“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” – Maryland, 2020

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.

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  1. I read these, and I cried. No one who has a soul could see horses in agony from destruction like this and not feel something for them. All I can picture is my own sweet baby, a former race horse himself, with his leg broken and swinging and his mouth smashed and covered in dirt from planting face first from a dead run.
    The racing industry won’t shed a tear for these beautiful souls, but I have. If there is a more evil creature in this world than man, I have yet to see it.

    • Me, too, Rebecca…lots of tears. And I do the same thing, imagining what my own ex-racehorses endured – and I already know about some of their pain and suffering while being used by the industry that eventually dumped them. But now all of my horses hear the same, comforting words everyday – “I will always take care of you. You will always be safe.” :)

      • The thing that enrages me Joy, is that this (horse racing) is Soooo unnecessary. People literally have millions of other things they can bet money on. It’s the stupidity, and pure evilness of horse racing. #SaveTheHorses , go bet on consenting people.

  2. The injuries listed at the top of this post turn out to be the horse named SUPER DANCER who sustained these life-ending injuries. I read these injuries listed at the top and thought, “yeah, the horse trainers that make the horses run at 45 miles an hour for 1 mile just in training should have to be in a five-year study to see what kind of injuries happen to human trainers of horses. See what injuries they get when they go take a flying leap out of a vehicle that’s going 45 miles an hour.” Just saying, you know; it’s a rhetorical statement. I know it’s not going to happen literally. I know what it’s like to do a face plant in the dirt from being on foot, and I have two visible things to remember it by; a scar between my nose and mouth where my flesh split open and the one tooth that got chipped, but repaired by a dentist. That was in the mid-1960s when I thought I was bigger and stronger than I was. I chose to do what I did, except I didn’t expect the outcome. I had visions of a totally different outcome. These horses are forced to do what no horse should ever be forced to do. The racetrack operators, horse owners and trainers, and veterinarians know that these types of injuries happen and they still force this abuse and torture onto these innocent and unsuspecting young horses and it is so wrong on so many levels! It must be ended!!!!!

  3. I was just reading the charts for Friday’s races at Aqueduct….one trainer had TWO of his horses be voided claims (vet voids).

    • Running horses in freezing temperatures is so wrong in addition to all of the other many things that are so wrong about horseracing!!!

  4. This has to stop. Horse racing needs more regulations and humaity. Theese are young horses who make you money and you ruin them. They run to please atleast you could do is take care of them properly. If they are injurtd retire them don’t keep running themTHESE ARE YOUNG HORSES THAT ARE BEING KILLED BEVAUSE PEOPLE ARE GREEDY THIS HAD TO STOP

  5. Bonnie, obviously unsound and yet the vet gave the thumps up to race the horses!!!
    What a horribly corrupt business. And the horse takes the brunt of the corruption. They haven’t got a chance in this dirty game. Poor horses.

      • This beautiful gray baby girl Paul’s Plunder was bred by Calumet,big time …..sold for nothing,with that pedigree. Breaks my heart for this dear sweet gray baby. This bullshit is pure evil. With Tapit in her pedigree….what the F, was she doing in a four furlong sprint? Trying to keep up with basically a quarter horse type race KILLED the baby. Tapit’s are in no way speedball sprinters.

          • And the thing is Wanda….how painful that had to have been crashing to that frozen tundra ground. It is frigid in West Virginia tonight. That poor dear baby girl. My heart breaks for her.

          • I asked them that a couple times last month on Twitter. Guess they got tired of the question, because they blocked me after the second time — which is exactly what I’d expect from a shitty little lying dirtbag horse-killing place like CT. I mean, never mind the van; do they even have a vet?

          • Not exactly, Wanda. I just asked ’em why they altered their charts (AFTER the HW story about their jock, Christian Hiraldo, whom the chartwriter ADMITTED had whipped poor Best Shot post-fatal injury.) They ignored me, of course, but then posted some stupid promo about a returning winner who was due to race a few days later, and to be ridden by Mr. Beat-a-Dead-Horse-Hiraldo himself. They did not appreciate my polite suggestion that maybe we should all hope he treats this next horse better than he treated Best Shot. That’s when their block button came out. The “How do you creeps live with yourselves?” question ought to be understood, at this point. Even by the likes of them:(

        • Ugh. Doesn’t that shithole called Hollywood Casino at Charles Town even HAVE a horse hearse they can rent or something? Or, maybe they can nail some sideboards to an old flatbed trailer, then spray-paint “AMBEWLENTS” on it. That way, when they do their nightly baby horse sacrifice(s), their trusty chartwriter won’t have to admit most of ’em — he can just put “vanned off” for all their kills, like the other tracks do. Pretty smart, right?

          You’re welcome, proud West Virginia horse killers!

          • Kelly, do you mean the question of why they run horses in a death race to just fill the race for gambling bets? Or something like that…

          • Kelly, I’m glad you brought that point up to them!!!!
            How do they live with themselves? They are sadistic enough to enjoy the abuse and torture of horses. All of these sociopaths really should be locked up in prison.
            I wish there were investigative journalists with cameras at the tracks everyday to record the stuff these vile abusers of horses don’t want everyone to see.

          • Kelly.
            I often wonder how Bridget ended up where she did. Doubtful that she walked to the dump on her own. Probably the flatbed truck you mentioned. No surprise there at all

    • Well of course the vet gave the OK to race those unsound racehorses, Rose – as Sid Gustafson, DVM, recently stated in response to someone asking why it can’t be a standard rule that a horse that flips in the gate is automatically scratched; “Money is why – regulatory veterinarians become puppets to management. You lose your job if you scratch too many horses not fit to race. Indeed, flipping injures the horse, rendering her unfit to race.”

      YOU LOSE YOUR JOB IF YOU SCRATCH TOO MANY HORSES….

      • That`s one of the things in racing our state does that`s correct. Any horse that breaks through or flips in the gate is scratched automatically even if the horse looks okay. It was recently found out by us that all racing horses in our state are now to undergo hair analysis.Wonder what what kinds of things the state is looking for?

      • Joy, the statement, YOU LOSE YOUR JOB IF YOU SCRATCH TOO MANY HORSES, reminds me of the WHISTLEBLOWER who gets condemned for speaking out about serious, life-threatening, life-ending conditions. The astronauts, including the teacher, who died in 1986 could still be alive if the ‘powers that be’ would have listened to the WHISTLEBLOWER!

  6. Talent Scout…”old ankles”…that poor horse was showing signs of being unsound before his third birthday when (his trainer at that time) Bob Baffert said on the Steve Byk show that Talent Scout had “shin issues”.

    • We have a 25 year old mare who is sounder than the $! She runs & bucks lots of times! There is no excuse for a 3 year old to die in the dirt like Talent Scout did. Old ankles! He was not even done growing to full height or maturity yet.

  7. My heart is aching and my tears are flowing as I read the horrific injuries that all of these innocent horses have sustained and as I imagine the absolute pain and terror that they must have suffered. How CAN these heartless, soul-less owners, trainers and jockeys even sleep at night and like who they see when they look in a mirror. It is beyond my comprehension how these POS can carry on abusing, torturing and killing these horses day after day .

  8. If I had a horse, I would treat the horse like a family member. This torture and ultimate killing of the horse is sickening! The owners and staff responsible for this should be ashamed of themselves.

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