The Names of 23 Dead Athletes at Delta Downs

Through a “Public Records Act” request, I have confirmed the following 23 deaths at Louisiana’s Delta Downs in 2014 (note: the Commission did not forward training deaths, so this list is far from complete):

3-year-old Doughtie Cash, January 4, Delta 2, “displaced, multiple fractures”
chart said finished fine

6-year-old Practice Squad, January 8, Delta 2, “displaced fracture”
chart said “pulled up, vanned off”

3-year-old Stout Heart, January 8, Delta 4, “slab fracture, head laceration”
chart said finished fine

2-year-old Casey Lynn, January 9, Delta 1, “open, displaced fracture”
chart said “bad step, euthanized”

3-year-old Battle Silk, January 9, Delta 9, “multiple fracture”
chart said “pulled up in distress, euthanized”

3-year-old Salesman, February 19, Delta 8, “fracture”
chart said “stumbled, vanned off”

9-year-old Bluehard, February 27, Delta 2, “failure/rupture fetlock”
chart said “pulled up, vanned off”

5-year-old Museum Tour, February 27, Delta 4, “trauma, sudden death”
chart said “fell”/DNF

2-year-old Zoomin to the Moon, April 26, Delta 7, “comminuted compound fracture”
chart said “down at wire, vanned off”

2-year-old Vaquero Guapo, May 1, Delta 5, “compound fracture”
chart said “fell, vanned off”

2-year-old Cashininafantasy, May 2, Delta 4, “compound fracture”
chart said “bad step, vanned off”

3-year-old Bb Cc Quik Wagon, May 24, Delta 7, “sudden death”
chart said “lost rider, vanned off”

2-year-old Who Dat Bug, May 30, unknown cause

2-year-old Heza Streakin Flyer, June 21, Delta 1, “fracture”
chart said “vanned off”

2-year-old Jumpn Streaker, June 21, Delta 2, “compound fracture”
chart said “vanned off”

3-year-old Toomers Oaks, June 27, Delta 9, “compound fracture”
chart said “lost rider, vanned off”

3-year-old Second Down Patriot, June 28, Delta 2, “sudden death”
chart said “lost rider, vanned off”

5-year-old Royal Dash Special, July 2, Delta 10, “trauma – unknown extent”
chart said “lost rider, vanned off”

2-year-old Sheza Freak, October 17, Delta 7, “open compound fracture”
chart said “pulled up in distress, euthanized”

5-year-old Salty Forecast, October 24, Delta 8, “fracture”
chart said “pulled up, vanned off”

2-year-old Bald Charm, November 25, Delta 5, “fracture”
chart said “fell, vanned off”

3-year-old Precocious Kitty, December 3, Delta 8, “fracture”
chart said “pulled up, euthanized”

5-year-old My Debit Card, December 22, Delta 2, “fracture”
chart said “pulled up, vanned off”

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Of the 22 racing deaths, 18 were initially reported (on the official track charts) as either finishing without incident or as merely being “vanned off”; only 4 were reported dead. They deceive, folks, because they have to – dead horses are bad for business, and business can’t afford much more bad.

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  1. Racing insiders and supporters…how MANY horses must DIE before you admit their deaths are Just. Simply. Wrong?!? What does it take for this unnecessary suffering to end?

  2. The laws need to be changed and all those abusing horses should be charged criminally.

    03.27.2015 | 12:33pm From Paulick Report

    (Editor’s Note: The Paulick Report has learned the Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission is expected to revoke the horse racing licenses of each veterinarian named in the indictments.)

    Four Veterinarians Hit With Criminal Charges Over Pre-Race Drug Administrations

    The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that criminal charges were filed late yesterday in U.S. District Court in Harrisburg against four veterinarians involved in treating Thoroughbred race horses at Penn National Race Track, in Grantville, Penn.

    According to U.S. Attorney Peter Smith, Dr. Kevin Brophy, age 60, Florida, Dr. Fernando Motta, age 44, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Dr. Christopher Korte, age 43, Pueblo, Colorado, and Dr. Renee Nodine, age 52, Annville, are each charged in separate Criminal Informations.

    Each defendant is charged with allegedly administering drugs to thoroughbred race horses within 24 hours of when the horse was entered to race. This conduct was in violation of the state criminal law prohibiting the rigging of publicly exhibited contests; the administering of the drugs was not pursuant to a valid prescription and constituted misbranding of the prescription animal drugs in violation of federal law. The alleged activity took place at various times beginning as early as 1986 and continuing up to August 2014.

