Sick or Injured Racehorses at California Tracks

The following horses were “scratched” (prevented from being raced) by the regulatory vet at Golden Gate over just seven days last month:

Vestment – sick
Heavenly Prince – injured
Hey Mate – unsound
Tom’s Pic – unsound
Standforgrit – sick
Knockout Bert – sick
Rhodium Runner – sick
Jaycee – sick
Hiis Reina – injured
Zelaia – injured
Smokin Blaze – sick
Naughty Flirt – unsound
River Avenue – sick
First Style – injured
Big Jolt – sick
In Honor of Autism – sick
Jersey Sunset – injured
Rocktillyoudrop – injured
Polacco – sick
Runaway Kristin – sick
Clochard Street – sick
Silk Road Sally – unsound
Stanford Bay – sick
Coolcross – unsound
Livermore Heat – injured
Lord of Light – sick

The following “claims” – sales – were voided:

Chieftain’s Lady – finished race unsound
Will Is Chill – finished race unsound
Triple E – finished race “off in right front”
Performative – finished race “off in left front”
Chris Fix – finished race “off behind”

Scratches at Los Alamitos over just three days last month:

Paul Vincents Poem – sick
Shandelier – unsound
Sokudo – unsound
Winding – sick
Herecomesauntlucy – injured
Maui Road – unsound
Mavalous Mavalous – unsound
Spanish Channel – sick

Voided claims:

Macho Sam – [unsound]

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  1. Let me get this straight, the horses were examined, by law, before a race. These horses were all scratched due to being lame and/or sick. Which tells me that if the horses were not examined, by law, prior to a race, the horses would have been raced regardless? Once the horse is entered in a race, then becomes lame or sick, can’t a trainer scratch the horse himself? Excuse my ignorance, I don’t understand why the trainer presents a sick/lame horse for a race, if it’s obvious the horse is sick. Or is the trainer taking advantage of a “free” medical exam because he does not know exactly what is wrong with the horse?

    • Carolyn, you bring up some excellent points in your questions. I believe the main thing is that the trainers don’t care about the welfare of the horses as much as they care about using the horse as an object for financial gain and ego trips for their sadistic selves and the owners who pay them. The trainers don’t care if the horses are 100% healthy or fit to compete in a race as long as they can get away with it.
      I don’t think that there is any racehorse that is 100% anyway. I believe all racehorses have some kind of issue or affliction that requires painkilling medication. So many young and underdeveloped colts and fillies have Degenerative Joint Disease but are forced to endure the pain and suffering of race training and racing anyway, as an example.

      The modus operandi in the horseracing industry is “to win at all costs” so that is something to keep in mind when there is such a long list of horses scratched by the track vet. I don’t think that the track vets do medical exams in the normal sense, but rather an “eyeball the horses over” approach in the morning, during the time in the saddling area and the warm up just before the race and again at the starting gates. If a jockey has a concern about a horse at the starting gate area, tells the track vet and the track vet sees fit to pass the horse to race, they can replace the “concerned” jockey with a different jockey. So, go figure.

  2. Have another question, hoping someone may have an answer for me. There is help for humans with knee pain, an alternative to knee replacement. A shot to replace the “cushion” between the knee bones/joints. Does anyone know if it’s possible this can be used for horses in the near future?

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