Forced (by the media – thank you) to answer for the nine dead horses so far at Saratoga – on pace to easily outstrip its historical average of 14 per summer – NYRA propaganda czar Patrick McKenna, according to the Times Union, “said the Saratoga meet has been safe [and] points out that of the nine horse deaths, only one [italics added] was during racing.” In other words, the other eight dead horses – five training, three back in their stalls – are not germane to the topic of “equine safety,” even though McKenna goes on to cite “the daily inspection and testing of racing and training [bold added] surfaces and inspections of equine athletes [bold added]” as the primary reasons for the “demonstrably safer” NYRA tracks.
Last year, I compared 2013 – the year of NYRA’s supposed safety overhauls – with 2017; the results speak for themselves. And while the numbers dropped a bit in 2018 – only 59 deaths at the three NYRA tracks – here we are in 2019 sitting at 35 – with almost five full months to go. And no, Mr. McKenna, it matters not a whit where or how an active racehorse dies. Every death in the industry is by the industry.
The Saratoga ’19 victims:
Golden Julia, May 30, stall, “found distressed in stall; referred to Rood & Riddle, whereafter horse died from acute blood loss”; Golden Julia was two years old and coming off a training session (at Saratoga) just five days prior
Investment Analyst, Jun 7, training, “sustained leg injury necessitating euthanasia”; Investment Analyst was two years old; he was being prepped for his first race
Gattino Marrone, Jul 3, training, “fractured sesamoids, euthanized”; Gattino Marrone was three years old and had been put to the whip 6 times
Fight Night, Jul 12, racing, “fell heavily after the wire, euthanized on track”; Fight Night was three years old, and this was her 5th time under the whip
Total Fidelity, Jul 14, training, “suffered fracture to LF sesamoids, euthanized”; Total Fidelity was two years old; she was being prepped for her first race
Overlord, Jul 15, stall, “developed post-op complications (colonic rupture), euthanized”; Overlord was three years old and coming off a training session (at Saratoga) just one week prior
Verravanni, Jul 25, stall, “diagnosed with pleuropneumonia 7/11, euthanized on 7/25 due to lack of positive response to treatment”; Verravanni was two years old and coming off a training session (down in Kentucky) just eight days before diagnosis
Misspent Youth, Jul 27, training, “cardiovascular collapse breezing on Oklahoma turf course”; Misspent Youth was five years old and had been put to the whip 13 times
Umetuka, Jul 31, training, “injured galloping on main track, vanned off for x-rays, euthanized”; Umetuka was four years old and had been put to the whip 9 times