    According to the charges, trainers allegedly placed orders for drugs and the defendants, after administering the drugs, backdated the billing records to avoid detection. The defendants allegedly submitted false veterinarian treatment reports to the State Horse Racing Commission, omitting from those reports any reference to the drugs administered to horses at the track on race day. The filing of these reports and the backdating of billing records were, allegedly, to further the conspiracy by concealing the illegal activity. These acts had the potential to defraud other owners and trainers whose horses were entered in the same race and defrauded the betting public as well.

    The maximum penalty in these cases under the federal statute is 2 years imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a $200,000 fine.

    • Kathleen,

      These vets should be put away for at least 10 years, 2 years is just not a severe enough penalty. $200,000.00 is steep enough, and should set them back, however, they should permanently lose their vet license. Lock them up and throw away the key!!! They are a great contributing factor as to why these horses are breaking down, and dying. They need to set an example, and show every track vet that they are fully accountable for their negligent actions, and that it won’t be tolerated. Getting rid of all the abusive vets and trainers is a good start to clean house. It’s time for Spring cleaning, start rounding them up!! The horses will definitely benefit.
      Marlene Thornley

  3. I’m “betting” there will not be one supporter of racing to answer your question, Joy.
    And while hundreds of horses are killed every year at the tracks the powers that be are coming up with “acceptable levels” of cobalt for the horse !! This is an outrage and just shows the corruption and collusion at every level. NO HORSE SHOULD BE GIVEN COBALT, PERIOD.

    Meanwhile, 4 vets are being charged in Pennsylvania with drugging horses. This is a very sick business and the only cure is to shut it down !!!!

    • Rose…I saw that, too, on the PR about the RMTC approving cobalt thresholds. From Rick Arthur; “The recommended thresholds provide generous allowances for vitamin and mineral supplementation…”. Now whenever there’s an overage, the trainer will simply claim his horse got into the vitamin stash. And it will be business as usual.

      When speaking of cobalt, I think again of the charges brought against vet Ross Russell and his words that cobalt “makes them run like beasts for 2 or 3 races but then they’re done”. I honestly think that’s what he and his dad (owner/trainer Randy Russell) gave to Cabriolass. I had never even heard of cobalt use in racehorses back when we took in the injured Cabriolass, but considering how he ran for the Russell’s on a broken knee, it all makes sense now.

    • Oh yes, Rose, forgot to mention…one of the four Penn vets being criminally charged – Kevin Brophy – was the vet I dealt with when Mary and I rescued Slade from trainer John Grace at Penn. In my last conversation with Brophy, the day before we had Slade transported from the track to Mary’s, I asked him to give the injured Slade bute for the trip. He refused. Yet he’s got no problem illegally drugging horses before races.

      Every single one of those losers should have their licenses revoked and never be allowed near a horse again.

      • Amen, Joy! I wonder what the pro-racing apologists will have to say about this situation. However, for those naive folks who actually still believe that racing can be “cleaned up”, I sincerely hope that this incident will bring them out of the enchanted forest into the real world. Racing is rotten to the core, plain and simple. I think it was Susan who suggested that racing needs to be dismantled and re-built from the ground up. Racing certainly needs to be dismantled, but not re-built!

      • Joy, you are right. These veterinarians should lose their licenses. I hope that will happen. The one good thing is that these cases are now out of the control of racing. Any good prosecutor can make the case for license revocation under many of the rules of practice.

        For Brophy, I like to think of it as Slade’s revenge !

      • “Slade’s revenge”…I love that, Rose. Mary and I shed many, many tears over the ABUSE and PAIN he suffered in the name of entertainment…I’ll never forget the day Mary stood by him when he was finally released from his pain….we felt very alone. One thing we fiercely desire is for others to KNOW horses like Slade and Cabriolass and Winds of Love and Celtic Trick and the countless others that died in the name of entertainment once shared this earth with us. They lived, used by the industry…they died, because of the industry. We want people to know their names and to know they didn’t deserve what the racing industry did to them. You’re not forgotten, Slade.

  4. 40 years ago I loved going to the track. Breakdowns were very uncommon. I haven’t been to a track in many many years (since I watched Ruffian breakdown).
    I place a good amount of blame for all these breakdowns on breeding practices (the most used bloodlines are all known to have soundness issues) and the fact that rather than having the millionaire Whitneys and Melons (the sport of kings) owning racing empires for the love of horses we now have people with no knowledge or experience with horses trying to make money in racing.
    The joke “How do you become a millionaire in the horse business? Start as a billionaire” is true. It is the rare horse like American Pharoah who will make owners wealthy.
    Wish we could go back to when more people were in it for the love of horses not profits.

  5. The key to the corruption, drugs, and abuse is the Interstate Horse Racing Act of 1978.

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