The just-completed 9th race at Belmont today: “SINGULAR SENSATION went wrong at the five-eighths and suffered a catastrophic injury then was euthanized on the track.” She was five years old; this was her 12th time under the whip.
The numbers are as ugly as they are damning:
Belmont Park, 2021: 22 dead horses
Belmont Park, 2020: 53 dead horses
Belmont Park, 2019: 44 dead horses
Belmont Park, 2018: 30 dead horses
Belmont Park, 2017: 40 dead horses
That’s 189 dead horses in less than five years. For all three NYRA tracks (Aqueduct, Belmont, Saratoga) during this same time span, 315. In fact, we’re rapidly closing in on 1,000 kills at NYRA tracks since 2009 (when data first became available). 1,000. Now, consider the following from the NY racing powers that be…
Last year, ahead of Belmont’s Opening Day, NYRA issued a statement that began: “The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) today announced a number of safety initiatives…for the upcoming 25-day spring/summer meet at Belmont Park. … The safety and welfare of horses…competing at NYRA tracks is our highest priority.”
Two years ago, ahead of Belmont’s Opening Day, NYRA issued a statement that read, in part: “In addition to accreditation…by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association Safety and Integrity Alliance, a variety of initiatives have been put in place since 2013 at all three NYRA racetracks…in areas such as racing surfaces and race-day scrutiny…to ensure the safety of all participants. These extensive reforms and commitment to improving the safety of NYRA’s racing operations have led to demonstrably safer races.”
Four years ago, in the midst of Saratoga’s 21-kill summer, NYRA released a statement that began: “In addition to the existing industry-leading equine health and safety policies and procedures already in place at NYS racetracks, the NYS Gaming Commission, NYRA and NYTHA are implementing additional actions immediately at Saratoga Race Course, including increased regulatory veterinary presence at the track during training hours, state-of-the-art monitoring of horses and comprehensive trainer education intended to share scientific findings of research into the types of injuries that occur at New York Thoroughbred racetracks and risk and protective factors that can help to prevent injury.
“From a statewide regulatory and veterinary affairs perspective, other states look to New York for guidance in shaping their own regulatory and best-practice methods to ensure horse welfare.”
The State Equine Medical Director added: “Our goal is to reduce the number of racehorse deaths and injuries to zero, and we have taken many productive steps toward reaching that goal over the past four years.”
And NYRA’s Safety Steward: “There is no issue more important to NYRA than the safety of our equine and human athletes. That is why NYRA has implemented extensive reforms and made significant investments since 2013 to improve track surface conditions, upgrade equipment, provide vets with more authority to monitor thoroughbred health, establish committees to oversee safety measures, and actively seek out advice and guidance from independent experts and scientists.”
Seven years ago, in response to a relatively light 12 dead at Saratoga (for context, Saratoga had 21 kills last year), NYRA issued the following: “Although NYS has made significant progress in reducing injuries and preventing the inappropriate use of medication in racehorses, the job of equine safety is never done. There will be challenges along the way. We are experiencing such a challenge during the 2014 Saratoga meet. A thorough investigation of all of the racing fatalities…is being conducted. We will leave no stone unturned in our efforts to identify the causes of death in all racing fatalities in New York. As stewards of the racehorse, we have a duty to do all that we can to honor and protect these incredible athletes.”
Liars and frauds.