Cheating: A Clear Training Death Classified as “Other”; Belmont Now at 53 Kills

Want to know how the racing industry massages its numbers to make things appear less bad than they actually are? Here’s one trick: Rock N Warrior sustained a fracture while training at Belmont November 1. She was then, the Gaming Commission says, “sent to Ruffian for repair; however, poor prognosis caused euthanasia.” This was today, almost two months after the initial break. Leaving aside for the moment that her suffering was extended almost two full months, her death, according to the official record (Commission), has been classified “other” – meaning not track-related, meaning it will not be reflected in the New York Racing Association’s “catastrophic breakdown rate.” In other words, they’re cheating. (Not that matters, for all deaths – whether on track or in stall – are industry deaths; there’s no distinction to be made.)

Not to be lost, too, is that the 2-year-old Rock N becomes the 53rd kill at Belmont Park this year. 53rd. Please, please disregard the “Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act.” Reform is a ruse; safety is a lie. In truth, horseracing kills horses, inherently. From breeding for speed (big torsos, spindly legs); to working pubescent bodies (the typical horse doesn’t fully mature until six; the typical racehorse begins training at 18 months); to the incessant grinding of those bodies (if they’re not racing, they’re not earning); to forcing them to “race” at an unnatural rate (breakneck), in an unnatural way (always counter-clockwise), through unnatural means (perched, whip-wielding humans); to the commodification (the average racehorse is bought and sold several times over the course of his “career,” making his long-term well-being of no concern to his current people) – horseracing guarantees a certain level of killing. Guarantees.

Subscribe and Get Notified of New Posts


  1. At least they’re acknowledging Rock N Warrior’s death. Every other racing state’s so-called regulators (we see you, CHRB) would happily chalk up her track injury and resultant euthanasia as, “None of your damned business, pesky public! We don’t have to tell you shit about the ‘Private Property’ that gets mutilated, mangled, claimed ‘n maimed, abused, killed, dumped and destroyed every day in our state-sanctioned gambling game. So stop asking.”

    • Yeah, but they think it means issuing a press release announcing an injured horse’s RETIREMENT so they can continue to collect on that baby before they kill him.

  2. Wait til you guys read the horrific chart from Mahoning Valley race 8 today. The jock really wanted to pick up a f’n check. #PureEvil ….bullshit. Just like Hit it once more..remember him?(just recently). Another “Vanned Off”. Are we better than this?,torturing animals. Put this f’n bullshit to a POPULAR vote…and it’s GONE. Popular,MAJORITY vote is the way it should be for EVERYTHING…EVERYTHING.

    • Bonnie – that’s nothing compared to yesterday at mahoning. David Haldar, the jockey mentioned here a while ago for forcing broken down Candy Classic to finish his race, rode a horse named Interference in the last race. The horse finished the race, but “returned injured, then vanned off”. Upon viewing the replay, one can see the horse being led by the jockey, hopping and hobbling, back to the paddock to be unsaddled. This is after the horse finished the race far behind the rest of the field. So again, he rode an injured horse on to finish a race.
      And the replay of the horse today- again far back behind the rest of the horses- and his jockey continued to hit him until he realized the horse was struggling, then he finally stopped. But he also made the horse cross the finish line.
      In the November OSRC minutes, the commission “discussed the riding crop and whip use”. That’s as far as that got.

  3. Ok, sooooo we are no better than Spain, that publicly tortures an animal,by driving spears into the innocent,with Cretan evil ugly people cheering it on. Is that the point we have sunk to? I hate Spain. I mean what kind of sub-humans do that?

    • Bullfighting won’t survive in Spain. Catalonia and Mallorca have banned it along with hundreds of municipalities in the rest of the country. Attendance has fallen by over 50% this century.

      • I hope you’re right Alan. I could never even wrap my mind around the depravity of that sicko torture. I mean who does that!!!, and cheers it on in glee? Speaks volumes about them. A lot of the Animal rights,Humane association, and Wildlife charities are giving great matches tonight.

  4. Oh my god…RNW, was absolutely gorgeous. Light gray w/white Blaze,black tail and mane. Just a baby, the “toddler” stage. What a terrible waste of a beautiful life.She died for NOTHING.

  5. In the only race she was ever in, she was a DNF. Chart says she “lost her footing”. I wonder if she was already having leg issues at that point, or if that footing caused the start of a fracture. But of course we will never know.

  6. I just remembered,there was an identical case a couple years ago, two year old Gran Airspeed,finished a turf race,but, took a few weird steps crossing the wire,the next time he trained after that said race, he broke down training.HE WAS 2 yrs. OLD. JUST a BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. I do not understand why the “Owners” and “Trainers” don’t wait until they are 3 to run them. At 1.5 years old is too young on the bone structure and the horse for that matter.
    If they make you sooo much money….let them grow up and have a chance of being healthy!
    How many actually have the legs X-rayed before you allow them to run? I would love to have the Racing Association make a few changes to the rules….
    3 years old before they can run!
    Xrays done at a Equine University before they are aloud on the grounds!

    • Horses don’t fully mature till six. And the higher up the body, the slower the process, so the plates in the neck and spine, of all places, are the last to fully close. In other words, four- and five-year-old horses are still pubescents, too. Horseracing is inherently wrong. It cannot be fixed or reformed – it must end.

Comments are closed.