What Is Going On, NY?

It’s no secret that I’m suspicious about the number of deaths being disclosed by some racing commissions. That’s not to say there’s anything necessarily improper happening at those commissions, just that I believe there’s a reporting problem somewhere along the line. Bottom line, dead horses have this industry under siege; thus, an incentive exists for those within, or those who support, racing to suppress deaths.

In NY, not only do we have this list of Thoroughbreds missing in action, but there’s something amiss with the Standardbreds too. On the Gaming Commission database, the following harness horses are showing up as mere “Racing Incidents/Injuries” in 2023. Quite simply, no way they’re all still alive. No way. So what, NYS, is going on?

(You’ll notice five came at Buffalo Raceway, two on the same day.)

Best Brew, Feb 6, Batavia: “horse took a bad step, [DNF]”

Adayonthebay, Feb 20, Saratoga: “injury to LF coffin bone”

JK Kissntell, Mar 22, Buffalo: “horse took a bad step and fell, taking driver down with him”

Iluvtomakemoney, Apr 22, Buffalo: “horse took a bad step – removed by horse ambulance”

Quivers Hanover, Apr 25, Saratoga: “possible fractured pastern or sesamoid”

Big Bang Boom, May 6, Buffalo: “horse took a bad step – broke cannon bone”

Secrecy, May 6, Buffalo: “horse broke down on first turn – fractured LF pastern”

Sinner Hanover, May 23, Saratoga: “possible fractured left rear ankle”

Elrama N, Jun 9, Buffalo: “horse took a bad step – injured LF leg, taken off by ambulance”

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  1. Is there a possibility that the industry is skirting the rules by putting the thoroughbred away so that enough time passes to where they then can claim that the horse’s eventual euthanasia or slaughter was not caused by racing? Wondering if they use some arbitrary passage of time to avoid having to report the death as race related.

  2. When any industry, moral or immoral, legal or illegal, highly ethical or morally bereft, is under siege, the leaders and insiders are going to take whatever steps necessary to protect their interests. This should come as no surprise to all, as that simple axiom “follow the money” often bears fruit.

    Sometimes the fruit is rotten.

    I have been a horseplayer and bettor since 1987 [note: I no longer am] and in all that time I have never seen the scrambling, lying, cover-ups and blatant hiding and corruption as much as I see now. Sure, this industry was not founded by the Lord’s Heavenly Angels from above, and I’m not so naïve as to think that it’s always been on the up-and-up.- but now, something very, very scary – for the industry that is – is starting to take hold..

    To say that horse racing is in decline is to state the obvious. More and more tracks are shuttering for good; attendance is down; betting handle is down; in New York, the industry loses money every single day, except for Saratoga and the Belmont Stakes week. The people who make their money in the racing game are getting scared – and it’s showing.

    Other than the big days, I’d think about 90% of the general population couldn’t care less about the sport. Add the drugging, doping, scandals, and animal slaughter to the mix, and you’ve got a real recipe for disaster – for the racing industry.

    The whole thing could escalate rather quickly and the movers and shakers behind the scenes only have themselves to blame. They’ve got that worst ever trifecta going for them
    – stupid, greedy and dishonest.

  3. Awesome post Joe. Another thing that is happening in today’s society…less and less people even want to OWN horses…PERIOD

  4. What’s the difference between “anything improper happening” at the New York State Gaming Commission or the New York Racing Association and there being “a reporting problem somewhere along the line”?
    When there are numerous horses with broken bones that prevent a horse from being raced ever again, I personally believe something very improper is happening at the NYSGC and the NYRA.

    The fact that there are horses with broken legs not being reported as euthanized is definitely a problem. It defies common logic to have horses with fractured bones not to be euthanized and reported as such in a timely manner.
    I don’t know where you draw the line between a reporting problem somewhere along the line and anything improper happening at the New York State Gaming Commission office. I, for one, am going with the belief that something very improper is happening with all parties involved in this egregiously barbaric industry, including the Commissioners’ failure/refusal to report the fate of horses with broken bones.

