“For us, it’s the loss of a child” – Two More Killed at Santa Anita

Another day, two more kills at much-celebrated Santa Anita Park. Yesterday morning during training hours, death came to Battle of Midway, a stakes-winning (multiple times), $1.5 million “earner,” and Just Forget It, a 4-year-old being prepped for his debut. On the former, this from Fernando Diaz-Valdes, racing manager for co-owner Don Alberto Stable (before it was finally decided to euthanize):

“Terrible. Terrible game. He broke down. He shattered his pastern in his hind leg. We want to do anything possible to save the horse, but the vets say there’s no way. There’s too many pieces. We are trying. We want to do anything to save the horse because he gave us so much. There’s no words. For us, it’s the loss of a child.”

The other half of the ownership team, Elliott Walden, added:

“Thank you for (your) condolences. He was a warrior and loved to run. This is an awful tragedy and please pray for all.” (BloodHorse)

Contemptible, sure. But it’s contemptible for more than just referring to an enslaved, exploited animal as a “child” and a “warrior,” and for more than soliciting consolation for those who reaped the rewards of that exploitation. It’s contemptible, too, for the utter absence of tribute and grief for the other dead racehorse at Santa Anita yesterday. Which only goes to prove (yet again) that only the victims with star pedigrees and glorious “triumphs” rate. For the rest (the vast majority), a collective shrug. How profoundly sad – on multiple levels.

(By my count, 18 horses have now lost their lives at Santa Anita since the first of the year. 18, in eight weeks, at one of the supposed good tracks. Chew on that, apologists.)

16 Comments

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  1. There are hundreds of comments about this death on both paulick report and bloodhorse. And I’ve also noted quite a few have been deleted to sanitize the anger towards this unnecessary death.
    What I find interesting is that I noted a few commenters say, “0h Horseracing wrongs will have a field day with this” and called Patrick hypocritical. We are not having a field day with this. We mourn the loss of this horse, but we are mourning HIS death, not having sympathy for the connections who opted to send him back to his death, even after he made them $1.5 million. I am horrified by his loss, that he was made to stand on a leg that was shattered in pieces, while they decide to euthanize or not. And in no way is Patrick hypocritical, he is advocating for the racehorses that are dying for entertainment.

    • Yes,, my sympathy is with Battle of Midway – poor exploited horse.
      As for the connections, they should hang their heads in shame. But in order to experience shame or remorse one has to have a conscience.

  2. Your rate of deaths on this track since the beginning of January 2019 should be enough already to close down this “kill zone.” What a tragic loss for so many wonderful horses and for the majority that should have never even been on the track because of being too young with bones and organs not developed anywhere close to being ready for this type of racing. Just shut down this god damn stupid track and end the deaths. Tell the owners and trainers to go find a “real job” and do the work themselves instead of forcing the abuse on these horses.

