Through a FOIA request to the Illinois Racing Board, I have confirmed the following deaths at that state’s tracks in 2020. There is, as you will see, a most conspicuous gap from January to June – no deaths reported. I went back and forth with the Board on this. Its position: “As you are aware racing in Illinois during 2020 was affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. During the time of January-June…there was no racing in Illinois.” When I pressed further – “how about training or horses stalled at the tracks?” – I was summarily dismissed: “There are no further documents related to your request.” In a word, absurd. First off, it’s not wholly accurate: There were a handful of dates at Fairmount in March. Second, horses were still stalled at tracks and, presumably, engaged in some sort of training. We’re talking almost six months here.
What I am finding, not just in Illinois but in several states, is that recordkeeping, lacking in the best of times, has been particularly slipshod during covid. There is no question that many, many dead racehorses have fallen through the cracks. So, take the following with a healthy dose of salt.
Token Vow, Jan 4, Hawthorne R – “dropped dead at 1/4 pole – copious amount of blood from nostrils”
A P Fireball, Jun 23, Fairmount T – “fractured fetlock at the joint”
Hawk’s Image, Jul 4, Fairmount T (euth Jul 6) – “fractured ankle, ruptured suspensory”
Louie’s Kingdom, Jul 7, Arlington T – “horse collapsed and died” (four years old)
unidentified 2-year-old, Jul 14, Arlington S – “on 7/13, filly flipped repeatedly in the barn; [next day] found down and unresponsive – comminuted fractures of pelvis”
All Call, Jul 18, Arlington S – “found dead in stall – ruptured stomach”
Muffins Revenge, Jul 30, Arlington R – “unrecoverable injury – euthanized on track”
Nuttinholdinmeback, Aug 24, Arlington T – “tibia shattered into 2 large and at least 48 small fragments”
Cook Memories, Aug 27, Arlington R – “collapsed on track, unresponsive”
Flash for Corona, Aug 30, Arlington S – “found dead in stall – severe, gangrenous pleuropneumonia”
Lucky Lorretta, Nov 14, Hawthorne R – “stumbled coming out of the gate…went down at 3/16 pole – euthanized on track”
unidentified, Nov 27, Hawthorne S – “severe colic”
And He’s Loose, Dec 13, Hawthorne R – “compound fractures; ruptured ligament; open, disarticulated fetlock joint – euthanized on track”
No question that COVID is the best thing to come along for every single slimeball in racing, but especially for the so-called regulators. All their horse-killing secrecy got a huge boost when the public was banned, and the only documentation of the carnage came from THOSE WHO CAUSED THE CARNAGE.
Better keep those No “Fans” Allowed protocols going forever, racing creeps. Because you sure don’t want the public to witness what you see all the time: abused animals dying daily from your cruelty.
These deaths are horrible in and of themselves, but the causes are and what these horses suffered leading up to their demises is unconscionably cruel. Yet again another list of examples of the Russian roulette that is horseracing.
It’s depressing to think about the fact that there are people evil enough to do this to horses! It is depressing to know that there are “people” who defend this abuse and torture of horses as if they live in some kind of fairy-tale La-La land.
This carnage can be prevented or reduced only by the ending of horseracing!
State-sanctioned, and state-funded killing business as the Kill Lists clearly demonstrate.
While state public coffers are bankrupt our ELECTED politicians continue to support this via taxpayers money and/or casino profits.
This is insane and it’s the poor racehorses who are paying the price every day.
You NAILED it. Schools in disrepair,infrastructure COLLAPSING…I could go on and on. But, yet by all means,make sure horse killing and torture continues. There is a word for that kind of calculation…EVIL.
The heartbreak just does NOT stop — there’s always a HORSE suffering somewhere owing to this depraved Horseracing Industry — SHUT DOWN this vile industry filled with sadistic People who do NOT GIVE a DAMN — all Horses should be transferred to Horse Ranches, Sanctuaries where they can properly be taken care of — these same places can open to Visitors to experience the beauty and majesty of these lovely Animals — fees will help with upkeep – also, donations must be promoted — this is DOABLE.
Agree with everything you said except expecting other people, who didn’t cripple and exploit these racehorses, to pay for it via donations.
The “horsemen groups” AKA HBPA, wagering and sales companies should be legally mandated to pay for EVERY SINGLE RACEHORSE themselves out of their billions in profits and it would be easy to implement.
It would automatically come off and be deposited into an aftercare account.
This business has been dumping racehorses for years and they are solely responsible for the unwanted racehorse mess that they expect everybody else to clean up and pay for.
I realize that, yet again, the racehorses are victimized and I feel for them, but it’s about time this business is held fiscally responsible for their racehorses.
