The Death of Speedcuber: Downright Shocking

We already knew this about the 4-year-old filly Speedcuber: She was injured and “vanned off” in a race at Santa Anita back on May 7. Two days later, the CHRB disclosed, Speedcuber was euthanized for what was termed a “musculoskeletal” issue. Here, in fact, were her injuries (from a FOIA request):

Thoroughbred euthanized following catastrophic fetlock breakdown with:

1. Complete, articular, displaced transverse fracture of the medial PSB.

2. Comminuted, complete, articular, displaced oblique and axial avulsion fracture of the lateral PSB.

That’s multiple fractures. Then the soft tissue injuries:

1. Massive hemorrhage extending from the coronet to the level of distal carpal row – most likely a result of severing the medial palmar digital artery/and or vein at the level of the fracture.

2. Severe, complete intersesamoidean ligament rupture – the tear follows the fracture lines and progresses further distally to reach the distal straight sesamoidean ligament and results in complete rupture of its proximal third.

3. Severe, complete rupture of the medial branch of suspensory ligament.

4. Severe, complete ruptures of the lateral and medial collateral ligaments of the proximal sesamoid bones.

5. Severe rupture with multiple longitudinal splits, hemorrhage and fraying of fibers of deep and superficial digital flexor tendons.

6. Severe rupture with multiple longitudinal splits, hemorrhage and fraying of fibers of medial collateral ligament of the fetlock joint.

7. Severe rupture with fraying of fibers of the lateral branch of suspensory ligament.

8. Severe, complete rupture of palmar annular ligament.

9. Severe, complete rupture of the cruciate sesamoidean ligaments.

There was this, too: History of multiple intra-articular injections bilateral fetlocks; history of bilateral fetlock surgery July 2021; severe biaxial full-thickness cartilage loss followed by partial bone erosion.

In an effort to reduce its kill numbers – to attempt to assuage an increasingly outraged public, to get the media off its back – Cal Racing has employed multiple tactics. One is to simply disappear the injured. Another is to use “stall rest” and/or surgery – under the guise of “saving lives.” Now, I don’t know what exactly was planned for Speedcuber, but re-read the above and try to come up with a single reasonable defense for waiting two days to euthanize her. It may not have been “malicious,” as is required for felony animal cruelty in California, but…

9 Comments

  1. I’ve watched and listened to the horse racing public relations schemes FOR YEARS!
    As the public finally gets educated, I’ve noticed that horse racing is becoming more “creative” in their attempts to mask the horror show unfolding daily.
    That’s precisely why this site is unique and a critical component of exposing the horse racing lies and shams.
    The details of SPEEDCUBER’s injuries and subsequent death is horrifying for those of us reading it, but imagine how horrific it was for this poor racehorse.
    Ms. Belinda Stronach you are a sub-human piece of crap for making a deliberate decision to carry on and facilitate the widespread suffering and deaths of racehorses.
    Your original stance, to make you appear caring, was to overhaul the current death system with extensive safety protocols.
    When that didn’t work you are now engaged in wholesale carnage and even implementing schemes to cover it up!
    You inherited about 20 wagering firms so you are directly responsible for this.
    I become enraged when I hear people state that horse racing is the fault of male gamblers because when you review the facts women play a major role in breeding, providing, and facilitating racehorses for the tracks and predominately male gamblers.
    Finally, doping (shoving needles repeatedly into a defenseless racehorse’s joints) for the sole purpose of masking chronic issues and/or to be more competitive plays a major role in catastrophic breakdowns.
    They’ve known this for years, but again their never ending meetings and lip service hadn’t changed a thing!
    Just shut down this despicable vile corrupt and killing business that had no place in a civilized society.

  2. You can’t call yourself a horseman (a term that applies to all genders) and have the “capacity” to do to any horse what they did to this young, underdeveloped filly. Everything that was done to her was malicious in order to win purse money and use her as a gambling chip. To attempt to cover up her death on purpose is cowardly and malicious. It was malicious. No real horseman would do that to any horse.
    It takes malicious and downright sadistic people to do these things to horses that these vile people do to horses. To attempt to cover up, justify and flat out lie in order to preserve their horse-abusing, horse-doping, horse-killing paychecks is about as malicious and manipulative as anyone can get. Of course, there are attorneys in this vile industry that are looking for a paycheck any way they can get it! No scruples, no conscience, no compassion for horses; wonderful, get your paychecks here.

