The Week in Horseracing

Last week on U.S. tracks (flats only; does not include training or harness casualties):

Froggyville, Mountaineer, “vanned off”

Elma, Indiana, “vanned off”

Hendricks Twolimes, Indiana, “vanned off”

Jess Roll the Dice, Albuquerque, “vanned off”

Lull, Saratoga, “fell heavily, DNF”

Moving West, Belterra, “vanned off”

Lady Bull, Canterbury, “vanned off the course”

Joan of Arch, Del Mar, “returned bleeding in the mouth”

Bayisthenewblack, Penn, “went bad…vanned off”

Laugh At Life, Remington, “returned lame, vanned off”

Fourth Dimension, Charles Town, “sore”

Carlita Shake, Evangeline, “vanned off”

Sweet Shop, Golden Gate, “went wrong, vanned off”

Horatio Jetta, Louisiana, “vanned off”

Catcher, Monmouth, “vanned off”

Flash for Corona, Ruidoso, “vanned off”

Teller Baja, Ruidoso, “vanned”

Deadly Truth, Canterbury, “vanned off”

Ton Eighty, Emerald, “bled outwardly”

She’s My Cookie, Golden Gate, “vanned off”

Stella Belle, Gulfstream, “vanned off”

Fallen Leaf, Gulfstream, “ducked sharply into the rail, DNF”

Reign Sprinkles, Penn, “returned sore”

Fools Cartel, Prairie, “flipped over the inside rail”

Tarrant, Ruidoso, “vanned”

King Volcom, Ruidoso, “fell, vanned”

A Tres, Ruidoso, “bad step, vanned”

Kindly On Fire, Ruidoso, “vanned”

Liberty Fuze, Saratoga, “pulled up in distress, vanned off”

Total Posse, Thistledown, “stopped abruptly, bled bilaterally”

Rgr Down N Dirty, White Pines, “pulled up badly, vanned off”

Coconut Cream Pie, Albuquerque, “vanned off”

Spectacular Star, Belterra, “bad step, DNF”

Wild Heiress, Gulfstream, “vanned off”

Memphis D Nasty, Ruidoso, “vanned”

Volcom Bay, Ruidoso, “vanned”

“broke down” – virtually without exception an industry euphemism for dead
“vanned off” – horse unable to walk off track under own power; good-chance dead
“bled”; “returned bleeding from nostrils” – as a rule, indicates pulmonary hemorrhage


(source: Equibase)


  1. I have no words to express my sadness that people have become so incredibly greedy and heartless.

    • The greed is obvious, but the most disturbing is that the wealthy owners do it mostly to stroke their egos or for “entertainment.”
      They don’t need the money.
      Most rich racehorse owners’ are pursuing the high level Stake, Derby, or Breeder’s Cup races which can often result in the maiming, and killing of many racehorses.
      Most wealthy owners have had a racehorse breakdown or die under the direct care of their high profile Trainers, but it still isn’t enough for them to stop the destructive cycle as most go out and just buy another one!
      The industry supports, and reveres the multiple drug violating Trainers with multiple racehorses dying in their care because it’s a cottage economy onto itself.
      What do most wealthy people do when their racehorse suffers a catastrophic breakdown?
      They go out and buy another one in many instances.
      Most rational people, with one iota of compassion would leave when they see their racehorse suffer and/or die.
      Many have, but the owners driven by ego is an entirely different aspect of horse racing.
      Most high-profile Trainers, either inadvertently or otherwise, play to the egos of the rich owners full well knowing that their reward for a racehorse dying in their care usually results in more racehorses being bought, and sent to them.
      It’s not uncommon for wealthy owners to keep sending horses to the very Trainer that had their racehorses die under their care.
      Moreover, most high profile Trainers get kickbacks from sales consignors if they recommend that their rich owners buy a particular horse, and it results in a sale. It’s my understanding that their kickback is usually 10% of the purchase price, and these wealthy owners spend millions buying racing stock resulting in a 6-figure pay check just for giving the nod to buy a particular racehorse.
      Then the pressure to perform, and meet high expectations usually falls on the racehorse as they are doped up, and over trained on under-developed musco-skeletal systems in order to ready the horse for the 2 year old Stake races, and subsequently the Kentucky Derby which was their main goal in the first place.
      The trail of broken horses, and tears leads right up to the Derby gate every year.
      When the horse doesn’t live up to expectations, and doesn’t die, then it is usually dumped into the claiming ranks further supporting another level of racing that results in wagering profits.
      It’s an entire endless cycle of ongoing exploitation, and the racehorses often pay with their lives for a couple of trophies on their desk, win photos on their walls, and conversations at the country club.
      This is the “ego” aspect of the wealthy owners that don’t need a win for the money.

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