On Average, 42 Horses Die at Belmont Park Every Year; 15 Killed So Far in 2019

Tuesday, AP sportswriter Stephen Whyno published an article that could just as easily have come from the New York Racing Association’s PR department. He begins:

“The home of the Belmont Stakes is laps ahead of other U.S. racetracks when it comes to keeping horses safe. Belmont Park and other tracks around the state of New York have had some of the fewest horse deaths in the sport. Amid the 26 [it’s actually 33] horse deaths at California’s Santa Anita Park since late December, the Belmont will be run Saturday on a track that national observers say is among the safest and best maintained in the country.”

Whyno goes on to cite the ubiquitous, but largely meaningless, “fatality rate per 1,000 starts” for Belmont and how it compares favorably to other tracks, including the other two Triple Crown venues, Churchill and Pimlico. The secret, he says, is in the “the attention given to [the] track surfaces”: “[NYRA] keep[s] copious amounts of data using ground-penetrating radar and sensors that track the moisture content in the tracks. They also have a weather station that tracks rainfall and wind speed.”

Very impressive. Count the National Thoroughbred Racing Association’s Steve Koch as a fan: “At Belmont Park, NYRA racing, Glen Kozak and his team and the way they do things up there, that is going to be our industry benchmark.”

May I present the “industry benchmark,” “some of the fewest horse deaths in the sport.” In just the past three years, the three NYRA tracks – Aqueduct, Belmont, Saratoga – have recorded the following kills:

2016 – Aqueduct, 11 dead racehorses; Belmont, 39 dead racehorses; Saratoga, 16 dead racehorses

2017 – Aqueduct, 17 dead racehorses; Belmont, 40 dead racehorses; Saratoga, 21 dead racehorses

2018 – Aqueduct, 15 dead racehorses; Belmont, 29 dead racehorses; Saratoga, 13 dead racehorses

Since 2009, when the Gaming Commission’s database went live, which, incidentally, only came in the wake of outrage over Eight Belles and calls for greater transparency, 423 horses have lost their lives at Belmont Park, an average of 42 every year; at all NYS tracks, over 1,300 deaths – 137 annually. The best U.S. Racing has to offer? Vile.

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  1. Since the Death/Killing Lists have been exposed on this blog it’s obvious to any rational person that horse racing kills racehorses
    This is a fact, and their cruel, abusive, and inhumane business practices are required to keep racehorses filling races – profit slaves at best.
    In the midst of their billion dollar sales and wagering profits racehorses are being regularly dumped at kill auctions, and subsequently ending up on the slaughterhouse floor daily – the statistics show this.
    A former employee of the Richilieu Slaughter house in Quebec, Canada had a conversation with me.
    It was horrific and the video has been published on YouTube via other animal advocate groups – all racehorses with lip tattoos in place.
    While reviewing the original video I was able to see and trace about 10 of the racehorse’s tattoos standing in the kill box – one of the horses was directly traced back to, yours truly, Madeline Auerbach former broodmare.
    She appears to be pregnant before getting the bullet to the head and it took several times to go down.
    So this lady is an utter liar and should be held legally liable for lying to the public while holding a taxpayer-funded position at the CHRB.
    The video was edited by horse lovers prior to publishing on YouTube and this specific broodmare was, unfortunately, edited out, but I’m working on possibly getting it although it’s rather sketchy.
    Nevertheless, believe it or not, it seems clear that Ms. Auerbach’s many racehorses that she bred, raced and dumped ended up on the slaughterhouse floor.
    Just a review of her racing record clearly shows a typical horse racing apologist that dumped their racehorses when they are done with them either into the claiming ranks or where ever – their grassy paddocks rarely given.

    • Watching the video of the CHRB meeting where several in the audience spoke out against racing, it was evident Madeline Auerbach, the most vocal of the members, is an outright bully. And for her to brazenly state that “none of our horses go to slaughter” is, at best, outrageous.
      Congratulations, Ms. Auerbach, you are the personification of what would be expected in a spokesperson for a corrupt business guilty of ongoing animal cruelty and exploitation!!!

  2. Saratoga does the barbaric steeplechase. Is there a statistic of how many from the count were in those hurdle races?

    • No, but the horse racing industry sends about 20,000 racehorses to the Canadian slaughterhouses here some with racing plates still on, and some with their tattoos intentionally sabotaged.
      All of the killings at all New York racetracks are an abomination to the people and to the great state of New York.
      ALL funding must end and this most recent kill list is abhorrent.

  3. Thank you GIna for answering my question. I was the one back when arms runner and LaSArdane went down at Santa Anita to post it and to u responded right away.. sInce then somewhere and sorry I Did not write it down but someone claims arms runner was on vet watch list. Sad. You, and Joy and Carolyn are amazing in your knowledge and stand up to adversity

  4. I dont agree with forcing horses to do anything they are not capable of, and agree that there are good and bad in every sport. However, I completely disagree with the idea sprung forth that removing racing will remove thoroughbreds, (over time) and any other breed that your views disagree with. All breeds matter and bring forth their own unique characteristics.

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