How, in 2015, Do We Justify This?

The following horses were casualties on American racetracks last week:

Belmont Park
Wonder Brew – carted away by ambulance
Forensic – “took a bad step bobbing heavily,” DNF

Belterra Park
Silver Miner – carted away by ambulance
Necessary Party – “stopped badly”
Rollin Away Baby – “stopped badly”
Isadella – “pulled up in distress,” carted away by ambulance
Dealin Don – carted away by ambulance

California State Fair
Italian Harmony – carted away by ambulance
Bob Is Back – carted away by ambulance

Canterbury Park
Iza B Special – carted away by ambulance
Take a Risk – carted away by ambulance

Charles Town Races
Seeking a Diva – carted away by ambulance

Delaware Park
U So Wild – “broke down” (racing-speak for dead)

Ellis Park
Arch Angel – carted away by ambulance
Aussie Fury – carted away by ambulance

Emerald Downs
Decatur Princess – carted away by ambulance
Echo Zulu – carted away by ambulance

Fairmount Park
Diablo Mabee – “returned bleeding from the nostrils”
Cherokee Mate – “pulled up in distress,” carted away by ambulance

Gulfstream Park
Lloyd Harbor – carted away by ambulance, subsequently confirmed dead
Nocturnal Q – “fell over fallen rival”
Bellefire – carted away by ambulance
World Class Kitten – carted away by ambulance

Hazel Park
Shes a Evilwarrior – “broke down” (racing-speak for dead)

Indiana Grand
Hartmans Komet – carted away by ambulance
Fixated – “fell after crossing the wire,” carted away by ambulance
Bourbon N Lime – carted away by ambulance
Cowgirl Rose – carted away by ambulance

Laurel Park
Sweet Destiny – “returned bleeding”

Les Bois Park
Wanna Be Fierce – “wiped out after start”

Los Alamitos Race Course
Entitled to Ivory – carted away by ambulance

Louisiana Downs
Portfolio Mission – carted away by ambulance

Monmouth Park
Lay It Down – carted away by ambulance

Slot Machine – “took a bad step” – subsequently confirmed dead

Parx Racing
Cortado – “broke down, humanely euthanized”
Yellow Mountain – carted away by ambulance
Fantastic Voyage – “pulled up in obvious distress,” carted away by ambulance
So Outspoken – “fell over the sixth jump”

Penn National
Tastefully Simple – carted away by ambulance
Prep Proud – carted away by ambulance

Presque Isle Downs
Holy Royal – “broke down” (racing-speak for dead)

Ruidoso Downs
Perty Impressive – carted away by ambulance
JB Concern – “went wrong,” carted away by ambulance
Gallant Version – carted away by ambulance
Eros Corona N Chicks – carted away by ambulance
Lunar Storm – carted away by ambulance
Attila’s Payoff – carted away by ambulance

ThistleDown Racino
Kabuffnick – “fell”
Hustle Hard – “returned bleeding from the nostrils”

(source: Equibase)

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  1. As I commented on this post on the HW FB page, we – the racehorse advocates – don’t justify the abuse and exploitation, the maiming and deaths. It’s the horse racing advocates that justify it…they must just constantly look the other way.

  2. Deplorable! And no amount of legislation to limit drugs will change a thing because in the words of an equine orthopedic surgeon “Speed kills”. Horses were never meant to gallop at speeds demanded of them in racing, in a tight circle, beaten to continue whether tired or not. The only thing close to it is the terror of the wild Mustangs as they are chased by helicopters and that too ends in injury and death and is totally unnatural. Most of the drugs are given AFTER they are injured so reducing or eliminating drugs will not stop the maiming and death of race horses. That any living creature is used as a gambling device is unconscionable in a civilized society.

  3. Those in the business justify what they do to the horses by to saying “they love to run , that’s what they’re bred for”. In reality, the horse is forced to run whether they want to or not and the whip helps !!

