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.
As always, please consider contacting Maryland politicians and media. Nothing as entrenched as horseracing will change without unrelenting pressure. The message need not be long; in fact, shorter is better – e.g., “Horseracing is animal cruelty, no different than dogracing, which has been banned on moral grounds in 41 states.” Then, copy and paste this list (and the other Maryland reports). Thank you.
Governor Hogan: contact form; twitter; instagram
Senate Majority Leader King: email@example.com; 410-841-3686
House Speaker Jones: firstname.lastname@example.org; 410-841-3800
The Baltimore Sun: email@example.com; 410-332-6100
ABC Baltimore: firstname.lastname@example.org; 410-435-TIPS
CBS Baltimore: 410-578-7568
NBC Baltimore: email@example.com; 800-677-WBAL
Fox Baltimore: firstname.lastname@example.org; 410-467-5595
Lotto, Mar 21, Pimlico S – “chronic respiratory disease; chronic left hock, developed laryngeal paralysis”; also: “[previous surgery] – shin had two screws” (four years old)
Unbridled Outlaw, Mar 23, Pimlico S – “severe degenerative joint disease; suspensory tear” (Unbridled changed hands – was sold – in his final race, Feb 14)
Dr. Daniel (commission vet): “The horse had significant degenerative joint disease in both ankles that was being managed by the previous connections. New connections chose NOT to manage this horse and euthanize him.”
Dr. Meittinis (private vet): “Basically, bad claim of a cheap horse.”
Gotaheadache, Apr 22, Laurel T – “returned to barn in distress, collapsed and died”
Dr. Daniel (commission vet): “She had very large volumes of blood in both thoracic and abdominal cavities.”
Federal Walk, May 5, Laurel S – “colic, twisted intestine”
Long March, Sep 7, Pimlico T – “flipped over and struck his [head] on the starting gate – trauma was so severe that Long March was immediately euthanized on the track” (Long March was being prepped for his debut when he died)
Bullets Child, Sep 20, Laurel T (euthanized Sep 21) – “fractures to [both] knees”
Dr. Lockard (private vet): “The horse ran the week before I injected the right knee. He came back with heat in both knees. We took radiographs and then injected the right knee.” (not sure when this was)
When asked if horse had any history of chronic injury, trainer Damon Dilodovico said, “Knees always an issue.” And: “The last time the horse had a race, noticed a stiffness in the knees.” In his last race, August 14 at Laurel, Bullets finished dead last, almost 37 lengths back. In addition, Bullets was “scratched” for “lameness” just eight days before that August 14 race. Three days after being scratched, he was back training. Then this: The Commission noted that Bullets had surgery on both knees in Jun 2019.
Tiz Mine, Sep 26, Pimlico T – “comminuted pastern fracture”
Built Like an Ox, Nov 8, Laurel T – “catastrophic [shoulder] fractures with attendant hemorrhage”; also: “chronic gastric ulcers suggest chronic pain/stress, and the degenerative joint disease in fetlock, elbow, and middle carpal joint may have all contributed to this filly’s stress” (three years old)
Dr. Feelgood, Nov 19, Laurel T – “[multiple] devastating fractures, bone protruding through skin, copious amount of blood”; also: “chronic degenerative arthritis in all limb joints; extensive scar tissue around tendons; previous surgery RF ankle” (five years old)
Just Ribbing You, Nov 28, Laurel T – “compound fracture left tibia with the sharp end of a bone fragment protruding through the ruptured skin”; also: “chronic degenerative joint disease affecting most joints; history of bowed tendons; previous surgery RH ankle” (four years old; hadn’t yet been raced because of those tendons)
I hope this makes people realize WHY it is unethical to USE animals for gambling. Go bet on humans. It really IS that SIMPLE.
JUST RIBBING YOU was only 4-years-old and had not been raced because of his bowed tendons. He had chronic degenerative joint disease. He had surgery at some point and these sadistic scumballs-from-hell still were not done torturing this innocent horse!!! The sadistic a**holes that forced this heinous abuse onto this horse are monsters that should be behind bars!!!!!
What is it going to take to get this FILTHY, DEGENERATE business of sadisticly torturing horses into submission, and to DEATH, outlawed???? This criminal activity is INSANE & INHUMANE!!!!
Unbridled Outlaw they couldn’t be bothered taking care of him.
Nancy, UNBRIDLED OUTLAW should have been rescued from the racetrack never to be tortured again. But that would not be sadistic enough for these VILE MONSTERS!!! None of these horses deserved the ABUSE, BRUTALITY, CRUELTY AND DEATH by torture from horseracing!!!!!!!!!!!
