Arlington Was a House of Cruelty – So Yes, I Am Dancing on Its Grave

After almost 100 years of abusing and killing horses, Arlington International Racecourse outside Chicago was permanently shuttered after the final race Saturday. While the exploiters and apologists wax poetic about the track, I thought ‘twould be a good time to remember some of its victims, from just the past few years:

Westyn Go Home, training – “broken shoulder at neck of scapula, severe hemorrhage”
Charlie’s Heir, racing – “horse went down, had a few spasms, and died”
Rio Seco, racing – “sudden death, obvious cause not identified”
yet-to-be-named 2-year-old, training – “fractured shoulder…humanely destroyed”
Canary Islands, racing – “pelvic trauma”
Louie’s Kingdom, training – “horse collapsed and died”
unidentified 2-year-old, stall – “flipped repeatedly – comminuted fractures of pelvis”
All Call, stall – “found dead – ruptured stomach”
Muffins Revenge, racing – “unrecoverable injury – euthanized on track”
Nuttinholdinmeback, training – “tibia shattered into [numerous] fragments”
Cook Memories, racing – “collapsed on track, unresponsive”
Flash for Corona, stall – “found dead – severe, gangrenous pleuropneumonia”
She’s So Needy, racing – “rear limb laminitis, rotated P3”
Jersey’s Heat, racing – “comminuted carpal fracture”
Chis Conquest, training – “collapsed – comminuted fracture of scapula”
Amazon Nellie, training – “open, disarticulated fetlock”
Prue, training – “horse dropped dead training”
Winning Homer, training – “laminitis”
New Dancer, training – “[multiple] fractures”
Buck Snort, racing – “sesamoid fractures with DSL rupture”
Stand With Honor, racing – “open fractures, DSL rupture”
Neuqua, racing – “sesamoid fractures”
Lost Creek, training – “fractured tibia…euthanized on track”
Big O’s Tavern, racing – “[multiple] fractures, [multiple] ruptures”
Sully’s Dream, racing – “complete basilar fracture of sesamoid”
Ask Alex, training – “comminuted P1 fractures”
Larry Rocks, racing – “femur fracture”
Star Quest, racing – “[found dead next morning], suspect pelvic fractures”
Intrepid Humor, training – “fracture with lacerated femoral artery”
Half Ready, training – “suspensory failure [of previous surgery with screws]”
Giant Breeze, racing – “severe heat stroke”
Triple Dog Dare, training – “spiral comminuted MCIII fracture”
First Attempt, training – “compound fracture, ruptured ligaments”
Ava Atticus, racing – “radial carpal fracture”
Hurricane Hank, racing – “multiple fractures”
G P’s Girl, racing – “collapsed on track, stopped breathing within seconds of arrival”
Altai, training – “bilateral sesamoid fractures”
Black Angel, stall – “possible electrocution”
Jackieboy, racing – “complete rupture of ligaments, disarticulation”
Medalquest, racing – “complete rupture of ligaments”
Stanley’s Friend, racing – “broke down at 3/8”
Sistriot, racing – “flipped in the paddock; found dead in the am”
Permian, racing – “open MCIII fracture, bilateral sesamoid fractures”
Just Zip It, racing – “collapsed after crossing finish line – dead upon exam”
Thirsty Girl, training – “horse became wobbly…collapsed and died”
Mongolian Eagle, stall – “eight weeks of ataxia” (two years old, yet-to-be-raced)
Dark Humorista, stall – “cellulitis of foreleg”
Striking Hight, training – “torn tendon, probably broken femur”
Vasilisa the Wise, training – “collapsed on track – dead”
Le Dimanche, racing – “open, comminuted condylar fracture”
The Minister, racing – “fractured carpus”
Notta, training – “lacerated tendons, extensive degloving, cannon bone exposed”
Uno Pecador, racing – “collapsed – bleeding episode or cardiac event” (89th race)
Jicote, racing – “sesamoid and condylar fractures”
Super Nova, racing – “collapsed dead”
Wind Warrior, racing – “[multiple] fractures, [multiple] ruptures, bone exposed”
Quittin Time, stall – “laminitis…coffin bone rotated out the bottom of its foot”
unidentified, stall – “expired suddenly, most likely distended or ruptured bowel”
A Real Ladies Man, stall – “died of natural causes” (three years old)
Broome Street, stall – “severe laminitis [in] three feet”
Super Service, training
So So Worth It, racing
Wollemi, training
Affirmed Once More, training
Bluegrass Dan, racing
Jaye’s Moondust, training
State Scholar, training
Broken In, racing
King’s Fortune, racing
Eyema Delight, racing
Static Kill, racing
Permit, racing
Chief Barker, racing
Peters Rock, racing
Imperial Lad, racing
Mop, racing
Ancient Kingj, training
Apropos, training
Brillar, training
Lord’s Messenger, training
Last Nouncer, training
Razman, training
Smokey Places, training
No Apologizes, training

As for the jobs lost with the track’s passing, sorry, no sympathy here. First, with labor shortages across myriad U.S. industries, finding new employment should not prove challenging. Second, and far more important, in light of the above any talk of jobs is downright obscene. Arlington was a house of cruelty; I don’t care about paychecks.

