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.
To the Stars, Aug 25, Timonium R
“open disarticulation of pastern joint…euthanized on the track”
Dr. Daniel: “From where I was observing, it appeared that he took a bad step near the wire. This was an unusual injury in my experience. I do not believe this is something that anyone missed in the pre-race exam or post parade warm-up. I believe this was just an accident that unfortunately occurred.”
To the Stars was 9 years old, and this was his 106th time under the whip. 106th – “I do not believe this is something that anyone missed … I believe this was just an accident that unfortunately occurred.” Vile.
Hanky Panky, Aug 31, Laurel T
“sudden death syndrome from acute heart disease with myocardial degeneration”
Hanky Panky was but three years old: “acute heart disease.”
Scrap Copper, Sep 2, Laurel T
“catastrophic LF sesamoid fractures and palmar osteochondral disease; hemorrhage within the suspensory ligament; LH [other left leg] fetlock joint has a detached bone/cartilage or mineralized ligament; cerebellar hemorrhage and fractured occipital bone…there is blood oozing from the nares and mouth; stomach, large ulcer glandular mucosa; chronic callous of the distal right rib – old fracture possibly”
Dr. Sivick (private vet): “Scrap Copper had a non-displaced lateral condyle fracture of the RF fetlock [not the one that had the breakdown] in December 2018 following his last race. He was sent for surgery and had 1 screw placed across the fracture. The horse [also] had a P1 chip fracture in his RH fetlock.”
That’s a detached bone in one leg, fractures in the other three (with a screw in one), a skull fracture, a possible rib fracture, multiple areas of hemorrhage, “blood oozing from the nares and mouth,” and a “large” stomach ulcer, to boot. Imagine this poor animal’s suffering. And now consider, it was all for $2 bets.
Blameitonthekiss, Sep 7, Laurel R (euthanized Nov 1)
“[T]he left acetabulum was fractured in two places, and the head of the left femur was a rough reddish color from cartilage erosion.”
Dr. Sorum (private vet): “She has been lame since her last race, thought it was a foot abscess and one came out in September, but she has stayed lame. Blocked the foot on October 17th to rule it out, stayed lame. Think I also blocked stifle, can’t remember [can’t remember?]. I was off last few days when she took a turn for the worse. She kicks the walls really badly.”
Great Herman, Sep 21, Laurel T
“collapsed and died on the track”
“Collapsed and died” at just three years old.