Through a FOIA request to the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, I have confirmed the following kills on that state’s tracks thus far this year. Please note, however, that despite Kentucky’s claim of new and improved transparency, it has been very difficult to get all information on track deaths. In fact, initially I was told that the Commission had no record of training deaths even though I’ve received those from them the past two years. And as you will see below, I was forwarded but one stall death. In short, surely this list is not a full reckoning of Kentucky horseracing carnage.

Queen Jeanne, Feb 22, Turfway R
“[multiple] fractures of the sesamoids; the connective tissues of the distal limb are expanded by a large amount of hemorrhage and edema, with tearing of both the medial and lateral digital veins; soft tissue damage is extensive”

Tell It Ina Melody, Mar 28, Turfway R
“[multiple] fractures with marked connective tissue damage; there is tearing of the medial digital artery and vein”

Cathedral Reader, Apr 6, Keeneland R
“open, disarticulated, displaced condylar fracture; comminuted sesamoid fracture; failure of all associated soft tissue structures”

Mandel, Apr 10, Keeneland R
“[multiple] fractures sesamoids with extensive soft tissue damage; the following soft tissues were torn or ruptured: palmar annular ligament, suspensory ligament, superficial and deep digital flexor tendons, and distal sesamoidian ligaments”

unidentified 3-year-old filly, Apr 15, Churchill T
“fracture sesamoid with disruption of the associated soft tissue structures”

Amandine, Apr 19, Keeneland R
“[multiple] displaced fractures; soft tissue damage is significant”

Into Morocco, Apr 20, Keeneland R (euthanized Apr 22)
“sesamoid fracture, suspensory rupture”

Kinley Karole, May 16, Churchill R
“comminuted MC3 fracture; the cartilage loss and parasagittal groove scoring were pronounced and more severe than one would expect to see in a first time starter”

unidentified 2-year-old filly, Jun 6, Churchill T
“open, comminuted fractures of both sesamoids; soft tissue damage is extensive”

unidentified 14-year-old, Jun 7, Churchill
“found dead in the stall this morning”

unidentified 2-year-old filly, Jun 13, Churchill T
“horse was breezing and broke down at the wire”

unidentified 3-year-old filly, Jun 13, Churchill T
“fractures [both front legs]”

High Beam, Jun 13, Churchill R
“pulled up with severe ataxia and white mucous membranes; horse collapsed and died within few minutes – massive pulmonary hemorrhage”

Will Call, Jun 29, Churchill R
“horse collapsed and died – massive hemorrhage within tissues of the thorax and abdomen; extensive hemorrhage over the spine, both sides of the neck, and the hip”

Facing ever-increasing demands for transparency – most especially from diligent journalist Caitlin McGlade and the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting – the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission has agreed to release the names of its dead horses, and they’re doing it publicly on the Commission website. While it is unclear whether all kills (notably, training) will be published, for now we have these six:

Queen Jeanne, Feb 22, Turfway R
“Left forelimb: biaxial mid-body sesamoid fractures. The palmar annular ligament, medial annular ligament and intersesamoidean ligament were ruptured. The lateral annular ligament, suspensory ligament, superficial digital flexor tendon, deep digital flexor tendon, straight sesamoidian and oblique sesamoidian ligaments were torn. The medial and lateral digital veins are torn.”

Tell It Ina Melody, Mar 28, Turfway R
“Left forelimb: Lateral sesamoid: apical fracture. Medical sesamoid: comminuted basilar fracture. The palmar annular ligament was ruptured. The following structures were torn: Medial annular ligament, medal and lateral branches of the suspensory ligament, superficial and deep digital flexor tendons, and all distal sesamoidian ligaments. There were changes noted in the synovial tissues of the fetlock joint.”

Cathedral Reader, Apr 6, Keeneland R
“Right forelimb: Compound lateral condylar fracture and axial fracture off the lateral sesamoid. The fetlock joint is luxated. The superficial and deep digital flexor tendons, intersesamoidian, straight sesamoidian, and annular ligaments are torn. The medial aspect of the suspensory ligament is ruptured.”

Mandel, Apr 10, Keeneland R
“Left forelimb: Closed luxation of the fetlock joint. Lateral sesamoid: Apical fracture. Medial sesamoid: comminuted apical and basilar fractures. The following soft tissues were torn or ruptured: palmar annular ligament; suspensory ligament; superficial and deep digital flexor tendons; and distal sesamoidian ligaments.”

Amandine, Apr 19, Keeneland R
“RF lateral, displaced condylar fracture and biaxial sesamoid fractures.”

Into Morocco, Apr 20, Keeneland R
“Right hind: Apical-abaxial fracture of the medial sesamoid. Medial extensor branch of the suspensory ligament is torn.”

