Through a FOIA request to the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, I have confirmed the following 45 deaths on or at Florida tracks in the second half of 2015 (previously posted: first quarter, second quarter).
4-year-old Patty and Nooche, July 4, Gulfstream, training
3-year-old Soal, July 4, Gulfstream 10 (euthanized July 13)
3-year-old La Camorra, July 10, Gulfstream W, training (being prepped for first race)
2-year-old Arch/Orinoquia (probably sic), July 13, Gulfstream, training
3-year-old Successful Diva, July 30, Gulfstream 4
4-year-old Neutron, August 2, Gulfstream, training (being prepped for first race)
6-year-old Charlie in Charge, August 8, Gulfstream 6
3-year-old Kismet, August 17, Gulfstream, training
3-year-old Stephanie’s Dream, August 21, Gulfstream 5
2-year-old One Lucky Shot, August 22, Gulfstream, training (being prepped for first race)
3-year-old Trending Topic, September 19, Gulfstream 2
3-year-old Elite Flyer, September 23, Gulfstream, training
3-year-old Blue Saphire, September 27, Gulfstream 1 (euthanized September 30)
2-year-old Iron in the Fire, October 1, Gulfstream, training
2-year-old Kodiak Kate, October 10, Gulfstream, training
“Location of deceased animal: horse pit”
4-year-old Smoke Police, October 18, Gulfstream W 1
2-year-old Wholelotanews, November 2, Gulfstream, training
2-year-old Road Cat, November 7, Gulfstream, training (being prepped for first race)
6-year-old Keystone Wyatt, November 16, Pompano
“Removed by Lowe’s Horse Rendering”
4-year-old Norastone, November 17, Gulfstream, training
3-year-old Second Prediction, November 24, Tampa Bay, training
4-year-old Hengist, November 25, Gulfstream, training
2-year-old Skip the Romance, November 27, Gulfstream W, training
5-year-old Pro Gold, November 27, Gulfstream W 10
2-year-old Carta Magna, November 28, Gulfstream W 11 (first ever race)
3-year-old Jo Jo Cool, November 28, Tampa Bay 3
2-year-old Frankie’s Kitten, November 29, Gulfstream, training (being prepped for first race)
3-year-old Gabby’s Warrior, December 4, Tampa Bay 4
6-year-old Sir Cypress Bend, December 18, Pompano, training
5-year-old Otoole Hero, December 19, Hialeah, training
4-year-old Dreaming of Andy A, December 20, Tampa Bay 3
2-year-old unnamed, December 21, Tampa Bay, training
6-year-old Loverbil, December 27, Gulfstream W, training
2-year-old Susies Yankee Girl, December 31, Gulfstream, training
2-year-old Proven Worthy, July 1, Gulfstream
“foundered” (coming off first race)
3-year-old Touchdown Kitten, August 11, Gulfstream
9-year-old Burt’s a Stitch, September 2, Gulfstream
“Location of deceased animal: horse pit”
5-year-old Squall King, September 7, Gulfstream
7-year-old Pinafra, October 14, Gulfstream W
“colic 4 am” (61 career races)
5-year-old Wild Billum, November 19, Tampa Bay
“pneumonia – shipped sick from Mama’s Park”
6-year-old Tip N Go, December 2, Pompano
2-year-old Dover to Calais, December 13, Palm Meadows TC (FL)
“colic” (yet to be raced)
Hoz Simply Dashin (probably sic), December 18, Hialeah
“between midnight and 7 am”
JM Frickle Eagle (probably sic), December 27, Hialeah
3-year-old Rock Song, December 30, Pompano
“kidney failure” (last raced December 20)
The first horse on the list was Patty and Nooche, trained by the same trainer that trained my filly Zanuche, who died two weeks earlier and was trained by the same trainer. Supposedly, my filly was sick, but the necropsy revealed that she bled to death from her lungs, from being swam in the pool too long, and then left in the stall overnight, still bleeding. It is very ugly, Patrick and thank you for all the hard work, it changed me, I no longer can even watch a horse race. Kim
Thank you, Kim. This comment is ever so heartening.
Kim…I am so sorry about your Zanuche. I looked her up and see she was a chestnut, a Florida-bred born in 2011…and she never even raced. It makes me absolutely sick to think about her death – a young filly, her life snuffed out so horribly. I also see that her trainer, Jason DaCosta, is making quite a name for himself. Sickening, as well. They get away with murder.
Kim, thank you for commenting. I remember we had several phone conversations about Zanuche but I had forgotten about her since I have so much on my plate. I still have your number so I will call you to follow-up.
