Read Them – This Is Horseracing

Through a FOIA request to the Maryland Racing Commission, I have confirmed the following kills at that state’s tracks last year. Please note: Maryland provides the most detail in the nation. Therefore, I will post in installments so that each of these deaths can be fully appreciated (previous ones can be found here).

Air On Fire, Nov 28, Pimlico T
“When the horse returned to the barn, [trainer] Kieron Magee noticed that the horse appeared to be sore: complete, comminuted sesamoid fracture – euthanized.” Also: “marked degenerative joint disease [all four limbs]; stomach ulcers.” Also, on the death certificate under “disposition”: “difficult to handle, poor stall rest candidate.”

Dr. Daniel (commission vet): “While the injury sustained by Air On Fire is career ending, I do not feel that the injury was life ending. I do not know how this horse behaved in a stall and what his attitude was, but I do feel that he may have been saved given more time. I also question the joint injection prior to radiographs.”
Air On Fire, below, was eight years old.

Wall, Dec 18, Laurel R
“The horse began pulling up, rider came off, and the horse ran loose. The LF fetlock was completely dropped, sesamoid fractured [into] three parts, and there was extensive soft tissue and ligament damage. Euthanasia was elected on the track.” Also: “marked degenerative joint disease [all four limbs]; stomach ulcers.”
Wall was six years old, and this was his 51st time under the whip.

Escape Fund, Dec 30, Laurel T
“Mare broke down near the 7/8 pole: both LF sesamoids fractured badly; connections chose humane euthanasia.” Also: “degenerative joint disease in all four limbs.”

Dr. Daniel: “This choice [euthanasia] is understandable and humane given the joint disease…and the severity of the fractures.” Then this: “She had very few joint injections – once each year for the last three years – which is extremely minimal.”
Escape Fund was just five – which means the injections started when she was only two. The industry’s incessant grinding of unformed bodies, writ large.

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  1. Dr. Daniel’s remarks regarding the horse named AIR ON FIRE are so demented, detestable, despicable, degenerate, vomit-worthy and unacceptable.
    She questions the joint injection prior to radiographs. Shaking my head.
    The thought that any RACEHORSE could be saved with as many different injuries and painful suffering that this horse endured is sadism added to sadism.
    The race horse is nothing more than an object to be used as an object, a tool, by heartless, morally depraved, sadistic people overcome with the propensity to sadistically exploit BABY horses that have no voice and no choice. A career-ending injury on top of degenerative joint disease (DJD) and ulcers is a life-ending injury because this low-level racing operation does not have any use for this horse in this condition. This is the mentality of the horse racing industry as a whole; to use them, abuse them and when the horses can’t satisfy their insatiable greed, TOSS them out like garbage, like last week’s newspaper.
    This is why Horseracing must be banned.
    How radical of an idea would it be to treat horses with respect and kindness, instead of forcing BABIES to perform as adults until they suffer “career-ending” injuries?
    For these die-hard horse-killers, treating horses with respect and kindness is a very RADICAL idea.

  2. Well OF COURSE the eagle-eyed, super-observant chartwriter at Laurel agreed to include poor Wall’s horrifying breakdown and on-track death in the official record: All the highly-compassionate horseplayers on the premises that day were deeply affected by it…
    Just kidding, of course. None of them gave a shit. (Least of all, Dan Illman, DRF’s super-journalist who’s in charge of ignoring Laurel’s carnage.)

    • In this egregiously barbaric industry, what would be better to a racing press journalist to not only not give a shit what happens to a racehorse (that obviously can’t win races now that he or she is suffering from career-ending/ life-ending injuries) but to get paid to not give a shit?
      It’s all about the money$$$$$!!!

      • Wall’s Death Race was not only the last Laurel race of the day, it was the last for Christmas break. So, Dan Illman, in all his super-journalistic glory, felt the need to sign off with an uplifting holiday salute…
        (To the high-credibility fact-seekers in the racing press, this means naming the “winner” of a bottom-level claiming race — with the all-important odds for payout — but not so much as a single WORD about the disasters that kill its unwilling participants.)

  3. Since Dr. Daniel appears rather confident in her reporting about the mare receiving only three joint injections in the last 3 years (one each year) and expressing that this is “extremely minimal” for a horse with Degenerative Joint Disease in all four limbs and as if nobody else could possibly go behind her back and inject this mare with their own version of joint injections, could she possibly also report how many horses received how many illegal milkshake race injections for the last three years, please??? 🤪🙄🤮😡

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