    Racing cripples horses and kills them because, as Jo Anne said, horses were never meant to gallop at speeds demanded of them. These animals are pushed to the limit and beyond and only the very tough survive.

  4. one bit of good news in 2015


    Danza, last year’s impressive Arkansas Derby (G1) winner and troubled third-place finisher in the Kentucky Derby (G1), has been retired from racing and will stand the 2016 breeding season at B. Wayne Hughes’ Spendthrift Farm, where he’ll be the newest participant in the Share The Upside Program.

      • Agreed, Joy. Now Danza can be bred to 150 mares a year in order to produce revenue and MORE horses will be brought onto this earth. Of course, anyone who understands basic math knows that we already have too many horses with nowhere to go. No, this isn’t “good news” unless you want to say that the “good news” is that Danza made it out of racing alive.

      • I agree, Joy. And not only will the horse be exploited in the breeding shed here, it is possible he will be sent to Brazil for their season. The “business” is solely about greed. Also, some of the stallions sent to Brazil are injured and die there and others, like Put it Back, just stay there.

    • Let me be more precise in my point. With all the death and injuries taking place on the racetrack it is good news that this horse is Not dead or injured.

      To me it is Good News that DANZA made it out Alive without some crippling injury.

      Anytime a horse is retired from racing is good news to me.

  5. Kathleen, thank you for the update on Vander Gelder. He is one of the lucky ones. He was thrown away by the business and saved from a horrific end by “outsiders” who work so hard to give these unfortunates a chance to live.

    I wonder how these people can justify selling Vander Gelder and all the others for a few measly dollars to these kill buyers knowing the suffering and terror the horses face.

  6. I feel sick to my stomach knowing that poor guy was sold to a kill buyer in the first place. So glad he is safe now…. but I wish the others could be as well. I don’t understand humans sometimes.

  7. Speaking of 2015

    I hope these Individuals all GO TO JAIL

    Following an extensive investigation by the Louisiana State Police Gaming Enforcement Division, three Louisiana jockeys have been arrested and charged for their roles in an alleged RACE FIXING SCHEME

    As a result of the investigation, Troopers arrested 46 year old Joseph Patin Jr. of Opelousas, 51 year old Billy Patin of Opelousas, and 24 year old LeSean Conyers of Lafayette on charges of Willful Pulling of the Reins and Cheating and Swindling.

    From Pauilck Report July 23rd

    • They are in deep trouble , I am sure there will be federal charges , especially on Patin .

      • The only thing unusual about this is that these guys have been arrested and charged !!!

        Racing is a corrupt gambling business, period.

    • This is going on every day on racetracks all over North America. The corruption is rampant and I directly experienced it as an Owner/Trainer for years. There are 2 main reasons why this is allowed to continue. One, the horse racing industry police themselves. No oversight from any outside organizations. For example, the drug testing process is completely flawed. There is unequivocally no doubt in my mind that corruption prevails in the entire drug testing process. The only way to curtail this is to pass the Horse Racing Act whereby the USADA has complete control. I know that such Trainers like Bob Baffert, Todd Pletcher, Steve Assmussen, Etc. will have completely different Win results if this happens. The most disturbing component of this vast corruption is the racehorse because they are innocent victims in this entire equation. They are used as gambling pawns just like Poker Chips only the Poker Chips are not breathing, feeling, living beings. Here’s how I think it works. The wagering outlets like TVG, Xpressbet buys a Trainer. By that I mean the Trainer is merely a paid pawn for the wagering outlet. That means the racehorse will be doped to win AND doped to lose in order to pay-off the wagering outlets. For example, a favourite going off at 2:1 that has millions riding on it can be doped down & tranquillized to make sure it loses. The wagering outlet keeps the money wagered on it, plus can dope up a longshot and keep that money as well. The Trainer is handsomely rewarded while the racehorse keeps its mouth shut. The honest Trainers, like mysel, fills races for them. These corrupt Trainers,when caught, always get the high paid Attorneys to avoid suspensions. Where in the hell are they getting the money from when 90% of Trainers are starving?? The wagering companies probably cut deals with these Trainers to provide legal counsel when caught doping, but by then they’ve made so much money off fixing bets that it doesn’t matter. The direct result of this is a trail of broken bones, and dead horses. There is a huge power struggle going on right now in the horse racing industry: TVG vs Xpressbet. Xpressbet owned & operated by Frank Stronach led Magna Entertainment AKA Adena Springs who owns Santa Anita in California is vying to monopolize in California. They are putting intense pressure on the CHRB in order to accomplish this. The same results will probably occur because the racehorses will be gambling pawns to pay-off bets not unlike now. Two, jockeys are pawns as well as racehorses who are “held back,” to pay-off bets. For those of you who don’t know what holding a horse back is this is when a jockey uses a severe bit and/or pulls back severely inside the horses mouth to slow it down so it doesn’t win. Not only does this cause physical ailments like torn tendons, breakdowns etc. but it can break a horses spirit. It’s horrific. I can go on and on about the dirty world of horse racing. In every single scenario it’s the racehorse who pays the price. They pay with their lives from cradle to grave. This is horse racing.

