Through a FOIA request to the Kentucky Racing Commission, I have confirmed the following kills at that state’s tracks in 2022. Please note that, as expected, over 80% of the necropsies indicated varying levels of stomach ulceration in the deceased.

Powerful Force, Jan 2, Keeneland T
“Horse fell at 1/8 pole: [multiple] open fractures; ligament rupture.” (two years old)

Warrior Worrier, Jan 30, Turfway T
“Horse broke down: complete, comminuted fracture with marked tearing of surrounding musculature.”

Meataball, Jan 30, Turfway T
“Horse broke down near 5/8 pole: [multiple] fractures, ruptured ligament.”

Princesalessandra, Feb 1, Keeneland T (euth Feb 11)
“Multiple pelvic fractures.” (two years old, being prepped for first race)

Dawna, Feb 16, Keeneland T
“Became lame upon returning to barn: severe, extensive tearing of suspensory ligament; luxated joint.” (four years old, being prepped for first race)

Creative Courage, Feb 18, Turfway R
“Horse hit rail, collapsed, was gasping for air, expired on track.”

Peacebethejourney, Feb 24, Turfway R
“Horse broke down and fell at 1/8 pole: [multiple] fractures, complete disarticulation of joint, suspensory ligament severely torn.”

Smarty’s Gold, Mar 2, Turfway T
“Sudden death at 1/8 pole: chronic pleuritis and pericarditis.” (four years old)

Omnia Vincit, Mar 5, Keeneland T
“Horse was working when he went down at 1/8 pole: complete humeral fracture with both missing fragments and fragments that are compressed into the marrow space; torn muscles; large amount of hemorrhage. Euthanized on ambulance.” (two years old)

Nardo Grey, Mar 5, Turfway T
“Pulled up, appeared to be ataxic in hind end, collapsed and died in ambulance: pelvic fracture, [bled out] – massive amount of unclotted blood.” (two years old)

Quase La, Apr 1, Keeneland T
“Horse became wobbly, ran into rail, and collapsed – cardiovascular sudden death.” (three years old, being prepped for first race)

Splitsecondsonny, Apr 6, Turfway S
“104-degree fever for several days, neuro signs, progressive severe pneumonia, progressive respiratory distress – died.” (three years old)

Dancing d’Oro, Apr 7, Churchill T
“Pulled up and went down on its right side: multiple pelvic fractures, [bled out] – massive amount of unclotted blood.” (three years old, being prepped for first race)

Run the Tap, Apr 8, Keeneland R (died three days later)
“Mare sustained [multiple] pelvic fractures. [3 days later], mare collapsed and died an unassisted biological death within 20 minutes – internal bleeding [she bled out].”

Midnight Bourbon, Apr 17, Churchill T
“About one hour [after breezing], horse started showing signs of severe colic and was treated. After fluids, horse became severely painful and started thrashing in the stall. They were able to get the horse up and started walking [him] in shedrow. While walking, horse went down and started thrashing again. Soon after, horse expired.”

Sir. Rez, Apr 20, Keeneland T
“Pulled up: [multiple] fractures, one highly comminuted; severe soft tissue damage.”

Ratification, May 1, Churchill T
“Horse pulled up with catastrophic injury: multiple fractures, severe soft tissue damage, ligament rupture.”

El Venue, May 12, Churchill S
“Horse was found dead in its stall overnight. No obvious injuries, cause undetermined.” (was last raced Apr 30)

Scales of Justice, May 14, Churchill R
“Horse pulled up with catastrophic injury: [multiple] fractures, ligament ruptures.”

Loveatfirstflight, May 26, Churchill T
“Horse collapsed and died 1/2 mile into gallop: acute cardiovascular collapse [and] complete humeral fracture.” (three years old, being prepped for first race)

A’bouzy, May 26, Churchill T
“When the horse got down to a walk, it became unstable, collapsed, and died – cause undetermined.” (three years old)

Dini d’Amore, May 27, Churchill T
“Horse pulled up with catastrophic injury to RF fetlock: [multiple] open fractures.”

Hunt the Front, May 29, Churchill R
“Horse suffered catastrophic injury after finish: severe tearing of ligaments, avulsion.”

A Little Flyer, May 31, Churchill T
“Horse broke down: [multiple] fractures, extensive tissue damage, ligament rupture.”

Gingrich, Jun 10, Churchill R
“Horse broke down: [multiple] open fractures.”

Miniconjou, Jun 11, Churchill R
“Horse bobbled after finish, lost rider, caught soon after and immediately became very weak, collapsed, and died. Cause undetermined.” (three years old)

Hope and Dignity, Jun 17, Keeneland T
“Horse was completing a 1/2-mile work, stumbled to a stop, then acutely collapsed under the rail – exercise-associated sudden death.” (four years old)

Sticky Issue, Jul 1, Churchill R
“Horse pulled up 5/5 lame: [multiple] open, comminuted fractures.”