  3. The fact this poor doomed horse was “vanned off” with such horrific injures is beyond outrageous. And if that is not bad enough, she suffered for 2 days before being spared further misery.
    But considering she was being raced with “severe biaxial full thickness cartilage loss followed by partial bone loss” confirms the poor animal was already being subjected to horrible abuse.
    Having to prove malicious intent for causing such abject pain and misery is ridiculous.

    • Agreed and I wish it could be a reality that every human being involved in this willfull abuse and brutality to horses would have to have their legs and joints put in a vice and rachet up the pressure to the same amount of pounds per square inch that these horses are subject to by these diabolical human beings everyday and plus the final pressure that the horses are forced to endure and absorb when the fatal breakdowns occur. These horse-abusing, horse-doping, horse-killing creeps would be screaming bloody murder.

  4. Oh, this sweet Horse — the suffering — for how long? — the world does NOT know of the torturous suffering these Horses undergo for years — what will it take for the world to STOP and FIGHT this cruel industry — PLEASE — let’s SHUT it DOWN

  5. As if what happened to this poor filly Speedcuber wasn’t bad enough, adding insult to (prolonged, fatal) injury was the “coverage” of the carnage by the L.A. Times So-Called Sports Dept. and its chief Blood Sport Correspondent Extraordinaire, John Cherwa.
    Speedcuber broke down in that race, yes. Nothing new there, as the Times’ policy prior to that point had been to meticulously record and publish an account of each and every SADT fatality, since Santa Anita’s “disaster” meet in the spring of 2019. Cherwa had generally been at the forefront of this reporting, and took a lot of criticism for these stories from those in the racing biz.
    But, for Speedcuber’s racing death, and several others that immediately preceded it, there was NO MENTION in the L.A. Times at all. It appears the “Sports” editors had quietly done an editorial about-face in their decision about whether to cover racehorse fatalities: NO LONGER would these events see publication in the Times, apparently. (This makes for an awkward read, when every OTHER SoCal news outlet is covering the ongoing deaths. Not the Times, though. They glaringly exclude any mention of these regular events, even in their few stories that are ABOUT horse racing.)
    With Speedcuber’s killing, Cherwa and the Times “Sports” team were faced with an even MORE difficult conundrum; how to publish an account of her trainer’s subsequent suspension without mentioning the HORSE DEATH(S) that preceded it — and likely led to it. Nonetheless, they managed to do just that…
    And THAT’S what separates the racing press from all the “lesser” news and sports journalists out there;)

    • Kelly, I appreciate your following the discrepancies in John Cherwa’s reporting, and lack of reporting, on the atrocities of horseracing in California and especially regarding SPEEDCUBER in this case. It sounds incredibly suspicious that he chose the stance to go more to the lack of reporting in these heinous wrongdoings of the horseracing and horse-killing industry in California.
      It makes me wonder if he was threatened by the Stronachs that if he knew what was “good” for him, he’d remember such and such and such, as if his job security (and maybe his life) is a higher priority than reporting all of the facts about the dastardly deeds of this horse-abusing, horse-doping, horse-killing and exceptionally corrupt organization. Who knows if his life might have been threatened and/or someone else he is close to was threatened?
      Doesn’t it make sense that a corrupt organization that wants to hide the true number of horses killed FOR this despicable gambling racket and killed BY this despicable gambling racket would also want a “news reporter” to conveniently NOT REPORT ON THE TRUE NUMBER OF HORSES KILLED BY AND FOR RACING AND WAGERING in California?!

      • Nah. I don’t think it’s anything as dramatic as that. Cherwa and the handful of remaining dinosaurs at the L.A. Times “Sports” department are probably just sick and tired of helping to seal Cali Racing’s fate by writing its obituary.
        Besides, every other news outlet is covering the carnage.

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