Supporting the Kentucky Derby Is Supporting This Horror…

Today is Derby Day, a day in which the The Big Lie is at its most obscene: NBC and mint juleps; “The Run for the Roses,” “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports.” Truth is, horseracing, everyday horseracing, is cold, violent, and merciless. And here’s another hard truth: Horseracing in America is not 100 disparate companies; it is a single entity. As such, a bet at one track is a bet at all; to patronize one race is to patronize all. In other words, if you support the Kentucky Derby in any way – by attending, by watching, by betting on – you are helping to make possible what follows.

Horses killed at U.S. tracks last year (this is just a sampling; full list here):

Raagheb, Jan 14
“multiple leg fractures, multiple skull fractures, ligament tear, severe hemorrhage”

Fanci Lindor, Jan 14
“trauma [from collision]”

Tamarando’s Mine, Jan 17
“[multiple] fractures [both front limbs]” (again, both front limbs)

Adorable Brittany, Jan 17
“[multiple] open, comminuted fractures; [multiple] ruptures; torn tendon; full fetlock dislocation; soft tissue hemorrhage throughout limb”

Beat the Odds, Jan 22
“[broke] both front cannons” (two years old – again, both front cannons)

Circus Ride, Jan 27
“became fractious, reared, hit head on gate – brain trauma, [died]”

Charging Nellie, Jan 29
“sudden death” (two years old)

Kodiak King, Feb 16
“scapula fractured into four pieces”

Battletown, Feb 17
“fractured neck”

Harbour Town, Feb 17
“fractured neck”

Burning Blaze, Feb 19
“sudden collapse and death: copious amounts of frank blood and serosanguineous fluid drained from the nostrils and mouth, extensive muscle hemorrhages”

Elegant Son, Feb 20
“apparent broken neck”

Tf Thrilling Runaway, Mar 1
“pulmonary hemorrhage, died”

Distinguished, Mar 11
“complete, comminuted neck fracture”

Black Drop, Mar 11
“horse collapsed [after race], died within few minutes”

Herecomesangelina, Mar 14
“collapsed and died” (two years old)

Jersey Jim, Mar 22
“fractured cannon; due to open wound contaminated with dirt, cannon [in] multiple pieces, and intractable pain, euthanasia was recommended”

Chestnut, Mar 22
“flipped, fractured skull, blood from ears”

Guided Missile, Mar 22
“collapsed dead past wire”

Declared Best Card, Mar 24
“[multiple] vertebral fractures”

Upfront And Gone, Mar 26
“sudden death: pulmonary hemorrhage”

Ma Moos Warrior, Mar 28 (euthanized Mar 30)
“multiple displaced pelvic fractures” (he was made to suffer for two days)

All American Candy, Apr 6
“fell: traumatic blunt-force injury to head/neck”

Rum Chaser, Apr 6
“horse collapsed and died around the 3/8 pole”

Never Not Dancing, Apr 11
“apparent broken neck”

Shez Ivory Hot, Apr 14
“found dead in morning” (two years old)

Bucket Betty, Apr 15
“found deceased” (two years old)

Sense of Music, Apr 23
“bled [from] both nostrils, died”

Beaver Creek, Apr 27
“collapsed after finish, sudden death”

Bellybutton Icon, Apr 28
“horse fell: [multiple] severely comminuted scapula fractures; severe complete metacarpus fracture – area of degloving with missing skin; large amount of hemorrhage and muscle tearing; acute intracranial hemorrhage; multiple lacerations; dirt and crusted blood on the face; fly eggs on the neck” (two years old)

Dtl Hot Wired, Apr 28
“found dead, appeared to have been in severe distress before death” (three years old)

Bp Heroofthedynasty, Apr 30
“found dead, abrasions around eye/head from rolling”

Wakanda, May 2
“found deceased in its stall”

Tyler’s Admiral, May 3
“flipped, recumbent, blood from skull fracture”

Autism’s Ribbon, May 4
“horse fell: open, comminuted cannon fracture with multiple fragments penetrating skin – one measuring 3.5cmx2.5cm sticking through”

