Through a FOIA request to the California Horse Racing Board, I have confirmed the following deaths at California tracks in 2018. (Please note: The Board redacted the names of the dead horses; any identifications below came via other channels.)

unidentified 5-year-old, July 3, Golden Gate
“On the right hind there are multiple open wounds; largest approximately 10 cm wide. The underlying tissues and skeletal muscle are exposed and discolored dark red to black. Surrounding the wounds there is a large amount of edema and hemorrhage with marked swelling. The tarasal joints are distended by increased amounts of cloudy, yellow synovial fluid admixed with large amounts of free floating fibrin. The subcutaneous tissues are expanded by edema, hemorrhage, and emphysema and the skin is easily sloughed off. On the left hind the entire hoof wall has sloughed off and the remaining lamina and coffin bone are exposed. The findings observed within the lungs and liver are suggestive of a septicemic process, likely as a result of the severe cellulitis.” (Not an industry casualty? Please.)

Magic Mark, July 4, Los Alamitos R
“Poor performance in race; no apparent distress during unsaddling; collapsed and died suddenly at barn.”

Seared, July 8, Los Alamitos R
“Pulled up racing, collapsed on ambulance, pulled from ambulance unable to rise. Comminuted, complete, displaced fracture with compression of spinal cord.”

Seein Starz, July 14, Los Alamitos R (euthanized July 16)
“Comminuted, complete fracture of the carpal III, plus other lesions of the adjacent bones and articular surfaces that are considered chronic.”

Bookofmatches, July 14, Los Alamitos R
“Horse locked up during race [and] fell. Comminuted, complete, displaced, fracture of the L 5 vertebral body, with extensive meningeal hemorrhages.”

unidentified (probably Im Ur Cutie Pie), July 20, Los Alamitos R (euthanized July 21)
“Slab fractures (2 pieces) of central tarsal bone. Extensive acute excoriation and ulceration. Severe hemorrhage of the soft tissue surrounding the tarsus. Circumferential hemorrhage of the suspensory ligament. Gastric erosions/ulcers.”

Cadillac Express, July 21, Golden Gate T
“Left front fetlock – Transverse to comminuted sesamoid bone fractures. Biaxial palmar transverse ridge arthrosis. Right front fetlock – Biaxial focal traumatic osterochondrosis. Biaxial palmar transverse ridge arthrosis.” (just three years old)

Bobby Abu Dhabi, July 22, Del Mar T
“Fracture of the medial proximal sesamoid bone. Fracture of the lateral proximal sesamoid bone. Rupture of the intersesamoidean ligament, longitudinal and the short and cruciate sesamoidean ligaments, transverse. Partial medial tear of the superficial digital flexor and fraying and hemorrhage of superficial and deep digital flexor tendons. Fraying of the suspensory ligament. Body of 3rd cervical vertebra, transverse, comminuted, complete, displaced and fracture of caudal aspect of right transverse process with hemorrhage around spinal cord. Cervical 4 and 5 vertebrae, ventral, left transverse processes, complete, displaced. Moderate to severe gastric ulcers.” (that’s multiple fetlock and cervical fractures – and ulcers, to boot)

Oso Strong, July 25, Golden Gate T
“During arthroscopy of knee, this horse did not have a strong pulse. During anesthetic recovery, did not regain a strong pulse. After prolonged treatment and CPR he died, unfortunately.” (“unfortunately”)

unidentified (probably Provodnikov), July 28, Los Alamitos R (euthanized July 30)
“Comminuted, complete, displaced, bi-articular slab fracture, III carpal bone.”

Through a FOIA request to the California Horse Racing Board, I have confirmed the following deaths at Santa Anita in 2018. (Please note: The Board redacted the names of the dead horses; any identifications below came via other channels.)

