Despite Virginia’s Attempt to Stonewall, a Colonial Downs Kill Revealed

Through a FOIA request to the Virginia Racing Commission, I have confirmed the following kill at Colonial Downs last year. Please note that in a first, I was denied the request based on state citizenship: “As a resident of the State of New York, the Virginia Freedom of Information Act does not entitle you to the requested information.” Yes, that’s right, although horseracing is an interstate business – horses, trainers, jockeys travel and race from coast to coast; Colonial takes bets on races held in other states; races at Colonial are bet on at tracks the country over; etc. – the commonwealth, in its infinite wisdom, believes that its dead horses are for Virginians’ eyes only. No matter, I simply had a Virginia-based activist file on my behalf.

Virginia Fable, Aug 10, Colonial R – “left femoral fracture”

(Colonial Downs is the lone Thoroughbred track in Virginia and ran only 16 days of live racing last year.)

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  1. I assumed that the Freedom Of Information Act was a Federal level act of legislation and would apply to all 50 states (including Virginia, of course) and possibly Puerto Rico, etc.
    Thank you for all the hard work of gathering this information. It needs to be told. May VIRGINIA FABLE rest in peace and may horseracing end soon.

    • In fact, Virginia Fable was a scratch at Colonial Downs August 10 – scratched, of course, because she was dead. The injury, according to the Commission, occurred right before the starting gate; she was then “vanned off the track and euthanized.” So if this was an attempt to catch me, sorry to disappoint.

      • Very well said, as always, Patrick! Thank you for your continued efforts to abolish the carnage aka horse racing and for applying persistent pressure in order to obtain info these “loving” racing supporters and apologists refuse to disclose. Oops… they got caught.. again!
        They really have ZERO shame, morals or values. Disgusting!

      • Actually it shows that Patrick manipulates the truth. It also shows that you are wrong when you say we don’t care about our horses. If we didn’t care wouldn’t we have raced her lame? Just to get a check? Isn’t that what we say you do? The vets don’t care, right? They are all in it together?

        And yeah, us “racing creeps” do come here sometimes. It’s kind of embarrassing to even look at the crap you guys spew. Oh well, we aren’t perfect. But at least we actually do love our horses.


    • Thank you both for adding factual information to the story of VIRGINIA FABLE. It illustrates that a horse is not safe at a racetrack!

      • Great point, Wanda! Isn’t it funny how so many racing creeps drop in (anonymously, of course) and try to point out some flaw in Patrick’s reporting? Like “Rita” here, they invariably make their case for horse racing even more tenuous than it already is, rather than less. Then, POOF! They’re gone.
        I’m starting to think those within the industry visit this site more often than we do;)

      • Absolutely, Wanda – racehorses don’t have to RACE to be at an increased risk of injury or equine maladies…and then death, of course. Everything about their lives is unnatural and cruel.

        And Kelly? – I think you’re right. ;)

      • Rita – it should be more embarrassing to you what you’re own industry is “spewing” on itself. just in the last few weeks: numerous trainers getting a slap on the wrist for using cattle wormers for it’s amphetamine- like response, a trainer suspension for bute and banamine, who’s predecessors are banned for drug overages, a daughter of a trainer who has been banned from multiple countries, for drug violations, being “encouraged” by racing fans to run “honestly”, a dead jockey who had a suspension for using electrical shocking devices on horses, along with that horse’s connections that condoned it, and Mark Casse admitting that clenbuterol is indeed a ped, widely abused, and how and why it’s sued,- which is now all of a sudden causing Woodbine to look at its policies regarding this! ( and like THAT was a newsflash – trainers have been using and abusing clenbuterol for a long time – now all of a sudden it’s finally something that needs to be looked at?!), and a jockey that forced a broken down horse across the finish line to “earn the paycheck”. All the while- dead and crippled horses are continuing to pile up, and you’re embarrassing industry is really doing nothing but spewing repetitive nonsense about safety and transparency. And like Virginia had an ounce of transparency with this poor horse’s death!
        I would be embarrassed at that! Not those of us that are advocating for these poor horses, their health and well- being, and their LIVES.

    • It’s okay, “Rita”:
      You can go ahead and admit why you and your ilk visit this site so often; your beloved blood sport is circling the drain, and you’ve found Reason Number One why this is so. Great detective work.

    • “Rita” – oh had there been any possibility of racing Virginia Fable with that femoral fracture, they would have. No doubt about that.

      But it is comical…the time you waste fact-checking. Think you have something. Then fail. But you’re probably used to that by now.

    • And as far as “manipulating numbers”- you should be embarrassed for even saying that. The majority of the racing commissions are manipulating their numbers, and they are under reporting deaths, especially the training deaths. Most people in and out of racing are starting to acknowledge that. It’s embarrassing that the racing industry is still trying to hide them.

  2. To “Rita” I would like to say this: You said she didn’t race, but you did NOT say why VIRGINIA FABLE did NOT race on August 10, 2019. Patrick gave the facts as they were given from the Virginia Racing Commission. She was scratched because she had been injured (before the starting gate). She sustained a left femoral fracture before the race started. She was vanned off and euthanized.

