Industry Grieves: Two Money Machines Dead

Word comes of the death of breeding-stallion Half Ours in Louisiana Saturday: “paddock accident,” euthanized. He was 18.

The breeding shed is, sadly, an underreported part of the horseracing story. While it may sound innocuous enough, make no mistake these animals are still very much in servitude to the racing industry – a servitude, as you can see by the age above, that typically endures much longer than the racing part. The lives of these “studs” are wholly defined by the success of their “progeny” – the money their children earn. Follows is BloodHorse’s obit for the deceased:

“The 18-year-old son of Unbridled’s Song led his freshman sire class in Louisiana in 2011 with nearly $500,000 in progeny earnings and was the state’s only freshman sire with a black-type runner that year. He kept the momentum going in 2012 when he was Louisiana’s leading second-crop sire and remained among the top 10 sires going forward. Half Ours topped the Louisiana sire list twice in 2015-16, siring six black-type winners for each of those years and amassing nearly $5.8 million in progeny earnings over the two years.”

On and on the numbers went, detailing Half Ours’ worth as a being:

“a highly regarded yearling at the 2004 Keeneland September Yearling Sale where agent Buzz Chace bought him for $625,000”

“won the Three Chimneys Juvenile Stakes at 2 and the Richter Scale Sprint Championship Handicap (G2) at 4”

“retired with five wins and a second from seven starts and earned $319,680”

“sired 24 stakes winners, led by multiple grade 1-placed stakes winner Gentlemen’s Bet [who] earned $744,155”

“progeny won or placed 51 times during Louisiana Champions, LA Bred Premier Night, Louisiana Legends, and Louisiana Cup day races”

“11 of his stakes winners earn[ed] black-type at 2”

“his progeny were especially potent in the Louisiana Futurity divisions, for which he sired six winners between 2014-20”

And finally, summing it all so very nicely, the article closed thus: “To date, Half Ours’ progeny have earned more than $21.7 million and averaged $50,990 per starter.”

End of numbers. End of value. End of life.

Also reported by BloodHorse was the death of another stallion, Danza (below), who “died suddenly from an apparent heart attack June 23.” An “apparent heart attack” – at the tender age of 10 – an equine’s prime of life. Danza, the paper notes, was wildly successful on the track, finishing third in the ’14 Kentucky Derby and earning a cool $866,000 in only five total races. But, alas, he too is now gone, with so much money left on the table. Those poor, poor investors.

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  1. The plight of the race horse is in the hands of those who view them as commodities. Expendable. Replaceable. Unloved and belonging to no one. Such a lonely painful life!

  2. Money talks,doesn’t it?? And like I was taught by my mentor years ago..Business is business and love is BS. SO IS THIS BUSINESS

  3. Yesterday, after reading the headlines about the death of one stallion at the age of 18 years old and one at the age of 10 years old, I wondered what the actual cause of death was for each horse. These are not normal ages for healthy horses to die. I don’t know what exactly happened to cause these two stallions to die, but I am always suspicious of the circumstances and the people who control the lives and deaths of racehorses. Horses are capable of living into their late twenties and thirties. I don’t know if a Thoroughbred could live to be 40 years old, but I know it is possible for some horses to live that long.
    The 18-year-old stallion was reported to have died of a “paddock accident” with no further details whatsoever of what happened. Did a certain person accidentally on purpose bump into the horse with a syringe full of a lethal cocktail? Same question of the Ten-Year-Old stallion’s cause of death. What caused the heart attack? Was it a throat full of a lethal substance? I don’t know. If the deaths of these horses are not suspicious, why not give more details…? Look at all of the details they give about how much money they won in racing, etc.
    I read about the death of Jet Deck, the famous Quarter Horse racehorse and sire, and the cause of his death was NO accident.

  4. Consider the career of Scat Daddy…

    After he suffered a career-ending injury in the 2007 Kentucky Derby, Scat Daddy began stud duty in 2008 in Kentucky, then shipped to Australia and then to Chile until 2011. All in all Scat Daddy produced 937 lifetime foals from eight crops, averaging 117 per year.

    On December 14, 2015, Scat Daddy was being led from his paddock to the breeding shed when he suffered an apparent heart attack at age 11. His stud fee would have been increased to $100,000 for 2016 had it not been for his untimely death.

    Between his racing and stud duty, Scat Daddy was used by the racing industry for almost 11 straight years.

