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 post these in installments so as to give each death its proper due. Please share.
Aikenetta, Nov 21, Laurel R
“sudden death after race – suspect cardiac; fetlock and right elbow joints: chronic traumatic osteoarthropathy; stomach: chronic squamous ulcers; lungs: multifocal interstitial hemosiderophages – indicative of prior hemorrhage”
Dr. Daniel: “Aikenetta…had mild changes to her shins which had been fired. She had joint capsule hypertrophy of both ankles with moderated decreased range of motion.”
Dr. Sacksen: “Observed mare performing poorly in stretch. Mare vocalized and then collapsed in front of winners circle. On reaching her she was recumbent, mucus membranes were extremely pale/white. She expired shortly after.”
Aikenetta was just five years old.
Bo Vuk, Nov 28, Laurel R
“sesamoid bone has a complete, displaced fracture; intersesamoidean ligament is completely torn; suspensory ligament [has] a longitudinal tear extending from the lateral branch proximally into the distal body; deep digital flexor tendon and superficial digital flexor tendon are frayed and hemorrhagic; palmar annular ligament…torn and hemorrhagic; cartilage loss”
Dr. Daniel: “I have examined Bo Vuk many times in the last few years. He had a thickened distal suspensory of his RF leg. Bo Vuk was closely examined in the post-parade. He was flagged as a horse of concern due to the suspensory ligament. He was sound and the rider had no complaint. Bo Vuk was in the turn near the 1/4 pole when he suddenly pulled up. When I got to him, his RF ankle had suffered a fracture/dislocation and both sesamoid bones were fractured. There was also substantial soft tissue damage. Bo Vuk was humanely euthanized on the racetrack.”
Dr. Walsh: “I flagged the horse on pre-race exam. There was no response to palpation or any indication that this injury would be a problem. When I mentioned to Dr. Daniel, she stated this was an old healed injury that the horse had been running well with.”
Super Annapola, Dec 8, Laurel R (euthanized Dec 11)
“3rd carpal bone fracture…euthanized her because they didn’t want to do surgery”
Dr. Dilodovico: “The filly had a history of a right knee issue on previous exams.”
Super Annapola was four years old and had five previous races; in those, she finished a combined 96 lengths back. “Right knee issue.”