Last Week…

Chart notes from U.S. Thoroughbred and Quarterhorse races last week.

Diamond Lustre “bled” at Grants Pass
Caminero “vanned off” at Mountaineer
Cowboy Casanova “vanned off” at Prairie
Napa Candy “vanned off” at Presque Isle
St. Lukes “vanned off” at Thistledown
Snerdley “vanned off” at Horseshoe
Super Gremlin “vanned off” at Presque Isle
Ar Wired “vanned off” at Will Rogers
Hip Hop Hooray “fell dead after finish” at Parx
Uncommon Grace “returned bleeding [pulmonary hemorrhage]” at Belterra
Mae Bee Right “vanned off” at Belterra
King Theo “pulled up lame, vanned off” at Charles Town
Babe in the Woods “vanned off” at Churchill
Mr Big Storm “hit rail, DNF” at Albuquerque
Woodys Storm “vanned off” at Albuquerque
Native Thunder “vanned off” at Churchill
Mygirlisabomb “returned bleeding from nostrils” at Parx
Daretocatchlove “hit gate, started to buck, pulled up” at Remington
Perfect Senorita “suffered catastrophic injury, euthanized on course” at Aqueduct
Feline “vanned off” at Gulfstream
Captivate This “vanned off” at Prairie
One Fabulous Miracle “vanned off” at Prairie (same race as above)
Nbc Mr Blackie “vanned off” at Will Rogers

“Vanned Off”: Horse injured and required equine ambulance to get off the track. While not all the “vanned” end up dead, most do, as borne out by our subsequent reporting.

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    • The images of her lying dead in the landfill (as well as running in a race) are still there on the internet plus there is a link to the HW post dated October 18, 2019 about the disposal of BRIDGET MOLONEY.
      I read somewhere on the internet that this was the way that many horses before her had been disposed of in the past in West Virginia. For whatever reason, it seems to have taken an animal rights activists group to bring this method of disposal of the bodies of dead racehorses to light.

  1. There are many things the average race-goer does not know regarding this industry, because the “powers that be” keeps them hidden, or tries their very best to hide them. After all, there’s $$$ to be made, now, isn’t there?

    When I attended the races regularly, I too, was very unaware of some of the horrors and, for that matter, the rampant cheating that goes on every day in this ‘sport’, and it is getting worse with each passing day.

    Desperate men do desperate things.

    I would wager a bet that the majority of those folks who attend the races DO NOT KNOW that a horse who is “vanned off” means, almost 100% of the time – dead. While I myself was aware that if a horse snapped a leg, he/she for sure would not survive. But I’ve had this discussion many times with some of the more unenlightened folks at the track who always thought that a poor horse who broke his leg would simply go to the “animal hospital” where they’d set the broken bone, like with humans, and the horse would soon be fine. Particularly if the horse is NOT euthanized on the track. Maybe their ‘career’ would be stalled or concluded, but they wouldn’t be dead. Wrong.

    I can’t tell you how many people told me I was nuts if I thought that the people in the industry would kill their valuable stakes-bred horses for something as ‘simple’ as a broken leg.

    The industry though, is finding it more and more difficult to hide all of their dirty secrets. A growing, lackadaisical interest in this sport, particularly with younger adults is contributing greatly to its eventual demise. Look for that trend to snowball soon, particular if there are more horrific breakdowns in big races.

    And, as they say in Shark Tank, for those reasons, I’m out. I’ve placed my last bet on horse racing some time ago.

    • EXACTLY Joe, today’s young people are more into animals than EVER. It’s only a matter of time….younger generations will NEVER in a million years support this… never! Another awesome post 👍shedding light.

  2. Joe, what you said about people who don’t know what happens to the majority of horses with broken legs is unbelievable. It’s amazing that ignorance can still reign supreme among people who are interested in horses if only as gambling objects.
    Horses are vastly different from human beings. Horses spend the majority of their life standing on all fours and when even one bone in one leg is broken, it’s a challenge to save the horse. CHARISMATIC is one example of a horse saved but I don’t think that would have happened had the jockey not jumped off and held his broken leg up AND if he had not been able to keep the horse calm enough to stay standing on three legs on the racetrack until help arrived. Many racehorses will feel the instinctive nature to keep trying to run because they are prey animals. It’s one of the reasons they run in a herd; to survive in numbers because a lone horse is more vulnerable to a predator. In horseracing, the humans are the ultimate predators.
    Please remind those people that horses can’t lay on their backside like people do, and that horses can’t walk using crutches or sit in wheelchairs like people do. Please remind those people that horses have a serious issue of being at risk of getting laminitis. Laminitis causes a certain kind of damage to the hoof/hooves that cannot be reversed. Maybe some of us take that knowledge for granted considering you have talked to people that don’t seem to know that when horses are kept confined after attempting to save them from broken bones, the next worst enemy is laminitis. BARBARO is a high profile example of what can happen.
    Please remind these people that an owner who spends hundreds of thousands of dollars on a racehorse is going to have an insurance policy for a reason and that they are going to possibly collect on that policy in the event of a catastrophic breakdown of the horse. It’s a business.
    Horses are a commodity in the horse business. The fact that the United States Department of Agriculture has anything to do with tagging the horses that are intended for processing in a slaughterhouse/ meat packing plant is viable proof that horses are a commodity.

