Second Horse Dies From Belmont Collision on Halloween; Another Horse Dies in Wake of Maria

When the NYS Gaming Commission disclosed the death of Hyde Park Express from a training collision at Belmont October 31, no word was given on the condition of the other horse. Now we learn that he, too, is dead. 3-year-old Elite Kid, says the Commission, was initially sent to Ruffian (Equine Hospital) but euthanized November 11 “after no improvement.” NY, by the way, stands at 111 dead racehorses on the year.

Then this: The website “Thoroughbred Champions” reports that yesterday a horse named Salientito became the latest Puerto Rico horse to die in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. (According to the group “Caribbean Thoroughbred Aftercare,” as of October 29 the Maria death count was “at least 33.”) Salientito was 10 years old and had been under the whip a shocking 125 times (all at PR’s only racetrack, Camarero). 125. And, apparently, only retired because of the hurricane. In other words, more abuse was coming. As it is, he died horribly – according to the poster, “chronic laminitis, ulcers, anemia & a host of other issues.” Yes, horribly: Salientito, below.


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  1. One hundred and eleven (111) racehorses have died in New York state in just over 10 months… this for real?
    One hundred and thirty-seven (137) racehorses died in Australia in one year.
    The tally for one state in the USA compares with that of the whole of Australia.
    This is unbelievable.
    As we know, both these numbers are deaths of horses that have been officially reported and disclosed by the industry. Rest assured, the true number of deaths is far greater.
    Utterly unacceptable.

    • Sadly – as of the end of September- Ohio was sitting at 37 deaths – 32 thoroughbreds and 5 Standardbreds. And of course, we know there have been quite a few since then, especially with the horrible first few days of the mahoning season.

  2. The PP’s for Salientito is another example of blatant racehorse abuse.
    This poor gelding labored the hard way.
    He was what this vile business refers to as a “cheap claimer,” but it’s these “cheap claimers” that carry this business on their bones, and backs.
    It’s these “cheap claimers” whom, collectively, generate billions in wagering profits.
    By the way, it’s these “cheap claimers,” that people in the industry often call RATS!
    Most all run sore.
    Most all are likely suffering often denied the medical care that they so desperately need.
    When this vile business is done exploiting, abusing, and maiming them – most are DUMPED if they make it out alive.
    While this business continually bragged about their BILLIONS in sales, and wagering profits while racehorses like Camarero were slowly dying from starvation, and lack of medical care.
    To all you industry supporters: you are much lower than these “cheap claimers” or “rats” could ever be.
    Just look at these pics!
    Salientito is ONE of many, and his condition is disgusting.
    How dare you claim to “love” and “care” for racehorses?!
    You are lower than the dirt that they drop dead in.
    Salientito I will not let you die in vain like the scums, and the industry who are directly responsible for doing this.

  3. So many horses dying in this industry…so many. How can anyone justify those deaths? – it just boggles my mind. Elite Kid, just 3 years old. A chestnut – I visualize him to make his life and death more “real” and not just words in this blog. He was raced 10 times – still a maiden. Raced in Florida and New York, two owners in only 6 months. Only 3. Lives his last 11 days with injuries so severe they necessitated euthanasia. Makes me sick. Elite Kid’s death doesn’t matter to the apologists. Most, I’m sure, don’t want to hear about it.

    And the racehorses in Puerto Rico? – poor Salientito (in the photos) looks good compared to photos of others I’ve seen. Pity the racehorses who get sent down to that hell. Here are tweets from an individual from the CTA; “4y G you bred EXCLUSIVE [sic] STARSHIP survived Hurricane Maria, but needs help [CTA] asked 2 find retirement.” Then this; “0 retirement opportunities for TBs in PR right now. Equine Vet Surgeon said he has chronic arthritis front L fetlock. Any help appreciated.” Four days after that last tweet, this; “[Sad] 2 report ELUSIVE STARSHIP euthanized yesterday. Tho had fetlock issue, main reason current & past connections didn’t respond, offer help.”