The time of disposing their gambling chips is over and they need to pay for them.
Incidentally, when politicians were cutting backroom deals with the “horsemen groups” to give them obscene amounts of money via casino profits most communities were opposed to this arrangement especially in Canada.
In order to appease the public and put through their non-transparent deals they told taxpayers and the communities that the financial support to horse racing would only be TEMPORARY.
This was initially a TEMPORARY arrangement that was supposed to boost this dying industry into financial self-sufficiency to maintain all those JOBS that they keep bragging about.
We know now that once they got the handouts their dependency only increased and so did their demands.
Horse racing now feels entitled to this money and usually threatens politicians with lawsuits claiming that they violated legal agreements as they are doing with Gov. Wolf right now in Pennsylvania.
Gina, it’s like children who are born to wealthy parents, who didn’t earn their wealth,but inherited it. So their little brats think they are ENTITLED to whatever they want. “Feed the beast”, if you catch my drift. The ‘children’ in this case are the horse racing entity.
I hope the Pennsylvania Horsemen’s Benevolent and “Protective” Association loses on all counts!!! Who are they pretending to “protect” anyway?
Gina — I agree with you wholeheartedly — BUT, getting monies from abusive IDIOTS who SHOULD be paying is like pulling teeth — getting donations from the rational and compassionate is another way to go — as long as Horses are healthy & happy.
No need to pull teeth – just legally legislate it, which I suppose is pulling teeth especially with our paid puppet politicians who are nothing more than paid mouthpieces for this killing business.
For me, this entire issue is bittersweet because I’ve been dealing with it since I’ve been a kid first with my family and then later with all the other apologists when I was a Trainer.
I’ve done my part taking in 22 crippled racehorses at a cost of about $100,000 way back in around 2004 when I owned my farm facility.
What infuriated me is that the owner/trainers of the racehorses whom I protected from going to kill auctions were the very owners who didn’t help me with one dime.
They didn’t even come by the farm or call to see how their beloved “family member” was doing nor did they provide me with past vet treatment records to help with their recovery.
Yet, the following racing season (since they were all dumped in the fall at the end of the Ontario racing season) there they were claiming racehorses and ruining them only to dump them – an endless cycle.
Joy Aten once said it so good and I paraphrase: “Gina it’s like you have a leaky faucet that you keep covering up with tape that only holds the dripping back temporary and then the gusher starts coming out and there’s no way to fix that other than shutting the plumbing system valve off.”
Essentially, I felt like I was an enabler of their irresponsibility and deliberate financial avoidance that set-up so many more unwanted racehorse scenarios just like your suggestion.
The only clarity in this opaque situation is that the racehorses lose every time and they continue to be voiceless victims of this unnecessary, antiquated killing business.
Yes, Gina — the fact that you’ve been at this for so long frightens me — this industry should’ve been SHUT DOWN eons ago, yet it still continues today — you need NOT think you’re an enabler — for you, it’s about the Horses and you scrambled to save as many as possible — I get it (I give you much credit : not easy to take on so many Horses (I complaint with Cats)) — the only solution is to SHUT DOWN the entire industry — there are too many evil, hateful, cruel, sadistic people walking about with “respectable” faces — they’re MONSTERS and they’ll never stop — UNLESS … — you FORCE them — I cannot see any other way out — as per Battuello, SHUT DOWN the Racetracks — SHUT DOWN the Races — only way to SAVE the Horses.
Until you get the two biggest entities New York, or California to do something, which we all know Newsome and Cuomo, won’t even propose for their state’s budget (unlike Governor Wolf,who has at least tried,to divert funds), nothing will happen!!!!!!!!!!!! It all hinges on Ca.,and NY, the two most egregious and biggest. Pa., is small peanuts,compared to those two. Go after the two biggest MAIN ones.
Even with a governor that wants to STOP FUNDING by at least $199 Million (or more) to the horseracing industry in Pennsylvania, there is still so much opposition to do the right thing!!!! I am hoping that Gov. Tom Wolf will eventually be successful along with all of the people who support his position and stand with him!!! Imagine how awesome it would be for there to be NO RACINO HORSERACING and how AWESOME it would be for the people of PA to have some of their basic needs to be met for a change!!!!
No horse in Pennsylvania would have to run on a track in Pennsylvania for a few dollars paid-out to their owners for just being entered in the race regardless of the order of finish.
Wanda, I would be even happier if NY,or Ca.(especially), or FL. Any one of those behemoth , disgusting death chamber entities….would be a death blow. Pennsylvania is small potatoes.