unidentified 2-year-old, July 14, Santa Anita T
“Left front limb: Avulsion fracture, lateral proximal sesamoid bone. Rupture, inter sesamoidean ligament and fibrocartilage. Rupture, cruciate ligaments. Marked fraying and extensive hemorrhages, suspensory ligament. Marked fraying, straight distal sesamoidean ligament. Extensive hemorrhages, superficial and deep digital flexor tendons. Focal cartilage erosion, proximal articular surface of P1 (chronic). Cartilage erosion, distal articular surface of metacarpus III (chronic). Right front limb: Focal cartilage erosion, proximal articular surface of P1 (chronic). Biaxial linear cartilage erosion, distal articular surface of metacarpus III (chronic).” (again, two years old)

unidentified 2-year-old, September 25, Santa Anita T (euthanized September 29)
“Severe exertional rhabdomyolysis on 9/25; condition deteriorated over next 72 hrs. including dysphagia, third eyelid prolapse, nystagmus, and respiratory distress. On 9/29, developed low grade fever and became severely agitated (possibly due to respiratory distress) followed by agonal breathing and subsequent euthanasia. Stomach: Multiple mucosal ulcers.” (again, two years old)

unidentified 3-year-old, October 9, Santa Anita T
“Complete, diaphyseal, displaced, closed, comminuted, non-articular humeral fracture. Complete transverse rupture of brachialis muscle. Partial transverse rupture of biceps muscle. Massive hemorrhage affecting soft tissue extending from the shoulder to the proximal antebrachium. Mild/initial stage of degenerative joint disease [both front limbs].” (again, three years old)

Beau Square, October 18, Santa Anita R
“Complete fractures of proximal sesamoid bones. Complete condylar fracture of the third metatarsal. Complete, severely comminuted fracture of the proximal phalanx. [Multiple] ligament ruptures. Evidence of chronic osteoarthritis…was present in all four fetlocks. The horse likely suffered from chronic tendonitis [which] could alter the gait in a way that the [other] limb had to compensate and bear more load, consequently leading to degenerative changes that progressed rapidly, resulting in catastrophic breakdown.” (Beau Square was four years old)

unidentified 2-year-old, October 25, Santa Anita T
“Complete, closed, comminuted, displaced, slab fracture of the third carpal bone. Reason for the fracture may be related to extensive sclerosis and focal porosity on the fracture surface of the third carpal bones. This would cause an area of weakness in the bones, consequently making it prone to fracture.” (again, two years old)

Tariq, October 26, Santa Anita T
“Sudden death. The multiple hemorrhages and congestion observed in multiple organs are very acute and consistent with acute cardiac failure cases. On the aboral portion of the tongue, there were two 0.5 in diameter ulcers. Within the stomach…11 multifocal to coalescing well-demarcated ulcers.” (Tariq was two years old)

unidentified 4-year-old, October 29, Santa Anita
“Anaphylactic shock.”

unidentified 2-year-old, November 28, Santa Anita T
“Severely comminuted, complete, displaced, biarticular fracture of proximal phalanx – fracture is lacking an intact strut of bone between the proximal and distal articular surfaces. The diaphysis…is highly comminuted, constituting fragments are uncountable. Proximal articular surface is divided into 4 major fragments. There is also incomplete fracture affecting the lateral condyle. Severe, full thickness cartilage loss; extensive hemorrhage; severe scoring; severe hemorrhage.”

unidentified 3-year-old, December 3, Santa Anita T (euthanized December 7)
“Horse worked 12/3; evaluated 12/7 for non-weight bearing lameness. Presumptive diagnosis – Fx left ilium/pelvis. Owner…requested euthanasia as unable to re-home the filly – according to trainer. Ran one time – 8/12/17, no works recorded till October 2018. The acute onset of the lameness described in the history was the clinical manifestation of progression of chronic changes…”

Through a FOIA request to the California Horse Racing Board, I have confirmed the following deaths at that state’s tracks in 2018. (Please note: The Board redacted the names of the dead horses; any identifications below came via other channels. Also, because of the sheer volume, I will be posting in increments of 10.)

unidentified 2-year-old, May 3, Santa Anita T
“LEFT FRONT LEG: complete, comminuted fracture of MCIII; severe tearing and hemorrhage of the soft tissues surrounding the area of fracture; LEFT REAR LEG: complete, comminuted fracture of the right tibia and fibula; severe tearing and hemorrhage of the muscles surrounding the area of fracture (that’s two broken legs)

Bella Sierra, May 10, Santa Anita R
“comminuted, complete, displaced articular transverse fracture of the medial proximal sesamoid bone, with: avulsion fracture, axial margin, medial proximal sesamoid bone; longitudinal and transverse rupture, intersesamoidean ligament and fibrocartilage; marked fraying, sesamoidean ligaments; marked fraying and partial transection, deep digital flexor tendon and superficial digital flexor tendon”

