Filly Dead at Santa Anita

The CHRB has disclosed the death of 2-year-old Superficial yesterday at Santa Anita – officially, “stable accident.” She is the 17th dead horse at that track this year and 84th at all California venues. 84 dead horses – in this a year of contracted racing (covid) and, more telling, supposed historic reforms and safety initiatives. Please.

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  1. Oh really
    A “stable accident”
    How about some transparency CALIFORNIA HORSE RACING BOARD ?
    To think that this poor innocent two (2) year old horse died in a stable on a racetrack when she had been purposely bred for gambling and ‘entertainment’ and the relevant racing authority chooses not to disclose what caused her death.
    Is the truth of her suffering and death a bit like, you know, mmm…well… we can’t reveal this, too many questions will be asked?
    Yeah, highly likely.
    Yeah, just another horse.

  2. It raises the question if the trainer “accidentally” gave this 2-year-old filly too much of something that normal people would never give their horses, some type of drug/dope. Rest in peace SUPERFICIAL.

  3. Just amazing how these babies are dropping like flies… just like that…OUT OF THE BLUE, right, “loving” connections??!! An “accident” you will most likely say, if asked. Disturbed parasites! Melinda Stronach and her “reforms” leading the pack!!

    • We’d love to hear your thoughts, mpardi2013, regarding realistic plans – other than what we’ve been doing for the last decade and what we continue to do now. Thank you.

      • Media, especially radio talk shows, are always looking for programming. Using your internet resources you might find advocates in appropriate locations who would approach these outlets and request on air discussions. Newspapers usually provide Letter to the Editors space. Makers of masks (for Covid) are in the market for advocacy masks.

        I have extensive experience in radio and television but at 78 years old I don’t get out much.

      • mpardi2013, of those numerous other organizations you support, is the United States Humane Society one of them? Are you aware that the USHS supports “reforms to horse racing” as opposed to the banning of horse racing? Also, you are aware that reforms are not stopping the abuse, torture and catastrophic injuries to race horses, aren’t you?

        • Thank you, Wanda. Yes, I’m aware of the distinct positions taken in various organizations and, seeing the greater good done by most, I continue to provide input as I can including the reiteration of my objections to those positions I find inadequate. I have been active in non-human animal issues since 1970 (although I was in constant trouble as a combat military dog handler in the early 1960’s as I refused the harsh training methods used). Throughout my career as an Anthropologist (22 years university teaching) I stressed the importance of the study of ethology, and thanatology, as it pertained to human relationships with non-humans. And, in my work with the Federal Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (23 years) I continually advocated for the replacement of animal models with technology in disease research, especially during my tenure on the IRB (Institutional Review Board). My own long term companionship with dogs, cats, and horses undoubtedly informed my opinions.

          Successful program development calls for critical examination of ROI (Return on Investment). In looking at the almost daily reports of horses injured or killed in racing related events my initial reaction to the list provided on the link was that I see a great amount of investment (resources, time, effort) with little measurable return. My thought was, “Time to review and revise tactics.”

          I certainly come to this discussion as a novice and not merely a person delivering baseless criticism. My comments arise from concern. Personally, I have long been against exploitation of non-humans in any form. It’s humans I have the greatest problems with. Understanding why so many people have the attitudes toward non-humans that they do, and developing means of changing those attitudes, are paramount concerns for me.

  4. With the super vague cause of death as “stable accident,” and for other horses who have been found dead or injured in stalls, I can’t help but wonder if this death and others are sometimes caused when the horse tries to get up from lying down and because of the small space and unforgiving walls, suffers horrible injuries. Or lowers herself to lie down, and ends up in a bad position vis-a-vis the stall walls. I remember my horse in his pasture, had found himself a sandy area and had built up a slight depression, making for a slight rise to completely lie down with his head slightly elevated. After a nap, then time to get up, forelegs thrust out in front, hoist up with help from the rear, and up. He was unheeded in his pasture to do as he pleased, and that meant every day getting a load off and taking a nap on soft soil in the shade. However Superficial–awful name–died in her prison, I consider the contrast with her and the horses I’ve known in my life who had the good fortune to live free of constant, merciless confinement–one of the many crimes perpetrated against racehorses. So, so sorry.

  5. Instead of people betting on a horse in a race after watching them walk in the pre-race circle, they should think about how many will be dead within a year, or two or three. Drive out to a rescue and I ‘bet’ that many of them won money but were later dumped but were fortunately saved. There aren’t enough rescues to keep up with overbreeding and unless the horse can make more money later by breeding, it too will end up dead before they live out their life.
    I’ve talked to people who own a percentage of a race horse and they feel if they find a home later for their horse (if the other partners okay this) then they are the good one. The reality is that nobody is going to keep a horse that will be a drain to their pocket book or that they cannot ride because of injuries. It is not realistic to think these horses will have any life after racing. The damage in most cases is done.

