Another Kill at Aqueduct

Unrelenting Force, three, is dead after breaking down in the 8th at Aqueduct yesterday. His trainer was Steve Asmussen (yes, that Steve Asmussen). Unrelenting is the 15th Thoroughbred killed at a New York Racing Association track this year. Reform is a ruse; “safe racing” is a lie. Horseracing kills. Period.

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  1. These so-called trainers should be in prison. Instead, these horse-killing degenerates including Steve Asmussen are in the Hall of Fame. Doesn’t that tell you what you need to know about horseracing????

  2. But, but, but…his killing actually marks a dramatic SAFETY IMPROVEMENT for Aqueduct! Considering their (triumphant) Fall, 2020 Opening — six racing kills in less than a month — shouldn’t we be praising their massive strides in horse safety?
    I mean, yeah, they killed him in the final race of the final (also triumphant) day of the meet. But it took ’em almost three months this time to rack up those six additional racing kills. So, see? They’ve shown, like, a 66% percent REDUCTION in horse deaths through the meet.
    So, congratulations, Aqueduct! Y’all are an inspiration;)

    • Kelly, I appreciate your SARCASM, but I still feel the need to vomit, figuratively!

      #endhorseracing

  3. I hesitate to ask because all I see is one sickening horror after another — but can someone please define the phrase “breaking down” as the industry uses it.

    • Some on this site won’t use the B-word. I get why they won’t; it implies the racehorse is merely a piece of machinery. But this is exactly why I think it’s a PERFECT descriptor for the sickening horrors you mention. To those in racing, horses really ARE just machinery.
      So, when one’s machine breaks down, it’s nearly always rendered worthless, disposed of immediately, then promptly replaced with a shiny, new baby machine!
      Then the baby machine has its own breakdown, so that this cycle continues on and on, until the public can’t stand it anymore and finally takes away all the beloved machinery from the racing creeps. The End:)

    • I use the term “catastrophically injured” but “breaking down” is sort of the same thing. The main difference is that breaking down sounds slightly less incriminating to the industry that willfully and deliberately causes disabling and fatal injuries to horses. The racetracks and all of the people that have a “job” in this industry that exploits horses need to be out of a job because killing horses by abusing them to death should not even be legal let alone funded by government subsidies of any kind!

    • Breaking down means that the racehorse can no longer function under its own volition due to a multitude of medical reasons predominantly broken bones, heart attack, colic, profuse bleeding from the nostrils blocking proper respiratory function etc etc.
      Essentially, the racehorse has a portion or portions of its physical body that is literally “broken” or “broke down.”
      In other words, they are non-functional anymore in some capacity thereby requiring an equine ambulance to remove them from the track.
      Broken bones means that a racehorse is in excruciating pain, but also completely stressed out which usually requires immediate humane euthanasia, but since this will count as a “track death” they now force them to load onto a horse van to “van-off” to a nearby vet clinic or back to the stable area so that it won’t count as a racehorse death.
      So they opt to exacerbate the pain and suffering so that they can get away with not increasing their death rate.
      Of course the fact that they deliberately edit-out most breakdowns on tracks is another cover-up method.

  4. All—
    Thank you for these explanations. This is extremely difficult content to grasp — not intellectually, but emotionally — because of the unspeakable agony these helpless animals suffer. I am at a loss.

  5. So of course i’ll get attacked for an opposing point of view but as an animal lover who also is a racehorse owner what is missing here is that horses are by nature inherently fragile and prone to ‘breakdowns’ and a far greater percentage in the wild die every year, in terrible pain with no medical care. I am NOT saying there aren’t abuses in horse racing, I am one of many who have spent decades advocating for much needed reforms. And I actually am personally grateful for the critics, however mis-informed most are, because I think our industry needs our feet held to the fire to encourage a clean sport and real progress on racehorse and rider safety. I have taken much abuse within the racing industry for saying that, as I will here from the many well-meaning but totally mis-informed people who think racing is inherently cruel and know little or nothing about how the sport actually functions. Most horse owners are in it for the love of the animal, most racehorses get excellent, loving care, horses run because they naturally love to, you can’t ‘force’ a horse to run, it has to want to. But by all means keep up the pressure folks, the industry like most is hardly perfect and we need voices for reforms to keep pushing us in the right direction.