Fast Munny, May 19, Santa Anita R
“horse was trailing field and suddenly collapsed and expired at the wire – extensive hemorrhages of the left caudal lobe, hemorrhages in multiple organs, diffusely congested liver and kidneys, and chronic gastric erosions/ulcers” (five years old)

Waya Ed, June 2, Santa Anita R
catastrophic fracture of the right tibia; several variable size bone fragments within the two main fractured bone fragments; severe tearing and hemorrhage of the muscles of the leg surrounding the area of fracture”

unidentified 9-year-old, June 2, Santa Anita
“history of colic for 2 days – owner declined referral hospital visit for further dx and tx; horse had a large enterolith in the right dorsal colon-small colon junction…the area presented congestion, suggesting that there was intermittent and/or partial obstruction, that must have been responsible for the clinical signs observed”

Amada Rafaela, June 7, Santa Anita R
severe pulmonary hemorrhage; horse staggered and collapsed…rapid onset of agonal breathing with white mucus membranes; both lungs presented many sub-pleural hemorrhages; large amount of red-tinged stable froth in the trachea and lower airways; acute hemorrhage, pelvic fracture, vertebral fracture(s)

unidentified 3-year-old, June 14, Santa Anita T
“complete, displaced, articular, fracture of both proximal sesamoid bones, with a focal area of subchondral sclerosis of the medial proximal sesamoid bone (chronic, likely predisposing lesion), with: avulsion fracture, axial aspect of the proximal lateral sesamoid bone; rupture, inter-sesamoidean ligament and fibrocartilage; rupture, cruciate ligaments; rupture, annular ligament”; other leg: “cartilage thinning

Tiffany Diamond, June 17, Santa Anita R
catastrophic left hind fetlock failure – there were over 40 bone fragments of varying sizes; extensive subcutaneous hemorrhage and edema in the metatarsal area and the suspensory ligament; [multiple] tendons were surrounded by hemorrhage and edema.” other back leg: “subcutaneous and periarticular hemorrhage and swelling of the fetlock joint and the proximal interphalangeal joint”

unidentified 10-year-old, June 28, Santa Anita
“horse was found dead by barn personnel following an unexplained struggle in the stall – presumptive heart failure with: severe pulmonary congestion and edema

unidentified 3-year-old, July 8, Santa Anita T
“humerus had a comminuted, complete, displaced fracture of the diaphysis; at the caudal aspect of the bone, specifically in the neck, there was a focal irregular red area, interpreted as a callus – the fracture line traveled through this callus…[then] traveled distally through the teres major tuberosity reaching the distal third of the humerus, then traveled along the musculo-spiral groove back to the neck of the humerus”

Through a FOIA request to the California Horse Racing Board, I have confirmed the following deaths at that state’s tracks in 2018. (Please note: The Board redacted the names of the dead horses; any identifications below came via other channels. Also, because of the sheer volume, I will be posting in increments of 10.)

Mourinho, March 12, Santa Anita T
fracture of both proximal sesamoid bones; rupture, inter sesamoidean ligament and fibrocartilage; marked fraying and partial transection, straight and lateral oblique distal sesamoidean ligaments; complete transection, short and cruciate sesamoidean ligaments that were attached to the lateral sesamoid bone; marked fraying and hemorrhages, lateral branch of the suspensory ligament; rupture, medial collateral ligament and the medial collateral sesamoidean ligaments”

Onde Ah Mo, March 17, Santa Anita R
acute catastrophic failure of right carpus: radial carpal bone fracture, complete, comminuted; intermediate carpal bone fracture, complete, comminuted; 3rd carpal bone fracture, complete; articular cartilage excoriation/ulceration; pre-existing degenerative lesions, [both front] fetlock joints; gastric erosion/ulceration, chronic

Boom Boom Bango, March 18, Santa Anita R
“open, comminuted, completed, displaced fracture, MCIII; open, comminuted, articular, displaced fracture, medial proximal sesamoid bone; avulsion fracture, lateral proximal sesamoid bone; rupture, intersesamoidean ligament and fibrocartilage; marked fraying, flexor tendons; marked fraying, suspensory apparatus; marked fraying, straight distal sesamoidean ligament; moderate fraying, oblique distal sesamoidean ligaments; marked fraying and transection, cruciate sesamoidean ligaments; transection, collateral sesamoidean ligaments; closed, comminuted, complete, displaced, articular fracture of the proximal epiphysis, metaphysis, physis and diaphysis, proximal phalanx; biaxial linear cartilage erosion, both sides of the sagittal ridge, distal articular surface of MCIII (Chronic), [both front limbs]”

