Through a FOIA request to the Maryland Racing Commission, I have confirmed the following kills at that state’s tracks in 2019 (previous ones here.) Please note that in the wake of Santa Anita, Maryland began releasing much more detail. Because those details – and the words of the vets – are so powerful (and damning), I will release these in installments so as to give each death its proper due. Please share.
Reno Grande, Jun 9, Laurel R
“flipped on the way to the paddock and broke its [its, not his] left femur”
Scouting, Jul 19, Laurel R
Dr. Walsh: “Scouting was pulled up grade 4 lame on the left front. The fetlock was dropping…when the horse would bear weight. Palpation revealed a large, displaced, lateral sesamoid fracture. I could feel fragments over the medial sesamoid also.”
Final Fear, Jul 26, Laurel T (euthanized Aug 5)
Dr. Margolis: “I worked on Final Fear; she had bilateral sesamoid fractures right front; medial base fracture, lateral apical fracture…it was a bad injury.”
Belle Saison, Jul 27, Laurel R
“comminuted knee fracture”
Dr. Daniel: “A week or so prior to July 27, a trainer approached me with regard to a horse, Belle Saison, that he had noticed training on several mornings and had concerns about her soundness. I thanked him for coming to me and jotted down the name for future reference. As I remember that day, Dr. Sacksen examined Belle Saison in the morning and had no concerns. It is unclear if the eventual fracture in the filly’s knee occurred while she was running or if it occurred in the starting gate as a result of trauma when she became fractious.”
Dr. Walsh: “Dr. Daniel informed me she had been warned about her by a trainer. I watched her closely in post parade, she had a funny way of going with the right front swung out wide to the side, but she was even in her forward motion and not lame. She was very fractious in the gate, reared up and tossed the rider. I asked for her to be backed out…and I quickly examined her. I didn’t see any injuries…so [she] was reloaded for the race. She broke good and was running good until she backed out of it and pulled up. She was again very fractious and difficult to examine. The groom from the barn came down and began walking her for us. At that time, the lameness was now obvious…and she was vanned off. Dr. Moury took radiographs and called to tell us she was going to euthanize…3rd carpal bone had a comminuted fracture.”
Dr. Sivick (private vet): “Stated she was never lame, but carried filling in the upper joint of the right knee. He radiographed and injected the joint on June 16th. Stated the radiographs showed a spur on the proximal intercarpal bone, no chips, and the 3rd carpal on skyline looked okay.”
Belle Saison was only three years old. She was raced five previous times, all at Laurel. In the three most recent races, starting in June, she finished last twice and second-to-last once – a combined 56 lengths back. Trainer, Carlos Mancilla; owner, Michael Scheffres.
Versed, Aug 10, Laurel T (euthanized Aug 12)
Dr. Dias: “Versed was last tapped in Delaware on May 18th, got a low grade joint infection on the left front fetlock. He had surgery done around June 12th. He was back in training like recommended and was doing okay. Last Friday during a work, he fractured a sesamoid on the same left front. We tried to find a home but my opinion and also Patty Hogan’s was he would be a long time recovering and maybe only pasture sound. For that reason, we decided to euthanize.”