    • So, Robb Levinsky, you think it’s okay to “train” yearlings and two-year-olds to carry an unnatural amount (100+ pounds) of weight on their backs and run until their bones break??? These young horses are immature and nobody should be riding them at all!!!! So what is so difficult for you to understand about that??? Do we have to spell it out for you???
      They are F-R-A-G-I-L-E…
      They should NOT BE RIDDEN until mature enough to handle carrying weight and made to do things that they would not normally do on their own.
      Most of the people involved in this deliberate pre-programmed ABUSE OF HORSES SHOULD BE PENALIZED BY LAW ACCORDING TO THEIR CRIMES!!!!
      The Kentucky Derby should be recognized for the show of ANIMAL ABUSE that it is!!!! Just as the circus was rife with animal abuse, so is horseracing including the Kentucky Derby! All of the routine abuse to yearlings and two-year-olds that leads up to this glorified pompous horror show leaves many immature colts and fillies injured, disabled, dumped and dead. We are not going to be reading the names or birthdates or any descriptions of all of those FRAGILE YEARLINGS AND TWO-YEAR-OLDS that were ABUSED TO DEATH ON THE ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY in The Paulick Report!!!!!
      The underlying cause is that these colts and fillies are F-R-A-G-I-L-E, immature animals and very ABUSED BY RACE TRAINING!!!! They don’t deserve to be forced to be locked up in stalls for 23 hours a day! They should be out on pasture grazing and growing into maturity!!!!!!!

      • Wanda as I said I expected nothing different than your response. Your anger is sincere but misplaced, the facts are very different but I don’t expect you to believe that. I rarely post because all social media is useless garbage but I thought it was useful here to stimulate conversation. Overall I am actually happy people like you are out there to keep the business honest and moving in the right direction, like the proverbial canary in the coal mine. There absolutely ARE bad actors in the game and abuses that need reform, and a lot of us are working hard to accomplish positive change because we love horses. Your group would be even more effective frankly if you took the time to learn the facts and approached this with a little less hysteria and vitriol . Rarely in the world are things as black and white as the people on this site make them out to be. I wonder how many of you have ever observed a herd of horses in the wild? Those who have would see the ones limping in the rear of the pack from injuries and attacks, in pain, pulled down and savagely torn apart by predators. Life is complex, there are usually tradeoffs, few people are pure good or evil. Horseracing done right is a positive, done wrong a negative, the goal should be to make it better and put the welfare of the horse first.

        • Life is not that complex Robb. You are USING an animal for GAMBLING. Is your lazy,easy life that boring and unfulfilled that this abuse of animals is your amusement?

    • Robb, It is SLAVERY. Pure & Simple. ANIMALS cannot give consent. You guys all need to go get your rocks off with CONSENTING human beings, don’t use helpless innocent animals!!!!!!!

    • Everything you said is incorrect. Horses are not inherently fragile, they are bred to be fragile. Horses in the wild do not breakdown, they get eaten. We are not misinformed. I was in the racing business for a dozen or more years. Many people here were in it longer. We oppose racing because we know exactly how it works. Yes, racing is inherently cruel. A prey animal is locked in a stall for 23 hours per day without herd contact, injected with who knows what, forced to run beyond their limit, often with a anesthetics to block pain, suffering from ulcers and other stress maladies. No, owners are in it for the money which, by the way, is overwhelmingly supported by taxpayer subsidies at the expense of other necessary services. Here’s a deal. Take away the subsidies that support 90% of US purses and you can breed all you want and race your neighbors on Sunday for bragging rights. Let’s see how much people love their horses then. No, horses don’t love to run, they run because they are prey animals. Horses do not run beyond their limitations while turned out in the field, they run if they’re scared. Yes, horses are forced to run everyday. How about you walk them to the track and let them loose. Do you think they’ll race because they love to or do you think maybe they run because a little man on their back is hitting them? You have recycled, in one post, almost every standard excuse spewed by the racing industry. None of it is true and those of us with experience know it. You do too, it won’t work.

