Through a FOIA request to the Illinois Racing Board, I have confirmed the following kills at that state’s tracks in 2021 (this is part 2; part 1 here).

Classofsixtynine, Mar 2, Hawthorne S – “horse developed uveitis, [became] completely blind in both eyes, not safe, euthanized” (three years old)

Expect Elprada, Mar 3, Hawthorne S – “equine protozoal myeloencephalitis” (nine years old, had been raced 50 times)

Tak, Apr 3, Hawthorne R – “broke down – multiple comminuted fractures, ambulanced to designated area, euthanized”

In For the Chase, May 14, Suburban R – “horse dropped and died at the 3/4 pole – likely due to extensive hemorrhage within the lungs”

Jam Up, May 18, Fairmount R – “horse broke down – fetlock shattered”

Shacks Your Daddy, Jun 22, Arlington S – “severe diarrhea, severe colic – horse expired in stall [not euthanized, just died]” (three years old)

Solar Circle, Aug 9, Arlington S – “large colon fecal impaction” (two years old)

Seanshine, Aug 22, Arlington S – “down in stall – history of progressive hind-end neurologic symptoms going back about one month…euthanized”

King of Miami, Sep 16, Arlington T – “collapsed and died – pulmonary hemorrhage” (three years old)

Three Amigos, Sep 29, Arlington S – “chronic, severe degenerative osteoarthritis; no rescue would accept [him]” (just four years old)

Reveille, Sep 30, Arlington S – “neurological for some time, progressively worse”

Golden Lily, Oct 5, Hawthorne T – “came off track in respiratory and cardiac distress; collapsed, paddled, and died” (four years old)

Sassy Coyote, Oct 8, Hawthorne S – “hit head in stall, was seizuring and bleeding from nose, mouth, and ears…euthanized” (three years old)

Beyond Streetsmart, Oct 15, Hawthorne R – “[multiple] fractures – taken to the designated area and euthanized”

Cajun Moon, Oct 28, Hawthorne T – “jockey heard a pop – [multiple] fractures”

Insane Lifestyle, Nov 1, Hawthorne T – “collapsed on track dead with blood in nostrils; horse had a history of being a severe bleeder”

Parolee, Nov 5, Hawthorne R – “broke down at 1/4 pole – [multiple] fractures, ligament rupture”

Not Accredited, Nov 6, Hawthorne R (euthanized Nov 8) – “returned lame after the race – comminuted slab fracture” (not euthanized for two days)

Cadet Captain, Nov 21, Hawthorne R – “[multiple] fractures, ruptured ligaments”

Charlo, Nov 24, Hawthorne S – “severe colic” (three years old)

Mora Valley, Nov 26, Hawthorne S – “yesterday the horse had profuse bloody diarrhea; horse was found dead in stall this morning”

Mommas Boy Otis, Dec 26, Hawthorne R – “horse fell at the top of the stretch – complete, open fracture of cannon…euthanized on the track”

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

Trivial, Feb 17, Hawthorne T – “After returning [to barn] it was noted that the horse did not seem right and was wobbly. The horse [then] collapsed dead in the stall. Suspect exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage, cardiovascular event.”

Rich E Z, Apr 24, Hawthorne R – “The horse had a LF open [through the skin] fracture, humanely euthanized on track.” This was Rich’s 69th turn under the whip.

Westyn Go Home, May 21, Arlington T – “Horse dumped rider and fell – broken shoulder at neck of scapula, severe hemorrhage.” Westyn was just two years old and being prepped for his first race.

Charlie’s Heir, May 22, Arlington R – “Horse went down, had a few spasms, and died. Also suffered an open fracture of the pastern [presumably in the collapse].” Charlie’s Heir was but four years old.

Rio Seco, Jul 4, Arlington R – “[Sudden death], obvious cause not identified. One consideration given the time of year is heat exhaustion or heat stroke. The weather in region was in the high 80s to low 90s. The body temperature of this horse recorded at the time of death was elevated at 104 F.” This was Rio’s 43rd time under the whip.

yet-to-be-named 2-year-old filly, Jul 23, Arlington T – “Horse fractured shoulder and was humanely destroyed.”

