Remembering Saratoga’s Carnage, on Travers Day

Today is Travers Day at Saratoga Race Course. The $1.25M race is, arguably, the biggest on the U.S calendar outside the Triple Crown. We, of course, will be there in force – educating and exposing. Here is what I wrote for our press release:

“Each new season at Saratoga Race Course comes with a new round of killing. And with more and more media attention on the fate of racehorses, both locally and around the country, there can no longer be any excuses – no more, ‘I didn’t know.’ Since 2009, 223 horses have perished at Saratoga – an average of over 15 per summer.

“Nationally, Horseracing Wrongs estimates that over 2,000 horses die at U.S. tracks annually – or about six per day. To end this carnage, to truly end it, all support of horseracing – betting, attending, watching – must end. The lives of these beautiful, majestic animals are, quite literally, at stake.”

Follows is a list of the horses killed at Saratoga since 2009. Remember, these are just the ones reported. Not reflected here are those euthanized off-site (for Saratoga-related injuries), nor the hundreds (probably thousands) more who raced at Saratoga and were eventually sent to slaughter once the industry was done with them. In short, this is an incomplete reckoning.

(The killing, of course, is but one of the evils; the others, here.)

Saratoga’s 223 Dead Horses Since 2009
yet-to-be-named 2-year-old, stall – “found with fractured femur”
Aqueous, training – “fractured sesamoid”
Alexandros, racing – “fractured both RF sesamoids”
It’s My Day, racing – “flipped, fractured skull, died”
Wishful Star, stall – “inoperable colic”
Finallymadeit, training – “fractured cannon”
Executive Fleet, stall – “severe laminitis”
Possessive, racing – “fractured [both] RF sesamoids”
Todo K, racing – “[fractured] pastern”
Von Steuben, stall – “severe laminitis”
Swift Water, stall – “severe colic”
Boyhood Dream, racing – “fractured humerus”
Giant Legacy, training – “fractured tibia”
Gold Vendetta, racing – “fractured knee”
Thatcatismine, training – “cardiovascular collapse, died”
Fire the Bullet, stall – “colic”
Austintatious, training – “fractured [both] LF sesamoids”
Rani Baba, racing – “comminuted slab fracture”
Kastraki, training – “fractured cannon”
Hathors Legacy, stall – “laminitis [both] front feet”
No Ones Shadow, stall – “fractured pelvis, died from internal hemorrhage”
Bold Victory, training – “fractured [both] RF sesamoids”
Timber Reserve, racing – “fractured [both] RF sesamoids”
Jazzy Johann, training – “pulled up lame, fractured sesamoid”
Seis de Mayo, racing – “fractured [both] RF sesamoids”
Forest Whip, racing – “fell, fractured neck, died”
Daylasoul, stall – “got loose, struck by tractor trailer”
Red Rhythm, racing – “fractured cannon”
Rockettes Escapade, racing – “fractured cannon”
Shopportunity, training – “fractured cannon”
Jackson N Humboldt, racing – “fractured knee”
Doing Great, racing – “collapsed and died”
Not Now Ashley, training – “fractured both LF sesamoids”
Eric’sformalreturn, training – “fractured knee”
Boston and Maine, training – “fractured leg”
Burnin’ Ash, training – “ruptured sesamoid”
Bogal, training – “fell, fractured skull”
Shanbongus, training – “collapsed and died”
Autumn Riches, racing – “fractured knee”
Plattsburgh, racing – “fractured shoulder”
Twice the Price, racing – “fractured cannon”
Julia’s Hero, training – “fractured [both] LF sesamoids”
Regal Citizen, racing – “[multiple fractures], euthanized on track”
Sugar and Smoke, training – “fractured leg, euthanized on track”
One Note Samba, racing – “fractured leg, euthanized on track”
Pete’s Parley, racing – “fell, fractured [both] LF sesamoids”
Molly Mingun, training – “fractured humerus, euthanized on track”
Bluember, racing – “fell, fractured [both] RF sesamoids”
Live for Today, racing – “fractured [both] LF sesamoids”
The Shade, training – “fractured leg, euthanized on track”
Lovely Saratoga, training – “[multiple fractures]”
Black Rhino, training – “fractured knee”
Charmed Hour, racing – “fractured leg, euthanized on track”
Heading to Toga, racing – “fractured leg, euthanized on track”
Sarava’s Dancer, racing – “fractured leg, euthanized on track”
Kris Royal, racing – “fractured leg, euthanized on track”
Ricochet Court, training – “fell, [broke] both front legs”
Ocean Breeze, training – “fractured leg, euthanized on track”
