Kills at Del Mar (First Day of Breeders’ Cup), Aqueduct, Charles Town

The first day of the Breeders’ Cup at Del Mar brought (at least) one kill – 3-year-old Cheekaboomboom in the 2nd (this race, though worth $75,000, was not a BC race). While I could spend a couple extra lines on this, a death on a Breeders’ Cup card, I won’t. I won’t because this kill is no different than all the others I report – over 1,000 annually – on this site. In fact, no different than…

In Aqueduct’s first day (after taking the NYRA baton from Belmont), Papa Freud was “pulled up, vanned off” in the 7th then, according to the NYS Gaming Commission, euthanized. Papa Freud was ten years old and under the whip for the 51st time.

Later in the day, in the 2nd at Charles Town, 3-year-old Peggys Music Maker “broke down midway on the turn” and, says Equibase, “had to be euthanized.”

If you are new to this site, if what brought you here were the keywords “kill breeders cup,” then I implore you to return every day for one solid week. Then, I am confident, you will see this industry for what it is: cruel, wicked, and, yes, murderous.


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  1. Any person who participates, supports and/or defends this carnage would have to be deliberately delusional and/or have a piece of their heart missing.
    One kill yesterday on the Del Mar card, but it seems reasonable to assume that lots of racehorses yesterday were maimed in some capacity rendering them unable to compete at high levels or they endured career-ending injuries which usually leads to dumping in some capacity.
    Secret medical records, total lack of neutral oversight, and racetrack owners willing to deliberately withhold names and/or race replays showing breakdowns all support the horrific outcomes that racehorses are forced to endure.
    They don’t “love to run,” as the industry would like you to believe.
    Racehorses are non-consenting, voiceless beings exploited to the point of being maimed or killed for $2 bets.
    That’s what this industry is about, and that’s what your supporting.

    • Mr. Hinx was maimed, has a condylar fracture after the Damascus stakes yesterday. He will be undergoing surgery to repair it. His trainer states “he is comfortable” awaiting surgery. Really? How does he know?

      • Your point re: pain experienced by the horse is well taken. I worked critical care in the hospital for 32 years and found patients could even go to sleep and appear to be pain-free when they were actually experiencing considerable pain.

    • And – in a tweet from Jeremy Balan- “Flavian Prat probably going to get a whip violation fine for his ride on Battle of Midway – but I think he’ll be able to swallow that”. That’s great! So does that mean that because Flavian prat is a successful, wealthy jockey- it’s ok for him to whip a horse mercilessly – because it’s no big deal to pay the fine?! Or the connections and race fans don’t care that he beat a horse violently, breaking the rules, as long as it meant that horse won a big money race at all costs?! Disgusting.

    • Well said. I’m so saddened it hurts. Those poor poor helpless beings. There’s no sense to be made of it. It’s the consequence of a human vice.

  2. these are killed on the track but what about thousands sent to auction because they could not run faster and make more money for the owners.. check on the auctions in your state and see how many tbs with tats gothru

    • Jomarie, yes, some are sent to auctions but the vast majority are sent underground….direct to kill….just like Deputy Broad. They simply disappear. Just another dirty secret of the racing industry,

      • Mary- Can you tell me more about this practice? I am a big supporter of TB aftercare and am aware of the kill pen but not about what you posted. Thanks.

      • Paul, there are some tracks that have an anti-slaughter policy, one being Mountaineer in WV. On paper, these anti-slaughter policies look great. Basically they say that if an owner/trainer is found to have knowingly sold a horse for slaughter, that individual will lose his or her license either permanently or for a certain period of time. When a TB ends up at auction, the rescuers, who frequent the auctions, are able to “trace” the horse through the tattoo, which is the Jockey Club registration number, back to the last owner. Therefore, because the horse is easily traced back to the individual who sold the horse into a bad situation, there is a fear that the repercussions could include being booted from the track. However, if caught, the storytelling begins. The last owner usually says that he sold/gave the horse to the “nice gentleman” (they never seem to have a bill of sale or remember the name of the purchaser) who wanted the horse for his grandkids who are in 4H. Therefore, the seller gets a free pass because now he/she isn’t responsible for allowing the horse to end up in a bad place. It is the “nice gentleman” who is now responsible.

