3-year-old See the Music “fell heavily” and died during the 7th race at Belmont yesterday, a victim of “an apparent heart attack.” Dead of a heart attack at three. That See the Music fell can only be known through the chart, for the NYRA video conveniently eliminates her from the picture right about the time she was dying. And, no surprise, the last words spoken of her by the announcer are “way back trailing.” That’s it. The replay, though, does provide an early portent when it goes to slow-motion around the 2:40 mark (“Race Replays,” Wednesday Race 7 – she’s #4). This young filly was wrong at the start.
Perhaps NYRA will investigate, perhaps it won’t. Either way, trainer Jason Servis and jockey Larry Mejias had a hand in this death. Also complicit: owner Mr. Amore Stable and breeder Truman Smith DVM (a veterinarian – imagine that).
On the harness circuit, KZ Too fractured a leg at Monticello Tuesday (8th race) and was killed. The complicit: driver Mike Merton and trainer Joseph Moeykens. Because NY is the lone state tracking them, it is easy to forget that Standardbreds sometimes die too. NY’s 2014 Death Toll stands at 34.
An apparent “heart attack” at three is very unlikely. Of course there are many substances that can cause heart arrhythmias and death. That is not a “heart attack” per se. There should be an necropsy on this horse including tests for drugs. If death was due to a “heart attack” it would show an area of necrosis or dead tissue in the heart muscle and diseased coronary vessels. Also, some substances could cause a blood vessel spasm which would cause necrosis of the heart muscle …
I seriously doubt racing wants to know, or cares, why this filly died on the track. There will be no effort to find out.
See the Music and KZ Too I’m sad you died this way. The human indifference is sickening.
Thank you Rose! We can demand that they do something- we may not be successful but email and or call NYRA and demand that they perform a necropsy on See The Music No 3- yr old should be having a “heart attack”. If she had a heart condition she shouldn’t have been racing, if this was induced by meds-then there needs to be appropriate investigative action taken.
i have sent a request and called for a necropsy to:
email and phone number for NYRA Ethics office;
email@example.com or via NYRA’s confidential ethics hotline at 1-800-605-1340.
Please join me in demanding this be done. The more requests the more likely we are to get an action. As you well know, this is a timely matter.
I sent you some info at your Examiner email. I don’t know if there was a better address to send it to but that is the only one I had. Let me know if there is another address you would prefer. Thanks!
Jerry Bossert confirmed that See the Music’s remains were shipped to Cornell for a full necropsy. When results are published will let you know,.
Thank you, Susan.
I appreciate knowing there will be a full necropsy. However, as many know, if the heart failed in terms of an arrhythmia and then ventricular fibrillation there will be no way of knowing because the heart muscle will not show damage as it would with a true” heart attack”. There are drugs given to horses that can cause this sudden death by interfering with the normal heart rhythm. As is known there have been many sudden “unexplained” deaths in one barn in particular.
I hope the necropsy includes drug testing as well testing levels of thyroxin…
I agree Rose a necropsy may not be able to determine the cause of death for See the Music. But the veterinarian will also demand the veterinary records and this will list the medications that the unfortunate filly was being administered. NYS usually does perform drug testing as part of a necropsy. We may never know what actually killed her, but by a necropsy being performed we have a better chance than nothing. The “unexplained” deaths were not explained by the seven necropsies that were performed either, but the paper trail from the veterinary records led to establishing the only common link to all the horses that perished, and as you well know that link was the administration of levothyroxin.
I was very glad that NYRA called for a necropsy, because even if not conclusive, it shows that they are not completely ignoring this terrible and unexplained death.
The necropsy of 3 y/o See the Music means absolutely nothing in terms of NYRA caring about her tragic death and wanting to do the “right thing” by her. They ignored her while she was dying, they will ignore her after they come to their conclusions post-necropsy. That is ALL they do. Ignore. If the public makes some noise, then smoke and mirrors. What did the determination of Baffert’s dead horses having all received daily thyroid medication accomplish?..the report that he no longer indiscriminately administers it?…for now? And what consequences did HE suffer?
