“Fell and Split Rear Legs”: At Least 51 Racehorses Killed in Florida So Far This Year

Through a FOIA request to the Florida DBPR, I have confirmed the following kills at that state’s tracks thus far this year. Please note, however, that the single-page “reports” mostly came without immediate causes of death. More broadly, Florida’s recordkeeping is, along with New Mexico’s, the most slipshod in the nation. So, I’m absolutely certain that this is not a full accounting of Florida carnage. (Because of the paucity of information, I’ve supplemented some entries with notes from Equibase.)

Salto Del Sabio, Jan 3, Gulfstream T

Calamity Kat, Jan 7, Gulfstream R – “took a bad step”

Extinguish, Jan 9, Gulfstream S

Favored, Jan 15, Gulfstream R – “fell, and perished on the track” (first ever race)

The Orinoco Kraken, Jan 15, Tampa Bay T – “fractured shoulder” (two years old)

Old Main, Jan 18, Gulfstream S – “endotoxemia/laminitis” (just three years old)

Ceevee, Jan 19, Gulfstream T (hadn’t been raced in over 18 months)

Titan Charge, Jan 20, Tampa Bay T – “comminuted fracture”

Pool Shark, Jan 22, Palm Meadows T

Karen de Diva, Jan 23, Gulfstream W T (two years old, being prepped for debut)

Smarty Queen, Jan 25, Palm Meadows T

Rub My Belly, Jan 27, Gulfstream R – “suffered a catastrophic injury to RF”

Unbridled Embrace, Jan 1-Jan 31, Gulfstream W T

Air Force One, Feb 5, Gulfstream T – “right shoulder injury”

Bourbon Highway, Feb 6, Gulfstream R – “took an awkward stride”

Da Alpha, Feb 7, Tampa Bay R – “fractured neck [presumably in gate]”

Highland Moon, Feb 18, Gulfstream W T – “right shoulder fracture”

Marlon B, Feb 19, Palm Meadows T

Wicksters Dream, Feb 24, Gulfstream R – “collapsed midway around the turn”

Aquaphobia, Feb 27, Gulfstream R – “pulled up shortly after the finish”

Shootinforthemoon, Feb 28, Gulfstream T

Mozano, Mar 3, Tampa Bay R – “was pulled up in apparent distress”

Smart Warrior, Mar 3, Tampa Bay R – “fell to the course, apparent catastrophic injury”

Dosha, Mar 5, Tampa Bay R – “complete dislocation RF fetlock”

Good Friend Marvin, Mar 6, Gulfstream T

Tap the Potential, Mar 7, Palm Meadows T (two years old, being prepped for debut)

Stop the Traffic, Mar 17, Pompano R

Deal Two, Mar 18, Gulfstream R

Hickerson, Mar 18, Palm Meadows T

Nakoda, Mar 18, Palm Meadows T

Pinar, Mar 19, Tampa Bay T

Andrea’s Worry, Mar 24, Tampa Bay R – “fractured sesamoids, cannon bone”

Silent Jet, Mar 26, Tampa Bay R – “fractured sesamoid, euthanized”

What Else Is New, Apr 7, Tampa Bay T – “comminuted fracture” (coming off first race)

Princess Savanna, Apr 9, Gulfstream T

Darla, Apr 10, Gulfstream T

Naco, Apr 16, Gulfstream R (euthanized Apr 19)

Pleasant Wish, Apr 24, Tampa Bay R – “cardiovascular event – sudden death”

Allgorilla, Apr 24, Tampa Bay R – “collapsed, sudden death” (had just turned four)

Biz Maker, Apr 30, Tampa Bay R – “fell: compound, comminuted cannon fracture”

S K Flyer, Apr 30, Tampa Bay R – “fell to the track, sudden death” (three years old)

Air Traffic, May 5, Gulfstream T

Prowler, May 11, Palm Meadows T

yet-to-be-named 2-year-old, May 13, Gulfstream T – “fell and split rear legs”

Smoke ‘n’ Gloat, May 13, Gulfstream R – “collapsed near the three-sixteenths pole”

Gracefully, May 20, Gulfstream T

Geometrico, May 24, Palm Meadows S – “found [dead] at 4:20 am” (three years old)