    • There is so much bullshit in your statement I’m going to need hip waders to get through it all, but here goes.
      If you as an animal lover and racehorse owner (and how in God’s name can you be both?!) recognize a natural fragility in horses, why does your industry insist on putting horses into training and active racing while their bodies are still developing? Why do you demand more and more speed out of a horse that is still the physical equivalent of a human toddler? Seems bloody irresponsible to me. And using the well rehearsed rhetoric that more horses die in the wild from breakdowns is shit, and we both know it. Wild horses are not forced to run at full speed while still growing and developing by whip wielding jockeys. Wild horses are not continually injected with substances that destroy their bodies in an effort to enhance performance. And medical care? Yep, forcing a horse with a broken back or legs into a trailer to get him off the track in an attempt to keep his death off the track kill list would be your interpretation of care. And what about horses sent to the track with KNOWN pre-existing medical conditions, where their limbs SNAP OFF or they collapse? Horse left in their stalls with broken legs, horses writhing in agony with colic for an “undetermined length of time” (words from a track vet), horses suffering with gastric ulcers and laminitis, horses found exsanguinated in their stalls, and the suspicious and convenient sudden deaths.
      “Most racehorse owners are in it for the love of the animal”? So that’s why they call them rats and pieces of shit? That’s why they inject them with questionable substances in an attempt to enhance performance? That’s why they send them in the track with known pre-existing conditions? That’s why horses in the claiming ranks change owners dozens of times? That’s why they send horses to slaughter when they can’t wring any more money out of them, either on the track or the breeding shed? Does ANY of this sound like love of the animal or the excellent living care you’re talking about?
      Oh, and they run because they love to. That’s why your putz jockeys have to beat them every stride down the track. That’s why they refuse to enter the starting gates with such desperation that they will throw themselves over backwards or bolt through railings. You don’t give them the option to want to run or not. If they don’t, they’re disposed of.
      Your voice of reason is nothing but the same disgusting tired rhetoric the racing industry has been vomiting for years. You abuse and exploit sentient beings for entertainment and profit, with no regard for their well being while they are in your servitude, and certainly no thought to their care when you are finished with them. You and people like you are parasites, Robb Levinsky, who have learned to survive on the pain and misery of non-consenting animals and try to justify yourself by calling it a sport.
      You disgust me.

      • Thanks for all the nice words and compliments Rebecca, you did a fine job of making my points perfectly. Personal attacks always mean the attacker lacks valid arguments and has to rely on insults. I have nothing bad to say to you or anyone else in your group because as mis-informed as you are, your hearts are in the right place and you are useful tools for much needed reforms.

        That’s all from me folks, I made my points and that’s all I wanted to do. What you do with them is up to each of you. I enjoy an exchange of views, even angry ones, but that’s all the time I have to give to you, I need to get back to my horses. Free speech is endangered and a healthy thing, it’s all good. Don’t lose your heart or passion, if you temper it with just a bit of objective reason you’ll make even more progress.

        • That’s all the time you have to give us? Then at least we won’t be subjected to your insanity any more.

    • Better not tell our horses they`re fragile! They regularly break or bend heavy weight steel fence posts as well as tempered steel farm gates! They do this with absolutely no injuries to themselves! The keeping of horses day after day stalled with no time outside is what makes for fragile horses as well as many of the med.s such as diuretics too.As many have said many other places you can love horses or racing but not both! We were participants actively as a rider & handler both at the track & on farms involved with racing for many years. We left racing in 2005 after seeing the crummy abuses of both horses & people done to them by the owners / trainers/ vets. If you have the experience of seeing many horses break legs racing due to usage of SWT & PEDS you will quit. In my state the HBPA is against the enforcement of most all parts of the recently passed & signed law of Horse racing & testing act! Also all the rules mean NOTHING if those rules are not enforced.The recent announcement of less % of breakdowns per 1000 races run is not accurate unless all deaths are counted as what Patrick does here with diligence.

      • I will just say one thing to you Fred Joan, I could not agree with you more about the HBPA, they are a disgrace, shamefully they continue to oppose much needed reforms. They are an embarrassment to our industry and I assure you like me a lot less than you do, lol.