Through a FOIA request to the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, I have confirmed the following deaths on that state’s tracks in 2018. The Commission, however, redacted identifying information on the basis of confidentiality (though in some cases I was able to independently identify). More significantly, they forwarded but one death at the state’s three harness tracks. In other words, the actual toll is surely more than what follows – and what follows is 72 dead racehorses.

unidentified (probably Briar Hill Baron), January 18, Turfway R
“There is a lateral condylar fracture that begins within the parasagittal groove and extends 7 cm proximally. There is a further 2 cm, individual fragment proximal to the main fracture. There is an axial avulsion fracture of the lateral sesamoid bone. Soft tissue damage is severe. The connective tissues of the distal limb are expanded by a moderate amount of edema and hemorrhage.”

unidentified, January 20, Turfway T
“There is a complete slab fracture of the third carpal bone. The medial and lateral aspects of the fracture, at the proximal articular surface are comminuted. The joint fluid of the intercarpal joint is hemorrhagic, with small spicules of bone. The articular surfaces of the radial and intermediate carpal bone are excoriated; the ulnar, second and fourth carpal bones have cartilage scoring.”

unidentified (probably Brixton), January 26, Turfway R
“There is a surgically repaired lateral condylar fracture with mild degradation of the bone within the fracture line at the transverse ridge.”

unidentified, January 27, Turfway R
“There is a complete, displaced, slab fracture of the third carpal bone, with the displacement measuring up to 1 cm and the defect filled with fibrin and bone spicules and granular bone debris. There is shearing of the proximal aspect of the radial carpal bone. All articular surfaces within the intercarpal joint are scored to excoriated. The medial palmar intercarpal ligament is markedly edematous and ruptured.”

The Brick, February 15, Turfway R
“There are biaxial, mid-body fractures of the sesamoids, with the lateral fracture having an additional mid-body fracture. Soft tissue damage is extensive.”

unidentified, February 28, Turfway T
“There is an open lateral condylar fracture, with laceration of the skin at the proximal aspect. There is a second, semilunar bone fragment at the dorsal aspect of the fracture. There is an apical fracture of the medial sesamoid with associated soft tissue damage. The connective tissues of the distal limb are expanded by a moderate amount of hemorrhage and edema.”

The Truth Or Else, March 17, Turfway R
“A cause of the acute collapse could not be determined. The anterior chamber of the right eye contains bloody fluid. There is moderate congestion and hemorrhage of the nasal cavity and pharynx. The muscles and subcutaneous tissues of the cranial cervical region are expanded by hemorrhage and edema.” (finished 80+ lengths back)

unidentified, March 30, Turfway T
“There are biaxial sesamoid fractures with severe connective tissue damage. The lateral fracture is apical and the medial fracture is a comminuted basilar fracture. The tissues of the distal limb are moderately expanded by edema and hemorrhage. Stomach: chronic, gastric ulceration.”

unidentified, April 11, unidentified Thoroughbred track T
“Horse working 1/2 mile, suddenly collapsed with no warning – inflammation was found scattered throughout the heart.”

unidentified, April 13, Keeneland R
“The fetlock joint is open, with disarticulation and severe soft tissue damage. There are biaxial sesamoid fractures, with the medial fracture being a comminuted basilar fracture and the lateral being an apical fracture. Moderate, diffuse, acute, pulmonary congestion and hemorrhage. Moderate, focally extensive, chronic, gastric ulceration.”

Hazel Ann I Am, April 14, Keeneland R
“Right forelimb: There is a comminuted slab fracture of the third carpal bone that spans the radial carpal facet and the intermediate carpal facet. There is excoriation of the cartilage of all bones within the two joints (acute trauma). The radiocarpal and middle carpal joint fluid is hemorrhagic, with spicules of bone interspersed. Left forelimb: There is a comminuted slab fracture of the radial carpal facet of the third carpal bone with formation of many very small fragments between the slab fracture and the parent bone. There is excoriation of the cartilage of all bones within the two joints. The radiocarpal and middle carpal joint fluid is hemorrhagic, with spicules of bone interspersed.” (that’s two broken legs)

unidentified, April 20, unidentified Thoroughbred track T
“Right forelimb: There are biaxial sesamoid fractures. Soft tissue damage is severe. Left carpus: There is marked cartilage erosion and loss of the distal radius and the intermediate and radial carpal bones, with arthrosis. The tissues of the distal limb are expanded by a large amount of edema and hemorrhage. The lungs are moderately congested with…multifocal hemorrhage. Mild, multifocal, acute, gastric ulcers.”

Bullards Alley, April 21, Keeneland R
“There is a complete, displaced, lateral condylar fracture. Additionally, there is an apical fracture of the medial sesamoid. The tissues of the distal limb are expanded by a moderate amount of edema and hemorrhage. Moderate, diffuse, acute, pulmonary congestion with mild hemorrhage. …chronic, gastric ulcers.”

unidentified, May 1, Churchill R
“A cause of acute collapse and death in this case could not be determined. The lungs are diffusely and mildly congested and edematous with multifocal areas of hemorrhage. Joint fluid discoloration and staining of the articular surfaces of the left fetlock joint are suggestive of chronic hemarthrosis. There are severe gastric ulcers, with the largest ulcer measuring approximately 10 cm in length and 2 cm in width.”

unidentified (probably Aztec Lion), May 2, Churchill R
“There are multiple, comminuted fractures of the intermediate carpal bone and multiple small fractures of the proximodorsal aspect of the third carpal bone. There is a lag screw in the third carpal bone. The screw is intact and firmly embedded. The joint fluid is hemorrhagic and contains bony spicules. Stomach: Severe, locally extensive, gastric ulcers with submucosal edema.”

