Bleeding Lungs, Snapped Bones, Failed Hearts, 7/28/14-8/3/14

A reminder: Virtually without exception, “broke down” is racing-speak for dead; “vanned off” translates to a better-than-even chance of same-day euthanasia or shortly thereafter.

Gimmeanotherwink, Finger Lakes 2, vanned off, subsequently confirmed dead
Howie Roll, Mountaineer 4, bled, vanned off
Father Johns Pride, Saratoga 7, broke down

Quorum, Finger Lakes 6, vanned off, subsequently confirmed dead
Cool Under Fire, Parx 8, confirmed dead

Intimate Storm, Charles Town 6, broke down
Noma, Evangeline 9, vanned off
Patinka, Presque Isle 3, broke down
Kings Tuesday, Presque Isle 3, fell, DNF
Casanova Kiddo, Presque Isle 3, fell, DNF
Felicidades, Thistledown 6, “returned bleeding from the nostrils”

Ann Accolade, Arlington 4, vanned off
Talk the Walk, Canterbury 5, “stopped badly in the stretch”
Serious, Del Mar 7, broke down
Jackpot Trick, Louisiana 6, vanned off
Hilarium, Prairie 1, bled

Golden Saturday, Charles Town 6, fell, DNF
Mr. Swagger, Ellis 2, vanned off
Baran’s Prospect, Ellis 6, bled, vanned off
Moment of Weakness, Emerald 4, vanned off
Vindiania, Indiana 5, bled, DNF
Ambassy, Los Alamitos 3, vanned off
My Orthodoc, Louisiana 4, vanned off
Implied, Monmouth 5, vanned off
Jewel in the Sky, Monmouth 10, “stumbled badly,” DNF
Blushin Babe, Ruidoso 2, vanned off

Chattering Gambler, Del Mar 3, “collapsed,” subsequently confirmed dead
Big Zapple, Delaware 6, fell at start, DNF
Markyour Territory, Fairmount 1, confirmed dead
Dashing Beauty, Los Alamitos 4, vanned off
Fly Above, Monmouth 1, vanned off
Mr. Ast, Penn 8, vanned off
Hombre De La Noche, Ruidoso 4, vanned off
Sir William Bruce, Saratoga 5, confirmed dead

Red Banks Reality, Ellis 4, vanned off
Makin Mo Love, Mountaineer 7, vanned off
Makim Shake, Ruidoso 6, bled, vanned off


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  1. We tried to buy Intimate Storm in April from the Frocks. She was only 5 and already raced over
    50 times. Last race bled heavily. Offered 2k for her to come to the Sanctuary. I am heartsick
    And full of guilt. She deserved so much better. Patrick, can you please confirm or not her death?
    Thank you for your tracking, it WILL make a difference.

    Gale Mott
    Second Chance a Equine Rescue and Sanctuary

    • Thank you, Gale. Charles Town (and Mountaineer) are very difficult tracks for confirmations. Usually, I’m referred to the WV State Vet, and they have not been returning my calls. In fact, I was told by one of the vets that they “know who I am,” and she was reluctant to disclose information. Yes, I am frequently stonewalled on these breakdowns, but for context, every time I have received an answer as to whether a “broke down” horse was euthanized, that answer has been yes. I have no doubt that Intimate Storm is dead.

    • Gale, yes, Intimate Storm deserved better. But the guilt regarding her suffering and likely death is not yours to bear. Thank you for trying to help her. And please know you are not alone in having racing connections turn down more than generous offers for their horses’ lives. They just don’t give a damn.

  2. This should debunk the proverbial “bad step” that so many racing “experts” are so fond of pulling from their bag of excuses.

    Dr. Rick Arthur, equine med. director for the CHB voiced concerns about the use of intra-articular joint injections. He noted per CA necropsy program “85 to 90% of all fatal injuries have pre-existing pathology at the site of the fatal injury”

    Who is surprised by this ?

  3. What a race that must have been for fans and spectators to see…a great day at the races at Presque Isle on July 30, race 3: “PATINKA broke down falling into KINGS TUESDAY which knocked into CASANOVA KIDDO causing her to fall.” Patinka, a 4 y/o filly – Kings Tuesday, a 7 y/o mare – and Casanova Kiddo, a 4 y/o filly…1000-pound horses slamming into each other and crashing to the dirt. What an afternoon of entertainment.

  4. I would like to know more about the makim shake horse that was vanned off? Bled from where, how and why?

  5. Thank you for bringing to the light the very dark side of this “sport”… And I use that term quit fascicously…

  6. I just wanted to say: I now own Mr. Swagger, as I adopted him through Canter USA. I don’t know what injury he was vanned off for, but his legs are nice and clean, he has no soundness issues, and he’s enjoying his life as a pleasure riding horse. He was not euthanized and enjoys being spoiled and rolling in the mud.

    • Thank you, Leslie, for giving Mr. Swagger a lifetime and loving home. He finally gets to be a horse and a beloved family member! – he’s incredibly fortunate. We know there are some from the casualties list that will be lucky to make it out of racing alive…and I thank you again for commenting about your fella. Best wishes to you and MS!

  7. I wanted to share this quote from an undated article entitled “Man Bites Horse,” which is an interview with Dr. Cook (THE Dr. Cook of the bitless bridle). This adds another weapon to our arsenal of abuse complaints about the treatment of racehorses.

    “In recent years, the problem of dorsal displacement of the soft palate has led, in Thoroughbred and Standardbred racing in the USA, to the adoption of what has become an item of harness. Grotesquely, in the hope of preventing a horse choking-on-the-bit, its tongue is strapped to its lower jaw.

    The mechanism whereby a bit can choke a racehorse is the same as that which serves to throttle or threaten to throttle a victim of waterboarding. The tortured victim’s throat is flooded with water, instilling in him the fear of sudden death by drowning or suffocation (from spasm of the voice box). Similarly, many a galloping horse has to breathe rapidly and deeply with its throat flooded with saliva and its airway collapsing. If its airway is only partially obstructed its lungs get bruised at every breath from the damaging suction pressure to which they are exposed. In a few cases, the tell-tale sign of this may be ‘bleeding’ at the nostrils but undisclosed damage to the lungs is that described in the medical literature as negative pressure pulmonary oedema (NPPO – find more information on the internet) and in the veterinary literature as exercise-induced pulmonary haemorrhage (EIPH). The horse may or may not make a gurgling noise like a death rattle but its performance will quickly be diminished. Some horses suffer a spasm of the voice box and die silently. The jockey would not report hearing any sign of respiratory distress. These incidents may be explained away by racetrack press releases as ‘sudden death from probable heart failure.’ Unaware that heart failure can be a sequel to suffocation, the general public are willing to accept this explanation as ‘just one of those things.’ In this way, adverse publicity is avoided, calls for change ignored and ‘business as usual’ continues.”

  8. Does anyone know if there is a rachorse currently racing without a bit.or is that even allowed.

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