“Sudden Death” at Del Mar, and Two Other Cal Kills

Three new kills in California:

A yet-to-be-named 1-year-old – yes, 1-year-old – at Pleasanton Monday, “accident.”

Little Princess at Los Alamitos Tuesday, no cause given. She was two and being prepped for her first race.

Miss Sugar Hill at Del Mar yesterday, “sudden death” while training. That’s “sudden death” – at the age of three.

Subscribe and Get Notified of New Posts


  1. I have never worked at a racetrack, so pardon my ignorance, but what is a 1 year-old doing at a track? I’m hoping the horse was not yet in any kind of training????

  2. This is the trainer, Richard Baltas, who broke Urgent Envoy’s leg. To this day Baltas runs and hides in the nearest men’s room when he sees me walking in his direction. He was in violation of CHRB Regulations when he accepted a horse (Urgent Envoy) while another trainer (Gail Ruffu) held an ownership interest in the horse. I had informed Baltas, twice, that the horse needed to rest due to micro fractures in his left cannon bone.
    He then proceeded, against written veterinarian (Jeff Blea) advice, to work Urgent Envoy at Del Mar 5 fourlongs. Urgent Envoy returned to Baltas’ barn with a completly broken (but not separated) cannon bone. Dr’s. Von Bleucher and Blea told Baltas to rest Urgent Envoy for at least 6 months. 3 months later He brought UE back to Hollywood Park. I removed UE from Baltas custody and was tried criminally for Grand Theft Horse. The jury acquitted me saying “It’s not a crime to save an innocent animals life.”

    • He is suing the CHRB for $12-Million for alleged “denial of due process” but the horses don’t get a chance to say “no” don’t pump me full of drugs and all the rest of the daily routine cruelty to horses.

    • So glad you did that, Gail. Sounds like something I would do. Animals are my love,my passion.

    • Good for you Gail ! We have done something similar with a friend of ours several years ago when we saw horses with no shelter & standing in mud up to their stomachs. Helen & us worked together & hauled the horses to her barn & fed & dried them out. The person with the 3 horses had the Sheriffs office arrest Helen but then the small county discovered they had a problem! There was no place to hold a woman separate from the men in their jail! So they had to release Helen on her own back to her farm on bail.Later the trouble maker let the horses stay with Helen after dropping complaint.

      • I have said numerous times if you can’t take care of your children or animals, DON’T HAVE THEM. Kudos to Helen and you both for the rescue!!

        • True, Nancy. At what point does it take for the law enforcement to step in and seize or rescue neglected horses from their owners?
          It’s great that Helen and Fred and Joan were able to rescue these horses from that horrible neglect! It’s also ironic that law enforcement didn’t step in and rescue the horses sooner than waiting for private citizens to do the job, and then allow the abusive, neglectful owner to have Helen arrested. Could it be that law enforcement negotiated a deal with this owner to drop the charges against Helen and let her keep custody of the horses in return for his freedom???

  3. Even though a horse is gotten off the track and sent to a rescue organization it is not the beginning of a a decent life for the horse.
    I’m thinking of my recent “nightmare” experience with a beautiful mare I sent to a TAA accredited organization in NC.
    I made it clear I wanted to follow the horse and would take her back if necessary.
    After just 2 weeks I was informed her training needs were beyond their capabilities.
    I was preparing to take possession of her when I was informed of an “ideal” alternative.
    A trainer would adopt her and train her for dressage. I agreed on condition I would be kept updated and given the option of first right of refusal should she be for sale.
    Long story short, the updates were hard to come by. Things were not adding up and as I was beginning to suspect the horse had been dumped with this trainer/cowboy.
    I was able to contact him without help from that “rescue”. As soon as I paid the ransom I got her pic. and to say I was shocked is mild! I was sure it was not the right horse but was able to identify her by 2 small markings I knew about.
    The poor thing was half starved with visible rain rot all over and, as it turned out, a lot more going on!
    Suffice to say, I got her to a safe place and she is recovering well . She will be fine now.
    As you may guess, she received no training whatsoever during the almost 5 months she was with this trainer / cowboy. As I said before, the mare was dumped and I was lied to over and over before being ignored by the organization.
    I’m following up on this.

    • *THIS* Thank you Rose. I have always suspected THIS. You CANNOT trust anyone in this pure evil gambling racket. There simply must be NO more breeding of horses. These assholes can’t even take proper care of the ones that are ALREADY here. These evil scumbags.

  4. I am curious as to why “sudden death” is accepted as a sufficient explanation in reporting a horse’s death. Is it a euphemism for something? At some point do they have to follow up with an actual reason for the sudden death?

    • That is a good question, Teresa! There are so many things in racing that are very vague and euphemistic. “Went wrong” and “sudden death” are so vague as to what really happened that it raises more questions than answers.
      This deliberate causing of injuries and fatalities in horses is wrong, which is obvious to anybody with any scruples.

Comments are closed.