Saginaw, racing – “fractured leg”
For Riches, training – “fractured shoulder, euthanized on track”
Lucky for You, training – “fractured leg”
Lifeguard On Duty, training – “fractured [both] RF sesamoids”
Double Gold, training – “fell over rail, trauma to spine”
Father Johns Pride, racing – “ambulanced off, euthanized in necropsy area”
Lavender Road, racing – “collapsed, fractured vertebrae”
Sir William Bruce, racing – “collapsed after unsaddling and died”
Regretless, racing – “collapsed and died on track”
M B and Tee, racing – “collapsed after finish, died on track”
Kamarius, training – “fractured leg”
Ludicrous, racing – “fractured leg, euthanized on track”
Elena Strikes, training – “fractured leg, euthanized on track”
Makari, racing – “fell, died on track”
Divine Guidance, racing – “fractured leg”
Tale of the Spa, training – “fractured leg”
You Gotta Believe, training – “impaled stifle on rail”
Jay Bird, training – “sudden death: pulmonary hemorrhage”
Zzaj, training – “fractured tibia, euthanized on track”
Defined, training – “fractured [both] RF sesamoids”
Jackson N Leonard, training – “fractured [both] LF sesamoids”
Kathy’s Reward, training – “fractured cannon, euthanized on track”
Innovation Economy, racing – “fractured leg”
On a Snowy Evening, racing – “fractured sesamoid”
Big Looie, training – “fractured both LF sesamoids”
Darling Bridezilla, stall – “sudden death due to cardiac incident”
Divine Fortune, racing – “fell over last jump – fractured humerus”
Country Muse, training – “fractured both RF sesamoids”
Totally Discreet, stall – “laminitis both front feet”
Hadeed Fi Hadeed, training – “fractured leg”
Squire Creek, training – “fell, fractured ulna, euthanized on track”
Stradivari, training – “fractured leg”
Zamjara, racing – “fractured leg”
Rootformejustin, racing – “pulled up, ambulanced off, euthanized”
Indian Nobility, racing – “ruptured ligaments”
Domestic Warrior, racing – “fractured sesamoids, euthanized on track”
Lebowski, stall – “found dead”
Jonrah, training – “fractured cannon, euthanized on track”
Midnight Visitor, racing – “fell suffering head trauma”
Wheels Up Now, training – “fractured sesamoids”
Recepta, training – “fractured pelvis”
Prince Corredor, training – “collapsed and died after breezing”
Elusive Neko, training – “fractured cannon”
Bob Le Beau, racing – “fractured cannon”
Ring of Truth, racing – “humeral fracture, euthanized on track”
Desert Trial, training – “collapsed and died”
Its Only Fair, training – “collapsed and died after breezing”
Core Competency, training – “fractured leg”
Lakalas, training – “collapsed and died”
Queen B, training – “fractured leg”
Wanztbwicked, training – “suspensory rupture”
Angels Seven, racing – “fractured leg, euthanized on track”
Howard Beach, training – “fractured leg”
Positive Waves, training – “[multiple fractures]”
Brooklyn Major, racing – “collapsed after wire and died”
Marshall Plan, training – “fractured condylar”
Fall Colors, racing – “died on track from trauma sustained in fall”
Munjaz, racing – “fractured leg”
Lakeside Sunset, training – “fractured leg”
Unbroken Chain, racing – “fractured leg, euthanized on track”
Duquesne Whistle, stall – “colic”
Sweetneida, racing – “fractured [both] LF sesamoids”
Meteoroid, racing – “[multiple fractures], euthanized on track”
Sayonara Rose, racing – “fractured sesamoids, euthanized on track”
Travelin Soldier, training – “fractured leg”
That Mr. P, stall – “acute colic”
Aggie’s Honor, training – “fractured cannon”
Somekindasexy, training – “fractured both RF sesamoids”
Roberta Brooks, training – “fractured cannon”
Run Rate, training – “injury to knee”
Presumptuous, training – “sustained [multiple] fractures”
Heartspoke, racing – “horse collapsed on track”
Macho Citizen, racing – “fractured [both] RF sesamoids”
Frosty Gal, stall – “sustained [multiple] injuries”
Master Manipulator, stall – “collapsed and died”
Biz Boss, training – “fractured [both] LF sesamoids”
Indifference, training – “injured, vanned off, euthanized”
Bowie, racing – “horse injured, euthanized on track”
Ready for Rye, stall – “colic”
Royal Blessing, stall – “found dead: ileal rupture”
Business Expense, training – “[multiple] fractures”
Hard Study, training – “fractured [both] RF sesamoids”
Forbade, training – “condylar fracture”
St. Barts, training – “collapsed – pulmonary hemorrhage”
Golden Julia, training – “pelvic injury, acute blood loss”
