More Derby News: Churchill Downs Kills Horses

Churchill Downs is the host of today’s Kentucky Derby. Here are some (some, not all) of the racehorses killed at that track over just the past three years. Connect the dots.

(Prior to 2020, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission refused to give me names; hence all the “unidentifieds.”)

Ace of Aces: “Horse broke down at 1/16 pole: right humeral fracture – complete, comminuted; left scapular fracture – complete, comminuted; left sesamoid fracture.” That’s three different breaks. Also: “gastric ulcer disease.” Ace was five years old.

Kitten Strikesback: “Horse pulled up severely lame: comminuted condylar fracture.” Also: “multifocal ulceration; hepatitis.” Kitten was two years old and being prepped for her first race.

My Clay Girl: “Horse went down at the 1/4 pole with a severe injury…started exhibiting signs of shock and pain…euthanized: complete, comminuted humeral fracture.” My Clay Girl was three years old and being prepped for her first race.

Holiday Cruising: “Rider said he felt a pop and the horse went down: complete, comminuted humeral fracture with tearing of the muscles.” Also: “subacute to chronic squamous ulceration.” Holiday was four years old.

Little Feather: “Filly pulled up after the gallop-out severely lame RF limb: complete, comminuted fracture of the first phalanx.” Also: “acute, glandular stomach erosions; suppurative hepatitis.” Little was two years old and being prepped for her first race.

City Tavern: “Horse pulled up after the 1/4 pole with a catastrophic injury: slab fractures of the third and intermediate carpal bones, comminuted fracture of the ulnar carpal bone, small fracture of the fourth carpal bone; all carpal joints contain a large amount of blood, with variably-sized bone fragments.” City was three years old.

Devil’s Den: “Horse pulled up after breezing with a severe injury to the RF fetlock: multiple fractures, extensive soft tissue damage.” Also: “stomach ulceration.” Devil’s was two years old and being prepped for his first race.

Hard to Be Good: “Horse was galloping this morning and became shaky while pulling up; the rider jumped off and the horse collapsed and died – aortic rupture.” Also: “extensive stomach ulceration.” Hard to Be Good was seven years old.

All Fact: “Flipped over [before] race: skull fracture – multiple fragments.” Also: “degenerative joint disease, front fetlocks, right carpus.” All Fact was five years old.

Bodemeister Wind: “Horse pulled up after the wire lame left front: [multiple] fractures.” Also: “multifocal stomach ulceration.” Bodemeister was three years old.

Hitch Kick Double: “Complete, comminuted fracture of the third metatarsal bone with a large open wound; further fracture at the lateral-most aspect of the sagittal ridge resulting in complete separation of the ridge from the metatarsal; fractures are severely comminuted with fragments entirely free of the bone, some embedded in the ligament.” Also: “gastric ulceration; bilateral metacarpal disease.” Hitch was two years old and being prepped for her first race.

Crystal Got Even (probably sic): “Complete spiral fracture of the humerus, tearing of the muscles.” Also: “stomach ulceration, gastritis.” Crystal was three years old.

West Bank Baby: “Horse was being treated for a few weeks for chronic laminitis and founder [both forelimbs]; deteriorat[ed] this week when the coffin bones rotated through the soles.” Also: “suppurative hepatitis.” West Bank was four years old and had been raced 14 times.

Camellia Gal: “After galloping and getting into stall, horse became severely uncomfortable and violent even after two rounds of sedation – pelvic fracture, severe hemorrhage and tearing of the muscles.” Camellia was four years old.

Clear Steps: “Horse pulled up near the 3/8 with a catastrophic injury to RF fetlock: comminuted fracture of the medial sesamoid; soft tissue disruption is severe, including [multiple] tendon tears and [multiple] ligament ruptures.” According to the jockey, “The horse warmed up a little funny in the post parade, [and] she was sweating and seemed to be stressed.” Clear Steps was three years old.

Rouson: “Horse broke down at the 1/16 pole: [multiple] open, comminuted fractures with extensive soft tissue damage, including tearing of the superficial and deep digital flexors, rupture of the suspensory ligament, and rupture of the intersesamoidian ligament.” Also: “stomach ulceration.” Rouson was three years old.

Newt: “Broke down while breezing – [multiple] fractures, extensive soft tissue damage.” Also: “suppurative hepatitis.” Newt was two years old.

Stacks Up: “Horse was half mile into a routine gallop when it broke down: complete spiral fracture of the humerus with tearing of the muscles.” Also: “grade 3 ulceration; suppurative hepatitis.” Stacks was two years old and being prepped for his first race.

Royal Commission: “Catastrophic injury – [multiple] fractures, extensive soft tissue damage.” Also: “severe stomach ulceration.” Royal was four years old.

