV Lasix again when they have hardly had time to balance their fluids, electrolytes and minerals. Add hot weather to this mix and there are more problems.

      Lets not forget the calcium loss and the other mineral and electrolyte losses that the horse’s body struggles to bring back into balance. Calcium loss along with magnesium is so detrimental to the skeletal system and imagine what it does to 2 year old bones ! The study mentioned it is difficult to replace the calcium and the hay the horse is fed needs to be high quality with plenty of calcium.

      Instead of trying to right the many wrongs of the abused drug, Lasix, these unscrupulous people need to ban the drug, period. The fact that it continues to flow like water at these tracks with the “blessing” of the business at all levels is an absolute disgrace !!

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