Louisiana Downs Celebrates Opening Day With Two – Yes, Two – Kills

I get it. I really do. “Santa Anita” is sexy – dead horses at perhaps the most celebrated racetrack in the land. Throw in that it’s California, with all that progressive legislation (see fur), and unrelenting pressure from activists (HW), and this story, as they say, has legs. But meanwhile, horses continue to die everywhere else, too.

Yesterday, Louisiana Downs reopened for business (it had been on hiatus since September), and here’s how it unfolded, according to Equibase: In the 3rd, Lrh Fast as Oak “fell” and was “euthanized” (you don’t get a whole lot of detail out of this chartwriter). He was two years old. Two races later, same thing: Perry Train “fell, euthanized.” He, too, was two. Two kills on “Opening Day” – how proud they must be.

To the people who attended, to the people who bet, there are no more excuses: Everyone knows (largely because of Santa Anita) that horseracing kills horses. But here’s another uncomfortable truth: If it were not for your patronage, those poor babies would be alive today. It’s called being complicit. Now the only question that remains is what are you going to do about it?

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  1. Unbelievable! For society that is so against animal abuse and the awareness entering 2020 and this is still being allowed! It has to stop! If people want to gamble, do it on machines, not horses that have feelings, pain, abuse and eventually a terrible demise. When is this going to stop??

      • It IS going to stop. That’s what brought me to PB. And I’m (didn’t want to speak for PB or HRW by saying we’re) not promoting to make it better and/or safer because that just drags out the inevitable. It won’t be polite. Jump in here if I’ve missed something and got it wrong.

  2. I notice both these horses were 2 years old! The reality of this is both of them had reached their official age of 2 at all, they were more than likely both less than 24 months old. Remember we can call a TB 2 years old on Jan. 1. These horses were 18 mo. to 23.5 months old! We are pushing a babies body to do an adult horses job. Sick American racing.

    • jfigg, we report the horses’ actual ages, using their true dates of birth and not the industry’s CHOICE of January 1.

      Perry Train would have turned three in March. He had been raced 9 times.

      Lrh Fast as Oak would have turned three in February – he had 8 starts.

      • jfigg@frontier….and Joy: Thank you both for the question and answer of “what is the true age of these young Thoroughbred horses exploited by horseracing.”

  3. Once again our resident town crier demonstrates the pen’s power against the sword. Thanks for your work, Pat.

  4. Now out of all the racetracks and states that I stabled at there was nothing more vile, repulsive, abusive, corrupt, and heartbreaking as the tracks in Louisiana.
    It was so bad there and nobody was looking out for these racehorses even though it’s the same on most tracks this had to be the worse.
    It was like living and working in a slaughterhouse for racehorses it was so bad.
    The corruption was so blatant that the horse racing commissioner at the time owned almost every racehorse in every race in some capacity and won all the races.
    Just google Louisiana horse racing if you care to read up on it or to prove my point.
    Anyways, I had my good horse entered and he was going to win, they knew it, and they had to do something about it because they hate it when somebody else wins “their” purse money.
    He was “scratched at the gate” for no reason whatsoever.
    They put an end to that.
    In the light of billions in casino profits they refused to provide warm/hot water in the receiving barn to shower racehorses down, but kept the hot water for the trainers who trained for the racing commissions in their private barns that furnished everything for them.
    On one night they even flickered the lights on and off so nobody could see when they were hotwalking their racehorses after the last race to send us home when the horses weren’t even cooled down.
    So much for “loving them like family members’ right?
    I had never seen anything like this and it was so bad for the racehorses there.
    I saw racehorses who were about 500 pounds underweight STILL training and running because if you reported it, as I did, nothing got done – absolutely nothing.
    Then, at the Fairgrounds, the jockey held Wolfie back in the stretch,yanked on his mouth so hard because he was in full flight on his way to winning, that his mouth bled for 24 hours after that and I reported him and the racing commission did nothing and called me a shit disturber.
    It’s all part of the intimidation tactics that they are so good at.
    Your either part of them or your not part of them.
    The jockey didn’t allow him to finish so that they could list Wolfie as a DNF, when there wasn’t anything wrong with him.
    I wonder how much they paid that jockey to hold him back?
    At Evangeline Downs there were racehorses dying there every single day before they were reporting them.
    Steve Asmussen has about 60 racehorses there that he rarely saw and his Mexican labor rarely got paid.
    There were racehorses coming out of his barn with caked on crap on their legs for days that hadn’t been washed off, they had blown out tendons, ligaments, bone fractures, ulcers it was horrible.
    They were mere numbers to fill races for this assholes connections.
    I saw racehorses convulsing in the stable area and dropping dead right there everybody there was using EPO at the time and I was offered to buy it.
    Of course I didn’t after I saw what it was doing to the racehorses.
    They would run and win for a couple of races and then be done, but these parasites didn’t care they got their bucks then intentionally ruined them and then off to the kill auctions they would go.
    I was told about the kill auctions, but was skeptical as to how bad they really were so the next night I went with a friend to really see for myself.
    There were about 20 thoroughbreds there most of which had their racing plates on and 2 of which were in the race the night before that I was in.
    It was so heartbreaking and so pathetic and the majority of racehorses were the ones who belonged to the stewards on the racing commissions or the large barn like Asmussens who requires regularly dumping to get rid of the ones they maimed and replace them with other victims to drain every last bit of life out of them.
    Like I said parasites.
    It’s also important to mention that when the tracks cut the contracts with the government for the millions in casino profits, like Frank Stronach, they were legally bound to clean-up the stable areas and the surrounding property.
    The Fairgrounds is so pathetic it’s disgusting and although I’ve not been there in years, back in 2005 it was so horrific in the stable area.
    It was worse than the slums in Calcutta.
    Yet, the politicians approve their millions every single year knowing that the tracks haven’t lived up to their end of the bargain.
    It’s no different than Maryland or California.
    This business has been getting billions in unprecedented money, tax deferrals, tax breaks, corporate welfare and they have done little to NOTHING to improve anything.
    It’s only gotten worse and when in the hell are the politicians going to stop this?
    I’m even surprised that they are reporting the deaths like the 2 poor souls that died.
    This has GOT TO GO and they money needs to stop now.