    Do the people who make up the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority have anything to do with the glaring failure and/or willful refusal to report horses with broken bones as euthanized?

  5. Wanda, the HISA, NYSGC and NYRA all realize exactly what’s going on, and none of them are stupid. Far from it. However, if they were completely honest and forthright in their reporting, all of horse racing would be shut down, permanently, and tomorrow!

    I, too, once thought this industry could be fixed, but I’ve come to realize that it can’t – death, maiming and catastrophic injuries to the animals – and yes, sometimes the jockeys, too – is inherent in the system. These agencies all know that full well, so they subvert, divert, create so-called ‘safety protocols’, move to different tracks, [think Ellis, from Churchill,] which, really, are only well-positioned tactical ploys to attempt to sway the public into thinking that they actually are doing their level best to fix the problems within the sport.

    Because they know just as well as you do that these are insurmountable problems and that they’ll never be fixed, but, again, “follow the money” and you’ll get all your answers.

    The only difference here, is that you are being honest and open, and they are not.

    They can’t.

    The whole racing industry is just too far gone, and a decreasing public appetite for horse racing is slowly but surely grinding it down a little bit more every single day. A $450 million dollar grant to prop up horse racing was unheard of when I was gambling heavily on racing.

    To that end, an article on casinos in New Jersey stated that all the Atlantic City gambling venues and “horse tracks that offer sports betting” have shown an increase in revenue.

    Interesting to read between the lines here, and not at all what the racing industry really wants to hear. Obviously the “sports betting” and NOT the horse racing, is what’s making the money!

    I feel sad to see a sport that I once loved to be headed for such a crashing downward fall.
    But frankly, I feel much, much worse for the poor horses and what they have to endure.

  6. Thanks, Joe. I know the racing press would have the readers of their publication (The Paulick Report) believe that horseracing and other events that use horses referred to as “sport” want their readers to believe that they (the industry) are “headed in the right direction” and that they must do whatever they can to overcome the obstacles presented by activists. (Never mind that they are essentially shooting themselves in their proverbial foot!)

    Allegedly, twenty percent of people in Britain are against using horses for racing and other events using horses known as “sport”.

    Since more and more people are discovering just how badly this industry treats the horses, besides race-fixing and cheating the gamblers, it can only survive on government subsidies and government-directed benefits including tax write-offs and tax exemptions.
    The “jobs” that have been well established in the horse racing industry are a key selling point to some politicians, as many people certainly know, but eventually their reality will catch up with them.
    A lot of people don’t want to see horses being abused and “subsequently” killed as a result of the trauma inflicted upon the horses so somebody can have a job participating in the abuse directly or indirectly.
    Who wants to see some extremely rich people (such as Mike Repole for one) participate in this egregiously barbaric so-called “sport” using and abusing horses to perform as though they were machines, and getting tax breaks right and left?
    That $455 Million “loan” from the State of New York to the New York Racing Association is supposed to be paid back, but only time will tell if that happens. There is that little thing of the Aqueduct property being needed for other uses, not horse racing. Also, there is this other thing about the original $230 Million in government subsidies (Video Lottery Terminal payments, plus a bunch of other things) that the NYRA desperately does not want to lose. The outrageous loan of $455 Million guarantees that all of the time, effort and progress made towards stopping the annual $230 Million in VLT payments/ government subsidies to horseracing and redirecting that money to education and infrastructure is on hold for a long time.

    Speaking of jobs, who is responsible for keeping the records/reports of horses fatally injured and “subsequently euthanized” up-to-date on the NYSGC database?

  7. How many times have horses been left in their stalls for days or even weeks with fractured legs or hips? Either these horses were euthanized and nobody is saying anything or their “loving connections” are waiting for enough time to elapse to not garner so much public attention.

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