2-Year-Old “Flips, Strikes Head,” Dead at Del Mar

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that prior to the 7th at Del Mar yesterday, the filly Shesgotattitude “flipped over backwards, struck her head and needed to be euthanized by track veterinarians.” Dead, at two.

As always, Del Mar CEO Joe Harper was there to put things in proper perspective: “Something like this just can’t be explained. Horses can be skittish and, unfortunately, that might have been the cause.” In other words, don’t blame us, even if her “skittishness” may have had something to do with the fact that, as the paper relays, “Shesgotattitude had been flown in from Kentucky to run in the Sorrento.” The ever-shameless Harper added: “We’re saddened by the loss of any horse, but something like this is especially tough to take.” Really, Joe? This one – of the 10-15 Del Mar kills every year – “is especially tough to take”?

(The U-T also reports that Moreavino, who was “vanned off” after the 5th Thursday, “suffered a sesamoid fracture…had surgery Friday and track doctors were optimistic about her future.” As these surgeries end badly in more cases than not, the good bet is that the 5-year-old Moreavino simply disappears, never to be heard from again…)

16 Comments

  1. Equine behaviour education/knowledge simply does NOT exist in the global horseracing industry.
    How BAD is that!
    Well, it’s so bloody BAD that for multiple decades and to this very day – yes, folks here we are in the civilised 22nd century – these poor long suffering horses are breaking down and dying day in day out
    for what?

    • Apologies. We are in the 21st century not the 22nd century. Silly me! Must be my coronavirus brain – recent research says we are not remembering clearly when in lockdown.
      FWIW
      I came across a horse Jemadar here in Australia who broke down and died on a racetrack in Townsville, Queensland last week. Yep, had 7 trainers, first 3 well known trainers in Sydney because he was very well bred. He was a fizzer. Off down to Victoria for a while then up to Queensland. First trainer in Queensland had him for 6 starts, second trainer had him for 3 starts and then the third and last trainer, TROY CLIVE had him for 25 starts with no breaks.
      JEMADAR had 34 race starts in Queensland with no spell (layoff). 14 months in work and racing with no break.
      This 8 year old gelding suffered a sickening catastrophic breakdown and died.
      He literally was raced into the ground until he died.
      He won $201,000 in prize money let alone the punt.
      Justify this horseracing industry!

  2. “Something like this” most definitely CAN be explained but to tell the truth (the truth that is so obvious to so many people) would mean a confession of the barbaric brutality against horses that these horse-abusing, horse-killing, money-grubbing, morally depraved people are guilty of everyday. So just lie like hell and pretend to be innocent. Go ahead, act like an ignoramus from LA-LA LAND and just keep on killing horses for the MILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO BE HAD IN THE WAGERING HANDLE REVENUE/PROFITS, instead of practicing TRUE horsemanship. As if we all have our heads up where the sun doesn’t shine, just say what you want the “fans” to hear, Del Mar CEO Joe Harper.

  3. Del Mar should really be called Death-Mar because that’s what it is, but aren’t they all?
    SHESGOTATTITUDE a baby was forced into training at about 1.5 years old then thrown into the hell fire.
    A reminder that a horse’s muscoskeletal system fully develops at 6 years old according to a platitude of well-respected equine vets and peer-reviewed studies.
    Del Mar & Santa Anita continue to implement policies detrimental to their well-being including a “ship in and win” which encourages the long distance transport of babies like SHESGOTATTITUDE and so many others.
    Of course the fact that they even have races for 2-year-olds is inhumane in and of itself.
    Santa Anita now pays for surgeries for racehorses with broken limbs etc. to patch them up for the main purpose of returning them to race and fill their wagering coffers.
    Yet, they refuse to enact a mandatory financial retirement program for racehorses – go figure.
    “Born to Run” is really “Born to Kill.”

  4. We have to fight organized crime in order to end the evils of horse racing. Organized crime drives the monster that is torturing and killing innocent horses for profit. KILL ORGANIZED CRIME so horses can live!

  5. The truth is that a horse’s behavior is a mirror of their handling. Arabians are supposed to be “hot headed” and “skittish”, but mine doesn’t bat an eye at flapping tarps, machinery, big rigs flying past, or a wading pool rolling across the yard like a giant tire. As long as I’m with him, he knows he’s safe. Racehorses are thrown into “training” with no regard for their mental well-being and no foundation built on any kind of trust. They don’t trust their handlers or riders because they are forced and manhandled to do everything. This filly reacted to her surroundings the only way she knew how – and when a horse flips it is a last desperate effort to escape. The industry’s complete lack of horsemanship and training killed this horse as surely as if they had simply shot her in the head.