This is a JOKE but there is nothing funny about it. Every single racehorse enslaved in this industry is at the mercy of their connections. They have no rights. Their lives mean nothing.
Joy I understand your frustration. But short of an act of what would be considered domestic eco-terrorism, what would you have me and others do? I wrote demanding a necropsy. I and others call racing out-and look to achieve accountability. We write, lobby and publically call for change. We gave Baffert the best scrutiny we could muster. We are not the CHRB,but we called them on their findings. Many of us work to rescue and rehome horses in need.We’re pedaling as fast as we can here. NYRA doesn’t have the welfare of every horse as its primary concern. Yes it’s a business. Guess what? Not even most physicians have the welfare of the lives in their care as their ultimate concern. It’s a nasty cruel world We are all doing our bit to make it better where we can.
Susan…you do not understand my frustration…because you do not see what it is I do day after day.
And “what would you have me and others do?”…well, I don’t know who the “others” are, so that I cannot answer unless you name the others and I have some knowledge of who and what they support. But I can answer what I would have you do…stop supporting the industry in any way, shape, or form.
I agree it’s a cruel world. I agree there are physicians who don’t have their clients/patients welfare as a priority. But what does that have to do with the topic here?…horseracing?…a gambling industry that does not need to exist?
Absolutely, Joy. In the end, horseracing is but the $2 bet, which means that any and all of the suffering and death is unnecessary.
I don’t spend money supporting racing. I do spend money supporting and dealing with the horses that are cast aside because of it. The industry’s players are making more money than the rescuers. I love horses period; their majesty, their capabilities and their beauty. When people break them or discard them, I try to help put the ones that can be saved back together. Racing is not going to end any time soon. I am being realistic. I will try to advocate for reform and better welfare for horses in every discipline. The industry will not be going away but conditions can be improved.
There are different forms of support. Words of support, in my opinion, are an even more powerful and influential form of support than the monetary type. Our words, once written and shared, will travel throughout social media to be seen and digested by many. I still come in contact with folks who think horseracing is what I used to think it was…the Derby as it is presented on television. Many of these uninformed members of the general public are like sponges. Will they read the words of “horse welfare advocate” Jim Gath where he states 90% of those in racing “love the horses”? Will those words of support for the racing industry – from an equine advocate, no less – paint a picture for the “racing naive” that things must not be that bad for the horses?…how COULD they be when 90% LOVE them! How will the uninformed compute the words of a racehorse welfare advocate when they exclaim their love for the “sport”? That is QUITE the question mark…how does one love the “sport” that consistently destroys the horses they love?
Words of support for a horseplayer, a bettor, hoping he has a great day of successful gambling at the track certainly have me wondering where the one who uttered those words places their loyalty. Every horse that steps onto the track is at an increased risk of injury or death simply due to the nature of the activity –“ they are putting their lives on the line”. Or as spoken by Dr. John Stick, world-renown equine orthopedic surgeon, in regards to horseracing, “Speed kills”. The bettors’ bank accounts are at risk – the horses’ lives are at risk. How about the gamblers go to the casino and utilize disposable playing cards, not disposable horses.
I, too, am realistic, Susan. Realistic in recognizing that horseracing, as a gambling industry, IS a business and the goal IS to make money, certainly to not lose it. Pit money versus the ultimate well-being of the non-consenting horse and I am realistic in acknowledging the need or want of money will win out. Horseracing exploits the horses. For entertainment. So their connections can have a job. What is there to love about that? And yes, fighting to eradicate the industry is the narrow and difficult path…I am realistic about that, as well. But every enslaved racehorse is worth the fight.
All I can say to you Joy- is keep working in your own way. Whatever one’s overarching philosophy there is enough work that needs to be done for all of us to keep on our paths. You and I will never agree on the underlying philosophy of why we work for horses, but the point is that we both keep working. I don’t have to agree with you to be happy for the horses that you get to safety.