Canaveral Ride (probably sic), Jun 4, Gulfstream S

Harper Go Lucky, Jun 4, Gulfstream R – “took a bad step”

Ghost Withthe Most, Jun 4, Palm Meadows T (two years old, being prepped for debut)

King of Rock, Jun 6, Gulfstream R – “suffered an injury to LF leg and was euthanized”

Governor DeSantis: 850-488-7146; email; twitter; facebook
Lt. Governor Nunez: twitter; facebook
Senate Leaders: Majority; Minority
House Leaders: Majority; Minority

13 Comments

  1. Governor DeSantis doesn’t even care about the human population dying from a contagious disease. He doesn’t believe in taking common sense measures to control the spread of a contagious disease that has been proven to be spread by airborne particles of the virus. I fail to see how he could care one iota about the killing and dying of racehorses since there is Millions of Dollars involved in this horseracing and Pari-Mutuel WAGERING HANDLE business. More power to all of y’all if you are able to get through to him!!!

    • The COVID doesn’t have anything to do with race horses being run into the ground. You are alienating a lot of people by connecting the two unrelated issues.

    • I agree – let’s keep personal politics out of this.
      On the notation of the yet-to-be-named two year old who split BOTH rear legs, there is obviously more to this than a simple “breakdown”. These disgusting injuries are the type you would find in a horse vs car accident, and I am still waiting for apologists to give me a logical explanation as to how so many breakdowns occur on their nice soft dirt tracks that they’re so proud of.

    • Agree, Wanda.
      The heads of our states in Australia are Premiers (equivalent to Governors in the USA) and they and their governments legalise, support and condone horseracing. These people holding powerful positions are often seen at big raceday meetings being feted by the powers that be in racing e.g. CEOs, chairmen of various committees, rubbing shoulders with the big breeders, wealthy high profile owners and trainers, etc. Incredibly, they watch horses being mercilessly whipped, distressed horses returning to the saddling enclosure post race suffering from bi-lateral bleeding with blood dripping from their nostrils, horses collapsing from heat stress and dying, horses suffering catastrophic injuries and dying.
      But they continue to look the other way…

      • Thank you, Carolyn. Money talks. Sometimes it screams and sometimes it breaks the sound barrier. Getting powerful people to care about the HUMANE treatment of horses in this business of extreme brutalization of horses for gambling bets and financial gain is an uphill battle. There are horse farms advertised for sale in the State of Florida that have very high price tags, well over $10 Million. This is not something that is going away without a fight, a legal battle.
        I read an article that gives various reasons to boycott horseracing. One of the reasons to boycott horseracing is that pregnant mares are raced up to the fourth month of pregnancy. The trainers say they run better when pregnant. It is egregious Animal Cruelty to say the least. The article is based in Australia. You may have seen it.

        • Thanks, Wanda. No i haven’t seen that article. I’ve co-authored two studies with Sydney university and Paul McGreevy et al in relation to injuries/deaths and the whipping. They were peer reviewed and published in 2017. I’ve been researching Racing NSW stewards’ reports since 2008. The trainers are supposed to disclose that a mare is pregnant when being nominated/accepted for a race. Rarely did I ever come across such a disclosure – one does wonder. Animal abuse to race a pregnant mare. The only time a pregnant mare would gallop at fast speed would be when in flight mode escaping a predator, fire or a similar life threatening situation.
          They just do what they like with these poor horses.

  2. I was referring to common sense more than politics but obviously nobody can get around the political will as long as Millions of Dollars are involved. HORSERACING WRONGS needs lobbyists to represent the horses.

    • Wanda, if those prime real estate farms are for sale, maybe some venue will take them over (sports, retirement homes,etc.)A few months ago I did mention the Ky Horse Park venue which brings visitors and cash to the state. Florida has decent weather pretty much allyear round and would be well suited for the outdoor type entertainment center. I know (rain and hurricanes sometimes).

      • Nancy, there are listings in Ocala, Marion County, considered prime horse country, the “Horse Capital of the World” with one of the two locations of the World Equestrian Center. There is another WEC in Wilmington, Ohio, according to the site. They have other events in addition to horse events. The site for the farm listings say that there are 1,200+ horse farms and more than 50 different known breeds of horses in Ocala.

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