Antagonist, May 4
“slowed dramatically, dropped over dead”

Poppy’s Two Step, May 4
“sudden death post-race”

No More Miracles, May 18
“collapsed and expired after a.m. workout”

Kenny Hustle, May 20
“suffered sudden death” (three years old)

Relentlessly, May 24
“horse became ataxic, fell over, died”

Daddy Frank, May 25
“collided with rail, could not stand after multiple attempts, [euthanized]”

President Elect, May 28
“ran May 28; found dead in stall next morning”

Jba Movin Thedynasty, Jun 5
“heart attack” (six years old)

Whiskey Allround, Jun 10
“collapsed at start, paralysis, euthanized”

Miss Yum Yum, Jun 11
“fractured skull”

Band Camp Boy, Jun 11
“lost LH hoof, euthanized” (two years old)

My Money Is Good, Jun 14
“complete, displaced, severely comminuted, open [through skin] fracture of the cannon bone” (two years old)

Frontal Assault, Jun 17
“horse had history of sporadic epistaxis and would occasionally bleed in stall; on Jun 17, horse bled profusely – blood all over – was agonizing in shock…euthanized”

Bahamian Girl, Jun 23
“heatstroke, fractured pelvis”

Chiquito Baby, Jun 26
“fell: open, complete, comminuted, displaced fracture – bone through skin; [multiple] torn ligaments and tendons, [one] ruptured; extensive soft tissue hemorrhage; severe necrosis/sclerosis at fracture site”

Cash Icon, Jun 27
“blunt-force trauma: compound fracture, exposed bone fragments; hemorrhage; extensive soft-tissue tearing”

Outlaw, Jun 27
“[multiple] fractures, tendon sheath fully torn, [multiple] ligaments ruptured or frayed, 10cm-deep puncture wound near the jugular oozing blood”

Dream Fever, Jun 27
“horse became distressed post-race, went down, deteriorated, died”

Commending, Jul 2
“[multiple] spinal fractures” (two years old)

Vindatude, Jul 3
“collapsed and expired” (three years old)

Horns For Three, Jul 7
“horse slowed down, proceeded to fall to the track, dead on arrival”

Alfred Hanover, Jul 11
“horse got loose after race, ran erratically, and took off to the pond; personnel ran to assist, but the horse was under water with the bike – drowned”

Playalinda, Jul 16
“[multiple] open, severely comminuted fractures – both hind limbs; large, gaping laceration extending from fetlock to diaphysis, exposure of bone fragments; ruptured and torn ligaments and tendons; environmental debris – dirt, grass – contaminated the fracture site” (again, that’s two shattered legs)

Anna’s Candy, Jul 17
“horse flipped: comminuted, displaced skull fractures with brainstem compression”

Swanky, Jul 18
“left carpus has fractured bone protruding from the limb and is completely separated and lacking ligamentous or tendon attachments; P1, 2 and 3 remain attached to the protruding metacarpal bone by a thin strand of skin”

Fox Valley Adele, Jul 22
“sudden death: rupture of pulmonary artery, severe hemorrhage” (two years old)

Sweet Tiramisu, Jul 24
“flipped, hind legs and tail paralyzed, euthanized”

Our Buddy, Jul 27
“multiple comminuted skull fractures, extensive hemorrhage” (two years old)

Rylees Rose, Aug 3
“[likely] gastric rupture, rectal tissue extruding from anus” (three years old)

Rbdocsbestbet, Aug 6
“collapsed: pulmonary hemorrhage” (three years old)

Eyesa Got Easyer, Aug 6
“fractured/dislocated both front fetlocks” (again, both front fetlocks)

Mort, Aug 9
“horse was working, collapsed at 1/16 pole, bled out”

Ready Edge, Aug 10
“superficial digital flexor tendon ruptured, deep digital flexor tendon shredded, medial proximal sesamoid shattered into four pieces”

Romped, Aug 11
“horse fell: compound fractures of [both front legs] just below the knees”

Roster Bo James, Aug 15
“collapsed: pulmonary hemorrhage”

