Another Cash Spigot Shut Off – The Death of Midnight Bourbon

Midnight Bourbon died at Churchill Downs Sunday from what trainer Steve Asmussen calls “acute gastrointestinal distress.” The “distress,” it should be noted, came just a few hours after a training session. Asmussen: “He got a little uncomfortable and then he deteriorated very rapidly.” He was four years old.

Midnight’s death was widely reported in the racing press because, and only because, he was a star – a runner in last year’s Derby, Preakness, Travers, et al.; “earner” of over $3.5 million for his people – which, of course, fully explains the heavy grieving going on. In BloodHorse, David Fiske of Winchell Thoroughbreds (owner) called it a “gut punch.” And Asmussen, in the DRF: “It’s a devastating situation to the whole barn and everyone who was involved with him. He’s an irreplaceable horse, in more ways than one. It’s beyond sad.” Sad for us and sad for him are two entirely different things.

Subscribe and Get Notified of New Posts


  1. I don’t suppose they paid attention to his distress earlier. I think these horses are so beaten down and stressed sometimes they just give up
    And die. Ran in circles, beaten , slapped in a stall for the rest of the day with absolutely no enrichment to help their mental state. And no one apparently cares. Likely any investigation will be geared towards acquiring the insurance money since he was a high earner. Bastards !

    • Jennifer,I absolutely think you are correct … about the animals just giving up and giving in to mental distress and despair. Animals are highly intelligent and more sensitive than most humans. People give in to despair … so of course animals do too. Animals given love,patience and attention and affection are capable of things most humans couldn’t even imagine. I have taken in so many rescue dogs over the decades … it never ceased to amaze me what they could do and their emotional intelligence along with their God given intelligence. Of course they all thrived under my ownership because they all knew they were so loved and spoiled. Kindness and love are capable of anything.

  2. And announced THREE DAYS later to make sure the horse was long gone before the “inquiries ” started.

    • The cruel brutal and inhumane treatment of Nehro. I’ll never forget it. And of course the real Scott Blasi was exposed along with what really goes on in the Asmussen stables – those poor horses. Midnight’s death is yet another example.

  3. I just wonder about the ulceration of Midnight Bourbon’s gastrointestinal tract.
    Close to one hundred percent of these horses suffer, and I mean suffer, from ulcer disease.
    Yet these people make stupid, irresponsible and deceptive statements such as the horses are treated so well, even better than a lot of people…
    The wonderful treatment consists of daily baths, a net full of hay, high octane feed and, of course, the DRUGS along with the joint injections and confinement in a tiny stall unless they are being whipped to run at abnormal speeds.
    I doubt these horses are scoped for ulcers let alone treated or given time off because they are much too busy being hauled all over the world to rake in as much $$ for their oh so loving families!!!
    What a life of abuse and suffering this poor horse endured at the hands of these unscrupulous people. And we know the sorry record of team Asmussen and Blasi…

    • It’s time to stop the government gravy train to horse racing and horse killing. Stop the government funding of all kinds (including tax write-offs) to anyone (or any group of people) who attempts to profit from this hideous cruelty to horses.

  4. Equine slavery is not glamorous as the racing industry press would have people to believe. A racehorse is a meal ticket, purse money won, a gambling chip, a payout from the insurance company for the “world class” level horses. This is egregious cruelty to horses without a conscience. This CRUEL death of a Grade One horse is inexcusable!
    Acting clueless about the well-being of the horse is despicable. These blood-thirsty monsters in this industry are not innocent regardless of how dumb they act!!!!!!

    • I should say the lack of well-being. The owner appeared to be clueless about the state of MIDNIGHT BOURBON’s physical condition and yet the whole time, he would have been calculating the profit/loss equation as in pay for top notch Veterinary Care or just let the horse die an agonizing and agonizingly painful death and wait for the insurance company to payout $$$$$$ $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.
      How many years of horse experience between the owner/owners and the trainer(s) and everyone else involved with MIDNIGHT BOURBON????? So, now is the perfect time to act CLUELESS, of course!!!

  5. No offense Steve …. he was mediocre at best. That’s not trying to be mean but it’s the truth. That said, his life meant something, as ALL animals lives matter,because only animals are non calculating innocents. (Steve meaning Asmussen horse trainer). Steve Asmussen knows better than anyone, he was no exceptional talent. That by no means diminishes his value.No animal should ever die because they are the true innocents.

    • Looking back, I think they saw more money in their bank accounts with MIDNIGHT BOURBON being dead rather than alive. They’re too greedy to give the horse a break from racing and training and being trafficked from this country to that country and back. The owner/s could have given him a rest from racing and training, but no — that would be too humane. Give a racing slave a rest; are you kidding…

      • You are absolutely right Wanda, could not have said any better. Humans try to project on their race horses they purchased , things like “I love to run at breakneck speeds,and,I love doing this so much.”

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: