No Surprise: Kochees Dead – 31st Victim at Santa Anita ’19

Kochees, the 9-year-old gelding (more on that in a bit) who “took a bad step” and was “vanned off” in the 6th at Santa Anita yesterday, is dead – euthanized today, confirms the LA Times, after surgery failed. Now back to his age and reproductive status.

Fractures like Kochees’ end in euthanasia every day across America, and in the vast majority of cases it is the humane course, as horses do not, as a rule, make good candidates for surgery/recovery. But occasionally, the owner has lucrative stud fees dancing in his head. That is not the case here. In fact, Kochees was relatively worthless as an asset – he was “For Sale” at $10,000 prior to dying. So why the surgery? To paraphrase a Clinton (’92) campaign slogan – it’s Santa Anita, stupid. Desperate times (see below) call for desperate measures. Unfortunately, in all likelihood (I concede that I don’t know all the particulars), Kochees was made to unnecessarily suffer during the overnight hours because of said desperation.

Vile. Horseracing.

Psychedelicat, killed racing at Santa Anita Dec 30, 2018
Tank Team, killed racing at Santa Anita Jan 4, 2019
Unusual Angel, killed racing at Santa Anita Jan 4, 2019
Secret Street, killed training at Santa Anita Jan 8, 2019
Derby Treasure, killed racing at Santa Anita Jan 11, 2019
Noise Mandate, killed racing at Santa Anita Jan 18, 2019
Amboseli, killed racing at Santa Anita Jan 20, 2019
Like Really Smart, killed racing at Santa Anita Jan 21, 2019
Last Promise Kept, killed racing at Santa Anita Jan 21, 2019
Dancing Harbor, killed training at Santa Anita Jan 23, 2019
Spitfire, killed training at Santa Anita Jan 25, 2019
Kid Cantina, killed racing at Santa Anita Feb 2, 2019
Comegowithme, killed racing at Santa Anita Feb 3, 2019
Jager Time, killed training at Santa Anita Feb 17, 2019
Unusual Rider, killed training at Santa Anita Feb 18, 2019
Hot American, killed racing at Santa Anita Feb 22, 2019
Battle of Midway, killed training at Santa Anita Feb 23, 2019
Just Forget It, killed training at Santa Anita Feb 23, 2019
Charmer John, killed training at Santa Anita Feb 24, 2019
Eskenforadrink, killed racing at Santa Anita Mar 2, 2019
Lets Light the Way, killed training at Santa Anita Mar 5, 2019
Princess Lili B, killed training at Santa Anita Mar 14, 2019
Arms Runner, killed racing at Santa Anita Mar 31, 2019
Commander Coil, killed training at Santa Anita May 17, 2019
Spectacular Music, killed racing at Santa Anita May 19, 2019
Kochees, killed racing at Santa Anita May 25, 2019
unidentified, Jan 14-Jan 20, died off-track at Santa Anita
unidentified, Jan 21-Jan 27, died off-track at Santa Anita
unidentified, Feb 25-Mar 3, died off-track at Santa Anita
unidentified, Feb 25-Mar 3, died off-track at Santa Anita
unidentified, Apr 1-Apr 7, died off-track at Santa Anita


  1. Crying as I type this, Patrick, because the good old guy deserved better, yet never had a chance. As much as I anticipated this very outcome, I also expected a cover-up from SA officials — and their bedfellows at the CHRB — since they’re both in such dire straits right now.

    RIP, Kochees. Your death, while predictable, will not be in vain.
    I’m wiping my tears away, and going out to kiss my OTTB right now, and give to him some of the appreciation that should have been given to you, Old Friend:(

    • Im against horse racing as working at a fairgrounds i saw a horse high on bute go around the track backwards and crash thru a wooden fence …kept on running thru the midway with a large chunk of wood in his haunches!!! They had to put the poor thing down.

  2. What are effective ways I can help get the betting public to stop supporting horse racing?

    • Share our Horseracing Wrongs posts, Charlotte – educate family and friends and anyone who will listen. Thank you for caring!

    • Charlotte,I believe if the names of the owners are exposed instead of a stable name.Most owners are successful business people on the out side of racing,most would not want to be exposed publically as supporting cruelty,even if they do support it they may be fearful it could effect their legitimate business if one of their horse’s broke down and they were exposed in public as being the owner who is supporting this behavior towards innocent animals,who did not choose to race or even perhaps race on this particular day when he might not have been up to it.Let’s start naming names.Forget the racetrack,forget the jockeys,WITHOUT OWNERS! NO OWNERS,NO RACING. WO! Without Owners! In Horse Language WO! Means NO!

  3. The owners will take not take responsibility for the cruelties heaped on these horses. They talk a good game about the “sport “ and their love of horses, but it is all about money. The more exposure of heartless, gruesome stories like Kochees may move the public and eventually force legislators to take long needed action to stop horse racing. These horses break my heart.

    • I had once suggested to Patrick Beutello that it is possible to put more pressure on the owners. One thing I have noticed throughout the years of work in this business is that owners are hard to come by in general,Trainers are very sensitive when other trainers or anyone in the business starts messing with their owners.What I’m suggesting might seem a little rouge but if this is what it takes,so be it.Most owners are successful people in a business outside of horse racing but most owners hide behind stable names and seem to have clean hands.The last thing a business person wants is to publically be exposed as the owner of a horse that just broke his leg and suffered.It works more often then not.It may have been coincidence but I exposed the owners of two horses that broke down and both owners got out of the business shortly after.No owners,no racing period.

      • Dedicated, I think that’s a great idea, shame on the owners. Publicly shame them! Lets throw everything we have against this vile industry, the truth is already on our side! Any racing apologist cannot defend the fact that these horses DIE on their watch. Facts are facts, and naming names is on that trajectory.

      • The most effective way to put pressure on the owners is to EXPOSE THEIR SECRET VET/DOPING RECORDS.
        Make them public as they should be because the doping affects the outcome of races.
        Owners often claim innocence that they didn’t know.
        Nothing could be further from the truth.
        Every owner damn well knows how they are turning their beloved “family member” into a pin cushion in order to keep them going.
        They know because they PAY THE VET BILL!!
        Every single vet bill itemizes every single injection and procedure
        Furthermore, an owner can pick up the phone and call a vet and question exactly what the charge is.
        So stop the bloody lying, and stop claiming to not know what’s going on.
        Let’s put those records up on a public CHRB site for all the world to see just how knowingly, and consenting to the ongoing doping abuse of racehorses.
        Then we will all see just how innocent the owners are – they aren’t and I know from direct experience they are often the ones who are more than willing to buy whatever it takes to get into that winners circle.
        So flush their little naive statements down the toilet where they belong.
        The trainer is expected to take the rap for the owners and they often do, but they are also the ones restraining the horse to shove that needle in wherever the hell it needs to go.
        They are all abusers or enablers of the abuse.

    • Why are horses racing ANYWHERE? The whole BUSINESS is bad – bad tracks, bad trainers, bad owners, etc.

  4. Rest in peace, Kochees. You carried on like the champion you were and the humans ignored your pain. They betrayed you and they didn’t care. I am just crying thinking about the pain you endured. Run free now Kochees.

  5. this sad sport has to be stopped !!!! NO MORE TB RACING !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. This is F….ing outrages and inhumane!!!!! Let’s all rise up and stop this insanity and animal cruelty!!!!!!

  7. I grew up loving, riding and showing horses. I also grew up watching all the Triple Crown races every year, absolutely oblivious to the truth about the cruelty embedded in horse racing. I am embarrassed to say that it wasn’t until 2 years ago that I truly understood what goes on behind the scenes, and luckily, sometimes on the track in front of the public’s eye. I say luckily, because the general public is becoming better aware and more educated of the horror that is horse racing. Whether it is 3 year olds whose growth plates are not fully closed yet or 9 year olds being run into the ground….this “sport” needs to be banned. I don’t care what famous trainers and jockeys say in interviews about loving their horses…it’s all a facade. It’s about the MONEY….That’s it! Every single one of these trainers and jockeys know the truth about how these horses are pushed, drugged, abused. Let’s not forget about how some racehorses….even the “winning” ones….have been treated after they are retired. Remember Ferdinand…the big beautiful chestnut colt who won the 1986 Kentucky Derby and later went on to win the1987 Eclipse Award for Horse of the Year…he ended up being slaughtered in Japan after an unsuccessful breeding career. Everything about the monstrosity that is horse racing is disgusting. We can only hope that the light being shed on the continuous deaths of these horses will be enough to put and end to the cruelty and suffering being inflicted on these beautiful beings.

