4-Year-Old Collapses and Dies at Santa Anita

Santa Anita Park has disclosed the death of Cali Caliente while training yesterday morning: “probable cardiovascular event.” Cali was but four year old – or still in puberty. And his heart gave way. But of course the apologists will say it had nothing to do with racing. Vile.

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  1. Speaking of apologists, the L.A. Times’ John Cherwa decided to jump in with his own thinly-veiled editorial about poor Cali’s kill classification: “The death did not appear to be the result of exertion, but since it happened on the racing surface it will be counted as a racing or training death by the CHRB.”
    In other words, Santa Anita would have LOVED to have had this go down as an “Other” death on the CHRB’s Super-Scientific Equine Fatalities list — or, better yet, not be publicly reported at all.
    Alas, these are not like the good old days of animal abuse anymore. Are they, Mr. Cherwa?

    • Why doesn’t this guy do a little research on the Blood Builders and the EPOs being pumped into horses to allow the red blood cells to hold onto more oxygen to improve performance. From what I understand these types of drugs tend to make the blood thick and sludge like,making it more difficult to pass through the heart. He’s a writer for the L.A.Times perfect venue to educate the readers about why some horses die from a cardiac incident.

      • Good point re the “blood builders”, Sophie D. These so called supplements are dangerous because they increase red blood cells making the blood more viscous and therefore more prone to clotting.
        Cherwa and his ilk are interested in any and all means to hide what goes on in their despicable business. His comment just shows deception is integral to this awful game.

      • Yeah, that’s not gonna happen. Cherwa is as dedicated a pro-racing press member as you’ll find. He abides by the code of the industry (“See something, say nothing. Or else you’re out.”) I think it’s a stretch to call him a “writer for the L.A. Times,” as he’s more a marketer for the SoCal tracks, with a “newsletter” that for years was titled, “Racing!” — I am not joking. They finally changed the name of it last year when Santa Anita’s usual bloodbath came to the attention of, um, everybody. Some so-called Sports editor at the Times must have realized that, “Racing! Santa Anita Kills Three More!” is a bit of a jarring dichotomy to readers who were suddenly drawn to Cherwa’s “newsletter” for the first (and only) time. So now they call it their “Horse Racing Newsletter,” or some such horseshit.
        Occasionally, I am surprised when he writes something that’s not favorable to the industry as a whole, or even to one track, or one trainer. When he does this, he gets called a bunch of names, attacked for being “part of PETA,” and threatened with legal action by those poor, aggrieved racing creeps he “disparaged.” So I wouldn’t hold out for him to research and publish anything that could potentially implicate the dopers and butchers and horse killers in “Racing!” They’re his audience, after all.

        • Kelly, thank you for your well-informed observation of a mouthpiece for the industry! It is NOT investigative journalism that John Cherwa is doing as he writes about horseracing in California. But, if you read between the lines, he might be attempting to imitate “LASSIE” the Collie, as in he’s trying to tell us something (????). Yeah, I know that’s a stretch. When you say that he said, that it “wasn’t from exertion” maybe it was just the drugs, maybe it wasn’t the exertion. But I’m sure it was a combination of both.

        • Having been on the CHRB I know for a fact that horse racing provides generous gambling accounts and/or gambling vacation packages to people like Cherwa in exchange to protect the industry at all costs.
          This happens in many large racing jurisdictions including Canada.
          Most of these older all white male sports writers are not journalists, but paid mouthpieces who are gamblers and that’s the way horse racing wants it because they can control the message.
          No neutrality just endless euphemisms and/or masking the truth as much as they can or merely omitting the deaths and talking about – what else? – their gambling tips and bets.

    1) DENY, 2) DEFLECT, and 3) DECEIVE.
    and it seems ALL RACING PARTICIPANTS. The horses are exploited for the PURPOSE OF WAGERING/ GAMBLING/ PLACING BETS ON. The horses are treated INHUMANELY to generate REVENUE for the racing participants, especially anyone who receives the wagering handle and anyone who wins the bets they place.
    These people who will exploit a horse to literal death for the purpose of wagering handle/ revenue/ income ARE NOT MORALLY UPRIGHT.

    • Dear Wanda,you forgot one of the D’s “DIRTY” everything about Horseracing IMO is dirty. From the bottom on up to the top of the game. The New York Racing Association was the perfect example,around the year 2004,when NYRA got caught doing a lot of filthy illegal activities by The A.G.s office and the D.O.J.If you want some interesting reading to fully understand what these horse people are capable of,just look up a report by the N.Y.State Comptroller expose.Alan Hevesi’s report exposes illegal activities from top to bottom at NYRA during that time period. IMO I’m sure some of those activities have been modified but in my opinion new activities have taken their place we won’t know unless the D.OJ. Investigates again as they did when exposing the two alleged dope kings Servis AND Navarro.It really is a great read.

      • Thank you, Sophie! (I thought you were going to say, “Drugs or Doping” but Dirty is right on. think Deny, Deflect, and Deceive come under the umbrella of “DIRTY” and CORRUPT.