Enid, Jul 4, Churchill R
“Horse pulled up with catastrophic injury: [multiple] open, severely comminuted fractures; extensive soft tissue damage, including tearing of digital vein.”

Bow Maker, Jul 14, Churchill S
“Impaction colic treated for two days with no improvement.” (was last raced Jun 3)

Her Giant, Jul 25, Churchill T
“[Multiple] fractures. Horse was not put down until noon due to getting x-rays.”

Conversational, Aug 13, Churchill R
“Horse suffered catastrophic injury near finish line: [multiple] open fractures, severe soft tissue damage.” (two years old)

Super Quick, Aug 14, Ellis R
“Horse suffered catastrophic injury at finish line: [multiple] comminuted fractures.”

Just Candy, Aug 17, Keeneland S
“Barn injury – sudden death.” (two years old, had not yet been raced)

Follow Me Mom, Aug 25, Keeneland S
“Three-week illness – pleuropneumonia.” (was last raced Jul 22)

Moody, Aug 26, Churchill T
“Horse started weaving across track, fell through outside rail, dead on impact – exercise-associated sudden death.” (two years old, coming off first race)

Simply Super, Aug 27, Churchill T
“Horse broke down at 1/2 mile: comminuted fracture, extensive tearing of [multiple] ligaments with fragments of bone embedded.” (two years old)

Bellas Smile, Aug 27, Ellis T
“Filly broke down and fell near 1/2-mile pole: complete, comminuted humerus fracture; marked tearing of muscles.” (three years old, being prepped for first race)

Marcie’s Candy, Aug 31, Churchill T
“[Multiple] fractures.” (seven years old)

Mi Casa Es Su Casa, Sep 1, Keeneland T
“Filly demonstrated hindleg injury with loss of locomotion: [multiple] pelvic fractures.” (three years old, being prepped for first race)

Mr. Gordy, Sep 13, Churchill T
“Jogged this morning. Barn help noticed horse was thrashing at 3:15. Private vet arrived and horse was expired by 3:45 – cause undetermined.” (two years old)

Steprock, Sep 17, Churchill T (euth Sep 18)
“Breezed yesterday; went lame after getting back to barn: comminuted fracture, torn ligament, large amount of hemorrhage.” (two years old, being prepped for first race)

Nevermind, Sep 19, Red Mile R
“Horse on track for post parade. Driver reported horse started to weaken then collapsed – expired soon after. Cause undetermined.” (three years old)

Blazin Amazin, Sep 27, Keeneland T
“Horse became unsteady, made contact with rail, fell to track. Was unresponsive when approached by outrider – sudden death, cause undetermined.” (three years old)

Big Sur, Oct 17, Churchill S (euth Oct 18)
“Horse sustained comminuted fracture in accident previous morning.” (two years old)

Dixie Speaker, Oct 17, Keeneland T
“Filly became acutely lame after training: comminuted fracture.” (two years old, being prepped for first race)

Beautiness, Oct 27, Churchill T
“Broke down at wire: severely comminuted fracture.” (two years old, being prepped for first race)

Paddock Boss, Oct 30, Churchill R
“Horse went down at beginning of first turn: open fracture, massive soft tissue tearing, [multiple] tendons and ligaments torn.” (two years old)

Junellia, Nov 10, Churchill T
“Pulled up lame post breeze: compound, comminuted fracture; extensive tearing; rupture; fragments embedded in ligaments.”

Lady Baron, Nov 12, Churchill S
“Began hemorrhaging from both nostrils at 7:30 pm; became agonal around 8:45 pm – arterial rupture, euthanized.” (two years old, coming off first race)

Must Be the Money, Nov 26, Churchill R
“Pulled up with catastrophic injury: [multiple] fractures, protrusion through skin; [multiple] torn/ruptured tendons and ligaments.” (two years old, second ever race)

Anytimeallthetime, Nov 30, Turfway R
“Horse fell violently with trauma to the head and neck. On arrival, horse was recumbent and agonal – massively comminuted limb fracture and [emphasis mine] comminuted vertebral fracture with spinal cord transection.”

As I’ve written regarding California’s missing “vanned off” horses: Much is being made of California’s lower kill numbers. One of the things the industry, led by The Stronach Group (TSG), is supposedly doing is more surgical repairs. But history says that the equine post-surgery survival rate is very low (think Barbaro). Problem is, the injured who end up being euthanized, with or without surgery, off-site will not, as a rule, show up in public records. The lost dead.

Stronach, of course, also owns the two tracks in Maryland: Laurel and Pimlico. Last year, I reported on the death of 2-year-old Jamerican Feb 6 at Laurel: “Catastrophic bilateral pelvic fractures – comminuted, complete, displaced, with abundant hemorrhage. The horse was medicated…but then went down in the equine ambulance. The horse was euthanized in the ambulance.” And here, I remind, is what the commission’s chief vet, Elizabeth Daniel, said about Jamerican’s death:

“My biggest regret in this case was not euthanizing Jamerican on the racetrack as her condition rapidly declined. I was trying to abide by the wishes of management to save as many of these horses as possible. However, I feel that in doing so I allowed for Jamerican to suffer for longer than needed. For that, I am deeply sorry.”

