Through a FOIA request to the Arizona Department of Gaming, I have confirmed the following kills at that state’s tracks in 2020.
Words in brackets and italics are mine.
Throughout, the Department refers to the horses as “its,” further underscoring how this industry truly views its “athletes.”
Covid significantly affected the numbers below. From the Department: “Turf Paradise ceased live racing on March 11, with the cancellation of that day’s card. For the balance of 2020, there was no live racing or training in Arizona.”
In some cases, I have included additional comments from the Department. As you will plainly see, portents were there, but, as the old saying goes, the show must go on.
Bad Girl, Jan 8, Turf T – “[multiple] fractures, [multiple] ligament ruptures RF”
“This horse was on the vet’s list at Hastings Race Course on 7/14/2019 for being lame in the left rear leg. It returned to racing on 7/23/2019.”
Secreto Primero, Jan 8, Turf R – “[multiple] acute, complete fractures LF; tear in ligament; tendon completely torn; severe, chronic, active ulcerative gastritis”
“In 2019, this horse had two entries on the CA vet’s list: 4/20/2019 for injury due to falling down. On 9/12/2019 the horse was claimed but was found grade 3/5 lame on the left front leg [same leg that broke down]. The horse worked to get off the vet’s list at Turf on 11/3/2019 but was lame on the left front [same leg that broke down] post work. It raced and won on 12/22/2019.” Next race – dead.
Indian Brew, Jan 13, Turf R – “[multiple] comminuted fractures, torn cartilage”
I’m Amore, Jan 15, Turf T – “multiple fractures, ruptured ligament, torn tendon”
“This horse was put on the CA vet’s list on 10/15/2019 because it had an intra-articular injection (joint not specified).”
Obligated to None, Jan 19, Turf R – “horse finished last, 36 back; once the horse returned to its stall, it laid down and could not get back up: complete pelvic fracture that resulted in extensive hemorrhage that involved the majority of the LH limb”
In his preceding five races, all at Turf, Obligated finished a combined 70 lengths back.
Celtic Warrior, Jan 25, Turf R – “multiple fractures with bone exposure LF fetlock; skin degloved, cartilage erosion, chip fracture LH limb; hemorrhage RF limb; hemorrhage, loose cartilage fragments RH limb”
That’s issues in all four limbs. Celtic was only three years old.
Raider Red, Feb 8, Turf S – “colic”
Raider had been raced 64 times, most recently three days before dying – finished last.
Roses for Laura, Feb 8, Turf T – “open fracture RF fetlock; there are multiple areas of gastric ulceration and hemorrhage in non-glandular portion of the stomach which is common finding in racing horse”
Buddy Princess, Feb 9, Rillito R – “open avulsion injury, segments of bones are missing; over 30% of distal metacarpal bone is exposed; surfaces of the bone, soft tissue, and tendons are covered in dirt; suspensory ligament is completely ruptured”
Buddy was 12 years old, and this was her 52nd race – but first in two years.
Adorned, Feb 9, Turf S – “cast in stall, fractured neck”
Randy’s Boy, Feb 15, Rillito R – “[multiple] fractures with severe hemorrhage”
“The horse had one vet list entry for a quarter crack in October 2018.”
Cowgirl Barbie, Feb 19, Turf T – “horse was working on the main track when it stumbled, fell and could not get back up – [cause of death] not determined; trainer observed some gait abnormalities prior to the work”
Cowgirl was just one year old.
Senor Grits, Feb 19, Turf R – “open fracture covered in dirt, sand, and mud; partially ruptured tendon; completely ruptured ligament; severe, chronic degenerative joint disease with joint fusion/capsular fibrosis LF [same leg that broke down]”
“This horse was put on the vet’s list 2/24/2019 for being lame on pre-race exam. It returned to racing 8/31/2019. This was the first race since then.”
Sedona Moon, Feb 21, Turf T – “comminuted fractures, tendon rupture”
Sedona was just one year old; this was his first training session.
Destiny’s Storm, Mar 3, Turf R – “[multiple] fractures; osteoarthritis multiple joints”
“This horse had a poor performance at Los Alamitos on 9/11/2019 and was put on stewards list.”
Destiny’s was just three years old – “osteoarthritis multiple joints.”
Stratton, Mar 7, Turf R – “numerous ligament ruptures, joint disarticulation; chronic degenerative joint disease both front fetlocks”
“This horse was put on the Steward’s list for a poor performance on 12/21/2019.” Three races later – dead.
Wit and Wisdom, Mar 9, Turf R – “[multiple] fractures LF; degenerative joint disease within both front fetlocks”
“This horse was on the California vet’s list as of 5/25/2019 for being cast in stall and injuring the LF leg [same leg that broke down]. On 6/8/2019, it was put on the CA vet’s list for being unsound on the LF leg [same leg that broke down] post race. Received 4 mg of Predef 2X in both front fetlocks on 2/15/2020, then raced on 2/18.” Next race after that – dead.
Devil’s Wildcat, Apr 14, Turf S – “colic”
Devil’s had been raced 49 times, most recently Mar 3.
Roman Pleasure, Dec 30, Turf S – “colic”
Roman had been raced 54 times, most recently Dec 7.