unidentified, March 19, Santa Anita T
“comminuted, complete, displaced fracture, distal MTIII; plantar osteochondral disease, MTIII (likely predisposing lesion); comminuted, complete, displaced fracture, medial proximal sesamoid bone; avulsion fracture, lateral proximal sesamoid bone; rupture, intersesamoidean ligament and fibrocartilage; marked fraying, distal sesamoidean ligaments; rupture, cruciate ligaments; marked fraying and hemorrhages, suspensory ligament; focal hemorrhages around the superficial digital flexor tendon; comminuted, complete, displaced fracture of P1; [other back leg]: subcutaneous abscess; plantar osteochondral disease; stomach: ulcers, chronic

Dial Me In, March 23, Santa Anita R
“complete, comminuted, articular fracture of the scapula through the neck and distal end of the spine; the major distal fragment is split into two major fragments by a fracture that enters the glenoid and splits the glenoid into halves; in addition, the caudal fragment is split into 3 major fragments longitudinally”

unidentified, March 26, Santa Anita T
fracture of medial proximal sesamoid bone, complete, articular, displaced, comminuted; fracture of lateral proximal sesamoid bone, complete, articular, displaced, with pre-existing lesion; hemorrhage and fraying, lateral branch of suspensory ligament; rupture, intersesamoidean ligament and fibrocartilage; tear and fraying of straight distal sesamoidean ligament; tear and fraying of oblique distal sesamoidean ligaments; fraying of dorsal side of deep digital flexor tendon”

Smart Knows Smart, March 30, Santa Anita R
catastrophic breakdown of the left forelimb with: fractures of the proximal sesamoid bone; rupture of the palmar annular ligament; rupture of the superficial digital flexor tendon with fraying and hemorrhage and longitudinal tears of the lateral half of the tendon at the fetlock joint; full thickness ruptures involving the medial and lateral margins with fraying and hemorrhage and longitudinal tears of the center at the fetlock joint; longitudinal fissures with hemorrhage of the lateral and medial branches of the interosseous ligament; complete rupture of the intersesamoidean ligament, and complete rupture of the cruciate sesamoidean ligaments; longitudinal fissures and hemorrhage of the collateral ligament of the fetlock joint, the lateral collateral sesamoidean ligament, of the proximal third of the straight sesamoidean and lateral oblique sesamoidean ligaments; hemarthrosis of [both] fetlock joints” (that’s one horse, one death)

unidentified, April 13, Santa Anita T
“horse presented non-weight bearing with the leg dangling – catastrophic right tibial breakdown; severe tearing and hemorrhage of the muscles of the leg surrounding the area of fracture; MCIII bone [in both hind legs] presented osteochondrosis characterized by thinning of the cartilage; the stomach presented many, irregular ulcers; horse had been kicked by another horse on RH and had laceration repaired with 6 staples 1 week ago; horse has chronic history of LF lameness” (seven years old)

My Sweet Emma, April 15, Santa Anita R
“avulsion fracture, proximal sesamoid bone; rupture, inter-sesamoidean ligament; fraying and hemorrhages, superficial digital flexor tendon; fraying, lateral branch and medial branch, suspensory ligament; fraying, both oblique distal sesamoidean ligaments; marked scoring, all articular surfaces of the fetlock; multiple ulcers

Xten, April 20, Santa Anita T
“thoracic lumbar trauma (horse collided with another horse, fell) – given several hours to attempt to rise, unable to; exhibited tremors post-injury; a severe, comminuted (+40 fragments) fracture of the thoracic vertebrae; extensive hemorrhages in the spinal canal, bones and adjacent skeletal muscle; due to the large numbers of fragments, it was not possible to evaluate for predisposing lesions”

Through a FOIA request to the California Horse Racing Board, I have confirmed the following deaths at that state’s tracks in 2018. (Please note: The Board redacted the names of the dead horses; any identifications below came via other channels. Also, because of the sheer volume, I will be posting in increments of 10.)

