Del Mar Death Toll: 11 (at least), and Counting

The latest Del Mar Stewards Minutes have been released:

week of 7/18/16-7/24/16, “Deceased: 6”

Included in those six, presumably, are Whisky and Wine, Big Book, Dutchessa, and Fasnacloich. Another would be 3-year-old Pacific Swell, reported by the stewards to have “broke down” in the 5th July 21. That would leave a sixth unidentified victim. Added to the three unidentified from the first set of minutes (week of 7/11/16-7/17/16, “Deceased: 5”), we can confidently state that the Del Mar ’16 Death Toll stands at at least 11. That’s 11 dead “athletes” – not even three weeks in.

The identified:

Presidential Air, July 15, race 6
Dynamite Charge, July 17, training
Pacific Swell, July 21, race 5
Whisky and Wine, July 23, training
Big Book, July 23, training
Dutchessa, July 23, race 2
Fasnacloich, July 24, race 2

wpdm paddock 3 350


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  1. ELEVEN “much loved” racehorses are killed in under 3 weeks on the same track and the racing industry does nothing.
    There needs to be an independent inquiry. The track should be closed down on the grounds of unjustified unnecessary animal cruelty taking place on these premises, the notorious DEL MAR racetrack.

    One would think that the media would be right onto this……?

  2. Excellent Carolyn.
    Time and again the supporters of horse racing comment on this Blog to justify the carnage with the proverbial “we love our horses,” “treated like royally.”
    Yet, racehorses are dying and where are all these “good” people that “love” racehorses?
    Of course they go silent because they know full well that whipping/beating, doping, dumping and/or DYING is all part of this antiquated business model.
    This cruelty, and abuse is never prosecuted because the commissions, and lack of independent oversight shield them from that.
    They even deny the release of doping records while racehorses DIE!
    What we have here is a legitimized cruelty circus, and death camp.
    They must downplay the carnage in order to fill races, and keep the profits flowing in.
    This is not “love,” this is not being treated like “royally,” this is blatant animal cruelty, and abuse that is punishable by the law in any other scenario in this country.
    If these people really loved the racehorses then they would be demanding that this race meet be shut down now!
    In fact, if they really “loved” the horses then they wouldn’t be supporting it to begin with.

    • Yes yes yes, thank you, they will blame it on the track, put the blame where it belongs on the heartless owners. Racing babies , horses and this goes for ANY BREED, do not fully develop until the age of 5 1/2 to 6, their legs and their backs do not fuse until then. they know this and they ignore it because it is all about the EGO AND THE MONEY, it is legalized abuse, shame on all of you that place bets too,many know some do not but even when they know they do not care

    • Listen here Gina
      You all need a serious reality check
      Are any of you involved in the industry ???
      Have you seen first hand the training, care ,and hours put into these animals ?

      The amount of Money ??

      Have you investigated other horse sports that have cruelty issues???

      Do you think those of us in the sport want to see our horses break down??

      Oh yeah that’s my freaking wish every day
      Just lets turn and burn me and haul em out ……NEXT

      Reality check sweetheart
      Unless you have all the facts
      Do not begin to impose your intelligent knowledge …OOPs I mean unintelligent knowledge on something you have ,but only your opinion to draw upon.

      We are all concerned with what’s going on here …
      You wanna know why????
      Clue we make our living doing this .

      We spend countless hours working, taking care of ,nurturing these animals daily ,we do not set out to hurt them .

      This is how we make our living .
      Clue we love these animals ,.

      Do you think is is easy finding owners so we can stay in business if our only objective is to see our charges break down before our eyes?

      DO you know what it cost any owner to pay for one horse a month ? Training and care ,and then just to be like well if he breaks down NO BIg ????

      get a life….

      And here’s a news flash all owners are not rich
      Some of them work hard everyday to work at a job they love doing just to have a horse ,and a dream …… Do you have dreams I think not
      You only have dreams of tearing people up to make yourself feel good.