  3. Don’t say “apologists”. And don’t paint everybody with a broad brush. You know better than that. The horse was IN TRAINING for racing. Most horses are being used for something. If they can’t be used for something they would be on their way to Mexico or Alberta. Many people don’t want to spend money to have complete veterinary workups. Same with people and their dogs and cats. If you follow Grand Prix Showjumping, you will find out that the exhibitors experience horrible horse breakdowns and deaths as well. Same with cutting and roping and bronc riding. This horse broke down in a pre race workout. The same thing could have happened to him out on a trail ride.

    • “The same thing could have happened to him out on a trail ride.” Marymbaggaley… You sound like a typical, what they call, “apologist” but you don’t like that name??? If the shoe fits, wear it.
      This young, immature 4-year-old COLT had a “probable CARDIOVASCULAR EVENT” which would never happen to a four-year-old UNLESS HE WAS BEING RUN TO EXTREME EXHAUSTION ON THAT “TRAIL RIDE” and drugged with PERFORMANCE ENHANCING DRUGS!!!

      • Yes, Wanda, I have to wonder what kind of “trail rides” MMB takes part in where horses drop dead or are catastrophically injured on a daily (or near daily) basis like they are in the (unnecessary) gambling industry of horseracing. In my 30 years with horses, do you know how many horses of my friends, acquaintances and trail-riding groups have died because of riding out on the trail? – zero. 30 YEARS. ZERO.

        MMB, I hope you expose all of those trail riding deaths because something should be done about it.

        • Absolutely, Joy. Add to that, I have seen probably 1000s of show jumping rounds, and I have never seen a horse bow a tendon, or break down. That’s probably over 30 years also. The only horse I ever saw die of a cardiac event jumping was the amazing Hickstead.
          Even eventing at the highest levels doesn’t usually have a fatality rate more than about 10 a year, and that’s WORLDWIDE. I saw more than that in one meet of racing.

    • Being that Kelly was talking about a cardiac incident and not a breakdown, it is highly likely that this cardiac incident IMO was caused by an EPO type drug. You state that this “ horse broke down in a pre-race workout.”I don’t think that was the case,excuse me if I’m wrong.

    • They all end up at slaughter eventually anyway so you’re suggesting that they may as well be abused first. If they weren’t bred in the first place for the sole purpose of profiting humans they’d never be shipped to slaughter. You are a delusional apologist. By the way, no 4 year old collapses and dies of a “cardiovascular event” on a trail ride.

      • That’s EXACTLY right. They should not have been “created” in the first place!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Humans suck. Who else but humans could be SO cruel? God did not put these magnificent creatures on this planet to be abused.

  4. The only kind of trail rides that would have horses dropping dead from exhaustion and/or a CARDIOVASCULAR EVENT would be endurance rides/races that are NOT PROPERLY MONITORED. The ETHICAL endurance rides have certain stations or places where every horse and rider has to stop to give the horse a brief rest. At these pre-designated rest stops, there is a group or a team of people to take the TEMPERATURE, PULSE, and RESPIRATION of each horse. IF THESE T-P-R TEAMS find any horse that doesn’t meet their criteria, in order to protect the horse’s health and well-being, that horse and rider cannot (are not allowed to) continue in the ENDURANCE TRAIL RIDE RACE to prevent horses from dropping dead.

  5. Thank you, Sophie! (I thought you were going to say, “Drugs or Doping” but Dirty is right on.) I think Deny, Deflect, and Deceive come under the umbrella of “DIRTY” and CORRUPT.

  6. What has always and continues to boggle my mind are the reactions of the apologists in certain scenarios.
    For example, when a bunch of racehorses burned to a crisp in their stalls at San Luis Rey training center in Bonsall, California the apologists came out of the wood work crying over their burned racehorses.
    Just for the record, SLR is owned by the Stronach Group who was warned for days to evacuate the racehorses as a precaution and then told to evacuate when the fires were roaring towards the training center.
    They waited until the last minute to evacuate because they had nowhere to put these racehorses.
    Of course this is the same as their “retirement” plans – nowhere to go, no money to give and let everybody else clean up their unwanted racehorse mess.
    Nevertheless, every time a “champion” racehorse dies like Goldikova last week they all come out on Twitter and cry over this mare or any racehorse who dies as a broodmare or stallion in servitude to this business.
    They go all over social media sobbing over the dead racehorses in these scenarios.
    However, they never, ever exhibit any emotions or express any type of compassion over the hundreds who are crumbling to the dirt on their tracks or the 10,000+ racehorses who die on the slaughterhouse floor every year.
    They deliberately have a selective response and totally ignore about 75% of the dying.
    How’s that for logic?
    Makes no sense at all because they are a bunch of deliberately delusional parasites just like marymbaggaley.
    A racehorse death is a death whether that’s during training or racing.
    It’s all solely due to this vile killing business and everybody should care about that not select what death they see as worthy of mourning while ignoring the rest.

  7. the trainer of Cali Caliente who dropped dead is j. Eric kruljac who, on January 9, 2021 ran a horse called Just a Command at Santa Anita, and that horse won and paid $201 to win, a record payout. I wonder if there is a connection, or if these horses were administered anything?

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