I agree, Bonnie!!!! It’s depressing to think about all of the callous greed and the horses that are victimized by the EVIL CREEPS IN HORSERACING. The wanton destruction of horses in Kentucky, California, New York, Florida and Maryland must eventually come to an end.
The likes of Bob Baffert and the Triple Crown races and all of those races that literally kill (who-knows-how-many) horses in training and racing leading up to the BIG EVENTS must eventually be history.
It will just take more time for some of those old horse-killing Hall of “Fame” CREEPS to die of old age.
Just to clarify California racetracks don’t benefit from the billions in casino profits.
Horse racing attorneys unsuccessfully tried to litigate the iron-clad legal contracts in place between the Native American communities and the California government.
That said, I do know that California horse racing gets unprecedented property tax deferments, and are exempt from most all taxes that the rest of businesses in California must pay.
As for the tax deferments the now defunct Magna Entertainment, which is now The Stronach Group, negotiated with the California government to take over the tracks that were about to be shut down.
However, Frank Stronach and his bevy of legal cohorts convinced California politicians, including Democrat Diane Feinstein, that they would spend millions upgrading the decrepit and unsanitary stable area facilities at Santa Anita, Golden Gate, and San Luis Rey Downs in exchange for unprecedented tax deferments.
They touted Stronach’s “vision” to modernize these tracks and bring them into the 21st century including state-of-the-art environmental standards to stop the complaints coming in from surrounding communities regarding ground and water contamination from racehorse manure.
This time frame has come and come – absolutely NOTHING CHANGED – VERY LITTLE CHANGED and any legal neutral attorney reviewing these documents would clearly reveal that the Stronach Group, then Magna, didn’t live up to their end of the bargain, but probably still continue to benefit from these unprecedented tax breaks.
Setting aside all of these empty promises, violation of legal agreements, and delusions the only thing they’ve left the state of California with is a bunch of dead racehorses and very little money into their public coffers.
The exact same situation has played out in Maryland and the politicians there still want to give horse racing billions just for one yearly event: the Preakness.
It’s downright insanity, but the poor racehorses are the ones paying the price.
When someone changes their name or the spelling of their name, I always think about the fact that some individuals change the spelling of their name (on purpose) in order to throw the people or company or companies to whom they owe money “off their trail” so to speak. I can’t help but wonder if the name change from Magna Entertainment to The Stronach Group had any financial and/or legal advantage for Frank Stronach!?!?!
For one thing Wanda Magna “Entertainment” (if you consider sentient beings snapping their legs-off and going down in the dirt entertainment) filed for bankruptcy in Maryland and got it approved.
This meant that Frank Stronach didn’t have to pay his financial obligations as owed to hundreds of small business labor contractors that worked on the tracks until they stopped due to non-payment, to hundreds of small feed companies etc etc – all those JOBS that they claim means so much to them when they want their public coffer handouts just like their “family members” evaporated into thin air some even having to shut down because they basically financed his renovations up until that point.
Shortly thereafter, Stronach bought a 30 million dollar Pegasus statute to adorn Gulfstream Park this track explicitly mentioned in court documents as an asset to be sold in order to obtain legal bankruptcy. These court records are public and I read most of them – sickening.
I can’t help but think of all the laborers and stable workers who worked and sweated their asses-off only not to get paid for their work.
I suppose we would all be rich, owning racetracks if we did the same thing as this asshole, but we possess compassion something that is clearly lacking on this families venue.
What politicians need to answer is this: how many more billions are you going to give this killing business at the expense of our educational structures for children, our future, and our communities whose public coffers are bankrupt? How many more years are they going to blatantly rip-off their constituents who should be getting these casino profits instead of this repulsive killing business?
Their claim to jobs means nothing because education, infrastructure, residential/commercial development once these hell holes are shut down will generate much more jobs than they ever will and they will be decent jobs including ones where the workers actually get paid.
I suppose it’s hard to pay workers when they don’t even take care of the racehorses that generate their profits.
Gina, thank you…your comments with your insight and knowledge of racing’s “inner workings” are ALWAYS appreciated.
Whoever said politicians care about their constituents?🙄
Gina, that Frank Stronach sounds like the worst of the worst kind of human being.
mssm8822, I have been the same way for decades…except with dogs. I’ve had to cut back because my Mother needs constant round the clock care now. Any animal in need, is worth saving.
Governor Wolf assumed office Jan. 20th 2015, I remember reading op-ed’s In the Philadelphia Inquirer,shortly after he assumed office by him,and others in his circle,about how they wanted to divert the money from horse racing- into education. Think about what I just said 2015!!!!! I know for a fact he has always wanted to divert funds to education. I SINCERELY doubt any other Gov.,ever even attempted. If you know of any,who tried,please let me know. I will happily stand corrected. Thank you.