30 Comments

  1. Fuck you. I didn’t bother to read this post but just by skimming down to reply could tell it’s just another list of horses who died under mostly unverified circumstances. How about investigating all Amish people, hobby horse owners, competitive horse sports of all kinds and horses who just live in fields all their lives happily until eventually they die, as you will one day too. Maybe that’s next on your list after horse racing is abolished (lol) until there are no more horses in existence. What then, forcing everyone to be vegetarian to avoid the horrible cruelties of CAFOs? You are focusing on the wrong things. Much more wrong is going on in the world, to all kinds of animals including humans.

    Arlington is a beautiful track and while I do appreciate you bringing attention to the cruelties occurring with horse racing, which are much less overall than those in pretty much any other type of animal raising/using, I do want them further reduced. Monmouth is now whip-free. Steps in the right direction are being made overall and will continue to be.

    You are helping in some ways, but “dancing on the grave” of Arlington is offensive and inappropriate.

    • First, your “just another list of horses who died under mostly unverified circumstances” is nonsensical. As for the rest, you’re angry because you know you’re fighting a losing battle. Horseracing has begun its inexorable slide to oblivion.

      • Teresa, Even if ONE horse died per year in all the races all over the US, would you say that’s OK? ONE death is too many. Let me say this to you: We have no right to take any animal and put them into a dangerous situation. Do you think it’s OK to do that? Dying to know.

    • Your vulgar support of an archaic industry that exploits, abuses, and kills thousands of sentient beings every year for money and entertainment is offensive and inappropriate, to say nothing of being morally and ethically blind. And you can not justify the cruelty in your personal indulgence by pointing to the cruelty in other areas. Cruelty is cruelty, even if you try to brighten it up with one racetrack that has gone “whip free”. Are they still confining horses to stalls 23 hours a day? Are they still forcing young, still developing horses into arduous training regimes? Are they still using tongue ties, stud chains, and other extreme control devices? Are horses still dying from shattered legs, broken spines, shoulders, and necks? Are they still coming off the track bleeding from the nose? Are they still being found in their stalls from those strangely rampant “sudden deaths”? Are they still being sent into the depths of the claiming ranks to change owners as often as every race, exchanged like chattel? Are they still sending horses to the horrors of slaughter when these horses can no longer justify their existence by bringing back a paycheck because of their worn down, pain- racked bodies? You can look at the green grass and flower beds of a racetrack and call it beautiful, but if you refuse to acknowledge the horrors on display every day, then you are as much a part of the misery and death as the owners, trainers, and slaughterhouse butchers.

      • Rebecca, your points are well made even though they might not be well taken by the racing people. Thank you for sharing the various aspects of cruelty to racing horses with your very appropriate questions.
        Another thing about the “whip-free” Monmouth racetrack is that they caught one jockey with a handheld shocking device (battery, buzzer, etc.) thanks to a photographer who posted the picture on social media. I can only wonder what, if any, changes in the scrutiny of jockeys and photographers there are or will be going forward.

    • “After horse racing is abolished (lol),” sounds like another one of those Famous Last Words phrases we’ve heard so often of late:

      “They’ll never stop the circus! People will always want to watch confined big cats and elephants tormented to perform stupid stunts.”
      “Captive whale shows are still a thriving form of family entertainment! They’ll go on forever.”
      And, (my personal favorite): “Nobody would dare push the glamorous world of freaking DOG TRACKS off the American landscape: Animal racing is too big to fail!”

      So, LOL right back at you, Teresa:)

    • How about converting Arlington into a human race track with gamboling handle & all! The participants would not need restrictive devices & presumably would be willing participants.Of course we humans are not as fast but heart & conditioning would still be key for winning races.You could still have the beautiful grounds & the area would not just be developed out to condos or more stores.Of course you would need to have very strict testing for performance enhancing med.s!

    • When did they stop teaching logic in middle school? I think it was required when I was in ninth grade. The fact that you think there are worse things than horse racing doesn’t make horse racing okay. If you want to change something else you can do that, this site is about horse racing which is personal to many of us. It’s just as silly as saying “why worry about rape when people get murdered?”

    • Oh, Teresa.
      Fuck me? No, fuck you. Unverified? Those horse names and causes of death were not pulled out of someone’s ass. I don’t give a crap how beautiful you think Arlington is / was, it doesn’t justify the carnage within. Nothing you listed begins to compare with the horror show that is horseracing. Your latter words do nothing to support the idea that you are offended by the abuses of racing or that you actually give a damn. Fuck YOU.