yet-to-be-named, January 16, Santa Anita T
right forelimb: closed, comminuted, complete, displaced, articular, transverse fracture of the distal metacarpus III; below the transverse fracture line, there were innumerable small fragments of bone; there were two large bone fragments that stayed in place; all articular surfaces of the fetlock had marked scoring of the cartilage and were covered with innumerable small irregular bone fragments; “left forelimb: in general, findings are similar as described above; there was an open (8 cm long skin tearing at medial distal aspect of the MCIII, with protrusion of a fragment of bone), comminuted, complete, displaced, articular, transverse fracture of the distal MCIII; all articular surfaces of the fetlock had marked scoring of the cartilage and were covered with innumerable small irregular bone fragments” That’s two broken legs.

the above’s necropsy photos…


Verraco, January 19, Santa Anita R
“right radius/ulna fracture, open, comminuted, complete, displaced, acute, with: 5 major bone fragments, smaller missing fragments; avulsion of proximal 2/3 of ulna from radius; bone fragment protrusion through hemorrhagic, gaping skin tear; humerus osteochondral fragnentation [sic], complete, displaced, acute; pre-existing degenerative joint lesions; gastric ulceration chronic

Verraco’s necropsy photos…


Syndrome, February 11, Golden Gate R
“in the respiratory tract, the trachea contains a small amount of pink frothy fluid; the lungs are diffusely distended and do not collapse when the chest was opened; the parenchyma is light red pink with diffuse congestion and edema with frothy fluid exuding from the cut surfaces of the airways – cause of sudden death not identified

Tribal Fighter, February 15, Santa Anita R
acute suspensory apparatus failure with disarticulation of the metacarpophalangeal joint; marked, acute excoriation/ulceration of articular cartilage; moderate/marked subcutaneous and deep soft tissue hemorrhage extending from the mid-shaft of the cannon bone to the distal extremity of the 1st phalanx”

Tribal Fighter’s necropsy photos…



unidentified, February 16, Santa Anita T
fractures of the proximal sesamoid bones…comminuted, complete, displaced, articular; complete transverse transection of the intersesamoidean ligament; transection of the lateral collateral sesamoidean ligament; fraying and hemorrhage of the lateral collateral ligament of the fetlock joint, and of the medial and lateral branches of the interosseous ligament; partial transverse rupture of the deep digital flexor tendon with fraying and hemorrhage of the proximal and medial segments up to the midline at the level of the fetlock joint; fraying and hemorrhage of the lateral margin of the superficial digital flexor tendon; hemorrhage of the common digital extensor tendon; hemarthrosis of the fetlock joint, and extensive hemorrhage…of the soft tissues extending along the length of MCIII to P2″

Del Mar Darling, February 16, Santa Anita R
fractures of the proximal sesamoid bones, comminuted, mid-body, complete, displaced, articular; transverse and longitudinal rupture of the intersesamoidean ligament; transverse rupture of the superficial digital flexor tendon with fraying and hemorrhage; complete rupture of the deep digital flexor tendon…with extensive fraying, linear fissures and hemorrhage of the proximal and distal halves; complete rupture of the medial collateral ligament of the fetlock joint and of the medial collateral sesamoidean ligament, and extensive fraying and hemorrhage of the lateral collateral sesamoidean ligament and collateral ligament of the fetlock joint; avulsion fracture of the distal end of MCIV, and incomplete fracture of the distal end of MCII”

unidentified, February 21, Santa Anita
chronic laminitis – top of coffin bone thru the sole – both front limbs

the above’s necropsy photo…

Game Piece, February 23, Los Alamitos R
MC3 is completely shattered into 50-100 variably sized boney shards and fragments; there are four complete fractures through the articular surface; the skin overlying the mid-diaphyseal region of the dorsal aspect of MC3 is multifocally torn with extensive subcutaneous hemorrhage and protruding shards of bone

Game Piece’s necropsy photos…


Silverado Mist, March 1, Santa Anita R
fracture of the proximal sesamoid bones; rupture, intersesamoidean ligament and fibrocartilage; rupture of the short and cruciate lateral sesamoidean ligaments; marked fraying and extensive hemorrhages of the suspensory ligament; palmar osteochondral disease…MCIII (chronic) [in both front legs]”

Silverado Mist’s necropsy photo…

unidentified, March 10, Santa Anita T (euthanized March 13)
catastrophic fracture of the right hind 1st phalanx following surgery; the two osteochondral fragments of the proximal bone were largely held in place (with some displacement) by the 3 inserted surgical screws; however the mid-distal diaphysis of the bone had shattered post-surgery…with exposure of surgical screw

the above’s necropsy photos…