Three Days Before Travers, Saratoga Notches 11th Dead “Athlete”

As Saratoga readies for one of Racing’s grandest days (Travers), the kills keep coming. This morning, 4-year-old Elusive Neko, being prepped for a third Saratoga ’16 start, broke a leg in practice, was “vanned off,” and subsequently euthanized (Gaming Commission). He is the 11th dead “athlete” at this revered venue – “the oldest sporting arena in the country” – this summer, and we still have 12 days left.

The dead:

Hadeed Fi Hadeed, May 30, training
Squire Creek, July 16, training
Zamjara, July 23, race 1
Rootformejustin, July 23, race 5
Indian Nobility, July 27, race 3
Domestic Warrior, August 1, race 4
Lebowski, August 2, “found dead outside stall”
Jonrah, August 3, training
Midnight Visitor, August 4, prior to race 4
Prince Corredor, August 20, training
Elusive Neko, August 24, training

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  1. Another innocent horse is sacrificed at SARATOGA where horse after horse is dying.
    And the track carries on business regardless and does NOTHING.
    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 above, to ensure that these horses are protected from suffering, sustaining injury and death.

    However, they’re doing a damn good job of ensuring that their horses DO suffer, DO sustain injury and DO sickeningly suffer DEATH!

    • You are precisely right, Carolyn. Wayne Pacelle and the HSUS support racing and have for years but have you seen any changes made because of them? None. They never even plead through Facebook or their blogs for the 40 billion dollar racing industry to send them money or ask their national organizations to use their lobbyists to help end horse slaughter which is the final finish line for thousands and thousands of racing’s horses every single year. Thoroughbreds are the second highest breed sent to slaughter. No, the NON-race public is suppose to send them money.

      The horse racing industry is too inbred. Experts at hiding their dead via statistics based on “number of racing starts” which is in and of itself not even a complete list of deaths. This is an industry incapable of transparency as they know it would be their end.

      The horses have no choice so we must continue to be their voice.


      • Thank you Joanne.
        The racehorses are so lucky to have an amazing voice like yours.
        So grateful for your contribution.
        You brought up such an important point about non-horse racing people expected to give donations for this multi-billion dollar profit machine at the expense of racehorses’ lives.
        This industry has no outside regulation, no neutral oversight, hides their vet records even in the case of death, smears statistics in their favour, etc.
        In short, their running their own private cruelty circus, and death camp operating with total impunity.
        This is all being carried out with the financial support of government taxpayers money, tax breaks, corporate welfare and/or casino money.
        Not only do they blame everybody else for their problems, they expect and feel ENTITLED to everybody else’s money to support this blatant animal cruelty.
        While some owners fly in their private jets, spending millions on racing stock, millions on their “private” training centers, putting down government support – they are quite happy to accept it when given.
        Moreover, even when a racehorse is about to walk onto a slaughter truck (their disposal system) they still expect everybody else to pay for it.
        The blame is always shifted onto everybody else, but themselves.
        The racehorse is “their private property,” – theirs to be killed in action or dumped.
        This has got to go.

  2. Jo Anne and Gina, I’m with you, I think informing people who are either neutral or don’t care about horseracing of how this “sport” is shored up by THEIR tax dollars is worth hammering home again and again. Some people will never give a damn about drug-abused, neglected, injured, and dead racehorses but they do give a damn about their wallets.

    This, along with the massive amount of information that is DELIBERATELY withheld from handicappers/gamblers–injuries, drug/vet treatments, equipment changes, etc. etc.–that, again, impacts their wallets make up most of my anti-racing arguments with racegoers/gamblers.

