Aqueduct Death Toll Rises to 20

9-year-old Italian Rules’ 40th time under the whip on January 9th at Aqueduct was also his last as the Gaming Commission announced today that he was euthanized for a “torn suspensory.” He is the second horse to die in that race (Apex) and third on that Aqueduct day (Channel of Love). (It is also the second time this meet that Aqueduct has lost two horses in the same race.) The chart notes: “ITALIAN RULES…sluggish early, had the rider place him to a protective hold, took a bad step…was pulled up and subsequently vanned off.” Trainer, Naipaul Chatterpaul.

20 horses have been killed at Aqueduct since Halloween:

5-year-old Summer Sunset, Oct 31, race 2 (fractured leg)
4-year-old Jesses Giant Dunk, Oct 31, race 3 (ruptured ligament)
4-year-old Knockher Off, Nov 12, race 5 (neck trauma)
9-year-old Cherokee Artist, Nov 28, race 6 (fractured leg)
4-year-old Princes On Thelake, Dec 3, race 5 (fractured cannon)
3-year-old Warrior’s Hero, Dec 4, race 3 (fractured carpus)
5-year-old Half Nelson, Dec 5, race 8 (fractured shoulder)
7-year-old Quick Money, Dec 5, race 8 (neck trauma)
5-year-old Sage Valley, Dec 10, race 8 (apparent cardiac arrest)
5-year-old Ludo Bagman, Dec 11, race 1 (fractured sesamoids)
4-year-old Celebrate We Will, Dec 26, race 1 (fractured leg)
5-year-old Wicked Irish, Dec 27, race 2 (undisclosed leg trauma)
2-year-old Golden Bay, Jan 2, race 6 (fractured leg)
5-year-old Shewreckstheplace, Jan 4, race 5 (fractured sesamoids)
2-year-old Channel of Love, Jan 9, training (fractured leg)
4-year-old Apex, Jan 9, race 2 (fractured leg or ankle)
9-year-old Italian Rules, Jan 9, race 2 (torn suspensory)
4-year-old You Take the Cake, Jan 15, race 2 (fractured neck)
3-year-old Senso, Jan 18, training (fractured pelvis)
3-year-old Miss Macarena, Jan 22, race 1 (fractured leg)

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  1. Absolutely sickening. I’m at a loss for words. I’m enraged. Racing apologists!…you who support this KILLING yet come here to HW and SPEW your BS!!…what do you think of THIS?!?! TWENTY DEAD HORSES IN LESS THAN THREE MONTHS! You run your mouths about what a great “sport” this is…how the horses – your “athletes” – just LOVE to race…how there are such great people in this industry…HOW MANY HAVE TO DIE before you acknowledge their suffering and your IGNORANCE and blatant DENIAL? I’m so angry…this equine suffering is completely unnecessary. Unbelievable…unbelievable.

    • I must agree with Joy, Carolyn and Mary on everything that they said and of course everything Patrick has said as well on this forum..

      As mentioned before, I watched HRTV on Saturday because I was worried about a horse named “Tough Sunday” as they were considering racing him even though he had born deaf and blind and he was injured on Wednesday and could not bear to have his shoe on. (Three days before the 1/24/14 race they had entered him into). the money was 150,000 so they raced him even though he was injured and they risked killing him. He broke badly and came in last. I think it is a miracle he did not die with the injury he had.

      The only thing I can add is that i personally was completely stunned at the carnival atmosphere by the racetrack
      announcers and the way they talked about these horses and the way they fawned over the trainers and jockeys and anyone their team on the ground could shove their microphone in front of. It was all about the gambling and the money and not the welfare of the horses.

      Claiming race after claiming race after claiming race flew by on Saturday and I watched in horror as they beat these horses repeatedly to force them to run faster.

      Before This past Saturday, The only other time I saw an actual horse race was in the movie “the Black Stallion”
      and Seabiscuit and I think that Seabuscuit was drugged too, if I am not mistaken.

      Sad but true, I had no idea this murder and abuse was going on at the race track until 2014..