unidentified (probably Colony Strike), May 11, Churchill R
“There is a complete, diaphyseal, spiral fracture of the third metacarpal bone that extends from the carpometacarpal joint to approximately 8 cm proximal to the condyles. The connective tissues of the distal limb…are markedly expanded by hemorrhage and edema.”

unidentified, May 19, Churchill T
“Sustained collision on racetrack; suspect internal hemorrhage; was dead on arrival… There is a fracture of the left ischium, with tearing of the associated soft tissue.”

unidentified (probably A Bag of Money), May 19, Churchill R
“There are biaxial, markedly comminuted fractures of the proximal sesamoid bones. The suspensory ligament is severely torn, with tearing and hemorrhage extending to within 2 cm of the insertion. The tissues of the distal limb are expanded by a large amount of edema and hemorrhage.”

unidentified, May 23, unidentified Thoroughbred track T
“Became weak immediately post-exercise, collapsed – died soon after. Myocarditis may have contributed to the collapse in this animal through an acute conduction abnormality. Mild hepatitis is often seen in young horses in training, though it was more significant in this case than in others.”

unidentified, May 25, unidentified Thoroughbred track T
“There is a complete, spiral fracture of the humerus that spans the length of the diaphysis. The connective tissues surrounding the humerus are markedly edematous and hemorraghic, with tearing of the associated soft tissues.”

unidentified (probably Lovelily), May 27, Churchill R
“The lateral sesamoid fracture is apical and the medial sesamoid fracture is basilar. There is marked soft tissue damage. The tissues of the distal left forelimb are expanded by a moderate amount of hemorrhage and edema.”

unidentified, May 28, unidentified Thoroughbred track T
“There are biaxial, comminuted, sesamoid fractures. Soft tissue damage is severe, including nearly complete rupture of the both the superficial and deep digital flexor tendons.”

unidentified, June 5, unidentified Thoroughbred track T
“There is a comminuted fracture of the medial sesamoid, with severe soft tissue damage. The tissues surrounding the fetlock joint are expanded by a mild amount of edema and hemorrhage. Stomach: gastric ulceration.”

unidentified, June 19, unidentified Thoroughbred track T
“Horse appears to have broken pelvis, ambulanced off, became recumbent in stall, worsened, euthanized – two fractures, one…causing marked shearing of the bone.”

unidentified, June 20, unidentified Thoroughbred track T
“There is a massively comminuted fracture of the first phalanx, with a fracture line extending through midline in the sagittal plane and coursing from the proximal to distal articular surfaces. The remaining fracture fragments range from 3 x 3 cm to bony shards. There are two fracture fragments at the dorsal lateral aspect that are attached to the extensor tendons and embedded within the synovial pad and two palmar medial fragments that are still attached to the sesamoidian ligaments (avulsion fractures). The tissues of the fetlock and pastern are expanded by a large amount of edema and hemorrhage. …there is grade 2 dorsal metacarpal disease.”

Payntermaniac, June 30, Churchill R
“There are complete, comminuted slab fractures of the second and third carpal bones, with artefactual cartilage excoriation of the ulnar, intermediate and radial carpal bones. There is a moderate amount of hemorrhage surrounding the carpus. The middle carpal joint is filled with blood with admixed spicules of bone.”

unidentified, July 5, unidentified Thoroughbred track T
“A slab fracture was on the cranial side of C3. Portions were missing of the intermediate carpal bone which might have originally been a slab but it was reduced to bone chips in the joint space.”

unidentified (probably Algo First), July 6, Ellis R
“There is an open, comminuted, spiral, medial condylar fracture of the metatarsus. The fracture measures approximately 23 cm, but an accurate measurement cannot be made due to marked comminution and loss of integrity of the diaphysis. There is tearing of both extensor tendons and the body of the suspensory ligament, with fragments of embedded bone in all three structures. There are missing bone fragments throughout the length of the fracture.”

unidentified (probably Super Derecho), July 7, Ellis R
“There are slab fractures of the radial and intermediate carpal bones, with a fracture of the distal articular aspect of the ulnar carpal bone. The intercarpal ligaments…are markedly frayed. There is a slab fracture of the radial facet of the third carpal bone and a small fracture of the articular surface of the radius. The connective tissues surrounding the carpus are expanded by a moderate amount of edema and hemorrhage. The antebrachiocarpal and intercarpal joints contain a large amount of hemorrhagic fluid, with spicules of bone admixed.”

unidentified (probably Locomotion), July 7, Ellis R
“There are multiple fractures of the lumbar vertebra, with mild hemorrhage and edema… There are complete fractures of the first and second lumbar vertebra… There is an incomplete fracture of the second lumbar vertebra… The spinous processes of the second and third lumbar vertebra are fractured in the medial plane. There is disruption of the joints at L1-2 and L2-3 with fractures of the cranial and caudal processes. The left, sixth rib is fractured with a small lung laceration that is covered with fibrin and clotted blood.” (Equibase chart simply said, “clipped heels, fell”)

unidentified, July 9, Ellis T
“Horse pulled up with a catastrophic injury to the right hind limb. On initial observation there was an open comminuted fracture to the right hind mid cannon bone. Horse was…loaded into the horse ambulance. It [‘it,’ not he] was euthanized.”