    CURRENT AND PAST CONNECTIONS DIDN’T RESPOND, OFFER HELP. Not one bit shocking. Elusive Starship, only 4 years old as of this past April. Chronic arthritis…as a FOUR year old – that’s the equivalent of a 12 or 13-year-old boy. The dark bay gelding was raced 29 times in his short life. His first 7 starts, Florida tracks for owners Burton Butker and Anita Hicken. Butker and Hicken unloaded Elusive Starship after his 7th race for them – sent him to Puerto Rico. And turned their backs on him. Now he’s dead.

    Typical behavior on behalf of people in this industry.
    This PR rescue group started posting SOS tweets immediately after the hurricane.
    At that point, most racehorses (except for 4) could have been saved!
    Yet, during their cries for help Keenland, Fasig-Tipton were all over the Paulick Report boasting about their BILLION dollar sales profits, and so were the wagering companies!
    A disgusting bunch of irresponsible, heartless, greedy, racehorse abusers!
    In order to support and/or participate in this industry you would have to be deliberately delusional to see all this going on, and continue to support it.
    All of these individuals/companies that make their living off the bones, and backs of these racehorses STAND DOWN when they are in peril, when they are standing at kill auctions, and when they are in this situation.
    Their silence is their guilt, and their inaction is unacceptable.
    Yet, they continue to breed, and breed with no mandatory contribution to put aside for these racehorses that they are directly responsible for dumping.
    This blog has been instrumental in educating people, and providing facts about what this industry is about.
    That 2 minute thrill of jumping up and down for your stupid bets translates into a living being being exploited, dumped, and killed.
    This is what your supporting!
    Your $2 bet is equally responsible for every single racehorse that died, some slowly suffering, due to lack of response from this multi-billion dollar industry.
    This is a demented, and abusive industry that is conducted under the guise of “entertainment.”
    Ask yourself this: is racehorses being maimed, dropping dead in the dirt, being dumped at kill auctions, dying on the slaughterhouse floor, slowly suffering while being confined in a stall with no food, water or bedding as we see in Puerto Rico – is this what you consider “entertainment?”

  5. Here is an update from the Caribbean Thoroughbred Aftercare’s co-founder from her Twitter account, 1-3-2018;

    “Names of 56 [racehorses] died in PR since Maria [a list of the 56 dead horses is included]. Missing 50 + more [horses’] names that died in the backstretch stalls. 105 days of wet, muck, neglect is taking toll. Barns aren’t repaired & death/killing rate is rising significantly, yet they’re in States now buying more [horses] 2 import 2 race.”

    And this;

    “Estimate well over 100 horses that survived Hurricane Maria at PR racetrack have died since (euthanized and died in stalls) due 2 colic, founder, infection, injury, neglect…That’s > 10% of [approximately] 900 TB’s reported 2 be on backstretch during Maria. Many deaths believed 2 b preventable!”

    Of the 56 identified dead horses, 31 were bred in the states.

  6. What I have seen – posts and photos – about the grey gelding Unstoppable U has been so horrific…and his suffering could have been avoided. I want to share just a bit about him and a brief “timeline”;

    Unstoppable U, 2009 grey/roan KY-bred gelding. Race record – 45 starts, 13-7-3 for 375K. He was raced at Churchill Downs, Keeneland, Saratoga to name just a few. Won his first race at Aqueduct as a 3 y/o in 2012 for co-owner Magdalena Racing and co-owner/breeder Mojallali Stables, Inc. Placed 6th in the 2012 Belmont Stakes, was a DNF in the Dwyer Stakes 3 weeks later and then finished 7th of 9 five months after the Dwyer in an allowance race (still for the same owners).

    In March of 2013, Unstoppable U won the Maxxam Gold Cup Handicap for Magdalena/Mojallali. His next two races for M/M, both in April, he finished 2nd to last (29 lengths back) and last (21 lengths back).

    Up to that time, April of 2013, Unstoppable U had made 192K running for Magdalena and Mojallali. But then they sold him at the 2013 Fasig-Tipton Summer Selected Horses of Racing Age Sale for 17K. Considering his racing earnings and the sale of him, the gelding gave them nearly 220K.

    After they sold him, he was raced another 27 times from December of 2013 to May of 2016 – running his last race (in the States) at Finger Lakes in a 10K claiming race where he finished 6th of 7 (“tired”) for owner/trainer Rafael Jose Rohena.

