Another Kill at Del Mar

From the Daily Racing Form: At Del Mar, 4-year-old Unusualy “collapsed after completing a five-furlong workout Monday and perished.” According to the paper, he is the 13th track-related kill there this summer – 6 racing, 7 training. There have also been at least 2 other (what the industry calls “non-racing”) deaths. Cool as ever.

The names we know:

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
Summer Scorcher, August 11, race 6
Unusualy, August 15, training

wpdm paddock 3 350


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  1. Another innocent beautiful horse is sacrificed at DEL MAR where horse after horse is dying.
    And the track carries on business regardless.
    And the racing Industry does NOTHING.
    And Wayne Pacelle, CEO of the Humane Society of the USA does NOTHING.

    Inhumane acts of cruelty are being committed upon these animals in full PUBLIC view and those who have the power to step in do NOTHING.

    Yet it’s the responsibility of those referred to, to ensure that the expectations of the public are met.

  2. I am disgusted by the lying and cover up at Del Mar once again this year. I had two protests this weekend at Del Mar and was informed by people who work at the track and people that were at the track that one horse was vanned off Thursday and two horses went “down” on Friday. This had not been reported to the CHRB yet so we don’t even know what happened to these horses. This track needs TO BE CLOSED down, until a full investigation is done. This is the most corrupt place in San Diego right now (next to Sea World).
    There is another protest this Saturday @ 11:30 A.M. They are racing California Chrome, who should NOT even be racing any longer.

    • Fantastic work Ellenericksen – the horses say thank you.
      I cannot believe that they’re racing California Chrome on that notorious track. I cannot comprehend the risks these people take. CC is a magnificent horse, he’s such a warrior this one, out with an injury for a while, they brought him back, he’s adored by the racing public and earned a huge amount of money for his connections. And apparently a filly, owned I think by Zayat, recently raced there and she is a full sister to American Pharoah. Why do they play Russian roulette with them or is the money far more important – methinks so. Why else would they do it!

      Afterall, plenty in supply from the breeders.

    • Thursday, the horse was Summer Scorcher, the notes read that he “broke” at the wire in Race 6… has anyone heard of his fate?? heartbreaking i will never attend another race.

      • RobiK, i cannot answer your question but there’s a good chance he suffered a career ending injury and could possibly be dead.

  3. Absolutely heartbreaking. How anyone can still stand to attend this “sport” is beyond me. Just greed and more greed. Shame on you Del Mar racetrack! Only part of living in San Diego that I hate.

  4. The dying at Del Mar has been going on for years, and nobody does anything about it.
    This place must be SHUT DOWN.
    It’s unsafe, and always has been.
    My thoughts, and heart goes out to all racehorses who have died at Del Mar.
    This is a legitimized death camp.
    Grateful to the Ellen and to all the brave peaceful demonstrators who are out there educating people on what is going on.
    I watched the video of the demonstration, and it was so disturbing watching those people, especially the ones with kids, marching into the track to support this cruelty circus, and death camp.
    There are so many other humane things to do for entertainment in California.
    Like Ellen said on the video “you are zombies,” and that’s exactly what they looked like.

  5. I think you can add Summer Scorcher to this list of names. The filly suffered a “severe breakdown” and was euthanized on the track after Race 6 on Thursday, 8/11 as reported by one of the on-site DRF correspondents on Twitter.


    • Carolyn Manning, thank you for providing this information.
      As suspected, SUMMER SCORCHER is DEAD.
      Poor little filly, poor little darlin’
      Your life cruelly and brutally stolen from you for $2 bets, greed and human entertainment.
      How can we humans ever be forgiven for committing such atrocities against these noble innocent creatures who give their all.

    • Thank you, Carolyn, for sharing this information with those of us who are impatiently waiting for this industry to close its doors. Although it breaks my heart to see ANY horse die in the dirt, there are times I think it is much more humane for them to die in that horrific manner than to see them load onto the trucks to Canada and Mexico where they await a grisly death.

      A week or so ago, I received a screenshot from a conversation occurring on a vet’s FB page. A poster states that, “Unfortunately the OTTB’s in Louisiana often go straight (to slaughter) from the track or training facility. We can not get ahead of them” and from the same poster, “Between the direct shipping and lack of support from national groups, the Louisiana tracks OTTB is simply disposable. The tracks and commissions are all aware of this practice and do not object.” Again…”…the Louisiana tracks OTTB is simply disposable,” and the racing officials do NOT object. I’ve said for years that the horses in racing are disposed of when they are no longer productive yet we have many racing supporters who vehemently deny that ANY of these horses go underground and direct to kill. Truly reprehensible…

      The next time some lunatic babbles that there are many good people in racing, perhaps I should bring up the fact that none of those good people reside in Louisiana. It looks as if that state is just another “killing field” when it comes to the TB racehorse.