  3. Wldiamond9, (Wanda?)

    It’s true, though. Everything you said, as a horse person, is advanced knowledge and rare among those who attend the races purely as entertainment. These folks actually know very little about horses. Most of the posters on this site are not only animal activists, but many of them, yourself included, I believe, have worked with horses in one capacity or another. Believe me when I tell you, the vast majority of gamblers have never even SEEN a horse up close, but only from yards away in a post-parade, or the actual races themselves. In fact, many have only seen the horses on television sets.

    Gamblers, by and large are generally interested only in betting, not the horses’ welfare, but I believe that by convincing them they are being cheated every day they place a bet will help to sway them off the ‘sport’, and hopefully for good. Like I did.

    But think of the many people who (myself included) have gone to the circus or Sea World only for entertainment – never knowing about how badly the animals are treated.

    It is a business, as you have said, and I personally knew some owners who refused to take out insurance – superstitions, actually, saying it was ‘bad luck”, but this was years ago. I would have to think that things have changed greatly today,

    Your knowledge of horses is quite thorough, much more than mine, and way more than the average race-goer who places a $2 or $200 bet. But, yes, I do tell anyone who will listen that 1) you’re playing a crooked game that’s stacked against you; and 2) sentient beings are dying horrible deaths every single day in this game. Quitting the races would be a win-win – for you, the gambler, and for the horses themselves.

    • Joe,
      If anyone ever tells you that you’re nuts again for telling them the truth that they don’t want to hear, tell them to google search “where racehorses go to retire” (as well as Horseracing Wrongs, of course,) and I guarantee what they find out will burst their bubble like it has never been burst before. I think some unsuspecting people would find it so shocking that they would just be in denial for a long time first. But with the vast array of printed information and the videos, the truth of what happens to so many horses is undeniable. Also, google the horse sales at livestock auctions. That’s as disturbing as watching the videos of horses racing even in races where no horse is catastrophically injured. It’s having the knowledge of how the horses are being so callously exploited for money and knowing that the places where so many horses end up is what takes all the “fun” or enjoyment out of it.
      ~Wanda Diamond

  4. No, some people just can’t handle the truth.

    But in spite of that, I still tell all my former racing buddies and acquaintances that they’re fighting a losing battle when betting on horse racing. Although none have quit for good as yet, [at least none that I am aware of] I do think I’m beginning to have a positive effect as a) most, if not all of them are beginning to realize that they’re losing money consistently “uh, duh… why do I think I left, guys…?” and b) they are attending the races and the simulcast events less and less because of this.

    Mr. Battuello’s words of wisdom: “no more bets, no more races, no more races, no more killings” strikes true, and with the two top meets of the year , Saratoga and Del Mar down about 10% in overall handle, I predict it will only get worse. For them.

    Yes, I agree that most people would be in denial at first when seeing the horrors of the end of a horse’s life, but more so, I think they’d be shocked at all the rampant criminality and such casual disregard for the law, from horrific animal abuse to wanton cheating and even more, all carried on with impunity day after day by the top industry leaders.

    HW has documented some folks who have sworn of the game for good after witnessing just ONE catastrophic breakdown. The hard-core daily-grind bettors will be tougher to slough off this game, but when the fields get so tiny, and the winnings come less and less, they’ll be gone too.

    Don’t take any bets on horse racing surviving another 20 years.

  5. I expect the horseracing industry will continue to not only cheat and lie like crazy hoping for their lies to be believed, but also continue to fatally injure horses at the same rate.
    With Golden Gate Fields and Turf Paradise out of operation in 2024, I expect there will be more horses killed at Santa Anita Park even if they wear out the 72-hour rule to avoid reporting the true number of horses killed by racing and training.
    I don’t see how anyone could believe that the racketeering in the CHRB is ever going to stop completely. The cheating with JUSTIFY, the Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert and the CHRB should be required reading for gamblers, because it was so blatant, in-your-face, kiss-my-ass type of cheating and this is the “legacy” of horseracing.
    JUSTIFY would never have been allowed to run in the Kentucky Derby or the races necessary to qualify for the Derby if the CHRB was not involved in this corruption and racketeering. Cheating is their game.

  6. “Cheating is their game” – how true!


    “A lie never lives to be old”, so said Sophocles……… and,

    “You can fool some of the people some of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time” – to quote Abe Lincoln.

    The racing industry can cheat and lie all they like, but eventually both these quotes will come back to bite them on the a**. When the politicians realize that they won’t get re-elected if they continue to support horse racing with YOUR tax dollar, watch for the “gravy train” to stop, and watch for horse racing to follow the route of greyhound dog racing.

    Horse racing CANNOT continue, nor stand on its own without propped-up money from other sources -not a very viable business model, I would say. No, maybe not tomorrow or next year, but it’s coming. Most telling is the incredible amount of shuttered race tracks, and this direction doesn’t seem to be reversing itself anytime soon!

    I don’t think anyone in the dog racing industry was prepared for the sharp and immediate decline of that sport, which is now all-but-extinct. Yes, the end of horse racing will take longer, but it’s path is quite clear, and it does not bode well. For them.

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