    Now, how can anyone genuinely have compassion or empathy for the psychological needs of a horse and for the physical needs of the horse and do whatever it took to cause a horse to get a fractured femur? If loving a horse means to break its bones (which is excruciatingly painful) and force him or her to do what they are forced to do to be a racehorse, then you are “loving” your horse????? You have got it all twisted up, sister. Only morally depraved evil people break the bones of their horses while exploiting them to carry over 100 pounds when they are babies and run fast and faster and use whips and shocking devices on them to make them run faster. I hope that you are not beyond hope and that you can see for yourself how cruel and abusive it is to treat horses in such barbaric and sadistic ways that they have to die for their racing connections. Breeders, owners, trainers, racetrack veterinarians, jockeys, racing commissioners, gamblers, racetrack owners, wagering handle operations, killbuyers and slaughterhouse owners and workers love the money that they can make by exploiting horses. They don’t truly love a horse and then kill it. They kill horses for the money. These morally depraved people love the money they make exploiting horses.

    • Maybe Virginia Fable was her horse. Seemed to know quite a bit about the circumstances.

      • Nancy, she said VIRGINIA FABLE didn’t race last year. Other than that, I don’t know what “Rita” knows about this particular horse.
        If I knew a certain horse didn’t race and knew that the horse didn’t race because it was injured with broken bone(s) and, therefore, killed, I would be embarrassed to argue about it with anyone. I would feel like an idiot to accuse someone at Horseracing Wrongs of manipulating facts and spewing lies. That is just stupid.

    • EXACTLY, Wanda. “Rita” stated Virginia Fable didn’t race at CD in 2019 – something anyone could see by checking Equibase – that’s it.

      Regarding her accusation? – that what Patrick provided about Virginia Fable in this post was “manipulating the truth”? – since Patrick’s words are that VF was “a kill at CD last year” and suffered a femoral fracture on August 10 (and NOT during training but because of being entered to race that day), what IS there for him to “manipulate”? Did she suffer a femoral fracture? – yes. Was it race-related? – yes. Is she dead because of it? – yes.

      Like previously mentioned by others commenting here, to claim manipulation by Patrick in simply providing the facts received from the FOIA (which the commission tried to hide by withholding) is idiocy coming from someone who defends an industry that has perfected manipulation of “statistics”.

      Oh the desperation – cry out what you will, apologists – none of your false claims will bring back even ONE dead racehorse that you so easily dismiss.

  3. When it comes to “manipulating facts” no entity is more accomplished or scrambles more to hide the truth than the racing industry – must be from years and years of practice.
    Nonetheless, it is getting more difficult to obscure the real world of racing because of such laws as FOIA and the diligence of Patrick and others in reporting the facts.
    Yes, Rita, the FACTS!!

    P.S. Racing apologists consistently accuse others of what they are doing themselves – distorting or ignoring reality.

    • Right, Rose. And ALL of their accusations will not resurrect the horses killed because of being used as gambling tools by this industry…nor prevent the future deaths.

    • Rose, I often wonder where the disconnect is with racing apologists who REFUSE to “see” the truth. A couple days ago, I got into it with a low level owner/trainer, Ms. Elizabeth Meehan, who is based at Charles Town. The back and forth on FB got quite ugly and Meehan, even when presented with indisputable evidence as to the crippling, maiming, and killing in the racing industry, repeatedly said that what is posted on the HW blog is “fake news.” I challenged her to prove that one horse that has been reported as “dead” on this site is still alive. Of course, she came up empty but continued to babble that HW “…does nothing but spread lies.” She was joined on the same FB post by her colleague, Ms. Miriam Boyer, who also babbled, “Wow these people with their fake news.” There are times that I really struggle to understand what makes these individuals so irrational. Are they just dumb? Delusional? Liars? Or are they scared that their beloved industry is in a precipitous decline? The info posted here comes from their freaking industry….racing….so if any of these reports are “fake news” (which they aren’t), their industry is the culprit that happens to be spreading lies. Seems incredibly simple to me.

      Back in the late 60’s/early 70’s, Simon and Garfunkel was one of my favorite groups and “The Boxer” was one of my favorite songs. Yes, that was 50 years ago, but there is a line in The Boxer that has resonated with me over the years. From the first verse…”Still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.” Perhaps all the evidence in the world can’t convince those that don’t want to hear the truth and that doesn’t just apply to horseracing. It applies to every walk of life.

      • Mary, you ask if they are 1) dumb, 2) delusional, 3) liars, 4) scared… and I think all of the above apply about people who are in denial about the catatrosphic injuries and deaths of racehorses. Seeing is believing to me. The horses being ridden and whipped by jockeys in races while suffering catastrophic breakdowns including broken bones are not fake obviously. One prime example is MONGOLIAN GROOM and the written “explanation” that goes with it in the downloadable PDF file with photographs of the X-RAYS of MONGOLIAN GROOM’s fractured bones. The only thing fake about it is the phony words of Dr. Lawrence (Larry) Bramlage, in my opinion, when he attempted to “excuse” the negligence, sadistic and barbaric treatment of MONGOLIAN GROOM, specifically, and all racehorses in general.

      • Money is the root of all evil. And if the racing industry isn’t evil, I don’t know what is. If humans can kill other humans for money, of course animals stand no chance of registering on what little moral compass these people possess.

  4. Horse racing should be banned all over this country. It is barbaric and I see no sport or entertainment in it at all. It’s all about money. The hell with the money save the horses

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