Four More Break Down Yesterday

Four horses broke down on American tracks yesterday – all, most likely dead.

2-year-old Bayou Banker in the 11th at Fair Grounds

4-year-old Onemoreatwilsons in the 9th at Golden Gate

4-year-old Saratoga Woods in the 4th at Parx

And, 3-year-old Can’thandletheheat (under whip for first time) in the 9th at Mahoning

In reading Equibase’s account of this race, I couldn’t help but imagine some future, considerably more enlightened, society shaking its collective head in utter disbelief, wondering how we, the current one, could have possibly countenanced the whipping, maiming, and killing of animals for gambling:

THRIVING IN CHAOS jumped over CAN’THANDLETHEHEAT when that one broke down…won under brisk handling. HOT PROSPECT jumped over a stricken rival…finished second best. NOT MUCH CAUSE was bumped hard by a loose horse being forced into the rail. RACING TO THE SLEW fell over CAN’THANDLETHEHEAT when that one broke down. BRISTOL’S BROTHER was struck by rival in distress…then colliding with NO MUCH CAUSE along the rail. HEZA TAILWIND was struck hard by CAN’THANDLETHEHEAT. CAN’THANDLETHEHEAT broke down…then struck rivals while rebounding off the dirt causing a chain reaction of collisions. (“Replays,” Sa 12, race 9) – breakdown, :38 mark; slow-motion replay of “brisk handling,” 3:00 mark

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  1. Where are the “heartbroken” messages about these “athletes” from the industry spokespersons? Oh, that’s right…Can’thandletheheat is not Shared Belief. But hey, Jay Hovdey, what’s the status of your justification?…are you paying attention?

  2. Every time I see a horse go down, I almost can feel his pain, it is heartbreaking. I am so sick of seeing all these breakdowns. Magnificent creatures sent out on God knows what drugs, what pre-existing injuries they may be suffering from, forced to race for their lives, and 4 more dead in the dirt for nothing. If this isn’t animal abuse, I don’t know what is. How can any normal person justify this?

    They are living, breathing, creatures whose lives matter. They do not deserve to die in the dirt, what for someone’s $2. bet. Sick….They are not put on this earth to be enslaved exploited, and abused, and if lucky enough to survive, if they are not productive, they end up with a bolt to the brain, or some other disgusting, inhumane method to murder them.

    As far as I am concerned, this is sheer murder. The TB doesn’t stand a chance from the day they are born. I encourage all of those on this site to keep fighting hard for them, one day they will be free…

    For those of you who bet on this race, your $2. bet just cost 4 defenseless animals their lives, and before they died they suffered, because of you. You should hang your head in shame….R.I.P. babies….

    Marlene Thornley

  3. CAN’THANDLETHEHEAT – this 3 year old colt had his first race start on Saturday at Hollywood Mahoning Valley but it was his last because he DIED. On watching the video it appeared that his jockey rode him hard at the start taking him to the lead and ridden at fast speed. It beggars belief that these horses are confined and stationary in the gates and then the jockeys go hell for leather at breakneck speed within seconds. Many a horse has broken his pelvis due to the stress on jumping out fast. There’s no gradually increasing the speed for the sake of the horse. The stress placed on these horses is unacceptable. It disgusts me that it was this young colt’s very FIRST START and there was absolutely no consideration in that regard, no nursing him along midfield and giving him a chance to cope with what was being asked of him and making a move as the race progressed. What a shocking way to ride this horse given it was his first start – inexcusable.
    It was a sickening incident but the callous racecaller described it as a rider being “unseated”. He desisted from saying what really happened. As terrible as it was, the description by appears to be fairly accurate. These horses dying this way is barbaric. People participating in racing watch and support it KNOWING that a horse is likely to break down and die in the dirt.
    Any person defending horseracing is utterly devoid of compassion or ethic.

    PS the jockey riding the horse coming last looked as though he’d lost an iron, riding with body upright, however, he still managed to beat this horse with a whip when it had no chance of improving its position. Unbelievable!

