The CHRB’s Charade

At last week’s monthly CHRB meeting, it was Golden Gate Fields’ turn in the crosshairs. Against a backdrop of four kills in eight days in November, the Board debated shortening the track’s usual six-month license to three. They stuck with six, but Chairman Greg Ferraro issued a “warning”: “We can’t ignore these injury rates. Personally, whether it’s three months or six months, we have the ability to stop it. We can come back and make a motion to stop racing.”

Of course to anyone who has been following this, especially in California, this new “scrutiny” of Golden Gate is almost risible (I say almost because this is a deadly serious matter). Why? Because two out of the other three commercial tracks there have recently been where GG is now. A year ago, after a kill-filled 2020, it was Los Alamitos, and we all remember Santa Anita in the spring of ’19. And yet, the killing continues. Here are the totals for this year, starting with the current leader:

Golden Gate: 26 dead horses
Santa Anita: 22 dead horses
Los Alamitos: 13 dead horses

Throw in the 6 dead at less-active Del Mar and 5 at training facility San Luis Rey, and California Racing currently boasts 72 kills on the year. (While I’m typically loath to engage in speculation, I do believe that the true toll is being suppressed: e.g., horses being dragged offsite to be euthanized away from the glare, “off the record.” In fact, as of this morning, there has not been a single death reported at a California track in 16 days; there was a 17-day gap Aug 12-Aug 29 and 22-day gap Apr 30-May 22. Please.) Is this what is to pass for “progress,” California, 72 dead animals so that some men may gamble, others chase pots of gold?

California Racing’s Victims, 2021:

Bowies Hero, Jan 2, Santa Anita R (euthanized Jan 18) – “laminitis”
Cali Caliente, Jan 9, Santa Anita T – “collapsed, got up, did circles, collapsed, death”
Noor Khan, Jan 17, Los Alamitos T – “staggered, collapsed, [died]” (four years old)
Don’t Stop Lookin, Jan 17, Los Alamitos T – “[multiple] fractures, [multiple] ruptures”
Scat’s Choice, Jan 23, Santa Anita R – “[multiple] open fractures, [multiple] ruptures”
Staredown, Jan 28, Golden Gate T – “massive hemorrhage, muscles severely torn”
Natural History, Feb 6, Santa Anita T – “[multiple] open fractures, complete ruptures”
Black Badge, Feb 8, San Luis Rey T – “rider heard ‘loud pop’ – catastrophic breakdown”
Munny, Feb 11, Golden Gate S – “surgery on 2/10…found deceased this morning”
Sweet Boy, Feb 20, Golden Gate T – “galloped out and fell over dead” (three years old)
My Three Kids, Feb 21, Golden Gate T – “musculoskeletal”
Okoye, Feb 23, Golden Gate T – “ran into rail – penetrating wound, collapsed lung”
Rustic Canyon, Feb 26, San Luis Rey T – “collapsed, sudden death, spontaneously”
Squeaky Cheeky, Feb 28, Santa Anita R – “[multiple] open fractures/ruptures”
One Famous Prize, Mar 2, Los Alamitos T – “[multiple] fractures, [multiple] ruptures”
Surfside Sunset, Mar 5, Santa Anita S – “[stomach] rupture”
Squiggy, Mar 10, Golden Gate S – “spinal cord completely severed”
Mantra, Mar 21, Santa Anita R – “fractured ankle”
John’s Jewel, Mar 24, Golden Gate S – “pleuropneumonia” (two years old)
Nomadess, Mar 30, Los Alamitos T – “pulled up, dropped dead” (two years old)
yet-to-be-named, Apr 1, Golden Gate S – “accident”
Velocemente, Apr 3, Golden Gate R – “went wrong”
Call Sign Lucky, Apr 3, Los Alamitos T – “hit rail: open, displaced fracture”
My Child Sbud, Apr 17, Santa Anita R – “fracture of the LF ankle while racing”
Lady of the House, Apr 18, Golden Gate R – “went wrong”
Multiplier, Apr 18, Santa Anita R – “fractured ankle”
Champagneformybaby, Apr 20, Golden Gate S – “musculoskeletal”
Steamy, Apr 30, Los Alamitos R (euthanized May 4) – “compress[ed] spinal cord”
Noodles, May 22, Los Alamitos S – “pneumonia”
Big Wish, May 31, Golden Gate R – “went wrong crossing the finish line”
Agamemnon, May 31, Santa Anita R – “[multiple] fractures, [multiple] ruptures”
Meet At Dudley’s, Jun 9, Santa Anita T – “fractured [both] forelimbs”
Registrant, Jun 12, Los Alamitos R – “sudden death” (three years old)
Pushing Sixty, Jun 13, Santa Anita R – “fractured LF ankle…humane euthanasia”
Music Babe, Jun 16, Golden Gate T – “sudden death”
Snazzy Cazzy, Jun 17, Golden Gate S – “sudden death” (three years old)
Uncle Boogie, Jun 27, Santa Anita T – “fractured humerus while galloping”
Gutz, Jul 4, Santa Anita T – “fractured ankle…unrecoverable injury”
Square Dreamer, Jul 10, Golden Gate T – “musculoskeletal”
Needless to Say, Jul 18, Del Mar T – “apparent heart attack” (three years old)
Arson, Jul 18, Del Mar T – “fractured leg, euthanized”
Arjun, Jul 28, San Luis Rey T – “musculoskeletal”
Bruce, Aug 2, Los Alamitos S – “sudden death – aortic rupture”
Shesgotattitude, Aug 6, Del Mar R – “flipped, struck head, euthanized”
Mark Whats Mine, Aug 12, Golden Gate S – “accident”
Moonlite Promise, Aug 29, Del Mar T – “musculoskeletal”
Esperada, Sep 5, Golden Gate T (two years old, being prepped for debut)
Honor Award, Sep 6, Del Mar R – “musculoskeletal”
Holdfast, Sep 16, Golden Gate T – “sudden death” (five years old)
Stopdropandroll, Sep 19, Golden Gate T – “musculoskeletal”
Left Alone, Sep 19, Golden Gate T – “sudden death”
Seven Summers, Sep 30, Santa Anita T – “musculoskeletal”
Fight On Ron, Oct 1, Santa Anita R – “musculoskeletal”
Made in Karoo, Oct 7, Golden Gate S – “neurological”
Kakistocracy, Oct 14, Santa Anita T – “sudden death”
Favorite Doc, Oct 16, Los Alamitos R – “sudden death” (three years old)
Electric Ride, Oct 16, Santa Anita T – “non-musculoskeletal”
Luca’s Ride, Oct 17, Los Alamitos R – “fell, sudden death” (four years old)
Major Cabbie, Oct 23, Santa Anita R – “musculoskeletal”
Star of Africa, Oct 31, Santa Anita T – “pending”
Set the Tone, Nov 3, Del Mar T – “hit pole”
Storm Spun, Nov 3, San Luis Rey T – “musculoskeletal”
Racer, Nov 6, Golden Gate S – “gastrointestinal, colic”
Galloping Slew, Nov 14, Golden Gate T – “musculoskeletal”
Ima Rumbler, Nov 16, Golden Gate T – “musculoskeletal”
Inimitable, Nov 19, Golden Gate R – “fell…euthanized on the track”
Mary’s Great Hope, Nov 21, Golden Gate T – “pending”
Barbwire, Nov 21, San Luis Rey T – “musculoskeletal”
Restiany, Nov 25, Santa Anita T – “musculoskeletal”
Conchita, Nov 28, Los Alamitos R – “fell”
Not This World, Nov 28, Los Alamitos R (euthanized Dec 1) – “pending”
Medina Spirit, Dec 6, Santa Anita T – “collapsed and died” (three years old)


  1. It sounds logical that the secret killing of racehorses is happening just as the change in reporting details on the death of racehorses has happened. Just how does the California Horse Racing Board define “musculoskeletal” (or non-musculoskeletal) and what details are they leaving out on purpose?
    Hiding things (injured and dead horses and the details of the horses’ names, owners, trainers and injuries and how they were killed) appears to be what they are all about besides raking in millions of dollars while horses suffer from the constant overexertion demanded by racing as well as the 23-hour a day confinement to a small space unnatural for horses!
    If they want fewer horses to be killed on California racetracks, one of several things that they could do is stop paying the track veterinarians to pass horses to race that should be scratched. But, that would mean fewer gambling chips in each race and therefore fewer bets would be placed. This would translate to the wagering accounts not taking in as much money.
    So, now let us all walk around with this pie-in-the-sky notion that horseracing is not corrupt. La la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la!