My first guess of what is meant by “manage” the horse’s severe degenerative joint disease is injecting him full of NSAIDS or whatever painkillers they inject into these abused horses. This poor horse didn’t have a chance and all the vet or anybody connected to these horses cares about is the “almighty” dollar. All of these animal abusers belong in prison!!!!
Wanda, it’s a disgrace to the vows they take to become a vet AND call themselves a doctor.
I agree, Nancy! They should be defrocked and have their licenses revoked!!!!!
These “vets” are every bit as sadistic as the trainers and owners. These horses were worn down and finally destroyed by the racing industry, and there’s not a word of compassion or sympathy among the whole lot.
“Bad claim of a cheap horse” is how they express the way they “love them like their children”.
Absolutely vile and disgusting.
Unless the “humans” in this industry stop kill pens,stop transport to slaughter houses,find homes for unwanted and “retired” horses,then don’t force breed more animals (who the majority will end up in slaughter houses), stop adding more unwanted lives and adding pain,work,and sweat, to tireless Angels like Shelley Blodgett. You idiot,greedy breeders should be PAYING the money and bills to save your horses,not good hearted people,who do the RESCUES. Owners,breeders…..Pay this woman BACK,and all the other horse rescuers,who are cleaning up after YOUR mess.
Hey all! Check out the paulick report! There’s an article that’s attempting to do damage control, and they are trying to barrage social media with pictures and tweets to say that even though their industry has “been under scrutiny” the last few days, they want to show people how much they love their horses! What a joke. There’s pics and tweets showing people hugging and kissing horses.
What a bunch of clowns. Sure you all love to hug and kiss your horses as long as they are making money for you!! When it’s all said and done, and you’re stuck with a 4,000 claimer with bad ankles and knees, who can’t win a race anymore, then it’s “I don’t care WHERE he goes, I need the stall!”
(Heard that phrase so many times at the tracks I was at. Then I would proceed to scramble to try to find that poor horse a home. Finding a home for a crippled 6 or so year old horse is next to impossible! More often than not- that horse disappeared quickly.)
Marie, they are trying to avoid covering or showing the picture of the now infamous “trainer of his own universe” on the PR. However,the story is going viral and the comments are not complimentary. It seems to be showing all over the world
Yeah, Marie, they love them so much that’s why most of them DIE a horrific death, of either kill pens and going to slaughter houses,or being broken down and abused to DEATH.
What a joke is RIGHT, Marie! – but I decided to join in…you know, provide some pics on social media that “SHOW THE LOVE” by the racing-employed for their racing slaves. What do you think of some of my choices…
-Jason Servis standing outside a shedrow stall of a bay horse (I believe Maximum Security). Servis was holding a handful of carrots – nice touch.
-Jorge Navarro with X Y Jet.
-Scott Blasi kissing the muzzle of, I’m quite sure, Rachel Alexandra.
-Enebish Ganbat kissing Mongolian Groom’s nose.
-Zayat kissing Nehro’s cheek.
-I also included a couple of win photos (all those smiling faces!) alongside killpen photos…of those SAME winning horses.
And I included #ForTheLoveOfHorses and #RacehorseWelfare with each post, just like they wanted.
The cold indifference by the vets (still) shocks me – Meittinis regarding Unbridled Outlaw, for instance; “bad claim of a cheap horse” – can Meittinis be any more callous? It’s like he’s talking about the purchase of a car that turns out to be a useless lemon…hard to believe he’s on the board of the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation.
And FYI, Meittinis, Unbridled Outlaw wasn’t always one of those countless “cheap claimers” your industry uses up and cripples – the ravaging of his ankles surely began when he was just a baby, raced as a 2-year-old in the BC Juvenile.
Appreciate your informing us of Meittinis being on the board of the TRF. Did not know that! Such a person should not be on the board if they have such callousness regarding a horse.
Unethical and uncaring vets. are concentrated in racing.
Any vet. who truly cared about the horse would not stay or would be forced out because he/she was doing right by the horse.
The practice of veterinary medicine in racing should be reviewed by the veterinary medicine boards.
The AMA along with the state boards MUST know what goes on in this business…
Rose, I agree! “Dr.” Meittinis, the private “vet” who is listed here as saying some of the most callous and uncaring remarks about fatally injured horses needs to be BANNED from ever being able to “practice veterinary medicine” and the same is true for all the so-called veterinarians that engage in this ATROCIOUS ABUSE OF HORSES for a paycheck.
Let us put the elite owners of the horses to race together on the track. They deserve it!