  4. Here’s another one for you. Could not find out what exactly happened to this horse.
    GULFSTREAM PARK YESTERDAY SUNDAY DECEMBER 13, 2015 PLEASE LOOK AT RACE 7. EQUIBASE RESULTS. The last 3 racehorses DID NOT FINISH the race, and all had to be “EASED.” This was for 2 year old fillies ALLOWANCE race. When closely examined these 2 year old fillies were being raced even before their bones closed!!! Can you imagine that????? I’m outraged. Totally, and completely outraged!! Most of them already had 3 starts in them dating back to late early fall so technically they were racing at 1.5 years old!!!
    For those of you who don’t know the Jockey Club makes all racehorse birthdays on January 1 of each year. So if a horse was born in May it gets 4 months of aging on it according to entries and racing. So the horse technically is much younger, but is presented as an older horse. Another horse lesson 101. Some of you may think that 4 months is nothing to focus on – it is EVERYTHING. Those months can make a difference between joints closing, bones maturing, and mental maturation as well. It would be like making a baby run in track and field or similar to this. In other words, these horses are not physically and/or mentally ready to take on the brutal physical requirements of a racehorse, but yet they are forced to run. This industry is despicable. For example, the horse that finished last in the race LEGS LIKE BETTY was in training at about 1 years old, was galloping at 1.5 years old, and barely 2 years old at her first work on 10/18/2015! Can you believe this??? This is outrageous. She had 4 starts by the time she was barely 2 years old.
    Yesterday, LEGS LIKE BETTY had enough, went crazy, didn’t want to load into the starting gate, but bets were placed on her, the show must go on, the money must flow into the wagering windows. After all who cares about yet another 2 year old filly? In the gate she went. The gates opened, and she went crazy running into the rail, breaking 6 ribs of top jockey Prado. What happened to LEGS LIKE BETTY? Your guess is as good as mine. Inquiries to Gulfstream were unanswered. Nobody knows. Patrick, I’m not sure if the Florida Racing Commission has mandatory reporting rules. We need to find out what happened.
    Trainer Josie Caroll, a Woodbine based female Trailer is part of the “I care about my horses club.” Haven’t we all heard this time and again? I witnessed a previous racehorse of hers (2004) come back bleeding profusely from every single head orifice it had. She just laughed, and shrugged it off. She wasn’t like this when she started. I know a very close groom of hers that no longer works for her. She said she was a very caring Trainer when she first started, and then she watched her steadily decline into the industry. Declining meaning she became indifferent to horses breaking down in her care as she climbed the top of the Trainer ladder.
    Like I’ve always maintained a Trainer reaches a fork in the road. You either become part of the exploitation or you leave. There’s no other way. I left.

  5. From the daily racing form: Legs Like Betty ran off, first over the outer turf, then onto the main track, before finally being caught. She appeared to escape the incident without serious injuries.

  6. This is awful, Gina. I watched the replay and LEGS LIKE BETTY collided very heavily. Of course there’s no disclosure of her refusal to go into the gates and of course they don’t show that footage do they!? This baby was screaming out “I can’t do this” she knows how her body is feeling, not these idiots that have “stewardship” of her.

    POOR LITTLE GIRL trying to communicate her despair and no one listened to her! Yes folks, this is how they treat these horses in racing. Where I am, I have researched the behaviour of the racehorse and the number of times a horse has behaved as LLB did, that come to grief either on the day or later in their “careers” is sad.

    And once again the racecaller says horse “unseated its rider” absolutely no mention that this 2 year old filly was in a distressed state before she went into the gates but was forced to race and then collided heavily with the rail and no mention as to her condition…… I do hope she’s okay. The fact that she took off after the incident does not necessarily mean that she didn’t suffer an injury. She must’ve been so frightened.

      • Kelly, LLB may have escaped serious injuries. However, she highly likely suffered some bruising/abrasions/grazing. She also suffered panic and distress when refusing to go into the gates. Then she suffered trauma when she crashed heavily into the rail. Why did she not want to participate in the race? Well, her behaviour clearly evidenced that the race ahead of her was threatening her welfare – she knew that, having had previous starts. Crashing into the rail was an attempt to escape the environment and head back to her stall. Having worked in the industry I’ve witnessed many such incidents. My research/data on racehorse behaviour both pre and post race confirms my view of LLB’s incident. In fact LLB was very lucky not to have suffered serious injuries or death because I have numerous examples of horses who were not lucky. One horse crashed into the rail like LLB and then attempted to hurdle it and broke one of its forelegs.