    • https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/Levinsky-Is-All-Business-2718593.php….nobody’s going to attack you for an opposing view Robb, but when you state what you have and say were all misinformed and have no clue to how racing actually functions, its goes both ways in having a conversation what do you expect and how would you like to be greeted after that?
      Now, can you please give the statistics on the wild horses dying compared to the number of racehorses breaking down? You state you cant force a horse to run ,it has to want to, everything in this game is designed to make the horse run from the bell at the starting gate to the jockey whipping them at the end of the race to keep running so that is patently false and most times even when the horse doesnt want to run they are still pressed to finish the race, not for the horses sake, but for the sake of the horse not taking a dnf being put on the vets list having to work a half in under 53 (at my track )to get off of it and having to pass a blood test all which will cost money so because racing is all about that roi the horse is eased or jogged to the finish…still think some of us are misinformed?
      You say the horse wants to compete, for food maybe but racing and everything about it is unnatural to a horse and you know that being in a stall the way they are: mental vices and ulcers from stress running like you say they love to do even with out a jockey: yes I’ve seen horses jump the rail, run through it, jump the fence and run loose in the parking lot, while leading exit the track and run back to the barn twice, they run SCARED robb not because they are competing I see these horses in the paddock lip chained eyes wide head down, they know what’s coming they are smart and racing exploits them for everything the horse is.
      I’ve seen many of your articles I’d like to know with the decades of you speaking out what reforms have you been able to accomplish? You see horse racing is the longest running competition in america do you not think by now something would have been done? Shouldn’t this games issues be gone by now? No because racing doesnt care to and the only times they do want to “reform” is when they are in the public spotlight, it’s not the industry wants to protect the horses it’s the industry doesnt want to look bad to normal people like me. 08 eight belles ’12 death and disarray at American tracks, and most recently Santa anita. When I find the article about the reforms you wanted in your tdn article I’ll post it…at the end of the day robb its business as usual because the industry cant regulate itself and has no intentions too see jockey guild being opposed to whip and the commissions and hbpa boards being opposed to the integrity act at let’s not forget the FBI has had to step in twice now the first time at penn was a joke this time around I have Hope’s it will be different…
      Say what you want Robb your part of the problem partner with hollendorfer run horses at some of the worst tracks not because you support them but it’s good purse money right? And you’ve got to know some horses have been claimed and ended up with let’s say no so good people what do you do about that?

      • Greatly appreciate the link Billy.The article says it all about the real motivation behind Robb`s operations.Life is not always about profits! One has to have enough $ to survive but not at the expense of horses or handicapped or disadvantaged, hardworking poor people.

      • Yes, as fredjoan mentioned, TY for the link, Billy. Obviously Levinsky is not our audience as evidenced by his “employment” in the racing industry and his fierce defense of it – I’ve used this phrase many times but will once again (paraphrasing Sinclair); “It’s difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on him not understanding it.”

        Levinsky is nothing but another exploiter of defenseless, sentient beings and countless horses have suffered and will continue to suffer because of his selfish, greedy choices.

  6. Alan your ignorance is truly laughable, I can show you endless races where a horse lost the rider and ran anyway, their natural instinct is to compete. Most of what you stated highlights perfectly your ignorance of basic facts. But I do agree with one thing you said i.e. a horse shouldn’t be in a stall for 23 hours a day, no doubt a point well taken.

    Your comments overall are a perfect example of overall how laughably ignorant as your group is, but no doubt you serve a valuable purpose nonetheless because unfortunately our industry has too many bad actors and needs real reform. The thoroughbred Industry deserves people like you, we’ve brought the shit dumped on us on ourselves by our collective willingness to enable bad actors, sweep problems under the rug, and halt real reforms for decades. Trust me, my words generate at least as many negative comments within the industry itself as they did here from my post. What you (and my critics in the thoroughbred industry) don’t realize is that I don’t care, bring it on!!!! Call me every name in the book, spread it around too please, the PR helps get the word out! My goal is to speak the truth, deal in facts, and be a honest voice of reason between the well-meaning but kooky animal rights groups and the bad actors in the thoroughbred industry that don’t want to accept that we deserve what we get from people like you by allowing the bad apples in our game to keep acting with impunity!