Kim, thanks for your comment. Swimming a racehorse is one of the most abusive things that I have ever witnessed. They are FORCED to swim. Many don’t want to swim. I’ve witnessed them drown, and die. It’s horrific yet the industry touts it as a “therapeutic” process.
Another horrific form of “therapeutic” abuse is the water treadmill. I’ve seen trainers put a racehorse on a treadmill, and it comes out worse. Moreover, if the racehorse doesn’t walk it will either drown or get caught in the treadmill. I’ve seen this happen as well.
All in the name of horse racing. What a disgusting, sick business it is.
You are so right Gina, they are FORCED to swim. At the track where I worked a trainer sent a young kid with a horse for a swim out to the dam on the premises. High risk for starters because it’s stagnant, never cleaned out and broken glass was once found in it. The horse could not swim at all and drowned and this poor kid who was inexperienced was there on his own and too far away for anyone to hear his cries for help. It amazes me that so many in this equine industry don’t know that it is a fact that not all horses can swim. I visited an old timer trainer recently and he took me up to have a look at the swimming pool the track had built. We were watching a handler yelling at the horse who was afraid to go in but he got through it and I could see that it was stressful for him. I was shocked at the design of this pool, it was small and was like a square horseshoe shape and I can see a frightened horse with no confidence in swimming, panicking and injuring itself. Trainer said “I’m just waiting for the first horse to die in this”. At another track a notorious trainer (a former jockey) was forcing a baby not yet 2, an unraced filly, into a pool for the first time, she was afraid and refused but he persisted. A handler advised him to leave it until she got some confidence but no, he got a stock whip out and belted into her and this went on for a considerable length of time. Handler contacted other workers and a trainer who came on the scene and told him to stop it, but he wouldn’t. In her effort to get away she slipped on the edge of the pool and broke her leg/died. It was reported and all he got was a small fine. In my experience, very rarely are incidents like this reported and it only occurs when others in the industry are so outraged by the cruelty to the animal.
The only time I’ve ever seen racehorses benefit from “swimming” is when they’re taken to the beach, they have riders on them, in a group with their stablemates and they don’t swim in the water because they remain in the shallow and exercise – a relief for them in ocean water and fresh air from the terrible confinement. I believe this doesn’t happen so much these days because it’s expensive and a big effort. I’ve also seen it done for publicity to give the impression that these horses are so very well cared for……… such hypocrisy!
PS Didn’t know about the water treadmill (I hate seeing a horse just on an ordinary treadmill) and the thought of it makes my blood run cold. No wonder some drown or get caught in it and come to grief. These people are insanely SICK!
Thank you all. You are such a great support for me. I can somewhat see why the trainer would lie about what was wrong with Zanuche, for greed, but for the vet to lie is just horrible. He told me my horse had pneumonia, never mentioned bleeding, and he not only scoped her on Friday afternoon when she came back bleeding heavily from swimming in the pool, but he treated her for severe bleeding, and its even on my bill that I received a month later. But no one told me she was bleeding. If he or the trainer would have called me on Friday, then Zanuche would have had a chance to have been saved, according to Dr. Agnew who did the lung necropsy. But they left her alone all night, still bleeding, doped up, and by morning she was in shock and nearly dead. That’s when they called me. The vet they took her to was horrible, and since the first vet told her it was pneumonia, she not only treated her for pneumonia, but actually left her to die on her own a horrible, horrible death. Little did I know that my filly already had a collapsed lung. She then performed a necropsy which found the cause of death, pneumonia!! But when I had the lung tissue sent to Univ. of Mich., the truth came out. She had absolutely NO pneumonia. She died from fatal pulmonary hemorrhage. And the vet there told me that her left lung would have already been collapsed upon arrival at the clinic, and that when the vet took an ultrasound, which she claims to have done, she would have seen her lung was collapsed. At least at that point Zanuche could have been euthanized instead of agonizing for the next 11 hours until she died. So so sad. So cruel and so like the racing industry. Both vets were reported to the board and I sent plenty of evidence. I have tried to find an attorney, and hopefully I will. The Animal Protection League who investigated for me said that it was criminal, however no one would talk so he couldn’t press charges. Thanks again, this site is awesome. I have my friend, Barbara nearly giving up racing now, and I tell everyone about this site. Kim
Kim, I’m so sorry about Zanuche, her suffering is over but you are the one who remembers what happened to her and my heart goes out to you. Because these cruel creeps did not tell you the truth, Zanuche suffered horribly. As if it wasn’t bad enough, you then find out that she could’ve been euthanased and put out of her misery. These curs only cared about covering up for themselves and I’m wondering if something else contributed to her bleeding severely. If they had nothing to hide why didn’t they tell you the truth right from the start, why didn’t they tell you that she was bleeding – it just doesn’t add up to me. They deceived you abominably.