Investment Analyst, training – “sustained leg injury necessitating euthanasia”
Gattino Marrone, training – “fractured [both] LF sesamoids”
Fight Night, racing – “fell heavily after the wire, euthanized on track”
Total Fidelity, training – “fractured [both] LF sesamoids”
Overlord, stall – “colonic rupture”
Verravanni, stall – “pleuropneumonia”
Misspent Youth, training – “cardiovascular collapse”
Umetuka, training – “injured, vanned off, euthanized”
Divine Miss Grey, racing – “complications [after] surgery”
Sundae On Sunday, racing – “collapsed, euthanized on track”
Go Big Or Go Home, racing – “fractured [both] LF sesamoids”
Sister Beauty, training – “inoperable fracture”
Borough Boy, racing – “fell heavily, euthanized on track”
So Surprising, training – “fractured [both] LF sesamoids”
Noble Spirit, training – “sustained injury, subsequently euthanized”
Cloud, training – “sustained leg injury breezing”
Apollon, training – “cardiovascular collapse”
Shiny Copper Penny, stall – “experienced sudden death”
Brag On Me, training – “tibia fracture”
Lady C, racing – “vanned off with left hind injury, euthanized”
First Appeal, racing – “euthanized [for] severe injuries”
Own the Outcome, training – “condylar fracture”
Pot of Hunny, racing – “fell heavily, euthanized on track”
Perfection, racing – “suffered a catastrophic injury”
Highly Uncertain, stall – “colic”
Obsidian Flow, training – “[multiple] fractures”
Zunith Moon, training – “fractured leg”
Siena’s Ticket, stall – “severe laminitis”
Samborella, racing – “took bad steps”
Giuseppe the Great, stall – “severe laminitis”
Chief Commander, training – “lame after breeze – [fractured] pelvis”
Mr Jaggers, training – “injury to RF leg”
Shirelle, training – “collapsed and died after breezing”
Unrighteous, training – “collapsed and died”
Fancy Twirl, stall – “laminitis in all four feet”
Hedda, training – “euthanized on the track”
Mister Bobby, training – “collapsed and died”
Trucking Baron, stall – “chronic laminitis”
Strong Moment, racing – “catastrophic injury, euthanized on course”
Pleasure Luck, racing – “took a bad step”
Fattoria, training – “pelvic injury necessitating euthanasia”
Fiya, training – “injury to RH leg”
Butter Lou, racing – “injured after wire, vanned to barn, euthanized”
Fifth Avenue Red, training – “pulled up, vanned off, euthanized”
Volpaia, training – “fell over rail, multiple injuries”
Olympico, training – “RH condylar injury”
Wasn’t Me, training – “possible heart attack”
America’s Joy, training – “broke neck in fall”
Tivoli Twirl, stall – “euthanized due to severe health complications”
Cirona, training – “pulled up lame, suspected pelvic”
Madrone, stall – “neurologic disorder, euthanized due to poor prognosis”
On the Dean’s List, stall – “anaphylactic reaction”
Range War, training – “injured while breezing”
Supernova, stall – “apparent peritonitis”
Vindatude, training – “collapsed and expired”
Credit Event, training – “fractured leg, euthanized”
Plurality, training – “collided with another horse”
Practice Squad, training – “sustained leg injury, euthanized on track”
Awesome Gerry, racing – “suffered an injury, euthanized on track”
Salt Cay, racing – “injured, vanned off, euthanized”
Answer In, stall – “laminitis”
Rush to Honor, racing – “injured after wire, vanned off, euthanized”
yet-to-be-named 2-year-old, training – “injured, pulled up, euthanized”
Union of Thoughts, training – “sustained leg injuries, euthanized on track”
Clear the Deck, training – “suffered injuries, [euthanized]”
Upgrade, training – “death on track”
Along, stall – “euthanized after being hospitalized three weeks”
Kaon, stall – “yet-to-be-raced horse euthanized”
Ami’s Curlin, stall – “laminitis in all four feet”
Frigid Lady, training – “injured, euthanized”
Winter Son, training – “injured, euthanized”
Blame It On Mary, racing – “injured, vanned off, euthanized”
Lawful, training – “suffered injury, euthanized”
Sopran Basilea, racing – “suffered injury on gallop-out, euthanized on course”
Maple Leaf Mel, racing – “suffered catastrophic injury, fell, euthanized on track”
Closed Caption, racing – “pulled up, vanned off, euthanized”
Ever Summer, racing – “fell, euthanized on course”
Wisecraken, racing – “suffered injury, vanned off, euthanized”
Art Collector, stall – “laminitis, all four feet”
Burning Bright, racing – “suffered fatal cardiac event”

