Another Horse – Hugh Knew – Dies at Santa Anita

A day after Sea John’s Spirit perished at Santa Anita, another horse fell at that venerable California track. In yesterday’s 3rd, 4-year-old Hugh Knew broke down and, according to the DRF, was euthanized for her injuries. Her people: Gary Stevens, Eddie Truman, Roger Featherston, Tom Miller, Gary Wood, Louis Giordano, Alex Venneri, Marjorie Dye, et al.


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  1. Santa Anita is a dangerous, and unsafe track in my opinion. Del Mar is just as bad. Yet the death trap is allowed to continue because as long as they can rake in the profits they can handle the casualties. Patrick, it was another typical race day at Woodbine today. Since I no longer watch races it was a friend that Texted me to tell me that it was a death day at Woodbine in Ontario Canada today. In the 2nd Race Revello broke down, and was vanned-off. I was told by reliable sources that all Premier Racetracks such as Woodbine van off horses now instead of putting them down in front of the crowd, and today was the Canadian Oaks so this would be a big day of attendance for Woodbine. I’ve yet to determine whether Revello was euthanized, but it’s public information and should be in the ORC Reports. I have no desire to call the ORC since most racing commissions are merely management extensions of the racetrack CEO’s as opposed to neutral organization as they should be. This comment is based directly in my experience with the ORC. Anyways, it gets worse. Today in Race 9 which was the Plate Trial 2 horses banged into each other resulting in definitely 1 death because the horse was euthanized on the track and my friend who was there (who texted me) said that you could hear the snap of the horses leg breaking. She said it was horrific, and they couldn’t load the horse into the trailer to put it to death in the Stable area outside of public view. The 2 horses involved were R U Watchingbud and Danzig Moon. Not sure which was was euthanized, but the other was vanned-off. FYI, Equibase actually didn’t report the incident accurately, and in fact completely eliminated the incident in the detailed portion of their reporting, but it does show in the Order of Finish. This horrific incident is commonplace on many racetracks throughout North America. Sadly, the racehorse pays with its life. There’s nothing glamorous about death and dying whether it’s on the racetrack or in the slaughterhouse where many end up. This is horse racing.

  2. Here’s follow-up to my previous comment. This is copied and pasted from Woodbine Notes found on the WEG Website: Race favourite Danzig Moon suffered an injury to his right-hind leg going into the far turn. Jockey Julien Leparoux pulled up the son of Malibu Moon immediately, but was also run into by trailer R U Watchingbud, who fell as well, tossing his rider, Emma-Jayne Wilson. Danzig Moon was humanely euthanized. Leparoux, Wilson and R U Watchingbud were unhurt.
    Horse Racing is just another fatality waiting to happen, and this industry hasn’t changed in years despite the advances in technology, and veterinarian medicine. It’s just death, and dying. This is horse racing.

    • I saw this tragedy reported on the PR earlier tonight. It just makes me sick. The 2015 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes contender Danzig Moon was raced four times before he even reached his third birthday and was raced another four times after that. The chart notes; “Danzig Moon, pulling hard up close to the leader, broke down behind late backstretch, backed up quickly and collided with R U Watchingbud, was euthanized and vanned off.” PICTURE THAT, APOLOGISTS.

      (Danzig Moon’s trainer, Mark Casse, was quoted in the Blood-Horse after the breakdown and death of his horse Conquest Two Step two months ago; “They’re [the horses] family members.” WHO can lose TWO family members in just TWO MONTHS in a job of their choosing and continue in that line of work?)

  3. I despise this killing industry with each new injury and/or death – which is every day.

    Your life and your death mattered to us, Hugh Knew. We won’t turn away from the constant killing.

  4. For Hugh Knew
    Dear Hugh Knew, your death woke me up and educated me on the evils of horse racing! It must stop NOW!!

    But for you, I would still be going to the Santa Anita horse races, contributing to the death, dying, cruelty, and ultimate greed that permeates throughout the horse racing industry.

    Your power, grace, and stride your last racing day on earth captured me and an entire audience for an amazing short moment in time as you darted out of the starting gate and then raced ahead so many lengths ahead of your mates. You looked like a SUPERSTAR!!!

    Then, out of nowhere, you disappeared from the race, as if you had just vanished into thin air. I jumped out of my seat and immediately asked the elderly woman seated next to me what happened. She told me the horse must have “broke down.”

    New to horse racing (just this year), I responded with, “What does that mean?” The lady must have seen the confusion and fear in my eyes and was kind enough to spare me the worst. She said, “The horse may have just stopped or stepped in a hole on the turf and fell or something.” I asked if the horse would be okay and she replied, “They may have to put her down.” I thought I was going to throw up. So naive and uneducated I was. Nothing was said by any authority or rep of Santa Anita, of course, and no one around me even seemed to care or even know what really happened.

    As soon as I got home that day, I looked for your status everywhere on social media and only found one snippet pronouncing you “deceased.” Tears welled up in my eyes and I began to cry. I couldn’t stop crying for hours — like a child.