Jim Gath trained horses for a living, He was an insider for many years.Now he runs an equine sanctuary where he takes in horses that come from everywhere who would have been meat if they hadn’t been found and taken in by Jim. His motivation may be different than yours but he gets up every morning at 4 am and tends to his horses.
Do what you do Joy and when you shut down racing I will be in awe. For now, in the present world , I will commend people who I believe do great work with horses in any discipline and call out those I know to be abusive and self-serving. And while I know you would never offer them up a word of affirmation, I know many horseplayers who give back to the horses that provide them with a living. They give a considerable portion of their winnings to OTTBS and equine retirement.
There are many industries that abuse horses, big pharma in particular.There are PMU mares and foals to be rescued. HRT therapy does not need to be made from mare’s urine. There are blood draw horses that are sent to slaughter the minute their usefulness has expired. There are experimental “procedures” being performed in research facilities that cripple and maim perfectly healthy horses that were unfortunate enough to be purchased by a heinous broker.
There’s a great deal that needs to be done. I for one, will keep writing and advocating for horses that are in peril, wherever I may find them.
Yes I agree and all of us who are involved need to be positive and do what we can to turn things around. There are many owners and trainers who care very much!!
Unbridled Danger, recently rescued, is a prime example of the mindset of this ugly game. He was about to start racing again at 10 yrs. old and with 113 starts !!! This is the tip of the ice berg at that level of the claiming game. And as was said : As his level of racing declined the frequency with which he raced increased !!
We know, at this point Unbridled Danger would either breakdown or wind up in the slaughter pipeline.
Unbridled’s story is all too common and most do not end in rescue. This business will never change as long as it exists. It is structured to depend on the claiming game and the abuse of the horse. Many of these so called trainers should be prosecuted for animal cruelty and that transcends all levels of the game. Further, many of these track vets. are a disgrace to their profession. The code of ethics is violated on a daily basis.
The level of abuse in this sport is mind boggling and an absolute disgrace.
Unbridled Danger is a hard knocking horse who miraculously didn’t end up getting listed in Patrick’s weekly casualty reports. The grey gelding was being abused through pure greed and ignorance. I’m sure he lives in pain everyday. Now he will at least live out his days at Arkindale, which is one of the most beautiful and accommodating rescues in the country. It will not make up for his pain or his 113 starts. However it is good to know that he will never be abused or in an insecure situation again.
“This business will never change as long as it exists”. ABSOLUTELY. THAT is reality.
Robert Young, owner and trainer of Unbridled Danger for several years, started the horse 22 times in one year and 18 times each of the following 2 years. The comments section more often than not said “tired” ! That poor horse started every 16 days, approximately, for 7 straight years. No wonder he was “tired” and more than likely sore. Now he is not even fit for light riding and it is a wonder he is even able to walk. Racing destroyed him !
My point is that this kind of abuse is perfectly acceptable in racing. It shows there are no rules concerning horse welfare. Nobody is looking out for the horse and that is wrong.
How right you are, Rose…the abuse Unbridled Danger endured was acceptable by the industry. He was Young’s “property”, was at Young’s mercy, and no one in the industry gave a damn. As far back as January of 2009, another rescuer and I were watching over him. Young was even offered 5K for UD which he turned down.
Think about where he once was…with Gary Contessa at Belmont, Saratoga…everyone all smiles and finding their excitement and joy in this “sport” they love. Now look where Unbridled Danger is.
You are absolutely correct, Susan… I cannot thank someone who fully supports a gambling industry that causes such extreme equine suffering and abuse. And yes, you and I will never agree, at least where it pertains to horseracing…you support it, I do not.
I will be in awe, as well, if/when racing is abolished. We (not just I, Susan) are fully aware of the tremendous obstacles, many of which come in the form of “friendly fire” – “racehorse advocates” who support the industry. Yet I am honored to be part of an assembly that will not compromise what they know is right for the horses, no matter how impossible the task appears. Until not ONE MORE racehorse is exploited, maimed, destroyed, disposed of, slaughtered…
Well Joy we have found a small patch of common ground. And there is enough work to go around that it takes many hands.
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