unidentified, July 9, Ellis T
“Horse pulled up with a catastrophic injury to the right carpus…sedated and loaded into the horse ambulance. …there appears to be multiple comminuted fractures to the right carpal bones, and a loss of column support. The horse was euthanized.”

unidentified, July 11, Ellis T
“There is a complete, spiral fracture of the humerus that spans approximately two-thirds of the diaphysis, originating at the caudodorsal aspect, immediately distal to the humeral head. The tissues surrounding the humerus are expanded by a large amount of edema and hemorrhage.”

unidentified (probably Patriot Song), July 21, Ellis R
“There are biaxial sesamoid fractures with severe soft tissue disruption [including] complete rupture of the intersesamoidian ligament in a transverse plane. The connective tissues of the fetlock are expanded by…edema and hemorrhage and there is tearing of the digital vein. The right fetlock contains a large amount of blood that heavily stains the cartilage of the first phalanx, metacarpus and sesamoids. Extensive soft tissue damage, including rupture of the intersesamoidian ligament is likely what caused this fracture to palpate as comminuted.”

unidentified, July 23, Ellis T
“Horse pulled up with a catastrophic injury to the front fetlock involving the sesamoid bones. It [‘it,’ not he] was sedated, a kimsey splint applied and loaded into the horse ambulance. On palpation, the lateral sesamoid appears to be fractured mid body and the medial sesamoid is fractured basally. The horse was euthanized.”

unidentified, July 27, Ellis T
“There is a 9 cm lateral condylar fracture that originates in the parasagittal groove… The cortical bone at the edges of the fracture is jagged. There is a small, axial, avulsion fracture of the lateral sesamoid. The tissues of the distal limb are expanded by a large amount of hemorrhage and edema. Stomach: gastric ulceration.”

unidentified, July 29, Ellis T
“Biaxial sesamoid Fx – sedated and euthanized.”

unidentified (probably Enlisted Man), July 29, Ellis R
“There are biaxial sesamoid fractures… Soft tissue damage is severe. The connective tissues of the fetlock are expanded by a large amount of hemorrhage and edema, with tearing of the lateral digital vein.”

unidentified, August 5, Ellis R
“Horse was galloping out and abruptly stopped and fell. Horse stumbled and lost consciousness very rapidly. The horse died almost immediately after falling. Field diagnosis: cardiovascular failure or hemorrhage.”

unidentified, August 25, unidentified Thoroughbred track T
“Pulmonary hemorrhage – died on track, vanned off.”

unidentified, August 31, unidentified Standardbred track T
“Massive, acute, pulmonary hemorrhage – died on track.”

Chattel, September 8, Kentucky Downs R
“Fell, unable to rise – complete, comminuted, fracture of the humerus that includes a sagittal fracture of the humeral head and the entirety of the diaphysis. Lung: pulmonary congestion and hemorrhage. Stomach: gastric ulceration.”

Bronson, September 8, Kentucky Downs R
“There are multiple fetlock fractures: a ten cm lateral condylar fracture, an apical fracture of the medial sesamoid, an axial avulsion fracture of the lateral sesamoid and a comminuted fracture of the first phalanx. Soft tissue damage is extensive. Stomach: chronic, gastric ulceration.”

unidentified, September 12, unidentified Thoroughbred track T
“This horse was exercising when the horse reared and fell to the ground.”

unidentified, September 15, unidentified Thoroughbred track T
“There is a complete, comminuted, diaphyseal humeral fracture. The tissues of the shoulder are expanded by a large amount of edema and hemorrhage, with tearing of the muscle.”

unidentified, September 16, unidentified Thoroughbred track T
“There is a lateral condylar fracture that measures 10 cm in length and originates in the parasagittal groove, 7 mm from the sagittal ridge. The first phalanx is fractured, with the fracture originating in the proximal articular surface and spanning the diaphysis… The fracture is comminuted. Soft tissue damage is severe, including complete rupture of the intersesamoidian ligament. The connective tissues of the fetlock are markedly expanded by edema and hemorrhage.”

unidentified, September 18, unidentified Thoroughbred track T
“Left hind limb: There is an open, comminuted, spiral fracture of the medial condyle that spans the diaphysis. Both forelimbs: degenerative joint disease of the middle carpal joints. Lungs: pulmonary congestion and edema [and] hemorrhage.”

Ricochet Bay, September 20, Churchill R
“There are lateral condylar and medial sesamoid fractures with severe soft tissue damage. The connective tissues of the distal limb are expanded by…edema and hemorrhage. Lungs: pulmonary hemorrhage. Stomach: gastric ulceration.”

Conquest Hiosilver, September 21, Churchill R
“There is complete luxation of the fetlock joint. The deep and superficial digital flexor tendons are ruptured. There are biaxial, basilar fractures of the sesamoids, with rupture of the distal sesamoidian ligaments and the collateral ligaments of the fetlock, with tearing of both extensor branches of the suspensory ligament.”

