A “Sudden Death” Kill on Preakness Weekend at Pimlico

Congrats Gal collapsed and died – “sudden death,” says track owner Stronach Group (yes, that Stronach Group) – just after the finish of the 8th at Pimlico today. “Sudden death” – at three years of age.

This, of course, is Preakness weekend at Pimlico; that, coupled with Santa Anita, is already making this an outsize story. But I am here to remind that a likely four or five other horses were killed on U.S. tracks today – 40 or so every week, 2,000 annually. Horseracing kills horses, inherently. That is what should be the story.

Congrats Gal, dead…

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  1. After seeing the new reports and pictures of this poor filly, there is no way this was a “sudden death”. There are pictures of her laying down, with her head still up, as they are waiting for the horse ambulance, or the vet to come see her. So I can’t imagine this was in any way sudden. Or without pain and suffering. One of the pictures showed a throng of people in the grandstand behind her, watching intently as she died. Wonder if even one of them had a change of heart after watching this baby horse struggle to die.

  2. Horse racing is a brutal event! I was friends with well known jockey, and he told of horrible things these horses had to go through. The public is intentionally left in the dark. Once again, money is at the crux of this big problem, and painful unwillingness from the horses is the price they pay.

  3. Why call this another sudden death – every god damn day there is more of this bullshit. Another 3 year dead – another loss of a poor horse that has never even lived. This Stronach Group seems to have one hell of a lot of dead horses on their hands. Just tells me that your training is a bunch of bullshit and none of you know shit about horses or their care. These deaths are horrible and the poor animals have no chance with you people being their owners. Why in the hell don’t you just get out of the whole horse racing bullshit and forget playing the role about how great you bastards are in this industry. You are a sickening bunch all of you. So incredibly shameful.

  4. This is positively tragic for any horse let alone a very young horse. Horse Racing needs to end. I quit watching horse racing b/c it’s become inhumane to the animals!!!! To many deaths on the racetracks!




    ACE KING- ALL THAT CHASE, a big chestnut son of Power Broker, and MYEONGGA JEWANG , a bay son of YES ITS TRUE, had two wins in 18 races between them. They were reunited last December, the ninth and 10th horses to enter the Nonghyup slaughterhouse that day.

    Among his Ocala class, now four years old, Ace King wasn’t alone. Of the 50 bought at that auction that were sent to Korea—one stayed in the States to race—14 are already dead. At least seven were killed at the same slaughterhouse in Jeju. (Ocala didn’t return several messages asking for comment.)

    Three others likely met a similar outcome but don’t appear in the Nonghyup records (there are a few smaller slaughterhouses on the mainland), while four died of fatal injuries or disease, according to their medical records.

    Racing in South Korea is still a relative newcomer on the international stage, but it’s growing, and it looks a lot like the American version. Races are run on dirt surfaces and speed tends to be valued over stamina. So to fill their races and build their bloodlines, Korean interests have been buying more and more American stallions, broodmares, race-ready two-year-olds and yearlings. In 2017, Ace King was one of 419 American horses sold to Korean interests.

    For close to two decades, the Korea Racing Authority (KRA), a federal agency, had placed price caps on most imported horses, but by the time Ocala’s 2017 spring sale rolled around, they’d been discarded. Korean horsemen thus opened their wallets for better horses, spending almost $3 million on at least 51 juveniles at this Ocala sale alone. Ace King was their most expensive, and among their most promising.

    He and most of the other purchased horses arrived in Korea in early June. He joined a stable at Seoul Racecourse in the city’s southern suburbs, where expectations were high. But there on the other side of the world, Ace King just didn’t pan out.

    That summer and fall, the best he could do in four races was a third-place finish. In early 2018, he finished second, a sign, perhaps, of his natural talent emerging. But his veterinary log filled with entries for exercise-induced fatigue and arthritis, and in his next starts he was nothing but cannon fodder. Finally, in a race on January 27, 2019, he staggered to the finish line last of 12. Two other graduates from his auction finished eighth and ninth.

    On the morning of February 18, he was trucked to South Korea’s largest slaughterhouse. Its owner, an enormous conglomerate called Nonghyup, controls agricultural and livestock businesses along with banks and other financial services. Ace King was the first of eight horses that day to be prodded down a narrow concrete-and-metal chute to his death. A bolt was fired into his brain before he was hoisted up and his throat was cut. He was the 109th horse killed at that slaughterhouse since the start of the year. His meat was then processed, packaged, and likely sent to one of the Nonghyup-owned grocery stores on the island.

    (Ocala didn’t return several messages asking for comment.)

  6. The extent of human barbarianism responsible for animal suffering and violent deaths is mind boggling. And the US supplies horses to such places as the Puerto Rico, Korea, and Japan for further abuse and premature death.. I guess China will be next if it is not already happening. What humans won’t do for money!

    Also, a few yrs. ago there was a white Thouroughbred called Hansen. His owner Dr. Hansen seemed to be very “proud” of him and may have even considered him “part of the family” like so many of that ilk claim!!
    However, Dr. Hansen sold his horse to Korea. I guess the money was more important than the welfare of his horse. Oh, and I believe the horse was also bred by Dr. Hansen.

  7. Why any owner would send their horse to a foreign country is beyond me. I wonder if beautiful sweet Hansen is still alive.

    • I, too, wonder if Hansen is still alive. He had 9 starts and earned ove 1.8 million . He would be 10 years old now. However, he was not producing “winners” at stud so he was sold to Korea.. Almost 2 million was not enough for these greedy people.
      Anybody who doubts what this game is all about is delusional, at best.

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