Aqueduct (and NY) didn’t waste any time in recording its first victim of the new year when 5-year-old Uncle Smokey “broke down approaching the end of the backstretch and got euthanized” after yesterday’s 7th race (the replay shows him pulling up around 1:15). “Got euthanized.” How charming. Uncle Smokey was ridden by David Cohen, and trained and owned by David Jacobson, the same Davids who lost Coronate at Aqueduct a week prior. And so begins the 2014 Casualty Watch. This is horseracing.

11-year-old Silver Train, winner of the Grade 1 BC Sprint in 2005, has died of colic “while shuttling back to the United States from Brazil.” As per usual, disingenuous garbage flows forth from connections’ mouths: Majority shareholder Hank Nothhaft says, “Silver Train was all class, the consummate professional and will be sorely missed.” But then, the truth behind his lament: “Given his proclivity for producing winners, we expected big things from Silver Train for years to come. Given our expansive plans for him in 2014, his sudden passing was a real shock.”

photo credit: AP
photo credit: AP

Silver Train was neither “classy,” nor a “consummate professional.” To Nothhaft, and the others who came before, he was but a revenue stream. To the rest of us, he was a horse, an abused one at that.

The 2-year-old filly Mia Missile, initially listed as vanned off (“fell heavily”) after Saturday’s 4th race at Aqueduct, is indeed dead, euthanized on the track after fracturing her humerus. She was ridden by Angel Arroyo, trained by Laura Perillo, and owned by Midwest Thoroughbreds.

In the first replay (Race Replays, Saturday, Race 4), Mia Missile’s #6 icon disappears off screen in the stretch, with no sign of the fallen horse. But during a subsequent showing, the equine child can be seen collapsing in a heap (around the 3:50 mark). Of course, not a single mention of her broken, dying body from the track announcer. This is horseracing.

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The following, unless otherwise noted, were “vanned off” American tracks last week.

Thursday:
Hey Paulie, Charles Town, race 7 (“broke down”)
Music Appeal, Golden Gate, race 6
Linguini, Hawthorne, race 1 (“fell”)
Sharp Trip, Hawthorne, race 3
Iron Stone Ridge, Penn National, race 7
Angel Above, Sunland, race 9 (“pulled up in distress”)
Pb Sandario Babe, Turf, race 1

Friday:
Cupid’s Messenger, Calder, race 7 (not vanned but “returned bleeding from the nostrils”)
Poster Girl, Tampa Bay, race 9 (“hit rail”)

Saturday:
Mia Missile, Aqueduct, race 4 (“fell heavily”)
Smoking G, Golden Gate, race 9 (not vanned but bled)
Cartel Tease, Hialeah, race 1 (not vanned but bled)
Sisters Girl, Hialeah, race 2 (not vanned but bled)
I’m Done, Laurel, race 3 (“fell”)
Mad Loot, Los Alamitos, race 2 (not reported as vanned but “collapsed after finish”)
Public Defender, Santa Anita, race 7
Truest Legend, Santa Anita, race 8
Streakish, Sunland, race 3
No Secret Bank, Turf, race 1
Haros Jackpot, Turf, race 8
Thabit, Turfway, race 3 (not reported as vanned but “lame”)

Sunday:
Horse Latitudes, Calder, race 8
Assume Nothing, Mountaineer, race 7
Little Miss, Parx, race 8
Kiss Me G Bye, Portland, race 3
Christians Special, Sunland, race 3 (not vanned but “pulled up in distress”)
My Clever Greely, Turfway, race 9