Medlin, September 22, Churchill R
“There are open fractures of the lateral condyle and medial sesamoid. The lateral condylar measures 7.5 cm in length and originates 8 mm from the sagittal ridge. The medial sesamoid fracture is markedly comminuted.”

Lilt, September 23, Churchill R
“Right forelimb: There are biaxial fractures of the proximal sesamoid bone. Fractures of the lateral sesamoid include an apical fracture and an axial avulsion fracture. There is a comminuted basilar fracture of the medial sesamoid with a further fracture within proliferative new bone at the distal margin of the sesamoid. Soft tissue damage is extensive, with tearing of the medial digital vein and moderate connective tissue edema and hemorrhage. Left forelimb: There is an area of hemorrhage within the subcutaneous tissues over the dorsal fetlock. The joint capsule is mildly torn and there is a chip fracture at the proximolateral aspect of the first phalanx. Lungs: moderate to…large numbers of hemosiderin-laden macrophages (previous EIPH).”

unidentified, September 24, unidentified Thoroughbred track T
“There is a complete, spiral, medial condylar fracture with a small skin laceration. The fracture measures approximately 22 cm in length. The connective tissues of the limb, from the tarsometatarsal joint distally, are expanded by a large amount of hemorrhage and edema. Lungs: pulmonary congestion and edema. Stomach: gastric ulceration.”

unidentified (probably Coach’s Dream), September 28, Churchill R
“Bilaterally, there is near complete failure of the suspensory apparatus… Massive tearing of the suspensories precludes examination for previous injury to the soft tissues and damage induced by instability of the fetlock joints has partially obscured preexisting conditions in the bone. Recognizable changes including scalloping of the sesamoids bilaterally, with bony proliferation at the basilar aspect. Changes are more pronounced in the right limb, with the sesamoids having bony proliferation that has partial fractures. There is [grade 2] arthrosis of the transverse ridges of the condyles. Stomach: gastric ulceration.” (Coach’s Dream was four years old)

unidentified, October 5, Keeneland R
“There is a comminuted, apical fracture of the medial sesamoid. The fetlock contains hemorrhagic joint fluid. Stomach: Focally severe, chronic, gastric ulceration.”

unidentified, October 13, unidentified Thoroughbred track T
“There is a markedly comminuted fracture of the first phalanx that extends from the proximal to the distal articular surfaces. The connective tissues of the distal limb are markedly expanded by edema and hemorrhage.”

unidentified, October 14, unidentified Thoroughbred track T
“Both scapula are fractured, with a primary transverse fracture across the distal aspect of the spine of the scapula. Bilaterally, the connective tissues and muscles surrounding the shoulders are markedly expanded by edema and hemorrhage with tearing of the muscles at the base of the scapula.”

Next Dance, October 17, Keeneland R
“Horse pulled up and fell – open, comminuted fracture of the first phalanx…numerous small fragments of bone embedded in the connective tissues.”

unidentified (probably Gasaway), October 31, Churchill R
“Left shoulder: There is a complete, comminuted fracture of the humerus, with tearing of the associated muscles. The fracture extends from the caudomedial aspect of the diaphysis and spans the length of the humerus. The connective tissues of the shoulder are markedly expanded by hemorrhage and edema. Left third metacarpus: There is a healed lateral condylar fracture with fixation by a lag screw. Stomach: chronic, gastric ulceration.”

unidentified, November 3, unidentified Thoroughbred track T
“There are biaxial, mid-body fractures of the proximal sesamoid bones. Lungs: pulmonary congestion. Liver: suppurative hepatitis (background lesion). Kidney: lymphoplasmacytic interstitial nephritis (background lesion).”

unidentified, November 10, unidentified Thoroughbred track T
“Bilaterally, there are open, disarticulated fractures of the front fetlocks. The fractures include lateral condylar and comminuted medial sesamoid fractures of both [italics added] limbs. Soft tissue damage is severe.”

unidentified, November 11, Churchill T
“There are multiple fractures of the fetlock, including lateral condylar, biaxial sesamoid and comminuted first phalanx fractures. The distal limb is expanded by a moderate amount of edema and hemorrhage. Connective tissue damage is severe. Lungs: congestion and edema with multifocal hemorrhage. Stomach: Focally severe, subacute, squamous ulceration.”

unidentified (probably Accumulator), November 14, Churchill R
“Horse started easing and collapsed soon after that. On exam, the mucus membranes were white and the horse was in agonal respiration. The horse was humanely euthanized, thereafter. Suspect possible internal hemorrhage or other sudden death syndrome.” (Accumulator was three years old)

Patsy, November 15, Churchill R
“There is an open, markedly comminuted fracture of the third metacarpal bone. There are myriad comminuted fragments. The sesamoids [have] marked secondary trauma. The suspensory ligament is torn, with embedded fragments of the third metacarpal. Lungs: pulmonary congestion and hemorrhage. Liver: suppurative hepatitis. Stomach: gastric ulceration.”