    • Thank you, Rebecca! – I, too, once loved horseracing and have a “video library” of recorded races to show for it! And there are others like us who simply need to see and hear the realities of the cruel and unnecessary industry.

      Thank you!

  8. It hurts me to know how often horses are killed, sold for meat once they can’t race, yet kept alive suffering in hopes of being studded out! Its a sickness just like dog racing has been. We’ve mage incredible ground in ending that. I believe that ending horse racing will be much more difficult to end than dogs were. Nonetheless, we must! We must keep fighting for them. We will win!

    • Yes we will, Janet, yes we will. As this is first and foremost a hearts and minds campaign, I beseech all who come here to sign this change petition asking Ziggy Marley to cancel his upcoming Del Mar gig. That is how SeaWorld’s decline began, and we can do the same to Del Mar.

  9. Oh My God! Those photos are awful— and must be seen everywhere!
    What the HELL is going on! How could any horse trainer who loves these beautiful creatures continue to run any horse on these death tracks???
    We must stop these races now!

  10. Again, with the checking the soil, excuse. Enough of this coverup. Rep Chu is on our side with legislation, so is Diane Feinstein. Call them or email , show support.

  11. Horse racing should be banned in All states and All countries Please make this illegal!! These beautiful animals shouldn’t be subjected to so much of the trained and stress on their legs and body. Too many end up with broken limbs and instead of helping them they think they are no good anymore because of $$ Where is the morality in these people???

  12. I love to watch horses run. There is no more beautiful sight to me than a horse running free…except maybe watching several horses running free. The shine of their coats, the perfect precision and synchronization of their legs–it all fascinates me and brings me a calmness that nothing else can. But to watch them ridden in mud and slippery conditions, to watch them ridden recklessly and relentlessly by money-hungry thugs who couldn’t care less about the most perfect treasure humans can “own”, if it’s possible to claim to own these miracles of design and heart and courage…it saddens me and fills me with dread and I no longer watch them race. I can’t stomach the sight of an injured horse. I stopped watching the most perfect creature doing what they used to do on their own terms-running free,running not because they have to, but because they want to. Horse racing needs to be abolished. It needs to disappear. But it won’t. It’s too lucrative, too easily controlled by organized crime, and too embedded in our society disguised as culture. I will try to help support this noble cause, but I greatly fear it will not happen in my lifetime. I would love to see it come to fruition but I may have to settle for just seeing the beginning and not the end. Horse racing has outlived its purpose-whatever that purpose was. It’s passed time to close the gates and turn out the lights. Let the horses run on in the sunshine. I will forfeit my memories of flying manes and thundering hooves in exchange for knowing that the horses are safe now.

    • Except race horses are not free!!! The only horses running in freedom (at least until rounded up by the BLM) are running on federal public lands. Their entire posture is different. Free horses live according to their own rules, not those of humans. It’s a beautiful sight.

    • We can’t give up on the horses. Sure the deaths are about money. Documenting the deaths is what needs to be done right now to exert pressure on the owners, tracks and jockeys. They need to know that the wrongs are being exposed and will not be ignored. Would like to see the NYT do an expose on the horses.

  13. I saw the race in which Kochees was to race in. I wasn’t comfortable that this 9 yr gelding should even been running. When he was in distress, they announced that his injury wasn’t serious and he would have surgery. Then I read he passed!! Who’s fooling who ???? I feel we all let this horse down, rest in peace pretty boy, you are free now…


  15. I encourage everyone to leave bad reviews on santa anita everywhere they can. this will help raise awareness and open eyes. I just left a few reviews myself.

