Santa Anita Is Actually at 21 Dead Racehorses Since Current Meet Began

While Santa Anita scrambles to contain its current killing crisis, closing the track Tuesday while, as the Daily News put it, “staff tested the soil to seek environmental factors that could have contributed to the deaths of 19 horses since the season started in December,” the latest Stewards Minutes reveal that that 19 figure being widely reported is actually understated by two. Direct from the Minutes:

w/e December 30, 1 “fatality”
w/e January 6, 2 “fatalities”
w/e January 13, 2 “fatalities”
w/e January 20, 3 “fatalities”
w/e January 27, 5 “fatalities”
w/e February 3, 2 “fatalities”
w/e February 10, 1 “fatality”
w/e February 17, 1 “fatality”
Hot American, February 22
Battle of Midway, February 23
Just Forget It, February 23
Charmer John, February 24

So, that’s 21 dead racehorses at Santa Anita Park since the meet began in late December. Crisis, intensified.


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  1. This citizen is beyond appalled at learning of the needless carnage of magnificent race-horses and challenge those who exploit this animal for financial gain to end this travesty. This is NOT SPORT but a loathsome exercise in Domination of animals to which I object. These horses are OVER BRED and many end up slaughtered in Mexico or Canada for food which is ludicrous and dangerous to those who dine on the drugs fed to these horses. Many are too young to race safely and are fed drugs to race before their time! ENOUGH!

  2. Can you tell me why some the horses were “unidentified” on the list? Names are usually reported. This was alarming to me at the time. It is even more unsettling now.

    • As a matter of policy, the California Horse Racing Board does not identify dead racehorses. I’ve tried through FOIA requests since I began doing this in 2013. Names, however, are occasionally used in the Stewards Minutes; when they’re not, I use “unidentified.”

    • “as a matter of policy,” CHRB.
      This is not only infuriating to those of us who truly care, but if tried in a court of law illegal because:
      1. The CHRB and the employees there are funded by the state of California = taxpayers.
      2. Taxpayers deserve transparency for any governmental agency including the CHRB.
      3. The tracks are also supported by the wagering PUBLIC (not that I care about that or support them), but from a legal standpoint this information belongs to the public.
      4. The CHRB, in collusion with the pro-horse racing entities, have been, more or less, dictating to California taxpayers what they can and can’t see, and this is a violation of First Amendment rights according to some legal people that I’ve spoken to.
      I’m waiting for the day that this gets challenged in court so that they will have to release this information.
      Funny how they have no problem putting their names from birth “The Jockey Club” to racing “Racing Form” and all wagering related documents, and on Equibase – all of this material generates sales and wagering profits and all of them publish their names.
      Yet, when the horses are a victim of their maiming and killing the names are dropped and that includes when they are standing at a kill auction waiting for the meat truck to arrive because these apologists, who continually claim to “love” their racehorses, are NOWHERE to be found when they are dumped.
      Most, if not all, won’t give ONE DIME to rescue them and to save them from a horrific end on the slaughterhouse floor – this is the truth behind the glamour and the “sports” banner which seems to be a deliberate effort to mask the deceive the public and the taxpayers who are footing much of the bill to keep this charade going.

      • You couldnt be more right gina, excellent spot on comment. If the average person only knew all that goes on, racing will have its day its coming.

  3. Horse racing belongs in the dust bin of history. These magnificent animals have been exploited and abused for centuries and it needs to stop. Stop breeding them, stop racing them, stop killing them. They deserve so much better. It’s time greedy, criminal humans wake up and evolve. Choose a “sport” that uses your own body and doesn’t involve an unwilling, enslaved other.

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