Horseracing Casualties, 7/7/14-7/13/14

A reminder: Virtually all of the “broke down” and most of the “vanned off” are killed.

Princess Marcela, Delaware, race 5, vanned off

Ill Be Honest, Parx, race 9, fell, DNF
Star Lookout, Parx, race 9, fell, DNF
Easter Glory, Parx, race 9, fell, DNF

Primmensity, Mountaineer, race 1, vanned off
Coffee Man, Mountaineer, race 2, vanned off
Back Talking, Mountaineer, race 5, broke down
Miss Aisle Band, Penn, race 8, vanned off
Kissnatalie, Presque Isle, race 7, “stopped badly in the stretch”

Cool Cat Tale, Belmont, race 7, “hit the near side stall at the start tossing his head,” DNF
Grand Pro, Belterra, race 8, vanned off
Taps Lady, Charles Town, race 9, vanned off
Our Deputy Express, Delaware, race 2, confirmed dead
Integratee, Delta, race 10, “stumbled badly,” DNF
Lynn’s Image, Gulfstream, race 2, “faltered when she bled”
Hip Ninety Three, Lone Star, race 3, “stumbled badly,” DNF
Dark Timbers, Los Alamitos, race 3, vanned off

Apollyon, Belterra, race 8, vanned off
Storm Off, Ellis, race 8, vanned off
One Survivor, Evangeline, race 5, vanned off
Equal Parts, Indiana, race 8, vanned off
Shesalittlelady, Lone Star, race 4, fell, DNF
Call Me Big E, Louisiana, race 7, vanned off
Go Go Giovanni Go, Thistledown, race 5, bled

Chief Barker, Arlington, race 9, vanned off
Lone Star Sizzler, Evangeline, race 7, broke down
Princess Reyana, Finger Lakes, race 8, “hit the rail,” DNF
Brother Kevin, Los Alamitos, race 6, vanned off
Chewies Atthe Cosino, Retama, race 3, bled
Shug’s Spirit, Ruidoso, race 5, vanned off

Music Maid, Belmont, race 2, broke down
War Prince, Emerald, race 1, vanned off
Ruler of the Tribe, Emerald, race 5, vanned off
Ivalreadygone, Los Alamitos (Q), race 5, vanned off
Best Ransom, Los Alamitos (T), race 4, vanned off
Blazin Flyer, Ruidoso, race 2, vanned off

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  1. 07/13/2014 Trainer Chuck Treece, owner Pacific Coast Thoroughbreds. Horse, 5YO gelding Best Ransom (8 starts 0-2-0, earnings $5,769) WENT WRONG AND VANNED OFF after the 4th race, a $20K CLM. This one made his start as a 3YO running 7th out of seven in a $52K MSW at Hollywood on 05/25/2012. *DID NOT RUN AGAIN FOR NINETEEN MONTHS, first start off the long layup on 01/02/2014… he ran 5th, 5th, 8th, 6th, 2nd out of four (another one in the five-horse field DNF) on 06/07/2014 in an $8.2K MDN for 3YOs and up (chart says the race was 870 yards for Quarter Horses, but Best Ransom is a TB, so I’m mystified), *THREE WEEKS LATER, he ran 1st in the same type of race on 06/29/2014, *THREE WEEKS LATER he went wrong and was vanned off… there is no such thing as a sound 5YO maiden with only eight starts under its girth. Sorry world, but such horses do not exist, not at this level. On the North Dakota fair circuit, perhaps. In SoCal, no way… ONE DIED THIS WEEK AT LOS AL—Best Ransom is not on the vet list—BEST RANSOM IS PROBABLY DEAD. Thoroughbreds at Los Alamitos.

      • Patrick, à toi je dis « Merci mille fois. » A zillion thanks to you. You can see by my profile photo (that’s me headed for the track on one of my papa’s horses a very, very long time ago when I was maybe a 16YO) that I grew up in this game. Comparing what racing was back then to what it is now? There’s almost no resemblance.

        When I was a child, yeah, trainers would try the next new (and hopefully undetectable) thing to hop ’em or stop ’em… but nobody trained on all the stuff we’ve got today. When bute became legal, they told us that the stuff was as harmless as aspirin. Early on (1972) it hit me that “they” LIED — I figured out the lie when a 6YO gelding I regularly galloped was getting bute every day (not a breakdown candidate, he’d been radiographed & this was back when we had to haul them to the clinic for x-rays) (he had thin soles and chronically sore feet despite Forshings packed into his feet every day)…

        Anyhow, out of the blue, the gelding’s mouth was hard as iron. He’d always been an easy horse to ride, had the softest, sweetest mouth like a dressage horse instead of a racehorse. This memory is as clear as if it happened yesterday: I stopped on the shedrow still in the saddle and thought, “WTF? If this bute has given this kind horse such a hard mouth, how am I supposed to tell if he’s off somewhere? What is this bute going to do to our horses if it numbs the slight discomfort of the bit, then what about the beginning of a real problem? How will I be able to tell if there’s anything wrong underneath me?” The answer was, obviously, that there’s no way for the rider to tell when a horse is slightly off if it’s training on bute… I’m talking about the kind of “off” a decent rider can feel long before they eye can see, long before there’s any heat in the joint. That was 40 years ago… and all the research between then and now has proven that my cold chills that day (a feeling of dire foreboding, no exaggeration) were… what’s the English word? Whatever — research has shown that I was right to be afraid of bute for more reasons than its ability to mask pain.