Canary Islands, Jul 25, Arlington R – “Pelvic trauma: both back legs would not move and horse stood knuckled over, non-ambulatory.” For gambling, for entertainment.

Through a FOIA request to the Illinois Racing Board, I have confirmed the following deaths at that state’s tracks in 2020. There is, as you will see, a most conspicuous gap from January to June – no deaths reported. I went back and forth with the Board on this. Its position: “As you are aware racing in Illinois during 2020 was affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. During the time of January-June…there was no racing in Illinois.” When I pressed further – “how about training or horses stalled at the tracks?” – I was summarily dismissed: “There are no further documents related to your request.” In a word, absurd. First off, it’s not wholly accurate: There were a handful of dates at Fairmount in March. Second, horses were still stalled at tracks and, presumably, engaged in some sort of training. We’re talking almost six months here.

What I am finding, not just in Illinois but in several states, is that recordkeeping, lacking in the best of times, has been particularly slipshod during covid. There is no question that many, many dead racehorses have fallen through the cracks. So, take the following with a healthy dose of salt.

Token Vow, Jan 4, Hawthorne R – “dropped dead at 1/4 pole – copious amount of blood from nostrils”

A P Fireball, Jun 23, Fairmount T – “fractured fetlock at the joint”

Hawk’s Image, Jul 4, Fairmount T (euth Jul 6) – “fractured ankle, ruptured suspensory”

Louie’s Kingdom, Jul 7, Arlington T – “horse collapsed and died” (four years old)

unidentified 2-year-old, Jul 14, Arlington S – “on 7/13, filly flipped repeatedly in the barn; [next day] found down and unresponsive – comminuted fractures of pelvis”

All Call, Jul 18, Arlington S – “found dead in stall – ruptured stomach”

Muffins Revenge, Jul 30, Arlington R – “unrecoverable injury – euthanized on track”

Nuttinholdinmeback, Aug 24, Arlington T – “tibia shattered into 2 large and at least 48 small fragments”

Cook Memories, Aug 27, Arlington R – “collapsed on track, unresponsive”

Flash for Corona, Aug 30, Arlington S – “found dead in stall – severe, gangrenous pleuropneumonia”

Lucky Lorretta, Nov 14, Hawthorne R – “stumbled coming out of the gate…went down at 3/16 pole – euthanized on track”

unidentified, Nov 27, Hawthorne S – “severe colic”

And He’s Loose, Dec 13, Hawthorne R – “compound fractures; ruptured ligament; open, disarticulated fetlock joint – euthanized on track”

In a FOIA request to the Illinois Racing Board, I have confirmed the following deaths at that state’s tracks in 2019. (This is Part 2; Part 1 can be found here.)

Neuqua, Jul 27, Arlington R – “sesamoid fractures…humanely euthanized”

Crafty Attack, Aug 10, Fairmount R – “fractured carpus”

R Rocket Man, Oct 12, Hawthorne R – “open, comminuted fx…euthanized on track”
(Equibase says the 2-year-old colt, about to be whip-raced for the very first time, was “restless in the gate before the start.”)

Go Oshie Go, Oct 12, Hawthorne R – “dropped dead on track” (five years old)
(This was the very next race after R Rocket was euthanized on the track. The chartwriter said Go Oshie fell after “[taking] a few erratic steps.”)

Magic Dragon, Oct 22, Hawthorne T – “collapsed and died on track” (four years old)

Royal’s Position, Oct 26, Hawthorne T – “[multiple] fractures – multiple fragments”

Mummy Troll, Nov 10, Hawthorne T (euthanized Nov 12) – “MCIII fracture”

Kinsella, Nov 14, Hawthorne R (euthanized Nov 19) – “joint collapse”

Echoes of Laughter, Nov 24, Hawthorne T (euthanized Nov 25) – “joint collapse”

Snapperette, Dec 13, Hawthorne R – “complete, open fetlock disarticulation”