Through a FOIA request to the Maryland Racing Commission, I have confirmed the following kills on that state’s tracks thus far this year:

Let’s Blaze, May 3, Laurel T – “[multiple] fractures”

Congrats Gal, May 17, Pimlico R – “artery rupture with severe internal hemorrhage”
“Dr. Daniel: When she collapsed after the wire in right lateral recumbency, my initial thought was exhaustion or heat stroke. We quickly got cold water on her, tack off, and after a few minutes, attempted to get her sternal. She rolled back, her heartbeat became harder to feel, and she developed nystagmus. Within 30 seconds she started taking agonal breaths and died on her own.”

String Bean, May 23, Pimlico R
“Dr. Walsh: On the morning she broke down, she was being her usual, high strung self and bucked/jumped down the shed row instead of jogging. The groom had to place a lip chain on her to jog her. When the jockey was pulling her up before the wire, I immediately called the horse ambulance for her as she had an obvious left front lameness. Palpation and visualization showed a displaced mid body sesamoid fracture with the proximal piece comminuted and beginning to swell. The filly was being difficult to hold still and examine. I asked [owner/trainer] if he wanted me to have her taken to the barn so he could get radiographs and see if she was savable or if he wanted to have her euthanized. He said she would be difficult to keep quiet to rehab, he didn’t want to fool with it, and elected euthanasia. For safety of all involved and to allow the horse to settle, she was vanned to the pen for euthanasia verse [sic] doing it on the track so that she could be safely restrained…”

Follow the Petals, Jun 16, Laurel R
“Dr. Daniel: When I arrived Follow the Petals was in left lateral recumbency, had grey oral mucous membranes, no palpable heartbeat, and was not breathing. I removed her tack and she took a few agonal breaths at that point. We believe that Follow the Petals did indeed suffer from cardiovascular collapse while running her race. The subsequent injury to her spinal cord/column further hastened her death on the racetrack in the course of her fall.”

“Dr. Walsh: I reviewed the race footage of Follow the Petals fall. She was racing along well, then as she passed the 16th pole, her head sinks as she has both forelegs flex. As she goes to extend her legs, she clips her toe in the dirt, collapses to the track knees and pole first before rotating in a summersault [sic]. Looking at the pathology report and the incident footage, we believe the fractures to her spine and both knees occurred due to the force of the impact with the track.”

“Pathologist’s Comments: We are very relieved to hear that the jockey is ok. We share your clincial [sic] impression that this mare suffered a severe acute ‘heart attack’, that cardiovascular collapse resulted in her stumbling and flipping and then dying.”

“HEAD: severe subcutaenous hemorrhage over top of head; LUNGS: focally extensive acute hemorrhage; JOINTS: some chronic degenerative joint disease in both hind fetlocks, and moderate to marked chronic degenerative joint disease with synovial irritation in both front fetlocks; STOMACH: acute glandular mucosal ulcers/erosions; extensive chronic active squamous mucosal ulcers; BRAIN STEM, THALAMUS: multifocal acute hemorrhage.” (Follow the Petals was five years old)

Hot Sriracha, Jun 29, Laurel R
“Dr. Walsh: Hot Sriracha was down in right lateral recumbency…when we pulled up. The gelding started to get up, but I was able push him back down. Davy and I were able to hold him down until help arrived so he didn’t struggle getting up and hurt one of the down riders. While holding his head, I could see his right front cannon bone had a comminuted fracture with a large bone fragment piercing the skin mid cannon. He was euthanized on the track as soon as additional help arrived to hold him down.”

“Pathology: The right front distal limb is dangling at an abnormal angle, with sharp bone end protruding out through a tear in the skin. The cannon bone is shattered. There are three full thickness skin defects (tears) through one of which 3cm of the distal end of a fragment of cannon bone protrudes. There are very numerous (>50) bone shards and splinters in the subcutaneous hemorrhage around the holes in the skin, and in the space created by the catastrophic shattering of the cannon bone.”