    • And lest not forget putting a baby on an airplane..all strange and frightening experiences.

      • Not only is being transported an experience that a horse would be frightened by, but also the constant movement of the vehicle puts a certain amount of stress and strain on the horse’s muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones. I have not seen how difficult it would be for a horse to stay upright on all fours on an airplane, but I have seen what it is like for horses and ponies to struggle to keep their footing on the bed of a half-ton pickup truck and a 2-ton truck. It is a constant struggle for them especially going around turns. Hauling horses in a truck or trailer out on the highway is a smoother ride but still there is constant movement of up and down and side to side jiggling. It is best for horses to be on solid ground that doesn’t move, of course. It is also a no-brainer that two-year-old colts and fillies should not be required or forced to gallop FAST carrying weight as though they were 6-year-old mature horses! Another issue with horses is that they can be picky about the water they drink. They can get dehydrated and not want to drink the water in a new place right away. (I am referring to horses and ponies that are not being given any drugs that dehydrate their bodies even more. With horses being EXPLOITED for racing, who knows exactly what and how much of a “foreign substance” has been injected into their bodies? Or how many different drugs?) Unfamiliar surroundings are one more level of stress put on the horse. As if all this isn’t bad enough, it is not natural for a horse to be crammed into a narrow space. A starting gate is narrow. It isn’t natural for any horse to go into a narrow space willingly. I would think that the transport box for a horse on an airplane would be a fairly narrow space as well. I have seen some videos of how they transport draft horses from Canada to another foreign country by airplane. The transport boxes are a very narrow space for big horses. The horses cannot turn around or move to the right or left at all. The horses are not treated like the way you would treat a horse that you have genuine love for. The horses are a “product” and that is exactly what racehorses are: “a product.”

        • Wanda, Thank you so much for your detailed explanations of the stressors placed on horses in transport and in the racing industry. And the physiological, anatomical development as it affects them in being raced. Your comments are invaluable. I am copying this one to put onto my FB page. Again, thank you!

  6. Imagine the terror and bewilderment of 2 year old Shesgotattitude! Joe Harper, you bald faced shameless liar!
    And it sounds like Moreavino is headed to the slaughterhouse sooner rather than later. Horrible.

  7. I’ll bet Shesgotattitude’s death IS hard for Ol’ Joe to take; it’s one of the tiny fraction of racehorse kills in California that will have to be publicly reported on the CHRB’s Super-Scientific, Highly-Inclusive, Equine Fatalities List. Nearly all the others are forced to load — by any means necessary: slings, winches, hoists, brute force (you know, the way all injured, beloved athletes are transported) — and hauled away to literally anywhere else for their actually killings, er, I mean humane euthanasias.
    Nonetheless, congrats, again, to the California Horse Racing Board for their unbelievably successful, now FIFTY PERCENT (50%) reduction in REPORTED racehorse fatalities(!).
    All the Super-Safe Cali death tracks couldn’t have performed those kinds of miracles within two short years without the “help” of the reconfigured Board, and the tireless work of its esteemed executive director and former Los Alamitos Horse Hell steward, Scott Chaney;)

  8. If Moreavino can WALK she’ll probably be kept alive – at least long enough to bear some babies. It’s all about the money, folks, and she can surely be squeezed of a few more bucks! After that it’ll be the fast track to a low-end, kill-buyer-attended auction and PRAYERS she’s noticed and rescued before that tortuous trip to the slaughterhouse.

    Speaking of race mares moving on in their “careers”, did you see Dayoutoftheoffice is “retired”? I honestly didn’t know who she was so when I saw the (BH) article’s title, I expected to read about a mare maybe 5 or 6 years old (still young, of course, but ancient for racing). The dark bay filly’s racing “career” has come to an end due to, as trainer Tim Hamm stated, “the wear and tear of racing”. She’s 3. With 6 starts. No, that wasn’t 6-ZERO, that was 6. Let that sink in.

    I must have SUPER-HORSES with tungsten limbs…I mean, you know we’re constantly told that what racehorses do is no different than what my horses do in their own pastures. Run on the track, run in their pastures – it’s all the same, right? Right.

  9. This is totally unacceptable and Despicable. I hope all the Spectators and everyone involved in this all burn starting today. It’s just a bunch of worthless money-grubbing people

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