unidentified, November 17, unidentified Thoroughbred track T
“There is an open fracture of the distal one-third of the diaphysis of the third metacarpal bone. Tendinous and ligamentous damage is limited to tearing of the suspensory, including both branches, with rupture of the medial extensor branch.”

unidentified, November, Churchill R (euthanized November 20)
“The lateral condylar fracture measures 8 cm in length. There is severe, acute, cartilage excoriation on the distal aspect of the third metacarpal, the sesamoids and the first phalanx. The tissues are expanded by a large amount of hemorrhage and edema. The joint fluid is bloody with bony spicules. Stomach: extensive, chronic, squamous mucosal ulceration.”

unidentified (almost assuredly Classysinger), November 25, Churchill R
“There are open fractures of the lateral condyle and both the medial and lateral sesamoids. The condylar fracture originates 15 mm from the sagittal ridge and is 10 cm long, with the proximal 4 cm being comminuted, with missing fragments. There is an apical fracture of the medial sesamoid and axial avulsion fractures of both the medial and lateral sesamoids. Soft tissue damage is severe.” (the chart for Classysinger simply said “went wrong”; in actuality, he was euthanized on the track)

unidentified (almost assuredly Mister McGehee), December 1, Turfway R
“There is an open, comminuted, lateral condylar fracture that spans the length of the diaphysis. The fracture is highly comminuted, with many small fragments embedded in the connective tissues as well as many missing fragments. Lungs: pulmonary congestion, edema and hemorrhage. Stomach: squamous ulceration.”

The Last Factor, December 7, Turfway R
“Left forelimb: There are open fractures of the lateral condyle, medial sesamoid and lateral sesamoids, with severe soft tissue damage. Right forelimb: There are slab fractures of the palmar aspects of the intermediate, second and third carpal bones. The soft tissues of the dorsal aspect of the carpus, including the flexor retinacula of all carpal joints and the extensor tendons are torn. There is tearing and rupture of multiple intercarpal ligaments.” (that’s two broken legs) And: “Lungs: Focally severe, acute congestion and hemorrhage. Stomach: Severe chronic gastric ulceration.”

unidentified (almost assuredly Alta Rita), December 12, Turfway R
“There are fractures of both proximal sesamoid bones. The connective tissues of the distal limb are expanded by a large amount of hemorrhage and edema. Soft tissue damage is severe.”

unidentified (probably Troubled Charlie), December 19, Turfway R
“There is a closed, complete disarticulation of the fetlock with a lateral condylar fracture and axial lateral sesamoid fracture. The lateral condylar fracture is comminuted and measures 13 cm in length. Soft tissue damage is severe, including rupture of the medial extensor branch of the suspensory and protrusion of the medial condyle through the annular ligament.”

In addition, these still-very-much-active racehorses died on track grounds from what the industry craftily calls “non-racing” causes. Technically true, perhaps, but morally they are no less casualties of this vile business than the ones above. (Please note: The Commission only forwarded two of these stall deaths; surely, there were many more.)

unidentified, February 3, unidentified Thoroughbred track
“Subacute meningomyeloencephalitis, Equine Herpesvirus. Brain: Perivascular cuffing and multifocal acute hemorrhage. Lung: Severe, acute, diffuse congestion. Stomach: Severe, chronic, ulcerative gastritis.”

unidentified, November 15, unidentified Thoroughbred track
“Showed signs of severe colic…treated…worsened…dropped dead in the stall.”

Through a FOIA request to the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, I have confirmed the following deaths at that state’s tracks in 2017. The Commission, however, redacted identifying information on the basis of confidentiality (though in some cases I was able to independently identify). Still, this is the first time Kentucky has provided any documentation. Also, please note that when full necropsy information was given, an overwhelming majority were found to have stomach ulcers at death. Stomach ulcers. (Warning: At the bottom of the post, I have included necropsy photos for the horse killed while training on September 6 – they are graphic.)

unidentified, January 3, unidentified track, training, “horse broke left shoulder while galloping this morning”

unidentified, January 20, Turfway (probably Irish Filibuster, race 2), “massively comminuted carpal bone fractures…majority of the intercarpal ligaments are torn”

A Risky Peace, February 22, Turfway, race 5 (euthanized Feb 23), “left forelimb: complete, comminuted fracture of the first phalanx; right forelimb: partial, non-displaced fracture of the first phalanx” – that’s two broken legs

Shakeyogroovething, March 25, Turfway, race 2, “severe injury to LH limb; tearing of the digital veins and arteries bilaterally with severe hemorrhage”

unidentified, April 4, unidentified track, training, “multiple, comminuted carpal fractures”

Langtanz, April 9, Keeneland, race 5, “basilar fracture of the medial sesamoid, with a second fracture dividing the basilar portion into two pieces…damage to the sesamoidian ligaments is severe, with rupture of the straight, oblique and cruciate sesamoidian ligaments”