Through a FOIA request to the Maryland Racing Commission, I have confirmed the following kills on that state’s tracks thus far this year:

Doit for Spite, Apr 17, Laurel T – “condylar fracture…euthanized on the track”

Citi Party, May 5, Laurel R – “ankle on the ground, bandage holding it together – fractures, fetlock capsule ruptured, ligaments ruptured”
In addition: “fetlock: degenerative joint disease; stomach: chronic ulcers – stress”

Seeking the Sunset, May 17, Pimlico R – “vanned off, later collapse[d] in his stall – multiple pelvic fractures with severe acute hemorrhage”
In addition: “degenerative joint disease in fetlocks”

Salutelute, May 23, Pimlico R – “[multiple] displaced fractures”

Hero’s Welcome, Jun 15, Laurel R – “both sesamoids fractured”

Through a FOIA request to the Maryland Racing Commission, I have confirmed the following kills at Laurel Park thus far this year:

Kimberly B., Jan 11, Laurel R
“This filly sustained devastating fractures to two thoracic vertebrae and four ribs, with resultant complete severing of the spinal cord. Dr. Daniel: Upon arrival, Kimberly B was lying on top of the front legs of Tuffy’s Way. The tack was loosened and we attempted to get her up. Using her front end, she pivoted off Tuffy’s Way and then collapsed. Her rear limbs did not move at all during this. I noticed that her back legs were covered in urine. At this point, I assumed that her back was broken. One more attempt was made to get her up to no avail. All connections agreed that euthanasia was the only humane option. Dr. Walsh: When I arrived…the filly had poor anal reflex/tone and was not attempting to move either hind limb. She had a deep pain withdrawal reflex when Dr. Sacksen pricked her with a needle.”

Tuffy’s Way, Jan 11, Laurel R
“The distal left front limb has ruptures in the skin…and the hoof is resting at an unnatural angle…both the fetlock and foot are rotated to unnatural angles by the fractures and avulsions/ruptures of ligaments. Through the large medio-posterior skin rupture projects the distal end of the LF cannon bone, covered in sand; most ligaments and tendons have ruptured. The lateral LF cannon bone condylar fragment is still attached to joint capsule and ligaments and the other fragment of distal LF cannon bone is ruptured from its attachments, displaced ventrally and posteriorly and sticks out through the hole in the overlying skin. The sand covered distal LF cannon bone is discolored, making it difficult to detect pre-existing articular lesions.

Dr. Daniel: Tuffy’s Way was lying in lateral recumbency with Kimberly B lying over her right shoulder and front legs. She was kicking with her rear legs. Once Kimberly B was moved, I could see an open fracture of Tuffy’s Way’s distal cannon bone and ankle. An immediate decision was made to humanely euthanize Tuffy’s Way. Dr. Walsh: I hopped on the second equine ambulance and went down where the spill occurred to assist. Dr. Daniel was euthanizing Tuffy’s Way when I arrived…I examined the leg on Tuffy’s Way following euthanasia. After digging the fetlock out of the track dirt… Pathologist: This filly had pre-existing degenerative joint disease in all four fetlocks.” (Tuffy’s Way was two years old – “degenerative joint disease in all four fetlocks.”)

Rosuri, Jan 26, Laurel R
Fracture right front knee – multiple fragments. Trainer said ‘[he] knew the filly did not like to be hit so instructed the rider to hit only on the shoulder.'”

She’s Stunning, Feb 1, Laurel R
“The right front fetlock was dropped to the ground with a closed fracture/dorso-palmar dislocation. Dr. Daniel could feel bone fragments over the medial condyle and bilateral sesamoid fracture through the bandage…euthanized on the track. Trainer Jamie Bravo-Estrada [said] the horse…maybe took a bad step, felt it was just an unlucky accident. Degenerative changes to both front fetlocks.”

Through a FOIA request to the Maryland Racing Commission, I have confirmed the following kills on that state’s tracks in 2018. Please note, however, that when asked about “non-racing” deaths (colic, laminitis, etc.), the Commission responded thus: “We do not have records regarding off track horses.” So, obviously, this list is incomplete.

