Some recent notes from Delaware Park, courtesy of the Delaware Racing Commission.

2nd race May 26: “Ciao Luna was showing signs of heat stroke on the walk back; stewards cut the post parade by 1 minute for heat.”

7th race May 29: “Myquest was vanned off after the race.”

7th race Jun 2: “Food and Wine returned to the winners circle sore…horse will be put on the vets list.”

5th race Jun 5: “Vicarage got down on the track several times suffering from a heat stroke. Dr. Botts and maintenance workers attended to the stricken horse.”

We are profiled in the Times Union – the Capital Region’s (NY) largest newspaper – today (print edition tomorrow): “One man’s war on horse racing.”

Takeaway paragraph: “But I don’t doubt that Battuello is on the winning side of the argument. As the near-disappearance of dog racing and certain circuses shows, the future of animal-based entertainment is dim. Undeniable cultural changes will eventually curb horse racing, too.”

Through a FOIA request to the Arkansas Racing Commission, I have confirmed the following deaths at that state’s only track, Oaklawn, this spring. As you will see, details were sorely lacking, so I’ve supplemented with information from Equibase.

Rashomon, Jan 4, T (two years old, being prepped for first race)
Ghostly Appeal, Jan 12, T (two years old, coming off first race)
Hold the Fort, Jan 13, T (two years old, coming off first race)
My Aunt Mims, Jan 15, T
Fracing Fast, Jan 15, T (two years old)
Rockshaw, Feb 25, T – “dropped dead after training”
Daddy’s Angel, Mar 6, T – “collapsed and died while training”
Grand Rocket, Mar 13, T (two years old, being prepped for first race)
Another Hero, Mar 20, T
Len’s Gold, Mar 28, R – “stopped, eased, euthanized off track”
Downtown Boy, Apr 10, R – “pulled up in distress” (two years old, first race)
Fast Recovery, Apr 17, R (euthanized Apr 24) – “carpal fracture”
Louden’s Gray, Apr 24, R – “pulled up in apparent distress”

And one that merits a bit more attention because of the detail that was provided:

In late February, says the Commission, 7-year-old Bm One Rare Rocket began treatment for an “impaction colic.” He suffered from this painful condition for “four to five days before being found dead in its [yes, ‘its,’ not ‘his’] stall on 2/27.” “Death,” the vet says, “was caused by septic shock.” How ugly. How cruel. How horseracing.