The Killing, by Year
2009: 11 dead horses at Saratoga
2010: 15 dead horses at Saratoga
2011: 9 dead horses at Saratoga
2012: 16 dead horses at Saratoga
2013: 9 dead horses at Saratoga
2014: 14 dead horses at Saratoga
2015: 13 dead horses at Saratoga
2016: 19 dead horses at Saratoga
2017: 21 dead horses at Saratoga
2018: 15 dead horses at Saratoga
2019: 16 dead horses at Saratoga
2020: 21 dead horses at Saratoga
2021: 16 dead horses at Saratoga
2022: 15 dead horses at Saratoga
2023: 13 dead horses at Saratoga (thus far)

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  1. Saying “I didn’t know” might not necessarily be an excuse for those people who don’t follow racing at all, if, for whatever reason, they became aware of the carnage of racehorses.
    For people that don’t have a clue about horse racing and don’t follow it, you can’t really expect that population of people to know anything about the daily routine cruelty and killing of racehorses. Since horseracing is not the most popular sport (which is sickening to call abusing and killing horses a sport), even the national news media coverage is limited compared to football, baseball and basketball in which young people are playing ball games in high school and college and some of them make it to the major leagues.

    It’s the people who follow horseracing, and especially the Horseracing Wrongs blog posts and website, that have no excuses to say that this daily routine cruelty and carnage of racehorses is something they didn’t know about.

    I believe there are still a lot of people who are completely unaware of how bad, abusive, cruel and completely corrupt that horseracing is because they are too busy with their lives and making a living and paying their share of taxes and have no interest in horseracing.

    • Wanda, you’re absolutely right on. The average person thinks the horses are well cared for because they are so beautiful. Also,the media portrays the racing associates like they are 100% for their horse and madly in love with them. I’ve had people ask me why do they euthanize horses with a broken leg? Just fix it like a dog or cat. No, doesn’t work that way unfortunately. Also, they have no clue about the slaughterhouse trips or sales to far and away places. Another point which I’ve mentioned before. My relative is a long time citizen of California. She and her associates had no idea the tax money feeds into this travesty.

    • You probably already know it, Wanda, but city slickers like me who never even met a horse up close or knew anything about racing (even though I grew up walking distance to the Belmont Race Track) are so indebted to people like you and others who educate us about the proper needs and care of a horse. Thank you for your excellent comments! I utterly depend upon comments from people like you. I learned “at the knee” of Joy Aten and Jo Anne Normile, author of the riveting and sad book, “Saving Baby”, especially, as they explained in detail what REALLY goes on ‘on the back side” of a track, but also the everyday needs of a horse to remain happy and healthy. I love seeing videos by equine vets who have no vested interest in racing and thank them for explaining why horse racing is incompatible with the health and well being of a horse. I AM USING YOUR COMMENTS AND INFORMATION. All these big and little explanations help me enormously when I make phone calls to, say, a Racing Commissioner of a state, or if I talk to people who think racing horses is great for the animals. The latter are often astounded and sobered, horrified, at what racing and the confinement, especially (emphasized by Patrick Battuello – thank you for that so much, Patrick) does to an equine. It is absolutely heartbreaking as one gains more and more knowledge of the incredible cruelty and neglect and the reasons why they die. I didn’t even know the expected life span of a horse and certainly didn’t know that it takes around 6 – 7 years for the bones to fully fuse and mature. Also, I had NO idea about the circuituos and secret route a thousands of formerly raced horses are taken on to the slaughterhouse and why owners will claim they never send one of their horses to slaughter. Liars, liars all, and they know it’s wrong or they would say it openly. Or, more accurately, I guess, they don’t care if it’s wrong if they can continue to make money off the life of a horse. Keep posting. I appreciate it and it helps a lot. You and the others who have cared for horses over the years and have an intimate knowledge of their natures and health requirements, thank you for your comments.

  2. You can add the name of the poor horse New York Thunder to the list. He fell and he definitely broke a leg. Poor horse. My heart breaks for them.

  3. New York Thunder is gone! Left front fetlock … euthanized. Sinful! Very reminiscent of Maple Leaf Mel just a few weeks ago. Crying again!!!

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