        With that being said, there is still a risk of being found out when a horse ends up at the auction. Therefore, many in racing use the “direct to kill” system. There are contract kill buyers…those who have contracts with the slaughterhouses in Canada and Mexico. In Ohio, there are three contract killers….Leroy Baker, Fred Bauer, and Steve Llandfair. Only contract killers can sell to the slaughterhouses. These individuals have contracts, either written or verbal, to deliver a certain number of horses to the plants on a weekly basis. However, the contract killers need help and that is where the “middlemen” come into play. The “middlemen” collect the horses, possibly warehousing them for a few days, and then hand them off to the contract killers. Racing owners/trainers can act as middlemen and provide a conduit to move these horses through the pipeline. They will work the backside of a track collecting unproductive horses and then they sell the horses to the contract killer. Danny Bird, owner/trainer of Deputy Broad, sold the horse to Fred Bauer. DB literally went from track to plate in nine days. I spoke to Bird on the phone just a few days after DB’s last race, and I specifically asked Bird if the horse would be at the Sugarcreek auction on that Friday and Bird told me that the horse was already with Fred Bauer. Bauer also told me, and my husband, that his men make a swing through Kentucky on a weekly basis. Those horses are loaded up, taken to Bauer’s feedlot in Larue, Ohio, re-loaded onto the slaughter truck and then head to Canada. Therefore, the horses by-pass the auctions and have no chance of being rescued. The auction horses are actually the lucky ones because they do have a chance that someone will step up and purchase them. The direct to kill horses have literally a zero chance of being rescued since no one knows about them except for the middlemen. They just simply disappear into the night. The middlemen are allowed to freely roam the tracks and are, oftentimes, licensed owners/trainers. Examples are Reid Gross and Dale Baird. Both are now deceased. Gross once told the CANTER volunteers that he would rather send a horse to slaughter than donate that horse to a rescue. Sick stuff, but racing is a sick industry that needs to unload unproductive horses quickly….quickly being the operative word. It is also interesting that there is a legitimate training center across the street from Mountaineer and that training center is also a holding facility for slaughterbound horses. Sending horses to slaughter is part of racing’s culture. It always has been and always will be because there are simply too many horses and too few good homes. Out of sight….out of mind.

        I hope my explanation has given you the info you need. If not, please let me know and thank you for supporting TB aftercare because the 40 BILLION dollar industry does very little.

      • Let’s not forget Ferdinand Kentucky Derby winner,Breeders Cup winner and Eclipse Horse of the Year who ended up in a Japanese Slaughterhouse despite efforts to have him returned to the States…

      • Paul, thank you for asking your question – wanting to know more about what happens to countless TB’s when their racing owners/trainers no longer want them. Mary has been involved with TB racehorse rescue for many years and has had personal experience with the very ugly practice of the horses disappearing into the “slaughter pipeline” – you can take what she told you to the bank.

        I’d like to provide some additional information that might give a better understanding. We see racehorses with kill buyers/in kill pens/at KB-attended auctions posted weekly. Just a couple of recent examples are the mare Batalla who was in the possession of KB Brian Moore on October 28 (likely, even several days before the 28th) and her last race was at Mountaineer on September 18…and the filly Iwantapronotion, also with Moore (on October 28), and her last race was October 10 at Mountaineer. Mere weeks since their last races and they are on their way to slaughter unless someone comes up with “bail” and transport and quarantine and homes.

        In addition to the individuals Mary named, there is a TB racing breeder/owner/trainer by the name of Jaroslav Gold here in Michigan who has had the distinction of being the largest supplier of horses to a Canadian slaughterhouse – he might still. When I was with CANTER-MI, we would need to match “meat price” for many of the crippled or used-up racehorses the racing owners/trainers wanted rid of…with a ready-made buyer in Jeron/Jaron/Jero/Jaroslav Gold, I was constantly sickened walking the shedrows, wondering which horses Gold would be loading onto HIS trailer. At Shipshewana’s notorious Good Friday auction in 2008, we actually bid against Gold on a little paint mare with a fractured knee – even though we won the bid, the auctioneer gave the nod to Gold. AND HE IS A RACING OWNER. Just this past week, his horses have run at Parx, Mountaineer and Mahoning Valley. Here, an article that includes the identifying of Gold as a kill buyer…

        The racing industry fails miserably when it comes to aftercare for their horses. We know it. They know it.