All Bodes Well: “Horse flipped in gate, was severely painful and distressed, euthanized: complete, comminuted fracture of the femur; tearing of the muscle.” Also: “gastric ulceration.” All Bodes Well was three years old.

Ceeky: “Right forelimb: complete luxation of fetlock with massive damage to soft tissues; the straight, oblique, and cruciate ligaments are severely torn with complete rupture at base of sesamoids. Left forelimb: fracture resulting in acute cartilage damage.” Also: “grade 4 ulcer disease.” Ceeky was seven years old.

Vertical Threat: “Horse fell. Left forelimb: multiple fractures of the scapula, myriad spicules embedded within muscle; severe tearing. Right forelimb: complete fracture of the carpal bone.” That’s two broken legs. Vertical Threat was four years old.

Can to Man: “Became severely ataxic in hind limbs after galloping, severely painful response: lumbosacral subluxation with compressive myelopathy of the lumbar cord.” Can to Man was three years old and being prepped for his first race.

Alittlevodka: “comminuted fractures”

Bold Esther: “sudden death – hemoperitoneum”

Gold Credit: “sesamoid fractures”

Censored: “humeral fracture”

Chainsthatbindyou: “tibial fracture” (being prepped for first race)

yet-to-be-named: “MTIII fracture”

Kowalski: “comminuted sesamoid fractures”

Glissando: “sudden death” (being prepped for first race)

Urbana: “[multiple] fractures, massive soft tissue damage”

Tour Spuzz: “laminitis” (three years old, never been raced)

Lucky Asset: “fractures, tearing of tendons, rupture of ligament”

Tormenta: “[multiple] fractures, severe soft tissue damage”

unidentified: “neurological”

Pow Wow Indian: “[multiple] fractures” (being prepped for first race)

Uncle Robbie: “[multiple] fractures” (being prepped for first race)

Sir Winsalot: “fracture, large amount of hemorrhage”

Rebuff: “multiple open, disarticulated fractures both front legs”

Here Comes Josie: “comminuted P1 fracture”

Juggernaut: “[multiple] fractures”

Uni the Unicorn: “[multiple] fractures” (being prepped for first race)

Winning Impression: “comminuted fractures, hemorrhage”

Binge Watch: “open, disarticulated fracture”

Tenace: “P1 fracture” (being prepped for first race)

Night Candy: “comminuted fractures, severe soft tissue damage”

Alexander Hamilton: “fracture, ruptured ligaments”

Eclipse the Moon: “tibial fracture” (one – yes, one – year old)

Sharp and Strong: “open fracture” (being prepped for first race)

unidentified: “spontaneous hemorrhage from both nostrils and urethra; witness reports that subject was hesitant to leave stall, and when removed from stall to begin training, subject resisted…and spontaneously died…likely due to the compression of the brain from the subdural hemorrhage; the location of the [skull] fracture suggests a large amount of concentrated force to the area”

unidentified: “found dead: bronchopneumonia, severe gastric ulcer disease”

unidentified: “encephalitis, protozoal myelitis, acute colitis”

Mottaret: “large colon displacement”

Bless His Heart: “rupture with tearing”

unidentified: “[multiple] fractures; ruptured tendon, ligament”

unidentified: “open fractures”

unidentified: “open fractures, extensive soft tissue damage”

Believein: “[multiple] fractures, severe soft tissue damage”

unidentified: “comminuted fractures”

Allied Party: “[multiple] fractures, acute cartilage excoriation”

unidentified: “open fractures, severe soft tissue damage”

unidentified: “collapsed and died on the racetrack”

unidentified: “open, disarticulated fetlock”

Frank Senior: “comminuted fracture, marked tearing”

Tigers Rule: “[multiple] fractures with tearing of artery and vein”

Elegant Bay: “multiple fractures, soft tissue damage is severe”

Pallaso: “complete fracture of humerus, tearing of musculature”

unidentified 3-year-old filly: “fracture sesamoid with disruption of the associated soft tissue structures”

Kinley Karole: “comminuted MC3 fracture; the cartilage loss was more severe than one would expect to see in a first time starter”

unidentified 2-year-old filly: “open, comminuted fractures of both sesamoids; soft tissue damage is extensive”

unidentified 14-year-old: “found dead in the stall this morning”

unidentified 2-year-old filly: “horse was breezing and broke down at the wire”

unidentified 3-year-old filly: “fractures [both front legs]”

High Beam: “pulled up with severe ataxia and white mucous membranes; horse collapsed and died within few minutes – massive pulmonary hemorrhage”

Will Call: “horse collapsed and died – massive hemorrhage within the thorax and abdomen; extensive hemorrhage over the spine, both sides of the neck, and the hip”

16 Comments

  1. I adore horses, and used to watch the Derby, but ever since becoming knowledgeable about the cruelty/abuse, I no longer watch any horse races. The Derby or any other horse race. Protect these beautiful, majestic animals at all cost!

