Santa Anita Has Always Killed Horses, It’s Just That Now It’s Being Covered

Not to keep hammering away at this, but the goings-on at Santa Anita are simply too important to let die. As I’ve previously written, what’s happened there is no anomaly; in fact, it’s business as usual. Let’s just look at the past three fiscal years at Santa Anita, and I’ll even leave out the so-called non-racing casualties (even though to my mind they’re no less deserving of recognition – think Civil War soldier deaths – than the ones who snap legs out on the track). So, track-related kills only, Santa Anita Park:

July 1, 2015-June 30, 2016 – 57
July 1, 2016-June 30, 2017 – 54
July 1, 2017-June 30, 2018 – 37

That’s 148 horses killed racing or training on the Santa Anita track over the past three years (not including, of course, the recent deaths). At all California tracks during this same period, 435 dead. Again, just on-track. Is this what is to pass for “progress” as cited by the Board chair in the most recent annual report?

But more to the point, where was (is) the outrage over those numbers, those dead horses? Where was (is) the national media (who at the moment is allowing itself to be distracted by Lasix)? The story here is that horseracing kills horses because said killing is built-in to what they do. And here’s why.

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  1. Thank you Patrick. I don’t consider this, your recent post “hammering away.” Your writing style is powerful, esp with your credible death and/or killing statistics included. I hope you continue hammering away…after all the “thing needs to be pressed” right?

  2. Patrick a very well written article – very sad but definitely a totally true version of what is taking place at the race tracks. I agree with you that the media needs to get involved in this torture and not on only the version of the drug issue – there are many other serious issues here that need to be dealt with and should have already been done so. This is a tragic situation at the race tracks and the total lack of concern for the lives of these poor horses and their horrible deaths. These owners and trainers are all about the money and nothing about the proper training. I can not believe how young these poor animals are “started” and I just shutter every time I read about one of these horrible deaths. Who in the hell would start an 18 month old colt to the race track – God Almighty this is just unbelievable and so incredibly horrific. There is a saying that people need to stop and think about – “Horses are God’s way of apologizing for men.” Humans are the worst abusers of all in this whole sad world.

  3. Patrick, it’s only this vile business that is hammering away racehorse’s lives on a daily basis not the facts that expose these horrific tragedies.
    Furthermore, just these 3 years alone clearly shows that it had nothing to do with the track surface or Lasix.
    Although I think Lasix is a huge contributing factor to their demise I also think that Lasix plays a huge role in the corruption that seems so prevalent in this business.
    Everybody should be trying to shut this business down and that includes PETA.
    I’m shocked and disappointed that PETA, one of the largest animal rights groups in the world, is not busy garnering signatures to reach the 600,000 required to shut this death ring down in California.
    I get and sign petitions from PETA all the time in my email Inbox.
    They have the members, they have the resources, they can reach probably 50% of the required 600,000 California resident signatures by just clicking a button that drops the petition in their email like I always get.
    So what in the hell is taking them so long to be more progressive?
    This just blows me away – did they get a donation or something to placate this horror show?

  4. A couple of facts are contained in the following article that many of us don’t know about including me:

    Just to highlight:
    “Unfortunately, two days after announcing its new safety measures, TSG caved to demands from the Thoroughbred Owners of California (TOC), which threatened to take 140 horses to other states to race. In a compromise with the TOC, with the exception of horses born in and after 2018, the race-day medication ban will not go into effect until 2020.”
    These are the reforms that Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo called a “watershed moment” for horseracing and said they will “set a new standard for racing that means less suffering for thoroughbreds at this track.”
    Well Kathy, take it from me, when you side with the devil only evil results happen as we see here.
    It’s back to “business as usual” and the only positive thing that PETA has done is to ensure that a criminal investigation for animal cruelty charges is pursued.
    I can tell you right now, from being in this business, I bet you that all the owners/trainer are laughing their heads-off back in the stable area at Belinda Stronach while they are getting their horses doped up with SWT.
    This business needs to shut down because it doesn’t matter what they do it won’t change the rudimentary facts of this business: money over the welfare of their “family members” which results in racehorses dying.

  5. And ANOTHER (baby) horse is off the “Kentucky Derby trail” – injured at Santa Anita while training this past Sunday, Gunmetal Gray suffered a condylar fracture (the colt was said to be in surgery Sunday afternoon).

    Gunmetal Gray will turn 3 the end of April – has raced 7 times – and already injured. His owner, Terry Finley, on his colt’s broken leg; “There’s not much to say. It’s just bad timing.”

  6. The horses can’t speak for themselves. We need to be their voice. At my barn, there are many rescued thoroughbreds. They never knew their was so much kindness towards horses. It’s a business., and only the top top thoroughbreds are treated somewhat well. Wonderful article. There, obviously, is something happening there. Insurance money????


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