      These people do everything to keep their horses safe , and if they cannot compete find them a suitable homes beyond the track .. To live out their days …

      Not to be discarded as all you zealots like to portray …

      And again until you work in the industry !!!! My friend

      Doping are you kidding ????
      The industry has such tight regulations …
      Again until you know all the facts 100% do not spout your notions on what you think it is about …
      Discuss your opinions with facts …..

      If you do not like horseracing
      So be it .

      I may not like a lot of things your into
      But until I have all the facts about you ,and your inclinations .
      I would not propose to convict you on a public forum for something you may not actually be guilty of …

      End note
      No one my dear wants to see these animals perish !!!
      Most importantly the people who work with them ,and our closest to them
      Quite the opposit in fact …

      So Please all of you who just want to talk smack about nothing you know of keep it to yourself …..

      Shoe may be on the other foot someday …

      Educate yourself !

      • Where does one start? A question for u “K m” what is your name?
        Your personal attack on Gina Powell is clearly vicious. As you’ve directed your comments to the rest of us on this blog as well, I’d like to respond. Personally, I’ve worked at the coalface in the industry and saw with my own eyes the horrific animal abuse suffered by the horses. I’m 7th generation racing family and very familiar with all that goes on in racing. For years I’ve researched and investigated the welfare of the racehorse.
        If this is the first time you’ve read this blog then your allegation that we don’t know what we’re talking about can be forgiven. I urge u to have a read of other posts that Patrick has put up stating the indisputable facts, as always. You will also come across comments by Joy Aten, Mary Johnson, Rose Smith, 20+years industry insider, Billy yiengst, Jo Anne Normile (of Saving Baby fame) to name just a few. Rest assured K m, these people really know what they’re talking about and their comments are compelling reading.
        You state “We are all concerned with what’s going on here…”
        And so you should be.
        And you and your friends/associates in the industry are fully aware of the reality of the miserable life of the racehorses suffering inhumane treatment.
        And we on this blog are also fully aware…….

      • K m…we don’t need to be involved in the racing industry to recognize something is terribly wrong and unjust in it. Read the Killed in Action lists here – approximately one-thousand injured racehorses a year confirmed killed for “sport”. More that are euthanized off-site. And then more that are euthanized by rescue organizations. And even MORE that are sent to be butchered in slaughterhouses across our borders. Even racing rags occasionally report the ills in the industry and what I find telling is, especially in the Paulick Report comment section, the number of racing insiders who incriminate the industry they make their living in. No, one doesn’t need to be intimately involved to acknowledge the suffering the horses endure. But that’s a frequent comment by apologists – “You’re not in the industry so you don’t know!”…well, I’m also not in the puppy mill business, or employed by SeaWorld, or travel with the circus, or own racing greyhounds…are you getting my drift?

        That being said, there are individuals commenting here – and you named Gina – who were industry insiders but have since left it and have stepped up to share their experiences in defense of the non-consenting horses and to reveal racing’s very ugly underbelly. Gina, Carolyn, 20year+ industry insider, and Jo Anne all worked IN the industry so yes, they’ve seen it all “first hand”. Then there are those of us who worked with rescue organizations for years, spending time on the backside every week for 6 months out of the year. You say, “If you do not like horse racing, so be it” – well, K m, I used to love it (I’m now ashamed to admit)…but after what I saw week after week, year after year, continuing to support it would have been a betrayal of the horses exploited in it.

        Do we think you WANT your horses to break down and die? – how ridiculous! We know this is your job, your bread and butter…and we know those horses are your meal ticket. No, you have ways to rid yourself of the injured and non-competitive that can no longer give you a check from their efforts! You drop them into cheaper claiming races and hope they get claimed, or sell them dirt cheap to some struggling owner/trainer with a 3 or 4-horse stable, or include them in a package deal to the trainer leaving for another meet. We witnessed this time and again. Yet, when they DO catastrophically break down and are euthanized, there’s the typical “oh he was just like a family member to me!” by some…but there are also the calloused, cold and indifferent who mutter “this isn’t a f*****g petting zoo! – shit happens!” (I actually had that said to me).

