Through a FOIA request to the Maryland Racing Commission, I have confirmed the following kills at that state’s tracks thus far this year. (Because the details, including vet testimony, are so powerful – and damning – I will post in multiple installments so as to give each death its proper due.)
Holly Blame, Mar 29, Laurel S
“The horse developed an infection in his left front foot…treated for six months, with several medications. The horse started to bleed…and then developed laminitis. Euthanized due to the severity of laminitis with 10 degrees of rotation.”
Dr. Daniel (commission vet): “My concern with this situation is that this is the second horse from this trainer’s barn that has had to be euthanized under the same circumstances. I have suggested to his treating veterinarians that [Jose] Corrales and his help may need educating on proper foot care.”
Imagine that: a professional racehorse trainer “may need educating on proper foot care.”
Scoreswhenhewants, Mar 30, Laurel T
“When the horse reached the quarter pole, [he] broke down: complete, comminuted fracture, [numerous] fragments; extensive muscle damage and hemorrhage. Degenerative joint disease [all four limbs].”
Scores had just turned five. He also, by the way, had had prior surgery – in same limb that broke down – with three metal pins inserted.
Dreamingofsavannah, Apr 3, Laurel T
“Filly was toward the end of her breeze when she broke down. The left tibia is shattered…numerous fragments. There is acute hemorrhage in both [italics added] hind limbs. The acute traumatic damage to the RH fetlock joint and surrounding tendons is very interesting; we wonder if that damage might have occurred a step or two prior to the catastrophic step(s) that resulted in the tibial fracture.”
Also: “There is chronic degenerative joint disease in both left and right radiocarpal joints and in all four fetlock joints.” And: “Chronic ulcers in squamous mucosa [stomach] and acute stress ulcers in glandular mucosa.”
Dreaming was just three years old and had yet to be raced (i.e., all that “chronic joint disease” was strictly the result of training).