  6. Please help me understand why these horses are dying. Being started too young ? Raced in too hot temperatures? Not well cared for ? Are they fed and given adequate vet Tx ? Is it simply the practice of pushing horses with immature growth plates too hard ? The length of the track ?? Is it unique to Del Mar ??

    • Combination of many things, but the most reputable equine studies have confirmed that catastrophic breakdowns are a result of doping to cover-up chronic issues.
      There have been numerous studies conducted at Del Mar over the years, and there’s a concurring theory that the ocean tides effect the base of the track rendering it unsafe.
      Keep in mind that the top Trainers at Del Mar have such things in common as multiple drug violations, and racehorses dying in their care.
      So again, this points back to the use of drugs for ongoing chronic issues that is usually ordered by Trainers, and administered by vets.
      Most racehorses are turned into pin cushions to perform, and continue to perform when possibly unsound, and sore.
      This is the world of horse racing.
      It will never change nor can it because the dope is necessary in order to fill races, and increase wagering profits.
      The industry knows that which is precisely why they do little about it. They condone, and permit this to go on so that profits can flow into the wagering windows.
      They are great at lip service, committees, and window dressing, but in the end nothing changes, and racehorses continue to die as a result of the exploitation.

    • Gail, no, racehorse deaths are not unique to Del Mar – when you have time, look at the Killed in Action lists and there you will see the tracks where the confirmed nearly one-thousand/year racehorses died. Horses die at ALL tracks.

      The reasons racehorses die in such great numbers?…there are many, Gail, and you named several.

      -Absolutely, started too young. Two-year-olds are racing, meaning they were in training and carrying a rider before they even reached the age of 24 months!

      -Inadequate and/or the “wrong kind” of exercise. A strong musculo-skeletal system is attained by the type of exercise horses take part in naturally – being out with the herd all day or the better part of the day, running, walking, turning, stopping and starting – not stalled for 23 hours/day with the exception of less than 30 minutes of galloping on the track.

      -Breeding practices – breeding for speed and not stamina. Breeding for massive muscular bodies on toothpick limbs. Interesting article in the following link, Gail…long but it might give you some idea.

      -The drugs they are given. There are at least 26 LEGAL drugs racehorses receive, and some of those mask problems. Another article…

      …and another article regarding New York allowing the use of DMSO on race day – also read the comments to this Paulick Report article and just FYI, the majority of the comments are from racing INSIDERS!

      -Horses race with pre-existing injuries – especially at the lower-level tracks where the majority of racehorses run (the claiming horses and the claiming races make up the majority of horses AND races in the industry). The following article refers to UC Davis researcher, Dr. Sue Stover (“more than 90% of catastrophic breakdowns have evidence of a pre-existing injury”)

      …also in the following article, Dr. Rick Arthur makes mention that when horses changes surfaces (run at different tracks), they are in a more “precarious” position of breaking down (which claiming horses do all the time! – they get claimed and are raced at a different track).

      -You questioned adequate veterinary treatment, Gail…great question. I can tell you that in my nearly ten years of being on the backside and intaking literally hundreds of injured and non-competitive racehorses into the rescue, the majority of those injured horses did NOT receive adequate and NECESSARY veterinary diagnostics and treatment. They were being raced and trained on KNOWN limb injuries – and as long as they weren’t three-legged lame, they continued to race. Once it became impossible for the horse to continue, the connections just dumped them onto us, the rescue – no radiographs or ultra-sounds. They didn’t want to spend another penny on the horse.

      This list isn’t complete by any means…but I hope it gives you some idea. It’s about profits and egos. And as in all animal exploitation, that means cutting corners where the animal is concerned in order to reap the most profit.

  7. Summer Scorcher had the horrific fate of not only being born into this cruelty circus, but for being trained by the death keeper CARLA GAINES. This Trainer has multiple drug violations that “disappeared,” “been lost,” or just never seems to make into the stewards notes when I was an Associate Steward at Del Mar 2006.
    After all, she trains for former CHRB Head Harris and top owners in California.
    She’s not unlike any other top Trainer who usually has a lengthy drug rap sheet, and deaths under their belt. They are revered by the industry. This says it all. Stop right there. Listen up you stupid pro-horse racing supporters.
    Racehorses are DYING, racehorses are continually being put at risk under these Trainers with a pattern, and history of doping, and DYING.
    Yet, they are NEVER held accountable or brought to justice. In fact, they are rewarded with stalls, and owners.
    This says it all.
    I have “notes” on Carla Gaines when I was a former Associate Steward at Del Mar, and they are indicative of what goes on in her racing stable including racehorses DYING under her care.
    She should have her ass hauled into the court system, and charged with Felony Animal Cruelty charges just like Doug O’Neill.
    Society, and the residents of California should start holding these animal killers accountable for their actions, and the medication records will be subpoenaed.
    Another thing – where are the results of the autopsies? Where?
    Were tissue samples taken?
    This is a legitimized cruelty circus with legitimized animal killers.
    That’s all it is covered-up with fancy hats, mint juleps, and perceived wealth.
    This is the real world of horse racing.

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