More California Necropsies…

Through a FOIA request to the California Horse Racing Board, I have confirmed the following deaths at that state’s tracks in 2018. (Please note: The Board redacted the names of the dead horses; any identifications below came via other channels. Also, because of the sheer volume, I will be posting in increments of 10.)

Mourinho, March 12, Santa Anita T
fracture of both proximal sesamoid bones; rupture, inter sesamoidean ligament and fibrocartilage; marked fraying and partial transection, straight and lateral oblique distal sesamoidean ligaments; complete transection, short and cruciate sesamoidean ligaments that were attached to the lateral sesamoid bone; marked fraying and hemorrhages, lateral branch of the suspensory ligament; rupture, medial collateral ligament and the medial collateral sesamoidean ligaments”

Onde Ah Mo, March 17, Santa Anita R
acute catastrophic failure of right carpus: radial carpal bone fracture, complete, comminuted; intermediate carpal bone fracture, complete, comminuted; 3rd carpal bone fracture, complete; articular cartilage excoriation/ulceration; pre-existing degenerative lesions, [both front] fetlock joints; gastric erosion/ulceration, chronic

Boom Boom Bango, March 18, Santa Anita R
“open, comminuted, completed, displaced fracture, MCIII; open, comminuted, articular, displaced fracture, medial proximal sesamoid bone; avulsion fracture, lateral proximal sesamoid bone; rupture, intersesamoidean ligament and fibrocartilage; marked fraying, flexor tendons; marked fraying, suspensory apparatus; marked fraying, straight distal sesamoidean ligament; moderate fraying, oblique distal sesamoidean ligaments; marked fraying and transection, cruciate sesamoidean ligaments; transection, collateral sesamoidean ligaments; closed, comminuted, complete, displaced, articular fracture of the proximal epiphysis, metaphysis, physis and diaphysis, proximal phalanx; biaxial linear cartilage erosion, both sides of the sagittal ridge, distal articular surface of MCIII (Chronic), [both front limbs]”

unidentified, March 19, Santa Anita T
“comminuted, complete, displaced fracture, distal MTIII; plantar osteochondral disease, MTIII (likely predisposing lesion); comminuted, complete, displaced fracture, medial proximal sesamoid bone; avulsion fracture, lateral proximal sesamoid bone; rupture, intersesamoidean ligament and fibrocartilage; marked fraying, distal sesamoidean ligaments; rupture, cruciate ligaments; marked fraying and hemorrhages, suspensory ligament; focal hemorrhages around the superficial digital flexor tendon; comminuted, complete, displaced fracture of P1; [other back leg]: subcutaneous abscess; plantar osteochondral disease; stomach: ulcers, chronic

Dial Me In, March 23, Santa Anita R
“complete, comminuted, articular fracture of the scapula through the neck and distal end of the spine; the major distal fragment is split into two major fragments by a fracture that enters the glenoid and splits the glenoid into halves; in addition, the caudal fragment is split into 3 major fragments longitudinally”

unidentified, March 26, Santa Anita T
fracture of medial proximal sesamoid bone, complete, articular, displaced, comminuted; fracture of lateral proximal sesamoid bone, complete, articular, displaced, with pre-existing lesion; hemorrhage and fraying, lateral branch of suspensory ligament; rupture, intersesamoidean ligament and fibrocartilage; tear and fraying of straight distal sesamoidean ligament; tear and fraying of oblique distal sesamoidean ligaments; fraying of dorsal side of deep digital flexor tendon”

Smart Knows Smart, March 30, Santa Anita R
catastrophic breakdown of the left forelimb with: fractures of the proximal sesamoid bone; rupture of the palmar annular ligament; rupture of the superficial digital flexor tendon with fraying and hemorrhage and longitudinal tears of the lateral half of the tendon at the fetlock joint; full thickness ruptures involving the medial and lateral margins with fraying and hemorrhage and longitudinal tears of the center at the fetlock joint; longitudinal fissures with hemorrhage of the lateral and medial branches of the interosseous ligament; complete rupture of the intersesamoidean ligament, and complete rupture of the cruciate sesamoidean ligaments; longitudinal fissures and hemorrhage of the collateral ligament of the fetlock joint, the lateral collateral sesamoidean ligament, of the proximal third of the straight sesamoidean and lateral oblique sesamoidean ligaments; hemarthrosis of [both] fetlock joints” (that’s one horse, one death)

unidentified, April 13, Santa Anita T
“horse presented non-weight bearing with the leg dangling – catastrophic right tibial breakdown; severe tearing and hemorrhage of the muscles of the leg surrounding the area of fracture; MCIII bone [in both hind legs] presented osteochondrosis characterized by thinning of the cartilage; the stomach presented many, irregular ulcers; horse had been kicked by another horse on RH and had laceration repaired with 6 staples 1 week ago; horse has chronic history of LF lameness” (seven years old)