        You can PM me on FB if you have any answers, but WHY ARE ALL THESE HORSEMEN WILLING TO BLEET LIKE SHEEP AND FILL THEIR HORSES WITH DRUGS WHICH LEAD TO (STEALING FROM JOE DRAPE) DEATH AND DISARRAY AT AMERICA’S RACETRACKS? There are a few trainers left who don’t train on bute and clenbuterol and other garbage juice, and is it an accident that the only fatalities they see are true accidents — the same kind of accidents which can happen to a horse in a pasture or a barn at the farm?

        Not long ago, I talked to a trainer who had a horse break down at Laurel in 2013.

        I’d gotten my hands on the state veterinarian necropsy records for several who were euthanized due to racing injuries at Laurel that year, and the reports included the confidentials. The trainer (see below), yeah, he’s the nicest guy in the world. The gelding who broke down was racing with a screw in its ankle, but the trainer saw no need for radiographs before every race. He told me he thought amicar was “great stuff” … amicar which (a) has been proven to have zero beneficial effect on EIPH; and (b) has been proven to cause microscopic clots which can lodge anywhere in a horse’s small blood vessels and lead to everything from systemic organ failure to founder. WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE?

        And the worst part is that this trainer, he is far from the worst of them:

        02/28/2013 Trainer-owner Jay P. Bernardini. Horse, 5YO bay gelding Billy Chapel (28 starts, 8-3-7, earnings $130,750) broke down entering the turn during a $22K ALW, suffered multiple fractures to the right front sesamoids, per the track vet’s notes, a “severe” injury which was “open” (bones broke through skin)… EUTHANIZED. *Had been claimed from Jonathan Maldonado on 11/29/2012—after the claim, Bernardini ran the gelding 12/29/2012, 01/10/2013, 01/25/2013, 02/14/2013 and the death race two weeks later on 02/28/2013. *The gelding’s confidentials indicated that its vets administered *VITAMINS and *LIVER IRON [ no idea what “liver iron” is nor why a healthy horse would need it ] on 02/10/2013—*GENTOCIN on 02/11/2013—*GENTOCIN, *2 NAQUASONE PACKS DISPENSED on 02/12/2013—*IV BUTE, *IV ELECTORLYTES, *MULTIPLE VITAMINS and *LIVER IRON, *AZIUM POWDER DISPENSED, *GENTOCIN, *IV LACTOSE, *IV METHCARBAMOL, *IV B1 on 02/13/2013—*LASIX, *CMPK, *CALCIUM, *DOUBLE DOSE OF AMICAR, *TRANSAMANIC ACID, *ADEQUAN, *EQVALAN PASTE [wormer] on 02/14/2013—*VITAMINS, *LIVER IRON on 02/23/2013—*GENTOCIN, *NAQUASONE DISPENSED, *ADEQUAN on 02/26/2013—*IV BUTE, *METHOCARBAMOL INJECTION, *AZIUM PACK DISPENSED, *GLYCOPYROLATE INJECTION, *ELECTROLYTE INJECTION, *LIVER IRON, *LACTINASE INJCTION on 02/27/2013—race-day *LASIX, *CMPK, *CALCIUM INJECTION, *DOUBLE DOSE OF AMICAR, *TRANSAMANIC ACID, *ELECTROYLTE PASTE. From the state vet’s report: “Dr. Ferris, Dr. Sivick and Dr. Harmening all stated that the horse was sound, no problems that they knew of. Never tapped or Shock Waved to their knowledge… Dr. Zipf [track vet] stated he was told by Maldonado THAT THE HORSE HAD A SCREW IN HIS ANKLE [emphasis added]. Mr. Maldonado told Dr. Zipf he was told about the screw by Dale Capuano when he [Maldonado] claimed the horse.” *EXCUSE ME? The gelding’s vets say it had “no problems that they knew of” yet they gave it all those drugs—and having a FRICKIN’ SCREW IN ITS ANKLE WASN’T WORTH MENTIONING? Remember: the vet reports (confidentials) tell us only what drugs the vets gave to this poor beast, not what drugs its trainers administered on a routine basis—and remember that the dead gelding most likely went through a similar regimen almost constantly given the fact that Bernardini, previous trainer Maldonado (two outs in November of 2012, three starts in October of 2012, etc.) and prior trainer Dale Capuano (two starts in May, two in June) raced it heavily *AGAIN, REMEMBER: The official vet records do not reflect any additional medications various trainers gave this gelding (bute, clenbuterol and methocarbamol being the three staples) as part of its normal regimen through the years. Dead at Laurel.

        P.S. One of Bernardini’s grooms told me it was the jockey’s fault this gelding broke down…

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