  3. BATTLE OF MIDWAY (BOM)
    They had a dud stallion on their hands and it was probably due to whatever the hell they were pumping into him to get him to make all this money for them.
    After all, WinStar Farm (one of the owners) have their own private vet that allegedly flies out to tracks just to shove in their doping plan for the day pre-race – perfectly legal.
    They employ/send horses to their regular, multiple drug violating trainers with multiple racehorses who have died under their training regimes like Todd Pletcher and Jerry Hollendorfer to name a few.
    Need I say more?
    I will tell readers why it probably took so long to euthanize BOM:
    BOM was suffering on the track because they were on the phone to the EQUINE INSURANCE COMPANY to ensure that they would get their BIG FAT CHECK if they went ahead and euthanized him.
    The vet also gets on the phone with the insurance company and all of this takes time to collaborate with the people and the insurance company to get them to agree to pay out on the equine insurance money if they euthanize.
    Kind of like a “Go To” meeting while BOM was suffering on the track with shattered pastern bones.
    I’ve witnessed this first hand and that’s usually the reason why they take so long to euthanize any high profile horse and it seems that this is the case here.
    Rick Arthur, apologist extraordinaire, focuses on the “investigation” the “necropsy”, but NEVER EVER does he mention the doping/vet/SWT records leading up to BOM’s shattered pastern.
    You ever notice that?
    They completely exclude the major facts in order to continue masking the horrific acts of racehorse cruelty, and inhumane treatment perpetrated on voiceless racehorses every single day to mask issues and to continue risking their lives and the lives of the jockeys.
    The usual response from The Stronach Group – it’s the “weather” it’s the “track surface,” yea right.
    The singing chorus of birds on the wire like every death before while completely ignoring what is really going on in horse racing which is:
    NEEDLES IN. NEEDLES OUT. NEEDLES INTO THE JUGULAR. NEEDLES INTO THE JOINTS. NEEDLES INTO ANY HOLE WE CAN FIND. DOPE IN. DOPE OUT.
    These connections had everything to gain when BOM was euthanized and I wouldn’t put it past these money sucking leeches.
    They know that the delusional apologists will all send their condolences on the pro-horse racing publications and they know that nothing, no repercussions, will come out of this whatsoever.
    You will also notice that when a big stake horse like this dies the pro-horse racing reporters will NEVER EVER ask if there was an equine insurance policy in place, and even if they say “no” it’s usually a lie because nobody ever follows up with them.
    BOM was a victim of these greedy bastards, this vile business, and the vile people in it.
    May his spirit, and all the spirits of the dead racehorses haunt this business until the day it’s finally SHUT DOWN.

    • Yes, Gina, it would very interesting to know if the vet. records are reviewed as part of the investigation/necropsy..
      These investigations are just a PR stunt. They are a sham.
      However if insurance is involved, I can”t believe the vet. records would not be examined. That brings up the question of whether these records are accurate. In this business consumed by greed, riddled with drugs, animal cruelty, death and destruction, my money is on worthless records.
      The lack of accountability is stunning.

      • Absolutely Rose.
        This is precisely why they keep their doping/vet records secret.
        “The lack of accountability is stunning.”
        Absolutely especially when they are financially supported by state/local government, paid for by taxpayers, with extensive tax breaks, and/or casino profits which are supposed to be going to the community.
        Then they are further supported by PUBLIC wagering so that any records affecting any race should be made available for the public.
        They been getting their way for so long now that they detest even the slightest bit of transparency, and before any transparency occurs hopefully this business will be shut down by then.

      • I have a dear friend who worked at a NY track decades ago..she told me of all the doping then. Nothing has changed. I guess we cannot be shocked when we live in a world of such cruelty and lack of empathy with our own fellow humans.

  4. Shut down thos death trap that Horses are forced to run in.. They are either to young for racing or have run in to many races already. SHUT DOWN ALL RACE TRACK, ESPECIALLY THIS ONE. ONE DEATH IS TO MANY. THIS IS JUST TO SAD.

  5. Go to Winstar Farm on Twitter.
    Guess what pics are on their Twitter feed?
    The handful of foals by late sire Battle of Midway.
    Underneath all of the public wallpaper, and crocodile tears is a bunch of people ringing their hands thinking about the big bucks that their foals will now bring in since their sire is dead most likely.
    Then behind the scenes are the connections probably wondering how soon their alleged equine insurance check will be delivered
    I asked them on their Twitter feed and was immediately blocked so I think we can all assume there was one.
    I invite anybody from the pro-horse racing sites, like Blood-Horse, or any of the pro-horse racing entities to truthfully confirm whether there was an equine insurance policy on BOM??

  6. Patricia farros old horses still running shaunna alexander used to be good allowance now she runining for claiming 12500 shes 10 yrs old its so 😢

    • Python Patricia.
      She squeezes the life out of racehorses until they are maimed, drop dead in the dirt, or disappear off the radar.
      Pythons have more morals than this horrible human being because at least they kill for survival.

  7. Is someone poisoning the food or water? Why don’t the rich people put a jockey on there back’s and run with them? Horse’s we’re not born to run!! It’s the gambling and greed of those people who don’t feel pain like those animals do. All of them will answer to God. For hurting his beautiful creatures.

  8. Another unconscionably sadistic Day at The Races — as to the following, “For us, it’s the loss of a child” — PLEASE ! — give me a moment while I HURL.

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