  6. Oh, to be sure, Superficial did, in fact DIE in a stable accident at Santa Anita yesterday. Baby horses in all endeavors can be severely injured in any number of mishaps — though they occur far more often in racing, where they’re most likely to be drugged, bred and “trained” to go schizo speeds, and handled by those least concerned with their overall, long-term health. My only doubt about the SADT (Santa Anita Death Track) admission of her death is that it was the FIRST AND ONLY one to occur there in the last three and a half MONTHS.
    Just think about this: This is a company that just last year suffered the worst PR crisis in the entire history of horse racing. The Santa Anita Dead made national and international headlines, prompted changes in legislation, a national discussion on the horrors of this corrupt, greed-fueled, barbaric and antiquated blood sport (something Patrick has been driving home for years; I just didn’t know of him and this site), and unprecedented public outcry to SHUT THEM DOWN. Their response? Simplified, it was to enact a slew of “Safety” Measures that would purportedly cut down the number of horse deaths on their property. Problem is, they didn’t work (and don’t work, and won’t work.)
    So, enter the CHRB. Its proposed “solution” to the Dead Racehorse PR Problem was to document — and make public — every single horse death, at every single California track and training center. And they did. And their newfound “transparency” showed that Santa Anita, and all of racing, constantly kills horses. Always has, always will. The SADT kept right on having their “Fatality Clusters,” of, oh, 3-4 (and often more) dead horses each month. So did Del Mar, and Golden Gate, and, most famously of late, Los Alamitos. What NONE of these tracks had, nor will ever have, is a NO-death cluster. Yet, this is exactly what the SADT is pretending that it had going, right up until yesterday: a Safety Streak that lasted an unheard of duration.They claim that there were zero horse deaths at their facility since June 21st of this year. Zero catastrophic breakdowns. Zero training accidents. No incidents of colic or other illness requiring euthanasia. No sudden “heart attacks” among their post-pandemic population of 1,500 horses. Not even one.
    Which begs the question: WHY did Santa Anita wait more than a year after its Disaster Season to put its super-safe life-saving safety measures into effect? And why was the CHRB so accepting of the SADT’s absurd claims that they’d “suddenly” conquered their little PR problem? I suspect the answer to both questions lies in the necessary deception required to keep California horse racing sputtering along until its inevitable death by referendum in 2022.

  7. SUPERFICIAL – another victim of this morally bankrupt killing business.
    Continue to write your politicians and demand a shut down.
    Also, demand that they stop funding this killing show via taxpayers money and casino profits.
    The horse racing business not only requires killing, but dumping of their unwanted racehorse mess.
    Their multi-billion dollar industry made off the bones, backs, and lives of racehorses gives little to nothing to their profit slaves when they are done flipping a buck for them.
    Today I came across a chestnut filly in the kill pen at Stroud Kill Pen on FB.
    Her name is BABY BE GOOD.
    Her sire is Distorted Humor who stands at Winstar Farm for $50,000.
    A well-bred filly that was flipped 4 times at the sales auctions totalling around $140,000.
    She was then sent to “trainer” Edward Plesa Jr. where she didn’t perform in 4 starts.
    Her last 2 starts were at Gulfstream Park owned by The Stronach Group.
    She was dumped by them in 2005.
    We can’t account for the last 15 years of her whereabouts before ending up in the kill pen, but she’s been brutalized, neglected, and in very poor shape for a long time.
    This is how their “family members” end up for most of them.
    She’s hours away from the slaughter-bound truck and none of the above horse racing people, who made money off her, want to contribute or won’t respond to our requests.
    Disposable gambling chips.

  8. Of course I disagree with the HSUS’s position on racing. However, I do support the Society Legislative Fund (HSLF) and will continue to do so. The following are two of the seven animal protection bills that were introduced in the 115th Congress but did not pass. They are now top priorities for 116th Congress:


    SAFEGUARD AMERICAN FOOD EXPORTS (SAFE) ACT(H.R. 961/S. 20OO6). The latter would end horse slaughter.

    I’m not optimistic regarding passage of these bills and the other animal protection bills, but I don’t know what the alternative is other than to keep introducing them and letting reps. know you support them.
    Of course politicians will cast the vote they believe will keep them in office!!!
    Always follow the money, it is powerful, unfortunately.

    • Rose, thank you for sharing these details. I completely agree that horses need protection from abuse, neglect and all forms of inhumane treatment.
      From what I have read so far, the bill to SAFEGUARD AMERICAN FOOD EXPORTS is more about protecting the consumers of horsemeat from eating contaminated meat than it is to protect horses from slaughter. I have not read the entire bill.

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