In the 6th at Belterra yesterday, this for 3-year-old California Kitty: “dropped far back, in a gallop through the stretch, just able to cross wire and walked off.” She crossed the wire, it turns out, 97+ lengths back. Now, some context: Belterra, like all Ohio tracks, is a racino, meaning it is being wholly propped up by slot machines. But this massive influx of non-racing revenue also allows the track to pay first-last. So, in crossing that wire – again, 97+ lengths back – California Kitty “earned” her people, including jockey Vernon Bush, $184. By the way, CK was coming off a last, 31 back in the race prior.

Then this: Oklahoma reports that 3-year-old Duanes Howd Id Do tested positive for caffeine after winning a race at Fair Meadows July 16. The miscreant responsible, trainer Luz Chavira, waived his right to both a split-test and a hearing, pretty much an admission of guilt. For this, he has merely been fined – no suspension.

This is horseracing.

While I have already reported on the death of Gingrich (with video) at Churchill Downs June 10, here are the details from the Racing Commission: “Left forelimb: open, lateral condylar and biaxial sesamoid fractures – medial fracture was comminuted, lateral was avulsed; marked disruption of the suspensory ligament branches.” Also: “multifocal, subacute hepatitis; multifocal squamous ulcers.”

In another note from the document, and as has been the case with virtually every other Kentucky death I’ve reported, “no prohibited substances and no therapeutic medication above regulatory threshold concentrations [were] detected” in the 3-year-old Gingrich. And yes, I believe that. Drugs in racing, while a problem, are not the main culprit. In truth, the system is set up for a practically unalterable level of killing (see our annual lists). Thoroughbreds (QuarterHorses) are bred for speed; thrust into intensive, grinding training years before their bodies are fully mature; and forced to run at an unnatural rate, in an unnatural way, and through unnatural means. And that, folks, is the primary reason over 2,000 horses are dying at U.S. tracks every year.

Today’s installment of the Lie of “they’re like family,” “love ’em like children”:

As reported yesterday, Show Your Cards suffered a “stall accident” at Del Mar Aug 3 and was euthanized. Dead, at two. After, one of his owners posted this on Twitter:

Wicked enough, of course: “Rainbow bridge.” “Running in the heavenly green pastures.” “RIP my sweet baby boy.” But exactly how much time did she need to “heal”?

Two days. Two days, before moving on to her six new slaves. I hold these people in deep, profound contempt.

Through a FOIA request to the Indiana Horse Racing Commission, I have confirmed the following kills at that state’s two tracks thus far this year.

Barqueen, Jan 30, Horseshoe S – “unknown, suspect injury from fall” (two years old)
Upfront And Gone, Mar 26, Hoosier R – “sudden death: pulmonary hemorrhage”
Candyjustice, Apr 3, Horseshoe S – “found deceased – colitis” (three years old)
Bucket Betty, Apr 15, Horseshoe S – “found deceased – colitis” (two years old)
McEntire, Apr 29, Horseshoe S – “fatal anaphylactic reaction” (raced Apr 2)
Cv Cupido, May 24, Horseshoe T – “fractured scapula” (two years old)
Runpat, May 28, Horseshoe T – “[multiple] fractures”
Classic Honey, Jun 7, Hoosier T – “sudden death: pulmonary hemorrhage”
Cannon Can, Jun 14, Hoosier T – “sudden death – diffuse, extensive hemorrhage”
Billups, Jun 26, Horseshoe S – “sudden death” (four years old, raced six days prior)
Tango, Jun 27, Horseshoe S – “death on trailer, suspect colic”