        Along with the other two 2 year old fillies who did not finish, it was blatantly obvious that these horses displayed immaturity and inability to cope with horseracing. The simple fact is that at this young age horses should be out gallivanting in a pasture as the babies they are while they mature, not subjected to the stress and trauma of a too fast too early training/racing program. Quick return on investment is clearly the only thing most owners and the racing industry care about, not the horses themselves.

    • Carolyn, the refusal of a horse to go into the gate is industry orchestrated. What I may see as a refusal of a horse the industry may see it as just nervousness, anxiety or something like that. They rarely state it as “refusal to go into the gate.” They sometimes state it as “stubborn to load,” or whatever other rhetoric they come up with. I’ve seen horses whipped into the gate, and they never make mention that the horse was tough to load. So what I interpret as a horse not willingly loading is not necessarily seen on camera when, in fact, it’s shown on camera. It’s all up to interpretation. Of course the horse can’t talk, but they talk with their body language, and LEGS LIKE BETTY (in my view) is just another ruined 2 year old.
      It’s awfully coincidental that when incidents like this happen, the horse wins the next time out, and then the industry can say “look you were all wrong.” There’s no doubt in my mind that the majority of horse races in North America are well-organized. I often refer to it as an “organized drug den.” Nobody can prove me wrong nobody can prove me right because the industry is self-regulating with little outside, neutral oversight especially when it comes to the doping. Just look at their track record! The majority of top Trainers are multiple drug violators, and they are still training so one can conclude that they will continue to dope as seen on the PETA undercover video of top Trainer Steve Asmussen’s barn. It clearly shows horses being given drugs to mask pain, and as performance enhancers. So what does this have to do with the racehorse? Everything.
      When a racehorse is given drugs to reduce chronic issues the possibility of catastrophic breakdowns goes way up exponentially.
      If they were to get an outside, independent doping organization like USADA to collect, test, and regulate the doping aspect of the industry it’s very possible that the outcome of races would be completely different then they are now with the majority of top Trainers not getting the win averages that they currently have.
      It would probably reduce breakdowns because many of the pain masking drugs would be detected, unlike now, as they claim. Of course there is no way of proving otherwise because they control this entire entity of horse racing which is the very basis of integrity, and puts racehorses at grave risk.

  7. Well since the daily racing form is financed by the horse racing industry it’s hardly a neutral reporter in any matter regarding injuries of racehorses. In fact, time, and time again, this blog run by Patrick had to file Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Requests in order to receive information regarding racehorses on racetracks. I know that the laws governing FOIA vary from state to state with some states not even legally required (Kentucky) to release any of this information to the public. Of course this is outrageous and unconstitutional. It has never been challenged. At least Patrick is making head way. When these reports are filed, and when and if they are answered, it exposes the horrific world of horse racing whereby many racehorses who are reported with “no serious injuries,” “eased,” “walked-off,” “vanned-Off” are as good as dead.
    So Kelly, if you want to believe the pro-horse racing publications go ahead. I don’t. Of course I hope that the horse is okay, but that doesn’t preclude the fact that 2 year old horses shouldn’t be raced. This is all part of the exploitation.
    Then there are the Trainers. The Trainers and Owners that we on this website are fully aware of. They all say they care about their horses. I have asked them what they mean about this. Most times I’m told they are given the best of care. The best of care meaning some good oats, hay, a stall, and some wraps. WOW. Guess what? That’s basic care for any horse, for any horse owner to carry out. Yet, the industry uses this as a monopoly that they care about their horses. Seriously? Do they really think that horse lovers are that stupid?
    I know one thing. Most horse owners don’t run their horses at 2 years old, most horse owners don’t use them to exploit them for profit, and most owners won’t dump them at a kill auction to rid themselves of the responsibility of horse ownership.
    The horse racing industry is a trail of broken dreams for Trainers, Owners, and the racehorse who pays the ultimate price. It ruins lives. It exploits the lives of racehorses, and human alike. In my view, it’s a horrific business, and I can’t find one reason to support it -,not one.
    I don’t know if it will happen in my lifetime, but I sincerely hope that every racetrack in North America is shut down. Shut down this torture circus that they call horse racing.

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