  2. If someone is paid to contribute to the abuse, brutality, cruelty, death, torture and INHUMANE TREATMENT of HORSES (or any other kind of animal), these people should be charged with Felony Animal Cruelty and imprisoned. I don’t feel sorry for anyone who has been getting paid to contribute to the pain, suffering and death of horses and participating in the most publicly “accepted” form of a dark sub-culture that abusively exploits horses for gambling in the form of $2 bets and et cetera. Losing their job of participating in the Animal Cruelty known as HORSERACING is a good thing! The day that ALL OF THESE organized and criminal-minded GAMBLING BUSINESSES (1/st Bet, AmWager, Hollywood Races, NYRA Bets, Premier Turf Club or BetPTC, TVG, TwinSpires, Xpressbet) are put out of business will be a day to celebrate!!!!!

    • You just sentenced yourself to prison. Surely you eat meat, eggs and/or dairy, industries which are infinitely more cruel than horse racing ever could be. Six horses a day die? Millions of other sentient beings die per day to feed us. Even if you are vegetarian, a very unhealthy way to live for long, farmers growing your produce definitely kill lots of animals to produce those crops.

      I expect this post to be deleted as well as my last few since evidently this site only accepts agreeing opinions. The guy running this site is just profiting from the horse racing he proclaims to be so against. It seems like he’s just a loser who resorted to creating a BS website soliciting contributions so he doesn’t have to actually work, and deletes any comments that don’t kiss his ass. He is an ass, and could easily help animals in many more productive ways if he really gave a shit.

      Give it up, stop taking people’s money and get a job.

      • I find it interesting that every person like you who comes here to shoot their mouth off never includes their last name. As transparent as the vulgar industry you support.

      • Teresa, why is ANY horse dying for entertainment OK with you? Just because Arlington was a “beautiful” track, which condoned death, addictions, and any other sort of raunchy, ill- gained behaviors, doesn’t make it ok.
        And why, by your terms, is vegetarianism/veganism a “prison sentence”? Since I’ve gone vegetarian I feel so much better. My health numbers are better. Studies have proven that it’s a much healthier lifestyle than meat eating.
        Your profane post is so typical of the trash I met at the tracks.

        • We went all plant based diet in 2004 & by utilizing that diet our health plan said that we extended our mothers life by at least 10 years longer even with her congestive heart failure. Also we have a cholesterol total # of 193 without any med.s despite a family history of high LDL inherited in our family genome. We also suffer less joint aches & are still at 65 able to clean our 12 stall barn by ourselves!

      • i have an issue with you, vegetarianism unhealthy? what planet are you from! look around you, look at all the sick, unhealthy, obese people in our society. that doesn’t come from veggies it comes from farm animals that live on antibiotics and hormones, fed crap (some never see daylight) are brutalized daily, confined in unimaginable filthy small cages, overbred by GREEDY farmers and then slaughtered in the most heinous manner!!! and from the farmers we get POISEN, POLLUTION AND WASTE. who are you kidding, what BS are YOU trying to solicit.
        horse racing should be illegal, it is beyond being cruel it is evil and it is evil because money is at the root of all evil!!!

      • Maybe you’d like to explain how farmers “kill lots of animals to grow those crops” or how vegetarianism is unhealthy. Oh right, you can’t.

  3. Patrick, thank you, as always, for this news and list of the hideous injuries of horses who died on the Arlington track or stall, or had to be euthanized. It’s almost as if someone was dreaming up torture that could be inflicted upon a horse. The word you use, “obscene”, is perfect for any lament about lost wages for unemployed race track staff. I pray that other tracks quickly fall like dominoes.

  4. Churchill Downs, Inc. deserves some credit for selling Arlington International Racecourse to a non-racing buyer. If they can make more money from casino gambling games, so be it. They don’t have to come up with the money to fund purses for the races. Leave the horses out of it and make a larger profit — it seems like a no-brainer.

    • You may get your wish — the Chicago Bears of the NFL just announced they’ve purchased the Arlington International site to build a new stadium. The Bears can easily incorporate a sportsbook into that facility.

  5. And ive heard the properties of Santa Anita AND Aquaduct are worth big money.
    So lets sell them too!!
    Not too much credit , Wanda.. Remember, greed is the driving force in this Business.!
    It just happened to work in the horses favor; for a Change!

    • And so are the properties of Belmont Park and Gulfstream Park worth big dollars too.
      In fact, part of Belmont Park’s land has just been carved-out for the new home of The New York Islanders NHL ice hockey UBS arena to open this season.

  6. It’s good that that horrible place has closed down, though there are many more that need to follow!

  7. It’s being said (according to the Paulick Report) the Chicago Bears are purchasing this racetrack for their new stadium. If only others would follow suit and do the same. You don’t even need to build a football venue. The tracks can hold any number of different kinds of fabulous new development. So let’s make it happen!

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