Not Above Love, January 7, Laurel T

D. K. Two Step, January 12, Laurel R

No Love Lost, January 14, Laurel R

Vua Saigon, January 26, Laurel R

Vim, February 3, Laurel R (euthanized February 4)

Arrivano, February 4, Laurel R

Summer Gems, February 16, Laurel T
“right front”

Gato Dolce, March 10, Laurel R

Bandits Glory, March 23, Laurel T

Admiral Alexis, March 25, Laurel T

Little Jimmy B, March 29, Laurel T

Raging Regina, March 31, Laurel T

Sticksandbricks, April 14, Laurel T

Ice On the Severn, April 14, Laurel R

Tango Delta, April 14, Laurel R

Colonel Crawford, May 17, Pimlico R

Awesome Alma, May 24, Pimlico R
“ankles” (yes, both)

Ok Braveheart, June 10, Ocean R

Asian Trick, June 20, Laurel T
“left front”

Royal Pass, June 24, Laurel R
“collapse” (two years old)

Minor Legend, July 14, Laurel R

Kaitain, July 14, Laurel R (euthanized July 21)
“left hind”

Defenestration, July 15, Laurel T

Markeesa, July 15, Laurel R

Amigo, July 15, Laurel R

Archie’s Revenge, July 22, Laurel R

Menorah Lora, July 28, Laurel R

Amplify, August 16, Laurel R

Tiz a Trill, August 24, Laurel T
“right front”

X Tra Real, September 13, Pimlico T
“collapse” (four years old)

Crafty Estate, September 14, Laurel R
“collapse” (six years old)

Simpson, September 14, Laurel R
“left front”

Skrilla, September 30, Pimlico T
“right front”

Straight Tequila, October 5, Laurel R

Rubys Fire, October 5, Laurel R

Inorbit, October 14, Laurel T

Yankee’s Milestone, November 8, Laurel T
“right front”

Reedini, November 9, Laurel T
“right front”

Dove Dynasty, November 9, Laurel T

Whateverybodywants, November 14, Laurel T
“screw failure”

Adversary, November 22, Laurel R

Candlestick Nic, December 8, Laurel R

Hazana, December 10, Laurel T

Through a FOIA request to the Maryland Racing Commission, I have confirmed the following kills on that state’s tracks in 2017. Unless otherwise noted, immediate cause of death was limb break of one kind or another – underlying cause, of course, horseracing itself. (Note: The Commission did not forward records on what the industry calls “non-racing” deaths. In addition, nothing on the state’s two harness tracks. In other words, this list, horrific though it is, is ultimately incomplete.)

Nancy’s Spider, January 22, Laurel, race 5
(two years old, second race; first race: last of 13, 56 lengths back)

Mr. Winter, February 2, Laurel, training

Trudys Lucky, February 19, Laurel, training

She Spoke French, March 4, Laurel, training
“sudden” (two years old)

Paranapiacaba, March 4, Laurel, training

Royal Saint, March 11, Laurel, race 8

Kay’s Finesse, March 13, Laurel, training

Find Your Revenge, March 25, Laurel, training

Ideal Behavior, April 2, Laurel, training

Stalk, April 2, Laurel, race 8

Worthy One, April 3, Laurel, training

Really Big Bird, April 9, Laurel, race 8
“sudden” (race chart said “collapsed”)

AJ’s Wolf, April 23, Laurel, training

Stick Shaker, May 6, Laurel, training

Supero, June 9, Laurel, race 1

Pinkie Blu, June 30, Laurel, training

Papa Vinny, July 8, Laurel, race 1

Wonderman, July 29, Laurel, race 7
“sudden” (race chart said “collapsed”)

Credit Ready, August 20, Laurel, race 7

Lisa’s Premier, August 26, Timonium, race 10

Angel’s Gabriel, August 30, Laurel, training

Cuban Argument, September 1, Timonium, race 1

Behind the Times, September 1, Timonium, race 1
(42nd race, in final six finishes averaged 23 lengths back; trainer/owner, David Shorts)

Inspired Flight, September 2, Laurel, training
(coming off back-to-back last-place finishes, combined 39 lengths back; trainer/owner, Phil Schoenthal)

Niigon Express, September 8, Laurel, race 9

Regal Note, September 15, Laurel, race 5
(second race; first race: last, 20 lengths back)

Gloria Patri, September 16, Laurel, race 1

Seventy Niner, September 22, Laurel, race 4

Texarkana Rose, October 3, Laurel, training

Wicked Heat, October 20, Laurel, race 3

Jerandson, October 21, Laurel, race 10

Broad Surprise, October 29, Laurel, race 5

Bistro, October 30, Laurel, race 2

Leather Goods, November 3, Laurel, race 5 (euthanized November 19)

Lay Down the Law, November 24, Pimlico, training

Eyesfirst, December 4, Laurel, race 3

Sunset Arch, December 10, Laurel, training

Sippy Cup, December 15, Laurel, race 4