        Your news flash wasn’t news…we know the majority of racehorses are the low-level claimers and their owners/trainers, low-level, as well. Horse racing isn’t the “Sport of Kings”, no, it’s quite the opposite. Yet even the “rich” elite’s horses are left unprotected when they can no longer perform to their wealthy owners’ expectations. Dr. Decherd. Fighting City Hall. One Hundred Laughs. Cost of Freedom. Monzante. Siphon City. Royal Finder. Slade. Richochet. Hundred Adams. Financial Mogul. Star Plus. Tricolette. Mr. Mostly. Z Camelot. Etc, etc, etc….

        And finally, we know better about “these people” finding good homes for their used-up horses when they’re finished using them…I don’t know who you are trying to fool but it isn’t going to be us. Being involved in rescuing these poor animals brings us face to face with the discarded “beloved family members” and “athletes” of your “sport”. It’s disgusting, overwhelming and rampant. We know – we see it DAILY. You’ve come to the wrong place to spew your lies.

      • K m : Your statement…right here on this blog…is an inside look at one of so many things wrong with racing. You would rather vent your anger on a forum, that provides cold hard facts of the horses killed by the racing industry. Not one mention by you…not one…of all the horses that have been killed to provide you with the means of making money. You would rather shame and silence the very people who speak out for the horses you claim to love. I have grown up in this industry…people like yourself, that would rather hide the facts, whose only argument is armed with denial, are only enabling your own downfall. The more you deny, close your eyes, and turn your head…the quicker you will fall…

      • Km: where to start? Thank you Joy, Carolyn, 20+ Insider for accurately addressing this Bloggers comments.
        I’m not going to repeat what has already been addressed.
        However, I will say this and I sure hope Km you read my comment, and understand what I’m trying to tell you.
        Km – you are being exploited just like the racehorses to make about 10% of Association/wagering/CEO’s rich – very rich while most others struggle.
        Now you have a choice to leave, but the racehorses don’t.
        You have a choice to walk out of there without being maimed and killed like many racehorses are.
        The entire economic wagering system is carefully contrived.
        While members of the Associations/CEO’s make 6-figure salaries sitting in. their fancy offices you are working 7 days a week, many hours per day pursuing an impossible dream of making a living at something you apparently love.
        You fell for the delusion hook, line, and sinker. Many do.
        It’s not only the lower small stable tiers that fall for this, but very wealthy people as well.
        Only the wealthy people maintain their lifestyle, for the most part, after they lose 1 million or so.
        However, the lower tier of horse racing, which comprises the majority, end up scrambling to survive just like the racehorse running for its life for a flake of hay.
        Out of this entire scenario the members of the Asdociations, who receive and control much of the wagering money, never seem to suffer.
        Ever notice that? Take a good hard look at the members of the HBPA and/or NYRA Associations. who control the Interstate Horse Racing Act.
        In the end you are using, and abusing the racehorses just like you are being used, and abused although you have a choice to leave.
        It’s so unfortunate that you not only don’t see what’s happening, but you partake, and even DEFEND it.
        It’s called a delusion, and you are suffering from it seemingly.
        All your doing is filling races for them, generating bets, and increasing their profits just like the racehorses.
        Don’t you ever notice that members of the HBPA and/or Associations monopolize almost 100% of the purse money?
        They love people like you who fill races for them, keep their mouth shut, and even DEFEND the ongoing cruelty, and abuse while pursuing an impossible dream.
        A small time honest Owner/Trainer doesn’t have much of a chance., but at least you have a chance of getting out alive – the racehorses don’t..
        They don’t have a choice so if you really loved racehorses then you wouldn’t subject them to the ongoing cruelty, abuse, maiming, and killing just to fill races, and to increase profits for people who don’t give a hoot if your racehorse lives or dies.
        So please don’t attack the very people who rescue and rehome the broken horses coming off the track.
        Instead of directing your anger towards us direct it towards the people who are exploiting both you and your racehorses.
        The best thing you could do for your horses is leave, take them with you, and start affecting real change.
        In the meantime, watch the movie called BLACKFISH because it’s all their – it’s all the same thing only the victim is different.
        Listen closely to the ex-Trainers of Seaworld.
        Their all good, but John Hargrove really hits the ball out of the park.
        The parallels are so accurate.
        You obviously don’t like me, don’t like what I say – that’s fine.
        Perhaps you can listen to these Trainers and then, maybe, you can have a greater comprehension of what we are all trying to tell you.
        Blackfish has educated millions, and perhaps somebody like you can be educated.
        Until that time, racehorses will suffer at the hands of their exploiters.