    • It’s important to note, based on direct experience, that the majority of people who rescue these desperate racehorses at kill auctions or attempt to intervene prior to going underground, usually have nothing to do with the exploitation of the horse they are rescuing.
      Furthermore, trying to get ONE DIME from the multi-billion dollar horse racing industry, their respective wagering companies (HBPA, TVG, America Bets, Xpress Bet), and/or the wealthy connections that once “loved” the horse for their Derby prospect rarely responds to requests.
      Moreover, the industry funded aftercare programs usually have specific caveats, in order to get any funding, to support the industry, and not to advocate for its shut down.
      The industry and its cronies know darn well that the slaughterhouse floor is littered with their disposable racehorses, and it will never end as long as this industry exists especially when they are not legally mandated to take of the unwanted OTTB mess that they are directly responsible for creating.
      Besides, they would not get people to invest if they were told that they had to be financially/morally responsible for the racehorses when they are done maiming them or when they are no longer boosting wallets/egos.
      On that note, the industry blogs were quick to boast about 53+ million dollars in wagering on just one day at Del Mar!
      There was absolutely no mention of ONE CENT going to aftercare, and this money was made off the bones, backs, muscles, tendons, and lives of racehorses without whom this industry would not exist.
      This is a delusional, heartless bunch of irresponsible people who think that exploiting, maiming, dumping, and/or killing sentient beings is okay.
      It’s NOT okay, and no big fancy hats or mint juleps conducted under the guise of “entertainment’ “sport” can cover-up these facts.

    • Someone in the racing industry told me this no longer the case. Horse rescues take them or they must be rehomed. He said it is actually illegal now to put them through the auction.

      • Roberta, that “someone in the racing industry” is a liar. Horse rescues take them in? Most rescues are full and have wait lists. Must be rehomed? Read my response to Paul. The owners/trainers “rehome” them and then the horse ends up at auction. You simply don’t understand the business of racing. Stalls are valuable pieces of real estate. When the horse is no longer productive, that horse must go and, oftentimes, the trainer gives you a day or two to find the horse a safe place to go. Not a good situation.

      • Roberta, I would love to assist in educating that individual who told you that – because that is so far from the facts and the truth. But I have an inkling this “someone” knows the truth – that 10K to 12K (according to well-known and respected equine veterinarian Patricia Hogan) TB’s are slaughtered every year – and as so many other racing insiders do, he/she is lying to YOU and to him/herself.

      • Roberta, do the math.
        They can’t even find a forever, decent home for unwanted OTTB’s right now because the majority of industry funded OTTB groups have waiting lists with many no longer taking anymore TB’s.
        So how in the hell are they going to find homes for the 30,000+ TB’s that they breed every single year?!
        These numbers are required to fill races, and to increase wagering bets which is the primary goal of this business as evidenced by rules that result in the ongoing maiming/killing of racehorses.
        Here in Canada we are on the receiving end of the unwanted OTTB’s, and it’s horrific.
        For facts, figures, pictures of the dumped racehorses go to the Canadian Defense Coalition or visit the Canadian Department of Agriculture.
        The unwanted mess that this industry creates is there for all to see.
        You would have to be deaf, dumb, blind or deliberately delusional to think otherwise.
        Every time you place a bet you are supporting the massive slaughter of racehorses – that’s the truth not what that person told you.

      • That is the sound of industry “wespeak”. Visit any auction, any kill pen and (if you are allowed) take a peek under the lip of any horse that looks like a TB. They won’t look like the shiny muscled and/or alert beings you see on the TV. They will be depressed, dehydrated and starved. So rescuers are used to looking past the “poor old nag” and see the tossed off racing warrior. That person, if truly in the industry, was flat out lying. They al know and all deny.

  3. Thanks for the update SD.
    So my assumption was correct – business as usual at Del Mar again today.
    So far, in every single race, there have been horses that “weakened,” “eased,” “DNF – walked-off.”
    This business is an entire culture of causing harm to a racehorse (Flavin Pratt), and even protects these animal abusers.
    This is a vile, disgusting, and corrupt business whereby racehorses are disposable commodities.
    Don’t patronize horse racing because this is what you are supporting.

  4. no the reality is unscrupulous trainers and horses ensured for a lot more than they worth I detest them and their greedy owners how many frivolous people were the today?race horses are proud noble with big hearts iys are duty to protect them and get rid of bad trainers and owners .How do I know I have been around race horse for about 60 years

    • Yes, I agree, Marisa. The exploitation and abuse of the beautiful horses that are raced to death for the entertainment of uncaring humans continues to break my heart. I appreciate the opinions of people like you who are on the front lines and thank you for your post.

