In Horseracing, a Kill at One Track Is a Kill for All Tracks

Fact: Racehorses are in a constant state of flux. As commodities – chattel – they are ever being bought and sold, and with that, shuffled from barn to barn, trainer to trainer. But even when not, they are often on the move – shipped from track to track and across state lines. Because of all this, it is utterly pointless to attempt to draw distinctions among the various tracks and states, to argue that a certain one is “safer.” Case in point, the first kill of the Del Mar season yesterday.

Lovely Lilia “suffered a catastrophic injury after completing a four-furlong workout” and was euthanized, reports The San Diego Union-Tribune. While the 3-year-old was being prepped to race at Del Mar, her last race was at Santa Anita less than a month ago. In that race, she finished dead-last – a mere 59+ lengths back. Who’s to say she didn’t incur some sort of injury there that eventually led to her death yesterday? (LL was also raced in Arkansas back in April.) If so, it still goes in the books as a Del Mar fatality. So you see, it’s pure folly to compare; U.S. Horseracing is a single entity – or to borrow their lie of a sports metaphor, one giant league. A kill at one is a kill for all.

(By the way, the Tribune’s writers, John Cherwa and Bill Center, degraded Lovely Lilia’s death by pointing out how “safe” Del Mar has been of late: “Last year, at the summer meeting, [Del Mar] had no racing deaths and four in training. Two of those in training were the result of a freak accident [please] where two horses collided in the morning. In the shorter fall meeting, there were three racing deaths and two in training.” How sick is that? “Safe” for these two apologists is nine dead animals. For gambling.)


  1. Horses are injured and killed in horseracing at many, many racetracks (plus training tracks) so even if there are some safety issues at certain tracks, the fact remains that many, many horses are injured and killed. Regardless of specific safety issues, horseracing as a whole is cruel to horses; and even when horses are not killed in a race or in training, they are still subject to cruelty, abuse and torture of various degrees. Horses deserve better than racing has to offer!!! Horses deserve to be treated h-u-m-a-n-e-l-y!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Agreed. It’s all insanity. And everyone in California racing (especially the regulators and the racing press) is desperately trying to delineate the distinctions between the death tracks, in the futile hope that the public won’t notice THEY ALL kill horses. Right now, it’s crystal clear that Los Alamitos can no more curtail their deaths — while they’re on “probation” for fatalities, no less — than Santa Anita could stop theirs during the height of last year’s PR crisis.
    All the industry can do is try to hide, deny, and instill more confusion in the now-racing-hating public. Some are even coming to understand that they won’t ride this out. It’s the bitter, broken-down end of their blood sport.

    • Kelly, it was something (horse racing) that was antiquated, non-essential, cruel…..from the word “go”. Good riddance. Now, go get a life people, and a real job to boot. 🤣

  3. Lovely Lilia Rest In Peace. Raced 3 times last year at 2-years but apparently the “strength bone remodeling” racing proclaims happens if they race early enough didn’t work on Lovely Lilia. To follow their logic, maybe she should have been racing as a yearling (she asked facetiously)?

    2020 January and she’s now automatically 3-years and in a stakes race but apparently she eventually had recognizable injuries as she raced only three more times in nearly six months. Who knows what treatments and meds she received to get her into her last race in June — now a claiming race. She’s telling everyone -owner, trainer, jockeys, vets, track racing secretary, stewards, racing handicappers—that she’s DONE when she had to be “eased” and finished 59 plus lengths behind in that last race. Who listened to her??? No one because she STILL put $500 in the pockets of her “loving” connections!

    So onto Del Mar she goes and the racing industry just loves these things: She cooperatively dies in training not in a race so they don’t have to count her as a racing death in their #LyingJockeyClubDatabase AND also because she is a training death, most racing blogs then picked up by newspapers, might not even count her death at Del Mar except maybe as an afterthought AND she raced at 2-years and didn’t die then so she helps the racing industry in their claim that racing as a baby is safer.

    Everyone in racing used and abused and killed this horse for their greed as they do with thousands more each year and we don’t even hear about all who finish races but limp onto rescue trailers to be euthanized later nor the 12,000 – 15,000 slaughtered each year. Racing actually admits that 7500 go to slaughter — so who believes their number?

    This archaic animal abuse for gambling entertainment must end. How many other Lovely Lilia’s are suffering right now?

    • Right on, Jo Anne. Glad you brought up the ones who “finish races but limp on…to be euthanized later.” I know of one RIGHT NOW that Los Alamitos vanned off last night: 2-year-old QH gelding named Alltime Favorite. He’s reportedly not dead (yet), but that’s only because Los Al will look even worse if they put him out of his misery one lousy day into their HORSE KILLING PROBATION. City News Service is reporting he “may need surgery.” Probably a safe bet that his loving connections are being forced to go ahead with it so Los Al won’t have to cop to kill number THIRTY.
      So congrats to the CHRB for possibly saving a horse’s life with Friday’s emergency meeting.

      • Thank you, Kelly, for THE KELLY REPORT. You have more journalistic integrity than most. All of these cruel deaths are horrible but cannot be always swept under the rug anymore thanks to people who are advocating for showing horses kindness and to stop the cruelty and torture of racing!!!!

  4. As a child I developed a deep love of animals, being that my Maternal Grandparents had what could be called a ‘Farmette’ , this is just one of the reasons I cannot tolerate people mistreating ANY animal!!! They truly are god’s creatures,who bring nothing but ❤️

    • Horseracing is organized animal abuse of horses. It is a nauseating and cruel thing to call the inhumane treatment of horses a sport. Hunting wild game is called a sport also. Both horseracing and shooting animals with guns are each a blood “sport” for people who love killing animals. It’s barbaric and sadistic to cause horses to suffer brutality as is wounding animals by shooting them.

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