As Belmont Prepares for the Stakes Saturday – Another Kill (That’s 22 on the Year, Folks)

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.

8 Comments

  1. Something must have been really wrong with this poor mare to only have 12 starts at 5, but they kept trying to drain as much money out of her as they could.

  2. Hmmm. I wonder if NBC “Sports” is gonna make any mention of the TWO ON-TRACK DEATHS in the past three days of Belmont’s super-safe racing. They’d better not. Because it’s the one time of the year when the public sees all these upstanding horse-killers of the NYRA. So they should probably stay hush-hush about both kills — at least until their triumphant Belmont Bloodbath is over next week.
    (Besides, they only report California deaths at good old NBC Blood Sports. Ask ’em for info on any other state’s hideous breakdowns, and they’ll reply, “What other states? Only Cali tracks kill horses. Duh!”)

  3. Nothing, but psycho-babble coming from the NYRA.
    For years now it’s the same words spewing out of their mouths.
    Yet, nothing has changed because the Kill Lists just keep on going.
    I’m so outraged over the 250+ million that this dirty rotten corrupt killing business gets at the behest of the public coffers, mainly, educating children in the state of New York.
    It’s outrageous and the funding needs to end for a bunch of killing parasites on the “horsemen groups” who are controlling just about everything on these tracks.
    Had Gov. Cuomo not sent millions to Finger Lakes last year then their doors would have been shuttered as they should.
    It’s long overdue for our politicians to get up off their stinking asses and stop supporting this business because it’s clear that the MAJORITY of New York residents don’t support this and that’s the same in most states.
    They need to start taking care of their constituents not a bunch of racehorse abusers and killers.
    SINGULAR SENSATION – we will continue to be a voice for you.

  4. The highest priority of the New York Racing Association members and the Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association members is: …drum roll… the $250 ISH MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN GOVERNMENT SUBSIDIES and the Pari-Mutuel WAGERING HANDLE that is generated from additional races that can be added to their RACING CARDS every RACE MEET because of the government subsidies. THE FACT THAT THE MONEY IS THEIR FIRST AND FOREMOST PRIORITY IS EVIDENT. We read about the horses they have exploited for financial gain and we read the lies about the so-called safety reforms. Nothing has changed. Horseracing is Animal Cruelty everyday. Horseracing is killing horses every week. STOP THE SUBSIDIZED ANIMAL CRUELTY!!! Stop exploiting horses for profit!!!!

  5. Absolutely barbaric. Those poor animals have no choice. As fast as they are born they are killed and whipped even as they go down. If this does not make you sick nothing will.

  6. The job of equine safety is never done, not as in not completed, but as in not even attempted. And as they leave no stone unturned in their quest to identify the pretended perplexing causes of race horse deaths, the parasites like Sipp and Baffert slither out, only to be ignored in favor of the more mystical elements of track surfaces, wind shears, and planetary alignments.

  7. The Horse Racing industry suffered another blur on its already unclean history. Euthanasia should not be a standard.
    The industry must do more to provide for and protect the steeds that fill their pockets.
    The whole world is watching!
    If you love the beauty, majesty, and excitement of being around a horse, boycott this industry….till they learn to respect every element that makes a horse a horse….
    The integrity of the “sport” has been insulted by its own nefarious means..
    Clean it up or get out…

    • Horse racing is literally like a slaughterhouse; you can’t clean it up and make it better because of the very nature of what it is. The racing industry will NEVER see horses as more than disposable and replaceable. To the parasites that inhabit this archaic system, horses are not intelligent sentient beings capable of feeling fear and pain, but chattel to be discarded when they can no longer justify their own existence to the industry that created them.

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