Six NY Racehorses Have Simply “Collapsed and Died” This Spring

The NYS Gaming Commission recently added Fancy Pancy to its dead-racehorse database. Apparently, the 3-year-old died on May 24 at Finger Lakes. But up until yesterday, no cause was given. Now we know: “collapsed and died on track after workout – suspected cardio-vascular event.” For those keeping count, this makes three NY racehorses who simply “collapsed and died” in the past week:

Icprideicpower, May 29, FL, “catastrophic cardiac event” while training
Soul House, May 30, Belmont, “cardiovascular collapse” while racing

And six in less than two months:

Fashion Shark, April 9, Yonkers, “artery rupture” while racing
Lunar Tales, April 26, Belmont, “possible cardiovascular event” while training
Jay Bird, May 5, Saratoga, “possible cardiovascular event” while training

Not only were these horses supposedly supremely conditioned “athletes,” but they were also mere adolescents. In other words, something is terribly rotten in the Empire State. Problem is, the perfunctory appendage “investigation continues” means nothing – a hollow device meant to placate the few of us who actually read the database. No answers are forthcoming because beyond their monetary value to their people, these horses – racehorses – simply do not matter. Not in life, not in death. As I wrote in “The Inevitability of Dead Racehorses”:

“There is no real accountability because this core relationship [owner/owned] precludes real accountability. Neither the industry nor our society will ever, could ever, seriously punish a property owner for crimes against his property. Again, to say differently is pure folly.”

Something to ponder while waiting for the next horse to fall.


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  1. Ok, so why are there no necropsy’s being done on these anlmals? Or do we just report it and all sit back and say “Awe poor things”. Some one needs to held liable, don’t you think?????

    • Of course, Pam, someone needs to be responsible but this is the racing industry where keeping the dirty secrets behind closed doors is the method of operation. Babies dropping dead of cardiovascular events and yet no one questions these deaths. I have said for a long time that racing is sinister and corrupt and this is a perfect example. I guess all the babblers that are trying to “clean up” racing are failing miserably. By the way, horses are NOT born with cardiovascular disease. Could it be the many drugs that are pumped into these animals? Hmmmm….

      • Yes, Mary, nobody questions their deaths because nobody in racing wants to know why these horses are just dropping dead. Of course, many in the business have a good idea of what is going on. Decent people would demand that these horses be tested for drugs, at a minimum. The fact that this is not done tells me there are no decent people in this business, period.

  2. Racing has been getting away with murder right from the beginning, only now it is more transparent than many years ago.

    Years ago, they had the public completely fooled, but now with the advent of the internet and camera phones, the atrocities, breakdowns, and deaths, are instantly shared and viewed. It is all coming to light, all their dirty secrets hidden from the public. It is very plausible that these poor babies that collapsed and died were drugged. Necropsies should be ordered in all deaths, regardless of the manner in which they died.

    Of course the racing industry will never order necropsies to be performed, because then they would have to admit their guilt. Improving the health and welfare of each TB is not on the racing agenda. They want to continue to abuse, mistreat, over race, use up, and then discard their athletes when they have drained every ounce of strength from them. To them the TB is just a commodity, not a living, breathing, being.

    The racing industry has been getting away with murder since its inception, and all we can do is continue to fight for every TB by informing the public as to what is going on. Change will come once the voices become too loud to be ignored.

    Marlene Thornley

  3. I had a 4yo Arabian colt drop dead in his paddock. A necropsy showed he had ruptured a mesenteric vein. No evidence of worm damage or other injury to explain it. He was not raced, not being stressfully trained for the show ring, just a young horse playing in his paddock. This stuff happens occasionally , not just on the race track.

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