There were two steeplechase events held in the U.S. Saturday, at Genesee in New York and Middleburg in Virginia. Combined, 57 horses started 10 races. Out of those 57, only 43 finished their races – a 25% failure (meaning could not complete the course) rate. Among those 14 “DNFs,” at least 6 fell. (Another horse “hit a wing,” which I presume to mean hit a hurdle.) Here is the sequence for one of those fallen, Rocket Star Red at Genesee. A witness said that, either through sheer exhaustion, or, more likely, injury, the 9-year-old Rocket never even tried to get up.



Last week on U.S. flat/steeplechase tracks (racing only):

Mystical Charge “vanned off” at Delaware
Saigon Star “vanned off” at Zia
Punahele “went wrong, fell, vanned off” at Belterra
Heart of Savino “vanned off” at Delaware
Jokemeister “injured in gate, scratched” at Parx
That’s Right “injured in gate, scratched” at Parx
Five More Minutes “vanned off” at Parx
Blingitonagain “vanned off” at Thistledown
Captain Ari “vanned off” at Remington
Chasing Cars “vanned off” at Will Rogers
Worzel Gummidge “fell, DNF” at Genesee
Master Seville “fell, DNF” at Genesee
Corky Lemon “fell, DNF” at Genesee
Rocket Star Red “fell, DNF” at Genesee
Rolin Rok “vanned off” at Indiana
Big Cheddar “bled, vanned off” at Los Alamitos
Prayer Hope “fell, DNF” at Middleburg
Stooshie “fell, DNF” at Middleburg
Velocissima “vanned off” at Gulfstream
Check the Grade “bled” at Gulfstream
Artie and Jessie “vanned off” at Hawthorne
Rocket Song “vanned off” at Santa Anita

While not all the “vanned” end up dead, most do, as borne out by our year-end FOIA reports. But even if death is not the ultimate result, the above are victims nonetheless, suffering painful injuries – in the case of the bleeders, pulmonary hemorrhage – so that some men may gamble, others chase pots of gold. (For any new confirmed deaths during the week, please see our running annual list.)