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

Data Force, Jan 20, Sam Houston T – “sudden death – died on track” (two years old)

Volley Molly, Feb 6, Sam Houston T – “leg fracture – euthanized on track”

Blind Sea, Feb 15, Sam Houston R – “leg fracture, extensive hemorrhage in soft tissue around fetlock joint with fraying of tendons and ligaments”
also: “chronic: extensive loss of cartilage”

Harlan Selection, Feb 19, Sam Houston R – “hypovolemic shock – died on track”
The official race chart, by the way, said, “fell after the wire in distress and was vanned off.” “Vanned off” – already dead, that is.

Mary Jane’s Double, Jun 3, Lone Star R – “leg fracture, extensive hemorrhage to the subcutaneous tissue and fascia surrounding the fetlock joint”

Always Secret, Jun 8, Lone Star R – “heat stress in test barn after race”

Giant Pulpit, Jun 9, Lone Star T – “heart attack” (six years old)
Giant Pulpit was raced four times this year, all at Oaklawn in Arkansas. He finished last (of 10) twice, 8th once, and was a “DNF” in the other. Then dead – of a “heart attack” – a few weeks later. Perhaps trainer Allen Milligan might have some insights?

For D’s Knight, Jun 17, Lone Star R – “[multiple] fractures: comminuted, open, displaced, complete; tendons and ligaments are torn, frayed, and covered in dirt”
The official race chart said, “went wrong, fell, vanned off.” Once again, however, the horse was euthanized where he lay.

Prince Jet, Jun 27, Lone Star S – “colic”

Wild Indy, Jun 29, Lone Star R – “open, complete, highly comminuted fractures; the superficial and deep digital flexor tendons, the strait and oblique sesmoidian ligaments, the suspensory ligament and extensor branches, and palmer ligament are hemorrhagic and variably frayed/torn”

Yesterday at Saratoga, Shiny Copper Penny “experienced sudden death while being treated by vet, possibly due to an adverse drug reaction,” says the Gaming Commission. The 6-year-old had been raced 36 times; his last training session came just six days ago. He is the third horse to die at Saratoga this summer.

Through a FOIA request to the California Horse Racing Board, I have obtained the following details on 2020 kills. (The Board redacted the names but, paradoxically, these horses have already been identified on the Board’s public database.)

Tikkun Olam, Jan 19, Santa Anita T – “head-on collision: traumatic spine fracture with complete transection of cord; ruptured vein”

Is It Over, Jan 21, Los Alamitos S – “colic of 24 hours duration”

Cowboy Coffee, Jan 23, San Luis Rey S – “colic – unrelenting pain for two days”
also: “chronic gastric ulceration”

The Cullinan Dream, Mar 31, Los Alamitos S – “four-day diarrhea prior to death”

La Dorada Czech, Apr 15, Los Alamitos S – “endotoxemia and/or septicemia”

Shes Our Dasher, Apr 16, Los Alamitos T – “catastrophic breakdown with phalanx protruding through the skin; [multiple] ruptures”

Isla’s Toy, Apr 17, Los Alamitos R – “[multiple] fractures and ruptures”

Last Renegade, Apr 24, Santa Anita T – “hit rail, fractured pelvis, hemorrhagic shock”

Rowboat Romeo, May 9, Los Alamitos T – “catastrophic fracture; severe hemorrhage”

Conquest Sabre Cat, May 14, Golden Gate R – “catastrophic breakdown with multiple open fractures – horse was humanely destroyed on track”
also: “chronic gastric ulceration”

I’ll Dash for Gold, May 22, Golden Gate S – “spinal cord compression, severe ataxia”

unidentified, May 24, Los Alamitos T – “comminuted, complete, displaced fracture”

Young Dasher, Jun 23, Los Alamitos S – “severe pneumonia, two weeks duration”

Up and Ready, Jun 26, Los Alamitos S – “acute laminitis following castration”

Street Gambler, Jun 30, Golden Gate S – “complete hip fracture; hemorrhage”

In the 4th yesterday at Golden Gate, Snow Pack was said (Equibase) to have “went wrong” and been “vanned off.” For the uninitiated, “went wrong” is one of Racing’s go-to euphemisms for dead. And indeed this 3-year-old filly is, as confirmed by the CHRB. To owner Gary Marrone and trainer Michael Lenzini, however, no great loss, for you see the pair had Snow Pack “For Sale” at the bargain-basement price of $4,000 immediately prior to her death. In other words, next horse up.

This is horseracing.

Two horses were killed at Woodbine yesterday. In the 2nd race, Mary of Scotts “fell near the 3/8 pole.” Dead. She was four years old. Two races later, Ruggero, also four, “fell trying to jump a fallen horse” (Grazely, who is supposedly okay). In its account, the Toronto Sun said, “Ruggero passed away on the track.” Whatever that means.

So that’s two kills at one track, in a little over an hour – and yet, the final seven races of the day went off merrily. By the way, the Sun article opened thus: “The dangers of thoroughbred horse racing were in full view on Sunday….” In fact, the dangers (horrors) of horseracing are in full view every day – at least to those paying attention.