  3. One death is too many and being involved in the industry for over 40 years. Why aren’t statistics kept for other horse sports? Reining, steeplechase, hunt. Heck in the abuse and deaths of backyard horses by paddock accidents base on stupidity from private horse owners are over 20X the figures released as result of racing.

    • 1), Why AREN’T injury and death statistics kept on ALL actively racing TB’s, John? – and I mean ALL deaths including the racing/training-injured horses that are brought back to the farms to be euthanized (some, days or even weeks later), the injured that are given to rescues, only to require euthanasia due to the severity of their injuries, the injured that are purchased by the kill buyer, the injured that ship straight to slaughter…why doesn’t the racing industry mandate accurate reporting of those deaths, John? In addition, why do particular jurisdictions REFUSE to release the numbers of their dead AND the names of their dead? Horse racing is a “sport”, right?…for the public’s entertainment, correct? – fans have a right to know when an “athlete” they follow dies, one would think! So you tell us, John…

      2), If the deaths in those other disciplines are so horrific to you (which they certainly are) and you are compelled to expose the truth, PLEASE start a blog and begin gathering statistics! I’m grateful for the numerous blogs and organizations that expose the ugly facts of all animal exploitation – I’m assuming you are, too! But no one can do it all, so please help those horses dying in those disciplines you mentioned!

      3), But finally John, your credibility is suspect when you claim equine deaths in their paddocks due to “stupid owners” are “over 20X” those deaths due to racing injuries. Number 1, we don’t even know all of racing’s deaths because of the industry’s refusal to release the information and 2, where are the stats of backyard equine deaths? Yet you claim they’re “over 20X”! That’s not FACTS, John…read the 2014 and 2015 Killed In Action lists – there are some facts for you.

      • John, the horse racing industry ensures that WIN RATES are available on every Trainer.
        They even tout the WIN RATES of the top Trainers thereby encouraging owners to send horses to them.
        However. there are no DEATH RATES for Trainers. It only stands to reason that DEATH RATE should be right along side of the WIN RATE for each Trainer.
        Multiple drug violating Trainers like Doug O’Neill, Todd Pletcher, Wayne Lucas, Mike Maker, Steve Asmussen etc. should have their DEATH RATES posted with their WIN RATES.
        It would show a distinct pattern and/or percentage of racehorses who die in their care while they maintain their top WIN RATES.
        Of course the names of racehorses should be released and the vet records of any racehorse DYING should be mandatory in every racing jurisdiction.
        This is not done in most cases because they intentionally suppress this vital information.
        They suppress it because they want to uphold the image, and maintain profits.
        Well we will be a voice for the voiceless racehorses as they lay DYING in the dirt.
        With the advent of social media any business based on the exploitation of an animal for profit will eventually lay dying in the dirt where it belongs.
        Horse racing is no exception.

  4. This is horrible!! If you people want to race then train yourself to compete, you run,or do hurdles or whatever but if you so call love these horses let them do what they do best which is just being horses. Love them,feed them,exercise/play with them, etc..Something isn’t right with that at all…., it needs to be investigate and they need to be prosecuted.

  5. We agree! There should be injury /death rate statistics for complete transparency on each owner as well as each trainer. Probably will never happen. Have you all seen the video of Storm Cat? The video shows some of the worst looking legs of any horse we have ever seen! Despite this he was allowed to pass on his rather nasty temperament and his bad legs into the gene pool.