Obviously, Stronach’s single-minded pursuit of good PR – for that is the reason for this new policy; if it were truly about equine welfare they’d have been doing it years ago – came at the cost of this poor baby’s suffering. And now, another.

4-year-old Rockinhippiechick, says the Racing Commission, suffered a fracture training at Laurel Oct 6 and was subsequently shipped out for surgery. This was her second operation in 18 months (though on different legs). She was then returned to Laurel Oct 8 for recovery. Almost immediately, she developed colic and was treated in her stall over the next three days. Rockin’s vets, however, were unable to bring it under control and recommended euthanasia. The owners, Annette and Daniel Eubanks, agreed. But then TSG’s Dr. Heidi Thomas got the Eubankses to turn Rockin over to Stronach for further treatment – yet another surgery, this one for the colic.

So, the van was called to transport Rockin to New Bolton. Some two hours later, the van arrived and Rockin was loaded. Then, the Commission says, before arriving at the center, Rockin died – “cecal impaction with acute perforation.” She died all alone, in pain, in terror, on the back of a van. And it clearly shouldn’t have happened this way.

In the final report, Dr. Daniel said: “I was very saddened at the course of events leading up to the death of Rockinhippiechick. She had made it back…after a year off from a very traumatic rear limb fracture. Then to have another fracture repair just days before her colic and eventual death. Dr. Delp [one of the attending vets] has stated that he recommended euthanasia due to the very toxic state that the mare was in after several days of her illness.” She closed with this: “I feel that Rockinhippiechick suffered tremendously in her final moments.”

Dr. Walsh, another commission vet, added: “Dr. Delp felt that the filly was so bad she wouldn’t survive shipping for surgery.”

In his statement, Dr. Delp recapped the chain of events:

“Tuesday [Oct 11, the day Rockin died], 2:00 pm: Horse was in severe pain.”

“2:15 pm: Called Annette Eubanks, told her condition had changed…they chose to euthanize. I told Annette I had to contact [TSG’s] Dr. Heidi Thomas and advise her….”

“2:40 pm: Dr. Gillam told me TSG was going to contact the owners and have them release the horse.”

“5:15 pm: The van arrived. During the 2-hour wait, the horse was in severe pain and any treatment I did offered no relief to the pain.”

“7:43 pm: I received a text telling me the horse died sometime during the trip to New Bolton.”

Dr. Delp’s statement closed thus:

“In summary, I am very upset with the suffering Rockinhippiechick had to endure, becoming more painful as time passed. After I had made the decision and received permission…to euthanize the horse, I waited over two hours for the van to arrive. Then to get a text that the horse died on the way to New Bolton was even more troublesome – making the horse suffer 5-6 hours more when I could have stopped the suffering when I received permission to euthanize….”

This poor girl’s extended agony and horrific death is on The Stronach Group. Full stop. In fact, in a different universe – one that took cruelty within animal-based industries seriously – they’d be brought up on charges. Truth is, Stronach, like everyone else in racing, cares about one thing and one thing only: their revenue stream. And because that’s now being threatened more than ever – owing in large part to the exposure provided on these pages – we are subjected to this abhorrent pretense. But worse, horses are suffering (more) because of it.

Below is 3-year-old One in Vermillion prior to the $600K Sunland Derby at Sunland Park yesterday. You’ll note that the “vet check” prompted by Vermillion’s thrashing in the gate lasted all of three seconds. You’ll also note that while normal – read: rational and compassionate – people see a terrified child equine being forced to do something he clearly does not want to do, the announcer sees a “very excited” horse who – insert laughter here – is “throwing quite a fit.” Vermillion, by the way, finished second-to-last, 13 lengths back – “never fired,” said the chartwriter.

Horses “vanned off” U.S. tracks, Mar 20-Mar 26:

Trophy Chaser, Parx
El Rafa Q, Sunland
Kyle’s Degree, Tampa Bay
Lt. Junior Grade, Oaklawn
Storm Risk, Turfway (also “bled”)
Aruba, Gulfstream
Whirlaway Party, Louisiana
Stellar Point, Turf
Syzslak, Turf
Mia’s Authority, Gulfstream
Bellamundo, Sunland
Fun Paddy, Turf
Older Brother, Turf

And while not reported as “vanned,” the following…

Rig It Right “fell over fallen foe, DNF” at Sunland
Rominski “bled” at Laurel
Calibrachoa Kid “displayed blood from his mouth” at Fair Grounds
Sign of Peace “bled post race” at Turfway

While not all the “vanned” end up dead, most do, as borne out by our subsequent reporting. “Bled” almost always indicates pulmonary hemorrhage.