My Sweet Emma, April 15, Santa Anita R
“avulsion fracture, proximal sesamoid bone; rupture, inter-sesamoidean ligament; fraying and hemorrhages, superficial digital flexor tendon; fraying, lateral branch and medial branch, suspensory ligament; fraying, both oblique distal sesamoidean ligaments; marked scoring, all articular surfaces of the fetlock; multiple ulcers

Xten, April 20, Santa Anita T
“thoracic lumbar trauma (horse collided with another horse, fell) – given several hours to attempt to rise, unable to; exhibited tremors post-injury; a severe, comminuted (+40 fragments) fracture of the thoracic vertebrae; extensive hemorrhages in the spinal canal, bones and adjacent skeletal muscle; due to the large numbers of fragments, it was not possible to evaluate for predisposing lesions”


  1. Thank-you Patrick for your diligence in obtaining what this industry has been hiding for years.
    The necropsy pics above are the real truth behind the “vanned-off.”
    In the corner cobwebs of the stable area, away from public view, the killings take place.
    However, when their limb(s) are shattered and/or snapped-off like Princess Lili B (both front legs snapped-off) they can’t load them onto their killing van so they are forced (much to their chagrin) to kill them on the spot – screen up of course to hide the horror.

    The list starts off with MOURINHO trained by, yours truly, BOB BAFFERT.
    This dude has hundreds of maimed, crippled, and dead racehorses under his belt.
    After all, it seems to be one of the pre-requisites of getting into the Racing Hall of (Sh)ame.
    MOURINHO was sired by SUPER SAVER – who was trained by multiple drug violating trainer Todd Pletcher who also has a long list of racehorses who have died under his training regime, but races mostly on the East Coast, which is probably why he didn’t make this killing list.
    MOURINHO started running at 2 years old so he would have to be training at least 90 days before that, which puts him into training at about 1.5 years old – a baby in diapers.
    Purchased for $625,000 – an equine insurance policy most likely in place, and isn’t performing up to snuff, at least not enough to make the Derby or high stake races and then – DIES.
    This industry needs to be legally mandated by the government to disclose racehorses who have active equine insurance policies in place during the time of their death.
    I bet my bottom dollar that a clear pattern will emerge since it already has under my informal record keeping.
    Bob Baffert is on the list.

    Remember ARMS RUNNER?
    I realize it’s challenging to keep track of the dying since there are so many, but ARMS RUNNER on 3/31/2019 was the grey racehorse that snapped-his ankle off – there was no ankle left as it dangled while poor ARMS RUNNER ran over to another horse for comfort on the Santa Anita death ring.
    Well ARMS RUNNER was trained by PETER MILLER.
    On 3/30/2018 Peter Miller trained SMART KNOWS SMART who was killed – refer to necropsy report above.

    On 3/17/2018 ONDE AH MO trained by multiple racehorse killer JEFFREY METZ was killed in action.
    These repeat offenders like Jeffrey Metz don’t disappoint when, on 4/14/2018 MY SWEET EMMA crumpled to pieces – see above.

    XTEN, trained by multiple racehorse killer TIM YAKTEEN, whom by the way was an apprentice trainer for years under Bob Baffert.
    He certainly learned how to kill racehorses, a chip-off the ole block don’t you think?

    ESKENDEREYA – trained by multiple drug violator with multiple dead racehorses TODD PLETCHER.
    This horse was sent to the breeding shed and, more than likely, was fed a steady stream of drugs and perhaps ESWT to perform and is the sire of 2 of the dead racehorses above – XTEN, and SMART KNOWS SMART.

    These racehorse killers just keep on killing with no repercussions and it’s time to have them charged under Felony Animal Cruelty charges on the way to shutting them down.
    All above racehorses – so sorry for all of you, it’s so disturbing to see what you all actually went through.
    This must SHUT DOWN now.

  2. If these stories and graphic photographs, don’t convince you that horse racing should be banned, nothing will. Horrific and heartless.

  3. I am sick looking at should be on the Sports page of every newspaper!!

  4. As a veterinarian I am appalled by this! These horses are far too young,if they need to race horses they should raise a minimum age of seven and even then horse racing is animal cruelty why are we doing this in almost 2020?

    • Absolutely, Staci. And that, by the way, is one of the reasons I give for “The Inevitability of Dead Racehorses.” As you rightly point out, a horse is not fully mature till six or so; the industry will never wait that long to begin training and racing, for to do so would be financially prohibitive. But your closing point is the most salient of all: Indeed, “horse racing is animal cruelty; why are we doing this in almost 2020?” Thank you.

  5. Living in Del Mar , we have horse races every summer. While I am not a horse racing fan, I did go to a couple of races years ago, comletely ignorant about horse deaths associated with racing. When I learned of a track death about a decade ago, I was horrified, Will certainly advocate for the well being of the horses and will spread the word about the horse deaths associated with racing. No one I’ve spoken with was aware of the daths of the horses at the track. Well hiden indeed! Big money and glamour will be an uphill battle to shut the racing down. Thanks to everyone involved in helping to shut this industry down.