Having worked in the industry I’ve observed trainers lying through their teeth to owners. Some owners don’t give a damn about the cruelty, all they care about is getting a return on their “investment”. Other unsuspecting owners place far too much trust in the trainer and the vets. Many owners would be mortified if they knew what went on behind the scenes.
Thank you for sharing this and I do hope you find an attorney and get some justice for Zanuche. Inexcusable negligence and they failed in their duty of care. There are lawyers out there who dream of winning a case that is unprecedented. I know of owners taking trainers to court and nearly always they end up being settled out of court with a very generous monetary settlement along with a confidentiality agreement – resulting in no adverse publicity for the trainer and the racing industry. Your dogged persistence in getting to the truth as to what happened here is to be lauded and I hope that it results in those responsible for this abhorrent mistreatment of your filly are severely punished. No horse or owner should ever have to suffer like this.
We need a ZANUCHE’S LAW!!!
Thank you so much. I had a dream about Z last night and she was digging in her stall. So today I did some more digging and I found an attorney!! He said it was a great case, professional negligence, and he agreed to even work on contingency! No one else would. He also wants me to press charges on the trainer for neglect and cruelty. The animal officer, Jed Mugnano, said that those charges may stick but he never went forward on it. Thanks for the support. I am truly grateful. No one else even cares about it, but these heartless people shouldn’t be around horses or any animal.
Thank you Carolyn.
There was this upper level allowance mare trained by a top level Trainer who had won over $100,000 for her owners. They were new owners to the business so they just had this one mare.
Anyways, she broke down and was trailered back to the stall. She was in bad shape. I was standing there when the vet told them that she had fractured her cannon bone, that it was repairable, a surgery bill estimated to be about $5000, and then lay-up time. Depending on how she came out of it either retirement or possible for a return to racing.
They were mortified. As soon as they had to dish out money for this mare, as soon as they had to show some sense of commitment to this living, breathing animal, they failed.
They ordered the vet to euthanize her.
Then they started crying claiming that they would never, ever get involved with horse racing again.
Another bad ending for all involved. Horse racing is full of bad endings, the good endings are far and few between it seems.
The entire system, and industry facilitates the dumping of the racehorse without whom this business would not exist.
Whether it’s dumping in the claiming ranks (refer to PETA video of Scott Blasi Assistant to Steve Asmussen when his racehorse got claimed), or on other kind hearted people, or rescue groups, or kill auctions it’s all the same in the end.
If these people were legally mandated to be responsible, “own up” to their racehorses there would be very few people in this business.
In order for this business to carry on racehorses must die – and die they do.
Kim, that is good news. Patrick has my permission to give you my email address in case you want to make contact. I worked in the legal profession for nearly all my working years and it will be interesting to see what happens here. Justice for Zanuche!
Thank you Carolyn. I am so thankful that an attorney is stepping out and helping me to get justice for Zanuche. I only wish I had found this site before I got her involved with any racehorse trainer or track. Thanks to Patrick who spends so much time and energy on getting the word out. We need more like him, and like you all who give so much support. Animals can’t speak out for themselves so we have to be their voice. In 1980 I went before the county commissioner in Hillsborough county FL with a couple other people, and they passed a bill to abolish the decompression chambers and replace them with lethal injection, which is still sad, but more humane. Now, I think that almost all kill shelters use injections. It only took 3 of us! So we may have a voice in regulating the racing industries policies regarding many issues, such as X-rays reported and horses on a list that have fractures or surgeries, prescriptions with every class c and d drugs dispensed, and tighter controls over the owner’s right to know about what medications their horses are treated with. Just a thought.
Kim, I briefly worked for the CHRB back in 2005. Some of us introduced a measure to implement microchips for every racehorse not only for identifiable purposes, but all medical records contained in the chip as well. This was rejected for many reasons. For one thing, it would hold the connections of a racehorse accountable. Most don’t want accountability, and often use the claiming ranks as a dumping ground.
The main issue here is that the industry manages itself so any policies that promote responsibility towards the racehorse or decreases/eliminates doping, cheating, is almost always rejected. I can tell you from direct experience that these types of changes have been discussed for years, and nothing ever gets done. Consequently, irresponsibility towards the racehorse, increase possibilities of breakdowns, and duping the wagering public results.
The only way to change this entire system is to have a federal commissioner override state rules, and regulations. Plus, have a NEUTRAL agency (USADA) conduct all drug testing including out-of-competition testing.
Currently, people who are heavily involved in the industry are the ones that have a hand in the drug testing process often their own racehorses either winning or breaking down.
So the current system is a huge failure, and the racehorse pays the ultimate price.
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