    • Kari – 1000% agree with you.
      Information is DELIBERATELY withheld.
      The dog racing in New Zealand was banned based on an undercover investigation task force of animal rights activists, and the government.
      When it was being first exposed by animal activists the government didn’t believe them, and the well-funded public relations pro-dog racing machine revved up their rhetoric.
      Then the undercover videos were shown to the government, and they were appalled.
      Once the underbelly of the industry was exposed the government had this to say: “overwhelming evidence of SYSTEMIC animal cruelty, and corruption with the dogs as victims.”
      This same statement can be applied to horse racing here in America only the victim is the racehorse.
      This industry could not operate without substantial outside financial funding via taxpayers, corporate welfare, and/or casinos.
      This is billions of dollars that could go to much needed social and community programs that EVERYBODY could benefit from not just an elite group of horse people.
      This entire industry is built on the bones, and backs of racehorses, and they don’t even reap the benefits of the profits they generate as they are continually dumped with the slaughterhouse being their main disposal system.
      It’s inhumane, it’s cruel, its outdated, and it’s got to go.

      • Is it petition time yet? Solid petition in place to end subsidies that fund purses, and to allow casinos to decouple, in ALL states that have racing.

    • Thank you Gina and Kari! States with racetracks routinely provide the racing industry with money from the general fund to pay them breeder awards, stallion awards and extra money is added to the purses of races to be run for JUST horses bred in that state. This is money coming from the general fund and is in addition to any casino or racino money given to racing. In Michigan (hardly known as a “racing state”), if your Michigan bred horse wins a race, without YOU, the breeder, doing a thing, the state of Michigan sends you a $500 check in the mail! Money that could be used for education, infrastructure or for heaven’s sake helping the poor people of Flint, Michigan get clean water to drink! Imagine what amounts are paid out of state tax dollars in CA, NY, KY, FL, PA, TX, LA and other states with more active racetracks than Michigan!

      The other aspect that needs to be publicized more is the fraud committed on bettors– no bets, no horse racing so let’s give these people an education in how they are repeatedly duped. No one EVER tells a gambler to hold onto their ticket in case months later it is discovered that the winning horse was taken down because of a drug violation and tell them to keep checking our track’s website to see if any of the horses they bet on that lost that day now are winners and have all moved up a notch!! That means that all the people who bet on a horse to win, place or show or had that horse part of an exotic wager who thought they LOST, now are WINNERS but they are NEVER notified that the first place horse was disqualified and that they ARE due money! The trainer may or may not get a slap on the wrist fine and lose the purse (although they no doubt won more money by BETTING on their drug-filled horse and THAT they keep because no one can track that). So there is clearly a fraud conspiracy to NOT let gamblers know they are owed money. Not that we should care that a fool and his money are soon parted but we are indeed talking about illegal activity. There’s money crossing state lines with simulcasting wagering at every track and at off track betting parlors and this failure to allow the true winners to win on their wagers is surely a violation of Federal RICCO act — conspiracy to commit fraud.

      • Thank you Joanne.
        100% correct.
        Here in Ontario, Canada the BILLIONS that the horse racing industry has received has been on the back of Ontario taxpayers.
        While our current Wynne government denied pay raises to teacher, and nurses or put in place pay freezes, they turned around and gave 100 million per year for the next 8 years directly to horse racing after they received 345 million per year for 12 years.
        I can bet that if any taxpayer even had a choice in this decision (since it was done under secretive circumstances with last minute press conferences) they would pick pay raises for teachers, and nurses who provide essential services to Ontario taxpayers here.
        These horse racing people are parasites.
        I also agree with you that the Interstate Horse Wagering Act is a violation of the Federal RICCO act – no doubt in my mind.
        So I put forth a viable plan to get rid of this waste:
        1. Cancel the Interstate Horse Wagering Act
        2. Support and pass the Decoupling Act.
        3. Don’t watch or wager on horse racing
        4. Fine racetracks for every racehorse that is found at a kill auction, and had their last race there. This will get much needed funding for the dumping, and force them to be financially accountable for the racehorses that generated profit. Now I know that this will be impossible to implement, and enforce, but it sure feels good saying it.

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