    Good caring owners are a benefit to horses. I can show you my wonderful thoroughbred that was a New Jersey champion, raced sound until age 9, and is now retired to a wonderful home (at my expense for over a decade now) where he plays in a field with friends overlooking a pond. He gets mints, carrots, and love and has a terrific life. In the wild he’d have died long ago, pulled down by a predator and torn apart.

    • I skimmed your comments, Robb – yes, nothing new there…so there’s no need to waste my valuable time responding to your excuses for risking horses’ lives for your benefit and/or entertainment.

      But if you truly know equine behavior like you want to claim you do, then you’ve clearly deluded yourself as so many racing owners have – because horses know nothing of “competition” as that’s a human concept. Racehorses run jockey-less and even with dangling limbs because their survival instincts tell them to do so – choosing to “compete” (for your percentage of the check you’ll pocket) has no meaning in their world. But it probably makes you feel better to tell yourself they do. Typical.

    • How many other horses have you owned that were NOT champions? Did they get pals and a pond too? Don’t brag about the ONE horse that actually got a life beyond his servitude, not when there are thousands that die in slaughterhouses.

      • So just for the record, ALL horses in our care get good, safe retirements. If any of you would care to walk the walk instead of empty words, I have a list many excellent non-profit, fully accredited thoroughbred retirement homes who would welcome your contributions. But of course it’s a lot easier to yell and scream than it is to come up with real world $

        • You, Robb Levinsky, obviously have no clue how much effort has been made by many of the Horseracing Wrongs group members and followers to save injured, disabled and dumped racehorses. You have no clue how much money anyone has donated. Your argument is baseless.

        • We know from the report by Chrissy from Caribbean Thoroughbred Aftercare in Puerto Rico that they are only able to save about 6 (six) horses a year because the racing industry refuses to provide adequately for the unwanted horses the racing industry dumped.

        • Actually Robb, we don’t need the list as we’ve already got it – been rescuing racehorses for 20-plus years now and I can tell you your list isn’t nearly long enough. That said, those “accredited homes” on the list are begged everyday to take the used-up and crippled racehorses your industry discarded and continues to discard – thousands of them. But they’re full AND still begging for the general public to fund the care and rehab of horses bred for and used by racing. Again, typical. You fellas make ‘em, use ‘em, pocket their “earnings” and then think the general public should be funding their care for the next 20 years or so.

          Better idea here, Robb – let’s provide you with the list of racehorses standing in killpens awaiting their final transport to a slaughterhouse. And those “bad actors” you admit to?…make yourself up a list of THEIR horses and get busy acquiring them and ensuring they stay safe in one of those accredited homes – for life (of course that would require lifelong follow-up, something none of them do).

          You’ve got some work to do, Robb.

        • Rob, did you ever think you could be wrong ?
          I can tell you there are many, many people who do not make a dime in racing yet they constantly dig into their pockets to help the overwhelming numbers of horses discarded day after day by your business. And ordinary people send donations to rescue groups all the time.
          Further, many times people have gotten together to negotiate with connections to get a sadly non -competitive horse off the track before it was too late. (We know racing won’t do it because, “it is up to the “trainer”!) And if no sale is negotiated the claim is made. Then the search for a place and the transportation…you know the drill.
          There are lots of stories concerning these types of efforts that can be told. Sadly, these efforts are a drop in the ocean when it comes to the enormous numbers of doomed horses discarded by this business.

          There are not now, nor will there ever be enough rescues to keep up with racing’s “retirees”. As long as racing continues the huge numbers of surplus and used up horses that survive the rigors of the business will be subjected to gruesome violent death by slaughter.
          Rob, there is no reform for racing because the very foundation is perverse. The horse is racing’s disposable commodity. That will not be reformed…

  7. So long, Robb Levinsky, you have wasted enough of our time with your delusional thoughts that racing can be reformed. End horseracing by ending the government subsidies and recognize abuse of horses when and where it exists.

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