      • Number 1 , wagering company’s , such as TVG do not buy trainers. Number 2 , the odds
        On horses change right up to the seconds before the starting gates open. Number 3 , the jockies do not choose the bit being used on the horse , and also if you will notice the vast majority run in simple snaffle bits. All things a trainer would know. Oh and in case you missed it Santa Anita no longer exists .

  8. Frank Stronach’s Magna International Inc. purchased Santa Anita Park in December of 1998. The Stronach Group now owns the track privately, in addition to Golden Gate Fields in Albany, Calif., Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla., Laurel Park in Laurel, Md., Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Md., and Portland Meadows in Portland, Ore., as well as other racing related facilities. . Hardly a monopoly in Cali. Considering how many tracks there are at least 12.

  9. Well of course the jockey does not choose the bit! What the jockey does choose to do is pull hard and yank on the bit which causes pain in the horse’s mouth. The horse is going at fast speed and out of the blue his mouth and head are severely interferred with by his rider, the horse doesn’t have brakes (it is a living creature – not a motor bike) horse cannot immediately stop his momentum, we’re talking about a 450-500 kg animal here. This cruel mistreatment causes the horse to be confused and off balance by suddenly being pulled out of his pace/rhythm (can’t imagine what must go through his mind) and consequently, the horse often suffers an injury and sometimes a breakdown. As Gina says, it breaks their spirit alright! I’ve seen trainers use cruel bits on their horses, it is common enough. Some horses for their whole “careers”, or should I say enslavement, are forced to race in cruel bits and the vets on duty and racing officials just turn a blind eye. Jockeys also pull up horses by going easy on the whipping and not taking a run when the option is staring them in the face – it is so obvious. And then in the Stewards’ room “Oh, I didn’t take the run because the horse wasn’t going as well as expected” ….. oh yeah. And when a jockey is to win at all costs, he will sometimes knock the whip out of a rival jockey’s hand, he will sometimes whip the face/head of the rival horse, he will elbow another jockey aggressively, they do all sorts of things. And then in the Stewards’ room “it was accidental, sir”.

    Race fixing is rife in the horseracing industry and has been going on for decades and decades. I remember a certain owner was keen to sell one of his horses to Hong Kong but the horse needed to win a particular race. How was it done? Each jockey in the race was paid off…… and the overseas connections paid an absolute fortune for the horse.

    And in the meantime these voiceless noble horses suffer pain both physically and psychologically day in, day out. And many are dying in excruciating pain on and off the tracks. The industry dismisses this indisputable fact by saying “how very sad, loved him/her like a member of the family, owners/connections devastated” oh please!

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