Rockymountain Brew, Aug 15
“sudden death at finish line” (three years old)

Road to Meath, Aug 19
“severe hemorrhage in head, eye, subgingival, laryngeal folds, tracheal wall”

Fillybuster, Aug 25
“horse [bled out] due to fracture compromising the vasculature of hind legs”

Strawfly Eagle, Aug 30
“high-speed trauma: open, displaced fractures [of] left carpus and right fetlock; complete rupture of suspensory ligament; all intra- and peri-articular supporting structures severed” (again, two broken legs; three years old)

Lil Alma, Aug 30
“collapsed, got back up and ran 1/8 mile on three legs – tibia fractured into several pieces, surrounding musculature severely shredded, multiple hemorrhages throughout” (two years old, very first race)

Jesst You Watch, Aug 31
“found dead” (two years old)

Snowtrick, Sep 2
“shattered both RF sesamoids”

Beast Market, Sep 3
“collapsed – unable to be revived” (two years old)

Classic Escape, Sep 4
“[in gate]: severe, extensive injury to the base of the tail and immediately adjacent area (perineum and anus) characterized by tearing of the subcutis from the underlying fascia and musculature; connective tissue and skeletal muscle severely stretched, separated, frayed, and torn with formation of a large cavity between the tissues that was filled with a large amount of blood and necrotic tissue debris”

High Speed Chase, Sep 7
“blunt-force head trauma: fractures to base of skull, large volume of hemorrhage”

Inhonorofowenjr, Sep 7
“collapsed and expired”

Swaggy G, Sep 14
“long pastern shattered [after wire]” (very first race)

Eyesa Red Boy, Sep 14
“flipped, trauma to skull”

No Code, Sep 17
“collapsed and died after breezing” (three years old)

Lifetime Delight, Sep 19
“pulmonary hemorrhage post-race”

Irish Kid, Sep 21
“compound fractures of ankle and cannon” (ankle and cannon; two years old)

Palm Reader, Sep 23
“cervical fracture, died”

Hey Hey Dancer, Sep 23
“fracture with protrusion of bone fragments, extensive soft-tissue hemorrhage, ruptured and torn ligaments; contamination of the site with foreign particulates – i.e., dirt and other organic debris” (two years old)

Imthefastkind, Sep 30
“flipped in gate, trauma, euthanized”

Legacy Slew, Sep 30
“hemorrhage from nose, died”

A. P. Mayday, Oct 8
“laminitis, pleuropneumonia” (two years old)

Town Square, Oct 13
“collision, multiple injuries, euthanized on track”

Azaria, Oct 14
“catastrophic injury, in distress, euthanized on track”

Icy Intent, Oct 15
“open fracture, multiple tears/ruptures, extensive hemorrhage” (two years old)

Officer Nick, Oct 18
“horse dropped dead: severe pulmonary hemorrhage” (three years old)

Kj Flying Spirit, Oct 27
“fell in gate, trauma, died”

Kershaw, Oct 28
“comminuted vertebral fracture with displaced fragments severely compressing and crushing the spinal cord – sudden death”

Cabernet, Nov 1
“mare collapsed while racing, made gurgling noises and had blue gums, quit breathing 30-60 seconds after falling, died soon after”

Angel’s Entry, Nov 4
“horse flipped completely over and hit his head; on [vet’s] arrival, he had nystagmus, dilated pupils, blood in ears, and pooling from nostrils”

Maybe Utah, Nov 4
“[found] dead in stall” (five years old)

Anastasia Nero, Nov 9
“horse collapsed on backstretch – bilateral epistaxis [bleeding from both nostrils], hemorrhage from right ear”

La Hermosa, Nov 11
“head/brain trauma” (two years old)

Purchase Point, Nov 18
“found deceased at 6:30 am” (three years old)

Stormy Lass, Nov 19
“collapsed and died after wire” (two years old)

Khozie’s Ghost, Dec 9
“comminuted vertebral fracture, spinal cord compressed and lacerated”

Mercys Bling, Dec 9
“fell, trauma, paralysis, euthanized”

P L Idaho, Dec 10
“sudden death: severe bilateral pulmonary hemorrhage; copious amounts of blood drained from the nostrils and mouth, soiling the muzzle, chin, and face”

First Down Icon, Dec 15
“fractured spine” (two years old)

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  1. ON Derby Day, of all the days in the horse racing calendar, for a former ‘hard-core’ horse racing bettor like myself, it’s the most difficult one of all to ignore the true facts and horrors about horse racing that have been brought to light by this blog, and get caught up in all the Derby “hoopla”..