    • Yes I’ve seen Storm Cat, and I can assure you that he passed his nasty gene trait onto many of his offspring.
      Most were head cases, but if you got one that wasn’t they were usually runners.
      Many had their careers cut short due to their confirmation defects that were passed on.
      Storm Cat is kind of like Tilikum at SeaWorld . Very similar issues including the enormous amount of mkney they generate.
      RIP Storm Cat.

      • Karen Tellef – shock horror – Gina misspelt the word “conformation”.
        Based purely on a spelling mistake, Karen Tellef then assesses Gina Powell’s credibility in relation to this debate as zero.

        It is KAREN TELLEF’s credibility that is zero. What more could one expect from a person who supports the horrifically inhumane treatment of innocent horses.

  6. No Joan and Fred I have not seen the video on storm cat could you direct me on where to look. I am curious for the simple reason there is a horse I follow from when I watched races (there’s nothing more I can learn from watching) his name is NO BRAKES he’s 11 years old a son of parkers storm cat now I ask because I notice at a walk he looks great to me but while running his front left foreleg swings way in and then back out wide definitely not right I worry for this horse for one he has 104 starts he is also one of 24 11 yr old horses to win in 2016 also 1 of 106 11 yr olds racing theres a recent article on horse racing nation. In this article wayne potts his trainer states how this horse needs a job and this is his job it’s what he loves to do even stating that he’s not a horse that can be retired to pasture because he would quote “die out there” I’m no horse pro but that is the most bullshit line I’ve ever heard and the absolute most pathetic excuse for not retiring a horse that has earned it .

  7. I didn’t misspell the word it was simply a TYPO.
    Typical response from horse racing supporters.
    While racehorses DIE they focus on a typo.
    Good job Katen. How’s that typo?
    I do have a question for Fred and Joan – what the hell does Storm Cat have to do with racehorses DYING.?
    You two never seem to focus on the issues of DYING.
    You just self promote.

  8. This is sickening and it should be closed down! Is there this many deaths at Santa Anita track and Los alimitos?

      • Stacy..It is very frustrating when racing insiders try to mislead the public with mistruths or blatant lies. Big Score’s win on Sunday came just one day after Big Book suffered sesamoid injuries during training hours at Del Mar and will never race again. She was one of three horses reported injured that morning. Krikorian and Tim Yakteen – who trains both Big Score and Big Book – hope to be able to save Big Book as a broodmare. (UPDATE: Daily Racing Form reported on Tuesday that Big Book was euthanized as a result of her injuries.)

    • Yesterday, Barbara Banke of Stonestreet Farm paid $950,000 for a yearling at the Fasig-Tipton Lexington KY Yearling sale.
      This is after she’s spent about 200 million on buying horse racing stock, and the facilities to match.
      Many of her racehorses that were sent to Todd Pletcher, Steve Asmusen were maimed or DIED.
      This is not enough for her it seems.
      Racehorses that she bought, and DIED is not enough as she still sends her buys to these Trainers.
      Apparently, her $950,000 purchase (unnamed) will be sent to her million dollar private training facility in Florida to be “broke,” and prepared for the 2 year old stake races.
      Will this one make it alive? Who knows, but I’m sure a Life Insurance policy, and plenty of tax breaks will ease the pain if he becomes yet another victim of this despicable industry.
      Of course I don’t like to see any racehorse die, but if he dies on her private training Center nobody will know because there’s no reporting system for private trading centres as I mentioned on another post.
      This is horse racing.

  9. I have read the blogs and the information presented. I have been in around and in the horse field for over 50 years. The horrendous actions occur across the horse industry. I cannot think of one organization that has not had their time in the limelight. Perhaps our time would be better spent making a difference. Donate your time or money to organizations that help make a difference to make our animal world safer and a better place. Make a difference by NOT supporting these events. Write letters to your representatives. Put pressure on the organizations. It will not change until it starts affecting their pocket book. Start putting the pressure on.

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