Through a FOIA request to the Maryland Racing Commission, I have confirmed the following kills at that state’s tracks in 2020. It should be noted that in the wake of Santa Anita, Maryland began releasing much more detail. Because these details, including vet testimony, are so powerful (and damning), I will post in multiple installments so as to give each death its proper due. Please share.
Yes Man, Jun 27, Laurel R (euthanized Jul 2) – “fractured LF fetlock”; also: “multiple, chronic chips RF fetlock [and] five screws in an old hind-limb fracture”
JW Renegade, Jul 6, Ocean R – “collapsed, sudden death – heart attack”
Tricks R For Real, Jul 13, Ocean R – “collapsed and died” (three years old)
My Lila, Aug 8, Laurel R – “[multiple] compound, comminuted fractures and dislocation, LF fetlock; rupture in the skin through which a portion of cannon bone protrudes, sand and debris packed into the hole in the skin”; also: “chronic synovitis in all [four] carpal joints; chronic degeneration in all four distal cannon bones; chronic, active joint disease both hind fetlocks”
My Lila was declared “racing sound” before each and every one of her 15 races, including the one in which she died. She was but three years old.
Talent Scout, Sep 24, Pimlico R – “blunt trauma, catastrophic fractures, LF fetlock; open wound into joint, copious amount of blood, RF fetlock” (that’s both front ankles); also: “significant, chronic degenerative joint disease in both radiocarpal joints” Attending vet, Dr. Daniel: “Talent Scout had an open fracture of the LF fetlock and a severe rundown/wound of the RF fetlock. The horse was unstable and in severe pain. He was euthanized on the track.”
When asked horse’s condition when acquired (June 2020), trainer said, “Fine – old ankles.” Talent Scout was five years old.
Charlie Mops, Oct 11, Laurel R – “rupture of both distal sesamoidean ligaments”
When asked horse’s condition when acquired (two years prior), trainer said, “OK – bad ligaments.” Any history of chronic injury? “Just old and bad tendons.”
Styles, Oct 29, Laurel S – “broke down chasing loose horse – ankle completely dropped, soft tissue rupture”
Moochie, Nov 19, Laurel R – “[multiple] fractures, [bone] displaced and through skin; devastating damage to almost all structures of affected joint”; also: “chronic, degenerative arthritis [in all four feet], stomach ulcers” (two years old)
Super Dancer, Dec 18, Laurel R – “complete fracture of leg, bone exposed up to mid-cannon, area covered in dirt and dried blood; tendons shredded; muzzle, tongue, and teeth coated in dirt, incisor broken at gum line” Dr. Sacksen: “RF limb was clearly fractured and swinging when we approached. A large segment…completely fractured free.”
Isabellaalexa, Dec 19, Laurel R – “[multiple] comminuted fractures, LF fetlock”
Isabellaalexa had a previous surgery with two screws inserted into her RF ankle (not one that broke down). She also suffered from “chronic joint disease.” She was three years old.