    • That is amazing information and so heartbreaking! I would love to see this information get even more to the public. What can we do? Maybe encourage everyone to write to Louisiana officials? I know you said deaf ears, but maybe some journalist could blow that wide open like Patrick has done here with awareness of deaths and ending racing in California? What happened to that after all the pressure we put on Fienstein and Santa Anita still opened and two deaths to start?

      Patrick, amazing job getting this info out there and creating awareness. Please advise as to whom else we can write, particularly in Louisiana!

    • The politicians and those in racing are on par when it comes to ethics, integrity and, of course, protecting their “careers” and the MONEY!!

    • Gina it looks like he was having issues before that race. He probably shouldn’t have run.
      It looks like his owner/trainer ran the crud out of him, tried to lose him in a claiming race at Ellis Park and then sold him to Richard Jukosky after he didn’t run any good. He must have been really messed up if he needed two years off. That’s not very responsible. I hope he’s in good hands now.

  5. Fascinating topic, Patrick. I think in the not-so-distant future — when U.S. horse racing is in its actual and final extinction phase — we’ll see whole sectors of academic study devoted to the “Santa Anita Effect.” Students of Journalism, Sociology, Business/Marketing, Statistics, Public Relations, and, yes, even Veterinary Medicine will be studying what “went wrong” (to coin a phrase) with the industry, and how Santa Anita set the stage for its utter destruction.
    I’ll hazard a guess that your name will come up more often than not;)

  6. Race 5 at Aqueduct. I’m thinking the writer is either uncharacteristically honest, or just has a sick sense of humor. Either way, doesn’t look hopeful for #2 horse, Bad Sueno.

      • Hi, Nancy. This is Patrick’s specialty, so I’ll let him handle the real journalistic legwork. I’ve just never read a race writer acknowledge that a mortally-injured horse was ridden past the wire, “to collect the final check.”

      • I just watched a replay. The horse was way behind and getting the whip. Then off to the side. That is all they showed on NYRA replay.

  7. It’s interesting how you mentioned the scenery and flowers for selfies at Santa Anita- when the Germans first started the concentration camps, they lined the path to the gas chambers outside the camps with trees and flowers.

  8. I’ve only known three people who were die hard gamblers. One enjoyed both horses and dogs, and the other two enjoyed the horses, I’m glad that I haven’t spent a dime on the races. I have enjoyed watching the horses over the years….the are beautiful, graceful, and smart, and even before ever reading your blog I would yell at the television each and every time one of those stupid jockeys thought they should whip the hell out of the horses to go faster. I know, I know, they say :it doesn’t hurt, but that’s hard to believe. I’d like to use the whip on the jockeys, trainers and owners and see how they like it. All I know is I can no longer watch any race on tv, I just can’t, and I have Patrick to thank for that. I also send these blogs to my Facebook, so that people would wise up and stop giving any money to the racetracks, and anyone ‘involved’ in the destruction of these beautiful creatures, including the government. They are all disgraceful/horrible people.

    • I don’t think anyone believes that the whips/riding crops don’t hurt. I hope no person could be stupid enough to believe such a filthy lie as saying that being struck with a riding whip/crop doesn’t hurt. The paid mouthpieces for horseracing want to deceive the public so naturally they don’t normally tell the truth.

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