Del Mar’s 15th Victim: Magic Beam

7-year-old Magic Beam, a mostly career claimer, was killed while training this morning at Del Mar. Yes, Del Mar. For those who’ve lost count, that’s 15 dead where the turf meets the surf. Most recent “connections”: trainer Kristin Mulhall, owner Twilight Racing.

The Del Mar 15:

4-year-old Corlett Drive, July 13, training
4-year-old Kokaltash, July 17, race 5
2-year-old Mont Saint Michel, July 24th, found dead in stall
3-year-old Dance With Fate, July 24, training
4-year-old Yes She’s Unusual, July 25, race 6
5-year-old Longview Drive, July 25, race 7
5-year-old Lil Swiss Echo, July 26, race 5
3-year-old J Kat, July 26, race 9
2-year-old Chilled Mousse, July 27, training
3-year-old Chattering Gambler, August 2, race 3
3-year-old Steppingood, August 13, race 8
4-year-old Serious, August 14, from July 31 race 7
3-year-old Bayview Drive, August 16, race 10
2-year-old Little Tower, August 22, race 3
7-year-old Magic Beam, August 24, training

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  1. This is so very sad :( I grieve for these horses. Now, for all of those defenders of the sport of horseracing that may or may not throw a virtual punch in the gut at me – well, is this a normal occurrence during a race season? 15 deaths in a little over a month at one track? This is horseracing????

  2. “where the turf meets the surf.”

    part of the power of your writings, Pat. familiar phrases in shocking surroundings.

  3. Appalling. And I can only imagine the nervous murmurs of how to explain away these fifteen deaths.

    • Exactly, Joy! And I too am awaiting the justification and explanation of these 15 deaths. What? I don’t hear it!

  4. For anyone who wants to see a list of the drugs they train on, please feel free to visit my Facebook page. It’s public. I’ve been keeping a database since forever, starting with copying news from the DRF into my diary when I was a ‘tite fille. My firm belief (backed by substantial science) is that the incredible array of harmful drugs which modern trainers use is the main cause of so much “death and disarray” (to borrow a phrase from Joe Drape). When I was une gamine, yes, trainers might try to hop a horse on race day, but they always got caught… AND they didn’t kill horses via gradual wearing down of tissue and bone. Lame horses went home and got turned out. As God is my witness, in my 50 years in the business, I never had one break down. Never had one end its career unable to be very happy as a jumper, hunter, pleasure horse, trail horse, school horse, dressage horse. NEVER. The filly in my profile photo here? Oats, hay and water. She won a good bit, and then she wasn’t happy at the track. so we took her to the farm. She is now competing successfully at the Preliminary level in eventing. Sound as the day she first put a foot on the track. Oats, hay and water. It’s so simple, but try to find a mega-barn who believe in the old ways. I’m glad I’ve retired (at least for now). What’s happening at every track in the country was gonna get me life in prison. To wit, I was fixin’ to go after one particular trainer and impale him on a flaming pitchfork… he’s still out there running a big barn, too. Ruled off by the JC, unwelcome in Texas, so he’s in another jurisdiction running horses into bone dust. But I digress: the overwhelming majority of these tragedies could’ve been avoided. The science and the statistics stand behind my words. Fever than 5% of all catastrophic injuries were unforeseeable (in that 5%, you will find clipped heels and a fall, a horse who panics and bolts into the rail, a horse who kicks so hard in the starting gate that he gives himself a hair fracture in a hind leg — Barbaro is the best example — which becomes catastrophic three jumps into the race. LESS THAN 5% OF ALL RACETRACK FATALITIES ARE UNFORSEEABLE AND UNPREVENTABLE. I daresay this is about the same number you’d see if you looked at large groups of horses running in pastures, freaking out on the washrack, etc. Anyhow… I know that many people here hate all racing, and I understand, wouldn’t be writing this otherwise. Me, I hate what racing has become and blame (a) the cult of the mega-trainer; (b) drugs; (c) modern training methods, primarily the greed for early speed and lust for bullet works, (yo, Baffert, wus up?); (d) drugs; and (e) drugs.

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