The Del Mar Stewards Minutes for the week Jul 31-Aug 4 list one “deceased” – no name or cause of death, of course. I did, however, reach out to the CHRB; I was told: “There were no racing or training fatalities at Del Mar between July 31 and August 4. If a horse died from illness, I would not have the details.” Whoever the horse, whatever the cause, he/she is unquestionably a casualty, just the same as the ones who suffer head-on collisions or other assorted broken body parts out on the track.
The Del Mar ’19 Death Toll stands at five:
Charge a Bunch, Jul 18 – “head-on collision”
Carson Valley, Jul 18 – “head-on collision” (see above)
Bowl of Soul, Jul 29 – “broke down”
unidentified, Jul 31-Aug 4 – stall death
Bri Bri, Aug 12 – “suffered a catastrophic injury”
In the most recent Stewards Minutes from Los Alamitos, these gems:
“There was a refund in the first race as #5 ‘Chocolate Mess’ became extremely fractious in the starting gate and injured itself, prompting Racing Veterinarian Becky Fitzgerald to recommend that the horse be declared [scratched]. Jockey Juan Sanchez, who was aboard ‘Chocolate Mess’ when it pitched a fit…”
“A claim deposited by trainer Kelly Castaneda in the first race for #6 ‘Nevada Wild Cat’ was voided as the horse was unsound during its time in the detention barn. It was returned to the barn of trainer Valentin Zamudio. #5 ‘Nova’ was a late declaration from the second race as it ‘flipped’ in the saddling paddock and was declared…”
“We were originally of the opinion that the horse [Hes Jess a Secret] may have suffered a back injury as it struggled to get to its feet. However, after a short time, it was up and walking into the equine ambulance.”
“A refund was ordered in the eighth race as #7 ‘Tequila Sangria’ injured itself in the starting gate and was declared.”
The racing people, we are told, see and treat their horses as and like “members of the family.” Hmm. When was the last time you heard parents refer to their child as an “it”?