    Derby Day is the only day of the year where, or so it seems, EVERYONE is a horse racing fan. Everyone. Even my local gas station attendant asked me this morning, “Whodya like?” I calmly replied that I don’t bet the horses.

    “They’re really treated very badly, y’know”.

    He was quite surprised. I was not. Once again, here’s the racing industry, “spinning its hype”, even with this one unknowing fellow thinking that I’m nuts. I told him a few facts, and mentioned the HW website if he’d like factual confirmation of what I said, but I don’t think he got the message. But I tried.

    Yes, today is the most difficult day of the year to stay away from placing a few bets. Am I tempted? Of course I am – I’d be a liar to say I was not.

    While most posters on this site may not truly understand these emotions, think about it, for just a moment, like this:

    Imagine, you are a reformed heroin addict, and have finally gotten clean and sober for several months, maybe a year now, after ‘using’ for over 20-30 years.

    THEN, on one day, everyone you speak to is either talking about, or is shooting heroin. Everyone. And they’re excited about it, happy, even delirious on how good it is. Imagine also, that on this one day of the year, ‘heroin use’ is all over the internet, the bars, clubs, casinos, everywhere. People who never even considered getting high, or doing drugs are now shooting up! But just for one day. Craziness, eh? Well, that’s what it seems like – at least to me.

    Me, I will probably stay home today, with the TV off and, after I enter this post, the computer will go off, too, with the phone set on ‘silent’.

    Years ago, I was given a very good ‘tip’ when I was actively betting at the track.
    I probably should have listened to it sooner.

    “Don’t bet the horses”..

    • We like you Joe difficulties not attending or participating in racing. After greater than 25 years I was finally allowed a legal license to ride horses on tracks in the northwest. In 2007 I allowed my license to expire. We never bet on horses except for our own person. There is nothing like galloping a good horse at speed. Up to 2004 I rode horses illegally without any license at all! We are also given good advice by an English born and trained jockey in 1986. That English rider told us that racing is just a crooked, crummy, gambling game! We should have listened more closely to his advice and stayed away. After seeing many horses break down and many riders severely injured, as well as the cruelty in the handling of the horses we walked away in 2007. We were never so glad to see our old 1 mile oval track redeveloped as an Amazon warehouse knowing horses will no longer be truly treated or breakdown there ever again. The temptation is always there! If you are 4`10′ and can do 120 pounds and are not afraid of horses you’re clearly born to ride. We avoid the temptation by having very good tempered thoroughbreds to ride at my mother’s farm. Sometimes to the consternation of my neighbors when my mother’s horses will not let them pass on the county road in front of her farm. Today is indeed a very difficult day when many friends call you and want you to tune in to the broadcast of the dirty derby. We like you are not going to watch or listen to the broadcast knowing what transpires in the background. Instead were going to work on one of our farm trucks!

  2. So many horses, including RACEHORSES, are disposed of by various means including the killbuyers and the meatpackers. Knowing that dishonest people cheat, lie, connive, resort to any type of deceit and deception, it’s a no-brainer that these types of people sell many horses into the slaughter pipeline that were injected with both legal and illegal drugs. Even the legal drugs come with a label that states that this drug is not for use in animals intended for slaughter. I don’t know exactly how some of the these incorrigible types operate but I have read about cases where they somehow fudge on the paperwork to get around the laws, so that INJURED and unwanted racehorses are hauled off the racetracks to the place where the horses will be shipped to their final destination. Death sooner rather than later is a fact of life for too many horses born into an industry; the racing industry is one of the worst for treating horses as disposable objects.

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