    Had he not passed away, he probably would have been used for another 10 years.

    Now that is abuse…

  5. Such a despicable industry full of lies and corruption. We will never know the truth about any of their machines because to tell the truth they would have to disclose all of the disgusting crimes committed to these innocent beings. That will never happen. So the beat goes on….

  6. Danza was being leased to an Ohio breeder. Leased, you know, being “rented out” – to make money from his use. But isn’t that what we do with our family members? – our “children”?

    Clear Creek Stud, the exploiters/owners of Half Ours, stated the horse was “like a family member”. CCS also used G. W.’s Skippie before unloading him to a cheap breeder in Arkansas. Of course we know what happened to that family member of CCS after they sent “Skippie” away and never looked back…

  7. The breeding business is the invisible component of this industry.
    Once these horses are off the track their exploitation continues in the shadows. The only deaths we hear about are the relatively high profile horses. And the popular cause of death seems to be “paddock accidents”!
    The unsuccessful “disappear”. Some are sold to places like Korea, Turkey , Peru and Brazil.
    For many others the trucks make the rounds of the farms and horses are loaded in anonymity.

  8. Racehorse breeders are THE WORST. Imagine a manufacturing company that cranks out a product year after year that is literally made to be destroyed. Now imagine half the units of that product that come off the assembly line are so below-grade from the get-go that they’re instantly culled out of production. Take the remaining half of these products, and — knowing full well that 95 percent of them will have only negative worth after their first two years of service — and pretend that disposal of these obscenely short-lived, “inferior” products is as simple and painless as the flush of a toilet. Whoosh.
    Now imagine this company frantically cranking out thousands more of these units each and every year, with the hopes of generating the next one-in-ten-thousand that MIGHT work as its manufacturers hope (but who cares if all 99-hundred-plus of the other units must be flushed just to get there, right?)…
    And there you have the Business of Breeding, racing style. I think out of all the participants in this whole, sick game, these are the folks who need flushing away first.

  9. We can`r stand the breed by the #`s people! 2 of our thoroughbred mares are 25 & going on 26 years old & still worry the daylights out of passing vehicles when they get passed by them alongside our farms fence lines. Such a beautiful chestnut horse who is no longer with us.We have told off breeders who were using their stallions to hard by breeding live cover & AI !! Sometimes the sire we knew of would be forced to breed AI twice in ! day & later be bred using live cover as well.Sadly such hard usage had him pass earlier than he should have.

    • There was a video on YouTube about the most expensive stallions revealing that FUSAICHI PEGASUS was sold/bought for $70 Million. His Japanese owners complained that he only liked cheap mares and in order to keep him performing as a stud they gave him hormone shots.
      I often wonder about FUSAICHI PEGASUS. How much physical and mental torture does this highly exploited horse/equine sex slave have to endure for his current owners to get their Return On Investment of $70 Million…?

  10. 2 Thoroughbred Stallions used for stud this past breeding season – dumped into a kill pen.
    TB Stallion Tattoo R23079 that I ran through The Jockey Club is MR. OLD HAT YOB 2014.
    The second: Tattoo S08933 is BERKO.
    Bred & Owned by one of the richest owners ZAYAT STABLES who won the Kentucky Derby with American Pharaoh. Sold American Pharaoh after the Derby for 30+ million. This was while BERKO was running his ass-off for them. BERKO didn’t perform at the upper levels and got dumped into claiming where he was turned over by several hands. He made most of his $106,000 for Zayat Stables.
    The notorious cruel and abusive multiple racehorse killer D. Wayne Lukas is on record as “Trainer.”
    Right beside them Tattoo T02800 in serious neglect and despair.
    His name is SMOKEY GAVIN and his last official workout was on June 29, 2021 that’s 4 weeks after his last race.
    His broken spirit is clearly evident and this is due to long term neglect, probably full of ulcers, and a strong indication of an infection that spread to the neck area.
    He was suffering in his stall for a long time and obviously didn’t get much needed medical treatment.
    Horse racing is the ONLY business in this country where outside neutral animal agencies are not allowed to check into the stable area, look into stalls or make criminal charges as needed.
    They sure have lots to hide.

    • Gina, is It possible for you to share the location of the killpens where these Thoroughbred stallions were when you discovered that they were there? Is one state (such as Texas or Pennsylvania) where these Thoroughbred horses are waiting to be shipped to slaughter more prevalent than another?

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