In My Dust, April 13, Keeneland, race 4, “sesamoid fractures with fetlock luxation”

unidentified, April 18, unidentified track, training, “approximately three centimeter full-thickness laceration over the medial sesamoid…distal limb is expanded by a large amount of edema and hemorrhage and there is massive soft tissue damage, including complete rupture of the superficial and deep digital flexors and the suspensory ligament…biaxial sesamoid fractures…moderate degenerative joint disease of the carpus in both forelimbs”

unidentified, May 2, unidentified track, training, “horse died suddenly during morning gallop – marked amounts of white, foamy fluid extend the length of the trachea and up to the pharynx and nasal passages…the lungs fail to collapse, are heavy and discolored purple-red with scattered pleural petechial hemorrhage”

unidentified, May 9, unidentified track, training, “slowed down, dropped to track, instant death – gums white; suspect heart attack or ruptured aorta”

unidentified, May 11, unidentified track, training (died next day), “worked yesterday, found uncomfortable in the stall, spiked fever, no lung sounds on one side – died before euthanized”

unidentified, May 12, Churchill (probably Big Red Rocket, race 8), “horse broke both sesamoids”

unidentified, May 22, unidentified track, training, “right hind medial condylar fracture; right front lateral condylar fracture” – that’s two broken legs

unidentified, May 29, Churchill, prior to racing, “horse reared up leaving stall and flipped over hitting head – complete fracture of the occipital bone, with complete separation of the occipital condyles from the rest of the skull…massive amount of blood in the calvarium, the oropharynx, nasopharynx, nasal passages”

unidentified, May 30, unidentified track, training, “pelvic fracture”

unidentified, June 1, Churchill, racing, “fell after the wire – open fracture of the lateral condyle of the third metacarpal bone…soft tissue damage includes severe tearing of the suspensory ligament throughout the length and rupture of the medial extensor branch of the suspensory”

unidentified, June 2, Churchill (probably Hotbutteredsoul, race 9), “comminuted fractures of the lateral condyle and medial sesamoid”

unidentified, June 10, Churchill (probably Task Force Glory, race 9), “horse collapsed after race…hind end ataxia before collapsing – died on track”

My Bright Idea, June 18, Churchill, prior to race 6, “flipped in paddock – severe concussion and bled-out; large amount of dried blood on the external nares and on the front limbs…nasal passages contain a large amount of blood and there is marked hemorrhage within the connective tissues of the head…skull is fractured in multiple places, with the largest fracture separating the occipital condyles from the calvarium…myriad fractures of the basilar part of the occipital bone and the sphenoid bone…bone fragments are embedded in the meninges and the calvarium contains clotted blood…severe ulceration of the squamous mucosa of the stomach”

unidentified, June 21, unidentified track, training, “open, comminuted, medial condylar fracture of the third metatarsal bone”

unidentified, June 25, Churchill, racing, “horse collapsed – severe pulmonary hemorrhage; large amount of bloody froth in the trachea, nasal cavity and within the nares…marked pulmonary hemorrhage, with the right side being more severely affected than the left…large amount of blood exudes from the lungs upon sectioning”

unidentified, June 26, Keeneland, training, “medial condylar fracture that begins in the medial parasagittal groove and extends 19 cm”

unidentified, June 27, unidentified track, training, “sudden death; lesions in the heart are relatively mild, but are present throughout all chambers of the heart…moderate to marked pulmonary congestion, edema and hemorrhage, with a moderate amount of hemorrhage around the larynx”

unidentified, June 30, Churchill (probably Spicoli, race 5), “biaxial sesamoid fractures and severe soft tissue damage…multiple spherical gastric ulcers…and an arborized ulcer, which extends over a 8 x 3 cm region, is located in the squamous mucosa of the stomach”

unidentified, June 30, unidentified track, training, “drop dead acutely while training – no history of injury or illness”

unidentified, July 3, unidentified track, training, “distal limb is heavily bandaged and the connective tissues are expanded by a large amount of edema and hemorrhage…biaxial, mid-body fractures of the proximal sesamoids…palmar digital annular ligament is ruptured in a transverse plane that corresponds with the sesamoid fractures”

unidentified, July 9, unidentified track, training (euthanized July 10), “two incomplete fractures of the first phalanx”

unidentified, July 17, unidentified track, training, “connective tissues of the distal limb are expanded by a mild amount of edema and there are biaxial sesamoid fractures”

unidentified, July 31, unidentified track, training, “complete, spiral fracture of the humerus…at the origin of the fracture, the periosteum is thickened and dark red…underlying cortical bone is dark red, proliferative and roughened…connective tissues of the left shoulder are expanded by a large amount of edema and hemorrhage”

unidentified, August 2, Keeneland, training, “the connective tissues of the distal limb are expanded by a large amount of edema and hemorrhage…there is tearing of both the lateral and medial digital veins…fragments from the medial fracture missing…soft tissue damage is severe”

unidentified, August 26, unidentified track, training, “open fractures of the lateral condyle of the third metacarpal bone and the lateral sesamoid…extensor tendons are torn and there is bone embedded within the suspensory ligament…lateral condylar fracture is comminuted, with multiple missing fragments and spans the length of the diaphysis”

unidentified, August 27, Ellis (probably Shot Glass, race 5), “carpus is swollen and unstable, with the joint containing abundant bloody fluid with bony particles admixed…comminuted slab fractures of the radial, intermediate, ulnar, third and fourth carpal bones, with the slab fractures being entirely separated from the underlying bone…severe ligamentous damage, with rupture of a number of the intercarpal ligaments and the collateral ligaments”

unidentified, August 28, unidentified track, training, “multiple fractures to multiple bones; the lungs are mildly edematous and congested, suggesting increased respiratory effort terminally as the result of pain and excitation”

unidentified, September 6, unidentified track, training, “fetlock joint of the left foreleg is swollen as a consequence of hemorrhage within the subcutis, tendon sheath, and outer joint capsule in response to a complete fracture of the medial sesamoid bone”