    I began to internet research horse racing in general and one thing led to another. What I discovered engulfed me into non-stop tears, guilt, and shame. The more I read the more I cried and felt physically sick. I felt so much shame for all the bets I had placed this year and the bet I had on you that day to win!

    Then fury set in! I wanted to rip my ticket up immediately and then I thought no! I shall hold on to this ticket forever as a daily reminder to become part of the solution to ending this evil.

    Hugh Knew, your life mattered to me and I will never forget you or that beautiful stride! What a wonderful filly you were and I will fight to win the freedom to run – not race!!! April C. Montgomery

    • I am so sorry you had to go through this April but glad that you now know what really goes on with these horses. It is generous of you to share your story which is not only personal but candid and genuinely told and it is very much appreciated.

    • I saw this race on TV. Hugh Knew was flying, literally. She was beautiful and eager. My heart skipped when I saw her breakdown. The announcers (it was TVG) said they’d update the viewers on her condition but they never did. I was sick to find out they euthanized her.

    • Dear April, May I have your permission to put your email on Facebook with a “for the public” post? Or would you please post it yourself?
      I’ve never known about ANY of these cruelties in my life, and my dad was a heavy better in the 50s & 60s which I’m sure were worse than now.
      My naivete’ is shameful, but from now on I hope to be a loud voice for, as you said, “fight to win the freedom to run – not race.”

      • Hi Karen,

        Thank you for your comment to my personal witness of “Hugh Knew’s” death. You have permission to use every bit of my comment to advocate for the horses’ rights! Just put my name and email to it so I can give people my information and sources. My Facebook page is coming! I’ll let you know when it’s up.

        There is so much more to come in terms of my fight. The California Horse Racing Board is as corrupt and greedy as the rest of them in the industry but the pressure to regulate (and ultimately end this slaughter) will mount if I have anything to do with it.

        Be a voice in whatever capacity you can. If there is anyone you know that lives in California that wants to join me in the fight for horses to run – not race, send them my way.

        Here’s a teaser for the information I’m about to educate the public (in many forms by the way):
        Your $2 bet guarantees humans:
        Career Earnings: Bob Baffert – $222,984,413/Victor Espinoza – $178,031,124 Owner – Zayat Stables, LLC – $44,426,928 (source: Equibase). Your $2 bet also guarantees horse whipping, horse drugging, and horse death (break downs). Do you really think these people give a damn about these horses? It’s greed and they must sacrifice the horse to cash in! So much more to come…April

      • Fantastic work April and Karen!!! You are amazing advocates for the racehorse. A thousand thank you/s to you both.

    • There is a heaven for horses. No one can look at a animal so beautiful and perfect in every way and deny the existence of God. Rest assured that animal is in a peaceful place.

  5. The important thing, is that you can make a difference. Every letter to Santa Anita, every letter to the California Horse Racing Board, every letter anywhere makes people realize that these animals are not expendable. The important thing is to step in and make a difference to any animal that needs our help. Thoroughbreds are just one of many breeds and species that is raised for someone else’s profit. Publicizing, rescuing, saving are what are needed.

    • Agreed W. They can never deny receiving electronic letters and it is a constant reminder to them that they have a serious problem with animal welfare. The horses, the industry’s “prized assets” and “product” are on public display every day of the week, the great majority racing with pre-existing injuries, their bodies overraced and sore and many not up to the task whilst being beaten with whips when seriously fatigued.

  6. April Montgomery’s research, sourced from Equibase, reveals the obscene amounts of money American Pharoah’s trainer, BOB BAFFERT, jockey VICTOR ESPINOZA and owner ZAYAT STABLES, have pocketed from the miserable lives of racehorses. I read in the media recently that Bob Baffert donated $50,000 to a retired famous racehorses’ home where a small number (Ferdinand absent) of racing’s elite big prizemoney earners live and are no doubt afflicted with arthritis and not free of pain. And of course such a home is a public relations exercise for the racing industry to appear to be looking after horses post racing, giving the impression that racehorses are cared for when they’re no longer of any use.
    These elite famous horses suffered being beaten with whips when seriously fatigued; many overraced; many suffered injuries; many raced with pre-existing injuries; confined to stables about 23 hours a day in a box depriving them of contact with another equine and breathing stale dusty air which often causes respiratory problems for them; other health, behavioural and psychological problems which they endured during their “careers”; and last but not least, the sinister injecting of drugs (both legal and illegal) into their beautiful bodies.

    Bob Baffert – $222,984,413
    Victor Espinoza – $178,031,124
    Zayat Stables, LLC – $44,426,928

  7. The obscene amount of money is why the “sport” allows the Silver Fox, better known as Bob Baffert, carte blanche. It is sickning, to say the least. In this corrupt business, integrity and horse welfare are of no concern.

    I do not grudge American Pharoah his crown, although it does not matter to the horse, but it is a different story for his connections, Baffert, Zayat, and, of course, Espinoza.

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