  6. This sickening treatment and horrifying abuse and painful deaths of these beautiful, helpless horses must be made public. Where is the media coverage and expose of their trainers’ history of dead horses?? Florida has banned Greyhound racing because it has been exposed for the cruelty and death of so many dogs. If the public knows and it is put on the ballot, they will vote it down. Publicity and the ballot box can shut it down.

  7. Thank YOU Patrick for your efforts in educating us with facts on what this industry has been hiding for years!!!

  8. Horse racing should be outlawed as all the owners care about is making money on their poor animal


  10. Thank you Patrick! The necropsies lay bare the horrific injuries these beautiful animals suffer. I used to work as an audio engineer for a major television network that produced the Triple Crown and many other smaller races though out the country. I have seen what happens to injured horses up close, even on non-race days. When they break down everybody purses their lips, mourns the loss and then moves on. It happens over and over.
    I’d like to say that I stopped working these races because of the breakdowns but I didn’t. There was a shake up in the technical crew and I was left out. It happens all the time in my business. What I will say is that you and many others have opened my eyes to the hypocrisy and exploitation of these young horses.
    I will never take another gig involving a horse race no matter how much the networks pay me. And therein lies the rub. Go after the networks and their advertisers. Education can beget shame, and shame can be a powerful motivator.

  11. What goes around, comes around. Sadly, none too soon for the sadistic individuals who call themselves professional horse trainers/horse killers. These humans would do better rotting in hell.
    Our hearts are with all the horses who live the race life. God’s speed for them until this barbaric madness is stopped. Every “trainer “ with horse deaths under their belts deserves the multiple broken bones and bleeding ulcers the horses endured.

  12. When it comes to making money nothing will stop the ruthless people engaged in the sport. They only see dollar signs, Euro signs, pound signs, whatever They will crawl over broken, beaten, drugged, abused horses to get to the money and they have absolutely no conscience. Nothing but nothing, cruelty, abuse, agony suffered by the horses, will stop them in their quest for gain at the horses’ expense. That is what you are fighting against, that is what it boils down to. A horse to them is not a creature to be loved, nurtured, cared for, and enjoyed. We are not dealing here with Seabiscuit’s owner, trainer and Jockey (Red Pollard). It is an investment, pure and simple. They will squeeze the last buck out whether it kills the horse themselves or both. There is no more powerful opponent then man’s greed and you are going to need powerful legislation to fight it.

    • D R Chern — yes, yes on many points you make — this is more than just greed, though — this is a depraved lack of conscience — truly, it is INSANITY — it is hateful insanity — it is lack of understanding AND compassion — (I would classify these “greedy” people more as Psychos) — FIRST : this industry MUST BE SHUT DOWN PERMANENTLY — then, we MUST have LAWS — these LAWS must be ENFORCED — Horse-Racing MUST be considered a CRIME — these Crimes must be taken seriously and punishments MUST be severe. If there’s another way, a better way, I’m ALL EARS.

    • D R Chern — ALSO — the problem is NOT greed — the problem is that they’re USING HORSES — using live animals — using living beings — to make their money, no matter how much —- WHO’S PROTECTING the horses? (WHAT CONTRACT did that particular Horse sign?) — if greedy humans want to open a betting casino and make money up to the sky, GO RIGHT AHEAD — WHO CARES! —- BUT, LEAVE THE HORSES OUT OF IT — LEAVE ALL LIVING BEINGS OUT OF IT — once a living being comes into the picture, EVERYTHING CHANGES — WHY, you ask? — because they’re living beings — they KNOW, they FEEL, they THINK, they HURT, they JUMP FOR JOY, they’re SAD, they CRY …

  13. The history of mankind is carried on the back of the horse — All horses deserve to be respected and protected no matter what a man says they’re worth — THINK : doomed Thoroughbreds who are racing’s collateral damage — & that’s before you include the 750 who die on track per year, average of 2 fatal injuries per day — The typical Race Horse is kept tightly confined in a stall for over 23 hours a day is drugged, whipped, bought, sold, traded & dumped like a disposable product — Horse-Racing is a relic of an UNENLIGHTENED past & ITS TIME HAS COME — END this national tragedy — Learn the truth at HORSE-RACING-WRONGS — For some reason, though, media WON’T talk about this HUGE pile up of DEAD HORSES — They’re too busy covering the FUN & INVESTMENT side of racing, like partnerships, tax deductions, etc. — DEPRAVEDLY DESPICABLE industry.

  14. Thank you Patrick for getting the pathology photos to show the world what is going on. Yes they are way to young to race, how stupid can these trainers/owners be. This needs to end fast and this industry needs to go away like dust in the wind now!

  15. BASTARDS. The people behind this should be made to run until this happens to them.

  16. I feel sick looking at this and what pain they must of gone through. I was swayed by the glitz and glamour of this disgusting so called sport but no more ever of any sport involving animals of which there are many. spread and spread the word out there.

  17. Horse lover/rider/owner for decades. Abuse has been ongoing in many equine situations. The almighty dollar counts way more than love of the animal. Let’s stop what we can.

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