    • These “unscrupulous trainers” and “greedy owner” are absolutely accommodated by racing. Racing is a corrupt business with no rules remotely related to horse welfare. The only thing important to racing is money regardless of how the horses suffer, and die.
      As long as there is racing nothing will be done on behalf of the horse. And that is the nature of this low business.

  5. Thus is totally horrible how these people treat their race horses like this SHAME ON THEM ALL. You are dudgudtingbhorribke heartless peoples Shsme onnyiur souls fir treating them so horribly !!!! This is disgusting all in the name of EVIL MONEY!! You people should be ashamed of yourselves!!!! You are just killers!!!!!

  6. Why is there no consideration and care for animals such as these beautiful racing horses that risk their lives everyday just so that humans can fill their wallets with money! Exploiting animals is not the purpose we are here on earth but to be compassionate and feel empathy for the suffering of others! Money has driven man to conduct himself shamelessly and no matter what even if it is at the cost of a living being he will risk that chance! How sad and disappointing humans have become with no care at all for his dishonourable conduct!

  7. Greyhound racing is as bad or worse than horse racing. They are both bloodsports with abused, throw away animals, all for the almighty dollar. fortunately greyhound racing is on its way out, unfortunately doesn’t look that way for horseracing. There’s a special place in hell for these so-called humans.

  8. You might want to check your facts. Cheekaboomboom finished 6th in the second race. How terrible of you to spread this false propaganda.

    • Roger – Patrick is correct. Read the equibase chart – it is stated by the chartwriter that the horse broke down after the wire and euthanized. Also stated on multiple horseracing sites. Not propaganda at all. There is no reason to have to use propaganda. The sheer numbers of horses dying sadly speak for themselves.

    • Silence from Roger.
      No apologies to Patrick for basically calling him a liar or any acknowledgment that he made a mistake.
      There have been apologists come on here and even claim that a racehorse who died is now in their grassy paddock living a happy life.
      Yet, when challenged to provide proof – silence.
      Of course the silence of thousands of owners/trainers/supporters 365 days of the year while thousands of racehorses are maimed, dumped, sent to slaughter and/or killed is perplexing to say the least.
      Unfortunately Roger, Patrick is correct – another beautiful racehorse, Cheekaboomboom, has died for this vile business.
      There were countless others maimed during the 2 day “festival” at Del Mar.
      It seems obvious to most that racehorses being doped, whipped/beaten, maimed, and/or killed is not a festival, nor is it “entertainment,” – it’s a modern day blood bath and it needs to end.

    • Agreed, Lynn, this lack of oversight reminds me of puppy mills that run rampant around our country. Retail pet store owners are just as greedy and disgustingly uncaring as some race horse owners. These abused animals count on us humans to be their voices which is why I spend many hours protesting their exploitation. There is hope that the tide towards animals rights may be turning so I pray for a day when we no longer have race tracks where many beautiful race horses face their deaths.

  9. I am an animal advocate. A huge dog and horse advocate, but also fight factory farming. I’m totally engulfed now in keeping the 50,000 wild horses and burros from being mass murdered. These sick SUBHUMANS that are fine with destroying incredible, wonderful, intelligent horses are so horribly evil. I’ve thought the Humane Society seems powerful enough that it could intervene for these poor race horses, but who knows how far they’re willing to go to make their ALMIGHTY DOLLARS, and have probably bought off the authorities. I heard a year ago the FBI considered animal abuse and neglect were finally deemed a felony, yet they have done NOTHING TO HELP ANYWHERE!!! Is anyone with authority willing to go after these criminals???

  10. I have no words due to anger i keep telling people this happens and they dont believe it .killed on track wow i just cant believe with people watching and just ran a race horse probably hopeing there helping but no killing my heart hurts for them

  11. Doesn’t anyone know that there are people that have grass lots that would love to have a beautiful creature just enjoying life eating grass and being loved by their caregiver. I’d sure give some a forever home with love and care.

  12. This breaks my heart for these gentle animals whom are so very intelligent!!! Humans disgust me in treating animals like this! There are better ways to make money than to abuse any animal 😡😡😡!!!!

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