A Reminder on Belmont Stakes Day: On Average, Over 40 Horses Are Killed at Belmont Every Year

Two years ago, on Belmont Stakes Day, I posted the following. (For today, which, of course, is this year’s Stakes Day, I have updated the numbers.)

Tuesday, AP sportswriter Stephen Whyno published an article that could just as easily have come from the New York Racing Association’s PR department. He begins: “The home of the Belmont Stakes is laps ahead of other U.S. racetracks when it comes to keeping horses safe. Belmont Park…had some of the fewest horse deaths in the sport. Amid the 26 horse deaths at California’s Santa Anita Park since late December, the Belmont will be run Saturday on a track that national observers say is among the safest and best maintained in the country.”

“Laps ahead of other U.S. racetracks when it comes to keeping horses safe”? “Some of the fewest horse deaths in the sport”? Okay. Here are the kill totals at Belmont over the past five full calendar years.

2016: 39 dead horses
2017: 40 dead horses
2018: 30 dead horses
2019: 44 dead horses
2020: 53 dead horses

That’s an average of over 40 dead “athletes” every year. And this year? Already, just five months in, 22 horses have lost their lives at Belmont Park. Going back to 2009 (the first year for which we have data), the toll is 528. That’s 528 intelligent, sensitive beings sacrificed for $2 bets and the spectacle that is today. For shame, America.

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  1. Patrick,
    Thank you for the update and the reminder that today, June 5th, is the running of the Belmont Stakes. The brutalizing of young Thoroughbred colts is a key component of horseracing. The use of drugs on these colts is a key component of the brutalization process. Without the use of drugs, both legal and illegal, there would be more dead baby horses that would not be able to walk to the starting gate, let alone run in a race. More young horses would be sent to the slaughterhouses or killed on the farms and training tracks before the age of three years without pain-killing and performance enhancing drugs. There are already many young colts and fillies that are brutalized to their deaths in the humans’ pursuit of “fame and fortune” in the corrupt world of horse racing.
    Belmont Park is the place where people can go to watch young Thoroughbreds be FORCED to run for their lives and the possibility of making some easy money by WAGERING on the brutalized and scared young horses. The Belmont Stakes is the race that culminates and celebrates the domination of man over baby horses FORCED to perform as though they were adult horses. It’s a microcosm of the evil and sinful nature of human beings and how much they love money more than they are capable of loving the horses. The brutalization of horses for the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes is the crowning “glory” of the demented and the degenerate human beings that put their love of money on a pedestal while professing to love horses.
    The company that sells the illegal drug “milkshake” for racehorses and camels online will certainly be in a position to turn a profit. They are not interested in the health or the well-being of horses or camels. The money they can make from the exploitation of horses and camels is their objective. What an achievement, right!?!?!?
    Whose name will be added to the WALL OF SHAME today in the immoral and corrupt pursuit of fame and fortune? It won’t be Bob Baffert because someone decided they were sick and tired of being cheated out of their share of winnings on gambling bets and purse money. Who cares about the horses? It’s all about the money!

    Horseracing is Animal Cruelty everyday!

  2. And this is just the horses we know about. How many are reported to have been “vanned off, investigation to follow”, and no results ever show up from that investigation, and the horse disappears?

  3. You need to put in a retraction about Street Dancing. She was not euthanized she had surgery on her ankle. The surgery went well and she’s back in her stall eating her hay. That was misinformation that the CHRB confirmed she was dead. Get your facts straight.

    • Man Melody are you the typical illiterate dumb that comes from racing! Can you please show where he said the horse died? Or where the CHRB did?! Get YOUR facts straight.

      • Marie, Melody must think “a pair” (Patrick’s title of the article that causes (only) her such confusion) means three.

        Well her lack of understanding elementary terms helps explain why she and her racing buddy think a stall ball enriches a horse’s life (the tweet 😳).

      You are confused. When Patrick said “both horses” are confirmed dead, he meant the one horse named AGAMEMNON from SANTA ANITA and the horse named BIG WISH from GOLDEN GATE FIELDS. He said STREET DANCING was vanned off in the SAME RACE as BIG WISH.