    Now this is where this madness could have all been ended…but it just continued – from a co-founder of the Caribbean Thoroughbred Aftercare per her Twitter; “[Unstoppable U’s] breeder offered $5,000 to retire him in summer 2016, but Rohena Jr in NY wanted $10,000 and sent him to his Dad, Rohena Sr in [Puerto Rico].” WAIT!…Unstoppable U made (racing and from the sale of him) 220K for breeder/former co-owner Mojallali…but Mojallali refused to pay 10K to give him retirement?

    Unstoppable U was sent to Puerto Rico to race. His first race there, at Camarero, was in November of 2016 and his last, August of 2017. Again, from the CTA co-founder; “After Maria, [Unstoppable U] was moved to a barn with a roof, but when our team checked on him a few times, he was standing in muck! Trainer Rohena Sr refused (again) to allow CTA to retire him (w/o $10K).” WITHOUT 10K. Shawn Mojallali, the gelding was not worth 10K to save his life?

    A final tweet from the CTA co-founder; “[Unstoppable U] was euthanized Oct 19, 2017 due 2 founder. He had pressure sores on parts of body indicating, per vet, that he’d been lying down on cement, muck a lot (due 2 pain in feet), & had swelling in legs.”

    Let the life and death of Unstoppable U “sink in”. I hope it’s painful to read…horrific to think about. Torture. He endured literal torture. If he had to endure it, the least we can do is acknowledge it.

    • A horrific story, Joy and, I might add, one that was not buried.
      These people are absolutely uncaring and cruel beyond measure. The industry facilitates the horrible mistreatment of the horses while greedily raking in the money. Further, officials do their best to hide the ugly truth. They enable the unscrupulous to be fully operational knowing very well what they are doing to the horses. This is truly an amoral, lawless operation in a supposedly civilized society. It needs to be brought to it’s knees.

    • Thanks for sharing this, Joy. Sickeningly cruel what they did to Unstoppable U, A story like this should be exposed in mainstream media.

  7. Rich or poor, there is no lower form of life then these blood-sucking leeches.
    They absolutely sicken me – every single one of them.
    These racehorses are moved around from track to track carrying very painful injuries that cause them to suffer on a daily basis.
    As if this were not enough, racehorses with serious injuries that would hopefully not pass pre-race vet inspections here, are sent to these hell holes like Puerto Rico.
    True to industry form, the bloodsucking leeches are buying up cheap racehorses in the U.S. to use, and abuse them again while racehorses are dropping dead in their stalls in Puerto Rico.
    These are the people behind horse racing.
    These are the people who claim to “love” and “care” for racehorses.

    Actually a leech has the capacity for more compassion than these pro-horse racing apologists.
    While these racehorses are suffering, and dropping dead the recent sales at auction houses Keeneland and Fasig-Tipton posted BILLIONS in profit just for providing a roof and a catalogue.
    Just 1% of every sale would have probably saved every single racehorse down there – just think about that.
    Cumulatively, these sales auction houses and wagering outlets have made TRILLIONS in net profit over the years while racehorses continue to suffer, and be abused for this vile business.

    Frank Stronach’s Magna “Entertainment” went forward with a stake race specifically designed for horses from Puerto Rico, and after everything that these racehorses went through, (the ones actually left standing) they endured being shipped into Gulfstream Park and actually made to run while being whipped in the stretch.
    Frank Stronach is another delusional apologist who supports and promotes the massive suffering of racehorses as evidenced by the racehorses dropping dead on his tracks and in their stalls on a regular basis.
    I suppose sending them ONE DIME to take care of the horses was not possible for this multiMILLIONAIRE who breeds horses all over North America to be exploited in this business.
    Him, and most apologists most likely disdain the aftercare organization in Puerto Rico because they expose this industry for what it is – a shameful bunch of people maiming and/or killing racehorses with ZERO conscience.

    This is horse racing.
    This is what’s behind the fancy hats, mint juleps, and “entertainment/sport” banner.

    UNSTOPPABLE U – your life of pain, suffering, cruelty, abuse, and inhumane treatment by this industry will NOT be in vain.
    I can assure you of that.
    So sorry for you buddy – so sorry.

    Please help us end the suffering now.

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