  2. MURDERED! Playing Russian roulette with these animals is barbaric and must stop.
    They call it a sport, where’s the sportsmanship in horse racing? The answer to that is that it just doesn’t exist – it is a blood sport that’s what it is. Italian Rules was “sluggish early” yes psychologically ruined, no spirit and his body also ruined by racing and was obviously not up to the task ahead of him, forced upon him. What did he have to look forward to when he jumped out of the gates? Physical and mental stress, knowing his body was not well enough to gallop in a race, being abusively ridden by a cur, flogged with a whip held in the hand of that cur and fearful of injury or death (after 40 starts this horse would’ve had plenty of adverse racing experiences). Italian Rules “took a bad step” the same tired old excuse blaming the horse for his death!
    The blame lies with the owner, trainer, jockey, the vets, Aqueduct Race Club and the racing administrators/authorities who authorize and condone this cruel blood sport. Each and every one of you have blood on your hands and must be held accountable.
    As Patrick pointed out, THREE horses died (Italian Rules, Apex and Channel of Love) at that meeting at Aqueduct on 9 January 2015.
    while humans bet money on them to win and party on!

    • Carolyn, I agree with you as to where the blame lies in regards to the carnage on the tracks. However, you missed one group….the bettors. Those that know about the atrocities in horseracing, and still bet on the horses, are complicit in their deaths.

      • Mary,

        From what I saw Saturday, people are betting from their homes now so all television networks who televise this cruel blood sport including HRTV – all day Saturday and Sunday are just as guilty in terms of blame as they feed the addiction to gambling and spread the lie far and wide that these horses love to run..

    • Carolyn,

      IN addition to everyone that you and Mary have named, the announcers at the race track that host different shows also need to held accountable. Some of them are completely despicable.

      It is staggering to listen to the way they talk about these horses with so little respect and concern. they watch them as they get beat with a whip race after race and they shut down their hearts to the abuse they are seeing with their own eyes.

      Many of these announcers are also gambling on the horses.

      One owner (Mike Pegram) that buys horses for the trainer Bob Baffert to train was interviewed for 30 minutes on an HRTV show called “Across the Board” and he said that he got into racing at 9 years old for the gambling. Not for the horses.

      Tonight, I watched a show called “The Edge” the main host, whose name was Kurt Hoover at Santa Anita was especially disrespectful.

      Kurt was talking about Golden Gate – Race #9 a $3200 claiming race being held on Saturday Feb. 14th..

      Kurt said the following about the race in a condescending and arrogant tone:

      “Not a good race”

      “These horses have not won two races in 2014 or 2015.”

      these horses are “the bottom of the barrel”

      Kurt Hoover is a despicable person.

      These Magnificent horses are just babies and possibly hurt and drugged and being forced to race anyway and he is calling them “the bottom of the barrel”

      They would never treat athletes that do not win with such disrespect but those that do not win in races are often sent to their death in slaughterhouses.

      I believe that There is returning karma and that these people that abuse horses through their words and through their actions will be held accountable some day for every thought, word and deed that comes from them and that is hurting these precious horses.

      Every one of these horses is precious. It does not matter if they win races or not. They all deserve love and kindness and respect.

  3. Enough with the meaningless meetings. Shut the slaughterhouse down !! That is the only way to stop the creeps from killing these horses.

  4. Aqueduct racetrack should be shut down. These 20 throughbreds died needlessly. There is something inherently wrong with the surface. It is like running on concrete. Shut it down before another precious throughbred breaks down. Doesn’t anyone care about these beautiful, creatures? This is well beyond cruelty. The more people that voice their outrage to Govenor Cuomo, and demand its closing, the better off we will be. These poor babies are giving their lives for what. It needs to end.

    Marlene Thornley

  5. Recently in the Thoroughbred Daily News, in his Letter to the Editor, racehorse breeder/owner/trainer David Powell (France) states:

    “In the debate about the number of fatal breakdowns at Aqueduct, I am struck by the ommision of…the obvious major cause: that these horses are running on a powerful anagelsic, phenylbutazone, and don’t feel the pain — nature’s warning signal when an injury occurs — in time to save themselves.”

    He goes on to say: “We have created…a noble breed of peaceful warriors who will perform above the call of duty, and they are already prone to enough injuries due to their courage and devotion, without depriving them of the ability to actually feel the damage they are doing to themselves.”

    Appalling…in so many ways.

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