    • Janice, your baby is so cuuuute! Is she a Boston Terrier? I used to have Bostons, they are the sweetest, comical, little babies.

  2. Churchill Downs, like all tracks, needs to be bulldozed over and replaced with decent developments so that no more racehorses will be killed.
    I hope every racehorse makes it out of the Derby safe, but there seems to be a couple of horses that concern me based on their history and PP’s.
    Fingers crossed.

    • Sadly as long as the tracks get their casino based $$ Churchill will never quit having some kind of races. End all subsidies & we bet most tracks will be gone as they can`t make it on wagering handle alone. That`s why Mr. Travis Boersma did not renew his racing track operators license here in Oregon.Travis is not dumb he knows without the HRM revenues at his Flying Lark venue he would not make any $$. He knows he will make $$ with his coffee shop business.Always happy to drive by & see Portland Meadows redeveloped out to warehousing / trucking dispatch operations. The grounds are actually much cleaner & neater looking than before when the track was there.We always worry about the horses running as well. We don`t watch the races any longer. Have seen too much when we were active participants up until 2005.

      • Follow the $$$. This is the way to end horseracing! Too many truly .compassionate people fail to realize that poignant emotional appeals fall on deaf ears; they are merely preaching to the choir. If the profit is gone, so is horseracing! Thank you for this post!!!

    • Great point Gina. There is an affordable housing problem in this country. That’s a fabulous idea (developments)

  3. Sick F-ing shit I’m so sick of this all involved should die the same F-ing way!!!! Burn in hell with satan all you vile evil filth

  4. Horseracing MUST BE BANNED and ALL RACETRACKS SHUT DOWN !! My family had race horses but they were loved and protected at all costs. My dad even insisted that our jockey sleep in the stall to protect our horses at race tracks. WATCHING BEAUTIFUL HORSES DIE ON THE TRACK IS NOT A SPORT THAT i WANT TO WATCH !!!1

    • why would he need to sleep in the stall. Are people deliberately hurting these horses, or are they accidentally breaking they’re own legs, on ACCIDENT

      • Yes, race horses are deliberately injured all the time. Most of them are given performing enhancing drugs which hurt their too young bodies and bones. So they don’t break their bones by accident.

  5. I read part of an article the other day about Churchill Downs, that they’re going to double down on on-track-betting on horse races because supposedly they didn’t make enough money with sports betting. I’m not sure if there is going to be a big enough crowd for this egregious show of ABUSE to horses to attract more people. I’m hoping there’s not going to be enough people for them to make any money on on track betting either. Too bad for Churchill Downs if they can’t make enough money on sports betting other than this EGREGIOUS CRUELTY to horses. This whole horror show must be punishable by law, not rewarded with any kind of government subsidies and/or government-directed benefits. I hope all Animal Rights Activists are going to be stepping up against the abuse of horses at Churchill Downs in whichever way that is possible for each individual and group!!!!

  6. ENTERTAINMENT???? I THINK NOT.YOU DO NOT USE ANIMALS OF
    ANY KIND FOR PUBLICITY!RACE HORSES ARE TORMENTED TO THE
    END. PRETTY SICKO PEOPLE IN IT FOR THE BIG BUCKS.END HORSE ‘
    RACING FOREVER! THESE ANIMALS HAVE NO CHOICE BUT WE DO.

  7. THIS IS SO VERY SAD AND UPSETTING
    I AM ASHAMED AND DEEPLY SADDENED THAT I EVER WATCHED HORSE RACING
    I LOVE THESE ANIMALS AND IT IS DEEPLY HEARTBREAKING THAT THIS INHUMANE DISGUSTING SADISTIC BULLSHIT GOES ON WE NEED TO START ARRESTING AND MAKING THESE BASTARDS PAY FOR THEIR
    GREED AND UNBELIEVABLE CRUELTY WHILE THEY PRETEND TO CARE ABOUT THESE SPECIAL ANIMALS. !!!!!!!!!!!!!
    BOYCOTT, BOYCOTT, BOYCOTT BOYCOTT

  8. So sad that these pompous so called elite and “ celebrities “ cannot see and stand against the cruelty behind the “ finished “ exterior facade. No crueler than Roman exhibits of animal cruelty. Sadly so many die hidden in stables and sadistic training techniques, sadly these beings are only commodity and sadly over insured to get their return on their deaths.., Thankfully exposure is promoting awareness! KEEP the pressure on to expose atrocities!! Thankful for this site!!

  9. It is time to stand up to oppose the cruelty of horses in the racing of horses. The people who support the racing of horses are not paying attention to the cruelty and deaths that take place behind the scenes. The racing of horses must end!

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