  16. So sad and shameful, this barbaric racing should be stopped immediately.

  17. Heartbreaking and so avoidable. Nine years old. I am surprised he lasted that long.

    • Jules,infuriating is not the proper description,most horse people are despicable lowlife.I’ve learned this the hard way.Being a victim of this filthy game. Heartless,greedy,glory seeking,ego feeding lowlife,the bottom of the barrel.When a business such as horse racing is pretty much run like a monarch or dictatorship and their oversight people are themselves you’re looking at a “DIRTY GAME” rife and riddled with underhanded shadiness and the high chance of corruption.Go back 2004 to Comptroller Alan Hevesi’s investigative expose, the only thing different from then and now is Hevesi’s report was now used as a blue print on how to avoid detection.IMO not much has changed since then.This game is a “SEWER”one venue worse then the next.Any business that has that much cash going through the windows on a daily basis is going to have some of that cash disappear.Example: What happened to CEO Hayward who all in the business praised as being a GOD,AGood Guy,a Stand Up Guy,a straight shooter,If i’m NOT mistakin (and if i’m Wrong I Appologize To Mr.Hayward and whoever else was involved) It was something about a “MISTAKE” on the amount of the take on the millions of dollars coming through the windows.It seem’s an extra two per cent was taken out on the take.And supposedly ended up in someone’s pocket,I could be wrong.But anyway,Jules,I’m asking for your’s and other people’s support in my idea of exposing owners names to the public of all horse’s that breakdown.I believe this tactic will be the “TORNADO”to blow this corrupt,filthy claptrap called horse racing off the map.

    • Nancy, I’ve already addressed this,and it was only my opinion.It is my belief that they never intended to perform a lifesaving surgery on this horse.Let me explain something,this is a very deceptive business for reasons,too many to list here..Anything that comes out of the mouth of anyone associated to the horse racing is always going to be something to promote,protect or control the damage.If horse people don’t act this way and say the wrong thing,even if it be the truth,it may be detrimental to the “GAME” and definitely detrimental to their career in this game.Horse racing is a very precarious “GAME” and a very nasty business,with nasty dangerous people sitting at the controls.The wrong word could end someone’s career,their safety and their livelihood in the “BUSINESS”not just local but where ever you go it will follow you.It’s called “BLACKBALLING” or “BLACKLISTING” the threat of this treatment keeps most complaints or anything said negative about this business under wraps.

  18. I hope one day you horse owners suffer 10 times as much as these horses have. Maybe you are the spawn of Hitler! I would like to race you like a horse…and just laugh when you get short of breath or even better break your back!
    I hope what you do haunts you in your dreams or maybe in death. Only you will find out!

    • Horse racing is no different than Auschwitz.
      The only difference are the victims.
      Please don’t take offense because it’s my Jewish friends that told me this.
      When they were exposed to the horrors of horse racing they related the tattoos, promise of a better life (the lushy green paddocks), and being shipped into their death camps (the tracks) as the same as their grandparents that were shipped into Auschwitz and most didn’t make it out alive.
      This is a modern day death camp.
      Shame on The Stronach Group for providing, facilitating, and supporting them massive pain and destruction of living beings.

  19. End Horse racing like Greyhound racing. Enough is enough. Too many have tragically died due to racing on this track.

  20. That poor horse, why can’t they stop horse racing. Let these poor animals live the way they’re supposed to, running free in the fields. Instead of being used and abused by ignorant greedy human scum.

  21. What an evil lot of heartless people……put them all to sleep……deny any form of animals near them for life….God is watching you satan people……rest in peace all my precious angels……😠😠😠😼😠😠😼😠

  22. Shouldn’t the focus be on stop drugging horses? and then letting them race?

    • The drugging and doping of racehorses, while clearly one of this industry’s wrongs, is largely a distraction, especially in today’s climate. Lasix is not killing these horses; the killing is built-in.

  23. Just horrible,race horses like grayhounds are running for their lives.All so man can make money off their misery! Greed is a sterrible thing. Mankind needs to evolve so animals do not suffer.

  24. Horse racing needs to be banned. I too was oblivious to the treatment these beautiful animals go through. Such greed. RIP sweet baby!

  25. I agree with all of you. Guess insurance pay offs The new pay off. With their lives

  26. How can this track remain open with this devastating, ongoing murder of our inncocent horses? And how the hell can this photo be made public? Jolting perhaps but just too much. Shut it down!

    • Hey Brooks,one word money,one word corruption,one word greed,one word control,one word power,one word heartless,one word lowlifes.IMO this game is loaded with corruption.IMO it starts at the very bottom and it goes all the way to the top,in the state.IMO the only way any of this can be cleaned up is if there are no state regulators.There needs to be federal intervention The FBI needs to train personnel in the intricacies of the horse racing business and the game changes drastically or they shut it down.They remain permanently as an oversight bureau.As it is now,especially in New York,NYRA police’s themselves.IMO so long as the state is involved NYRA controls Albany and The Racing And Gaming Commission.That has to end If their is to be any progress,I don’t believe that will ever happen.

  27. This is wrong in so many ways. We will start a Boycott horse racing petition on this. Trust me . It will work To many horses have died. Something needs to be done,and we will do it

  28. Just like the bloodsports of bull fighting, dog fighting and so many other senseless acts, people need to find new “traditions”. Ones that don’t involve torturing poor animals for profit and pleasure. As PETA’ s motto says ” Animals are not ours to be used for entertainment “

    • Thank you, Melissa. But just to be clear, PETA’s motto is a bit hollow, at least where this particular issue is concerned: PETA is not against horseracing. Again, PETA is not against horseracing. We, in fact, are the only organization in the country working – every day – to end this vile industry.

  29. Is horse racing so powerful and popular and such high stakes that it cannot be eliminated like dial telephones. Fuck those people that consider brutalizing animals a legitimate sport.Let them be bombed back to the 8th Century . . . . .

  30. How can an organization, like PETA and the United States Humane Society (USHS) endorse this carnage?
    The fact that neither of these animal rights organizations don’t take a strong stand and clearly state that they want horse racing shut down is beyond belief.
    Do they do amazing things for animals?
    Absolutely, but it seems clear to me that both have accepted money to tone down the rhetoric, to control the message that horse racing is okay once changes are implemented, which endorses horse racing.
    The pro-horse racing entities are quick to cite both PETA and USHS as supporting them.
    This is horrific, and exactly what they wanted to slit up and to weaken the movement to do what’s right: shut it down.
    PETA and USHS should hang their head in shame because it should be clear to anybody, let alone an animal rights group, that this is legitimized animal cruelty and no different than dog fighting, which they both oppose.
    I would like to think that their members don’t agree with their stand and will continue to be a voice for racehorses advocating for this vile business to be shut down.

  31. Im against horse racing as working at a fairgrounds i saw a horse high on bute go around the track backwards and crash thru a wooden fence …kept on running thru the midway with a large chunk of wood in his haunches!!! They had to put the poor thing down.

  32. It is time that you guys start looking a little bit deeper it may not just be the field maybe somebody is doing this to the animals before they even go on the track somebody’s abusing them could it be just for money possible it’s time to stop treating these animals this way until you figure out what is happening you should take every animal off this truck they don’t deserve to die just for money

  33. Is this a higher than normal death rate for racing TB? Is the track surface at fault?

  34. Unfortunately as long as humans patronize racing -dog, horses, etc. This will happen again and again. It’s all about money and unfortunately these animals are being used to make money. If they are useless, then they’re dumped like garbage!

  35. 35 years ago i use to work on the farm for a top north american trainer readying his owners yearlings for the track and fixing up cheap broken down claiming horses and getting them back to the track. He was very successful in his business. After several years watching yearlings leave for the winter and come back the following fall with bowed tendons, shin splints, curbs, bone chips etc and watching 3 year olds put down because they were more valuable for their insurance claim then they were on 4 legs i decided to get out of the sport. I could no longer mentally deal with what i had to do. Sad it hasn’t improved much from what i see.

  36. This is and has always been a animal abuse….All Horse Racing Should Be Banned…Even The Kentucky Derby…Where millions of dollars are bet (greed)…Ladies were fancy hats and drink mint drinks….All At the expense of the life of the horses..One braek, one fall…and the horse is killed…And this is fun????


  38. So Horse racing has been around for a very long time ,BUT has it always been so bad for the Horses ? this is very sick thing to do the them after all they are doing for the people that own them,,these people Should NOT be allowed to own any horses or any animals these people should feel the pain them selves , these people NEED to be abused and locked up in jail for life NO PAROLE !

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