  2. “We can’t ignore these injury rates”. Why not? You’ve been willfully apathetic and nauseatingly defensive about them up until now. Your pretense at alarm changes nothing.

  3. THANK YOU for covering this topic today, Patrick. The CHRB and its mysteriously exclusionary Kill List is one of my “favorite” subjects.
    It’s also the one they’re the most defensive about; they flat-out REFUSE to reveal, or even discuss, any possible terms/standards/factors/methodology they might use to determine which dead horses make it onto their Equine Fatalities List — and which don’t.
    Further, they won’t even answer requests from the anti-racing public citizenry for a WRITTEN EXPLANATION of how they determine which kills do or do not get reported. Instead, Executive Director Scott Chaney snipes at horse advocates during monthly meetings, and accuses us of “spurious” claims, “conspiracy theories” and “unfounded” and “unfair” accusations against THEM. (So it’s almost like we have a real dialogue with the (super-transparent, uber-credible, high-integrity) CHRB — it’s just a dialogue of indirect, passive-aggressive bickering from an agency that represents ONLY the interests of its parasitic, dinosaur-industry business advocates toward the evolved, animal-loving public with absolutely opposing viewpoints:

    We want them to report ALL their racehorse deaths.
    They only want to admit a few of them. (And maintain the right to determine WHICH dead horses, from WHICH horse-killing trainers, at WHICH horse-killing tracks will be publicly revealed.)

    So I don’t see any resolution to this latest CHRB conundrum at all, ever. (They’ll continue to arbitrarily throw a name or two out there, roughly each week, of horses killed. And we’ll all understand that these are just a fraction — a baseline count — of all their equine fatalities.) Instead, this, too, will ultimately be resolved when California voters become the first in the nation to legislatively abolish all animal racing for good. Then the Board won’t have to worry about arguing with the pesky public anymore — much less, pretending to keep count of all their racehorse deaths.

  4. As a former Associate Steward on the CHRB I can state with certainty that the members goals is to cover-up, reduce, and/or find ways to hide their kills.
    This has been going on for years and the entire CHRB is a taxpayer-funded government agency that under the rules and regulations of California law are supposed to be transparent and their dealings made public.
    INTERCONTINENTAL was a high profile stakes mare, trained by another corrupt “trainer” the late Bobby Frankel, who was given an injection directly into her jugular vein well past the Lasix time frame and only about 2 hours out of her stake race.
    My security team saw it with their own eyes, video taped it and recorded what they saw which should have constituted an immediate scratch.
    Instead, they said flat out that there was millions gambled on her and that they needed her to leave the gate so that they could get their money.
    Every single day the gambling bets are the priority at the detriment of the racehorses.
    Enter Scott Chaney (attorney) who was put in charge of conducting the “investigation” into the Intercontinental public relations disaster.
    Even before the report came out I knew it would be another cover-up, which it was and in the process Chaney directly attacked me calling me a liar more or less and all of the evidence?
    Well that either disappeared, was watered-down or somehow discredited.
    Scott Chaney is a MONSTER who is allegedly under the direction of the gambling rackets as most are.
    Alex Solis is a joke who was put in place to keep this killing show going and he hasn’t disappointed either the gambling entities or the tracks as vote after vote confirms.
    The CHRB are members who prioritize the gambling bets over the health and welfare of the racehorses, who deliberately cover-up the truth/kills and are probably more answerable to the organized gambling rackets more than the taxpayers who pay their salaries and never to the racehorses.
    This has been going on for years and it still is.
    Just the fact that they’ve never implemented Bill 469 is a clear signal and indication that nothing has changed, will never change because this business requires abusing and killing racehorses for their gambling rackets.

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