Mutazen, September 9, Kentucky Downs, race 5, “condylar fracture, sesamoid fractures”

unidentified, September 19, Keeneland, training, “sudden cardiac collapse during morning workout”

unidentified, September 22, Churchill, racing, “complete fracture of the lateral condyle of the third metacarpal bone…medial sesamoid is fractured, with an apical fracture and a second fragment in the midbody…soft tissue damage is severe”

unidentified, September 23, Keeneland, training, “multiple fractures of the medial sesamoid and soft tissue damage is extensive”

Ten City, October 7, Keeneland, race 8, “complete, lateral condylar fracture…soft tissue damage is severe, including rupture of the intersesamoidian ligament”

unidentified, October 10, unidentified track, training, “connective tissues surrounding the humerus are expanded by a marked amount of hemorrhage and edema, with tearing of the muscles…complete, spiral fracture of the humerus”

Galilianco, October 15, Keeneland, race 7, “open fracture of the lateral condyle of the third metacarpal bone and a comminuted fracture of the medial sesamoid”

I Am Iron Max, October 22, Keeneland, race 4, “lateral condylar fracture…extensive soft tissue damage, including complete rupture of the medial extensor branch of the suspensory ligament and tearing of the suspensory ligament itself”

unidentified, November 1, unidentified track, training, “cause of acute collapse and death could not be determined – rider reported the horse feeling very unstable just before collapsing”

unidentified, November 5, unidentified track, training, “comminuted fracture of [pelvis]…extensive hemorrhage dissects the gluteal, adducter and psoas muscles along the left side of the pelvis”

unidentified, November 20, unidentified track, training, “cause of acute collapse could not be determined”

unidentified, November 22, unidentified track, training (euthanized November 24), “complete fracture of the first phalanx”

In addition, these still-very-much-active racehorses died on track grounds from what the industry craftily calls “non-racing” causes. Technically true, perhaps, but morally they are no less casualties of this vile business than the ones above.

unidentified, March 21, unidentified track, “found dead in stall – the presence of an acute traumatic lesion to the left hind limb…suggests colt became uncomfortable during the night and injured his limb while rolling/becoming cast or otherwise struggling; gastric ulceration was severe enough in this case to have caused pain, in addition to the colonic lesion…large numbers of tape worms in the cecum”

unidentified, July 1, unidentified track, “horse died this morning – showed symptoms of Potomac Horse Fever”


I’ve recently begun filing FOIL/Right-to-Know requests with various state racing commissions in an effort to secure the names of the 2014 deceased (above and beyond the ones we already know about). As expected, results have been mixed. Two states – Ohio and Washington – responded with quick transparency. Most, though, I wait on. And then there are two (thus far) that sent back swift rejections:

Minnesota: “In response to your request for information for the names of the racehorses who died or were euthanized at Minnesota racetracks for calendar year 2014 in an email dated 1/14/2015, we are prohibited from sending this information by Minnesota law. Minnesota Statute 156.082 states that veterinary records of a client that are maintained by a state agency, statewide system, or political subdivision are private [italics added] data on individuals or nonpublic data…”

And this from Kentucky, one of Racing’s cornerstone states: “This letter is in response to your Open Records Request… In that request, you seek ‘the names of the racehorses who died or were euthanized at Kentucky racetracks for calendar year 2014.’ The KHRC is not in possession of any documents that would be responsive to your request. You may want to contact the Jockey Club…”

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Juxtapose the above with a much touted recent news item on “Kentucky deliver[ing] its safest year on record” (well, at least since they began keeping track – 2007). A Blood-Horse article says that last year “there were 16 catastrophic breakdowns during races [they conveniently ignore training deaths] at Kentucky Thoroughbred tracks.” In that article, the Commission’s medical director, Mary Scollay, credits the “success” to a “collaborative effort.” In other words, while Dr. Scollay and the rest of the Commission can (shamelessly) tell us that only 16 horses “catastrophically broke down” on Kentucky tracks last year, they can’t tell us who they are – because, you know, they’re “not in possession of [those] documents.”

After I replied by calling their claim dishonest and insulting, I received a follow-up. Although cordial in tone, the Commission still maintains that they know not which horses died on Bluegrass tracks last year. As a consolation, however, they generously provided me a spreadsheet of “race-related fatal injuries” from ’07-’14. Wow.

Kentucky, those 16 (that you’re willing to concede) animals killed in the pursuit of handle cash were individuals – intelligent and sensitive beings with distinct personalities. They deserve more than being lumped into a single nameless, faceless tally. In the end, though, it is an indignity befitting their entire pathetic lives.