      • THREE horses were injured and TWO HORSES were confirmed dead.
        Horse #1) AGAMEMNON (at SANTA ANITA), and
        Horse #2) BIG WISH (at GOLDEN GATE FIELDS) were confirmed to be dead;

    • Wow, ONE horse out of how many hundreds that wasn’t killed on the track and you’re so lofty in your false righteousness. Even if this horse is “back in her stall eating hay” it’s only a matter of time before the racing industry finishes what it started, with her finally breaking down fatally on the track or dying early after being used up in the breeding shed.

      • Or, STREET DANCING could be retired to the slaughterhouse just about any time in her relatively short life. She could become one of the many horses that are categorized as MIA (Missing In Action) from her short-lived racing “career” but, thanks to Melody Conlon who is obviously challenged in the English language and reading comprehension department, we know that STREET DANCING had ankle surgery and is eating hay in a stall. So, although the rest of us knew that STREET DANCING was vanned off without any other information to go on, and that no person from the CHRB had confirmed anything about her at all, we now know this horse lives to suffer at the hands of her exploiters another day.

    • Ms Conlon, do yourself a favor. Stand in front of a mirror and say “get your facts straight” and repeat as often as it takes for it to sink in.

      • I been playing horse racing for 37 years, what these trainers are doing are BARBARIC, and no one is doing anything to help these poor helpless Animals….I can’t wait to see Steve Assmussen, Brad Cox and Chad Brown, handcuffed and led away to prison…GOOD TRAINERS MY ASS…GOOD DOPERS …I QUIT HORSE RACING…

        • The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act is applicable to the organized, and ongoing for decades, corruption involving Pari-Mutuel gambling and the fixing of horse races by the doping of horses with illegal drugs, etc. The everyday cruelty and routine practice of forcing horses to be racehorses and the drugging of horses for gambling bets and financial gain must be OUTLAWED! This corruption leads to the deaths of thousands of exploited and abused horses!!!!
          Until then, it would be interesting, to say the least, if disgruntled gamblers would talk to their attorneys to get more legal action against the perpetrators of the brutalization and doping of horses for the purpose of making millions (and billions) of dollars. Even though the RICO ACT doesn’t address the ABUSE of horses directly, the fixing of races by the corrupt individuals that EXPLOIT horses for the purpose of gambling bets and corruption is so intertwined with the everyday brutalization and killing of racehorses that the RICO ACT is one huge tool in the toolbox. The deadly ABUSE inflicted on racehorses is supported by gamblers, which makes placing bets on horses to win, place or show an ENABLING ACTION. Once a person realizes how intertwined the betting/ gambling/ handicapping is with the everyday brutalization of horses, how can that person continue to enable this atrocity by gambling? Aside from the fact that as a gambler, that person is getting swindled out of their money, horseracing is Animal Cruelty everyday!

          • It’s very sad , greed overwhelmed humanity , money and wealth we leave behind when we die , we must join together and keep protesting…

  4. So happy that a bunch of folks can be a voice for all of the racehorses who were killed in action in New York by peacefully demonstrating today.
    I wish all of you a whole bunch of thanks and I know that you will bring an awareness to the public today.

  5. So much abuse goes on right in front of our eyes. And still we humans refuse to do anything about it. Thank you Patrick for all you do!

  6. Trainers needs jail time just like drug dealers, why are they different?? Our justice systems stinks ! Trainers like Steve Assmussen, Chad Brown, Brad Cox, I am 100% sure their horses were DOPED on Belmont Stakes day…and other days…

    • I agree and I find it somewhat shocking that illegal milkshake race injection is advertised and sold online. The seller of this “illegal milkshake race injection” blatantly states that it is illegal. The words “illegal” and “milkshake race injection” go hand in hand. I shake my head at the boldness of the companies that sell these illegal substances. It is against what law, if it’s illegal??? Doesn’t the word “illegal” mean anything to these people???

  7. Horse racing is nothing but cruelty to very young beautiful animals. It should be banned for the sake of the horses, even if their fate will be worse without racing. Greedy ignorant people enjoy this sport for the chance of winning a few dollars. It’s time to wake up and shut down all the race tracks. I know what I’m talking about- I used to own race horses. No I rehab them.

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