Through a FOIA request to the Maryland Racing Commission, I have confirmed the following kills at that state’s tracks in 2020. It should be noted that in the wake of Santa Anita, Maryland began releasing much more detail. Because these details, including vet testimony, are so powerful (and damning), I will post in multiple installments so as to give each death its proper due.

As always, please consider contacting Maryland politicians and media. Nothing as entrenched as horseracing will change without unrelenting pressure. The message need not be long; in fact, shorter is better – e.g., “Horseracing is animal cruelty, no different than dogracing, which has been banned on moral grounds in 41 states.” Then, copy and paste this list (and the other Maryland reports). Thank you.

Governor Hogan: contact form; twitter; instagram
Senate Majority Leader King: nancy.king@senate.state.md.us; 410-841-3686
House Speaker Jones: adrienne.jones@house.state.md.us; 410-841-3800
Senate members
House members

The Baltimore Sun: newstips@baltimoresun.com; 410-332-6100
ABC Baltimore: newsroom@wmar.com; 410-435-TIPS
CBS Baltimore: 410-578-7568
NBC Baltimore: newstips@wbaltv.com; 800-677-WBAL
Fox Baltimore: news@foxbaltimore.com; 410-467-5595

Yukon Eric, Jan 3, Pimlico T – “horse pulled up and appeared to be exhausted…fell to the track and died – apparent heart attack”; also: “stomach: acute ulcers – presumptive stress” (two years old)

Esterina, Jan 26, Laurel R – “[multiple] severe, open fractures with severe associated hemorrhage”; also: “chronic cartilage damage; chronic degenerative joint disease all four fetlocks; stomach: acute hemorrhage, chronic ulcers” (three years old)

Dr. Daniel (commission vet): “The LH pastern was obviously fractured and I could see blood soaking through the rear bandage at lateral mid cannon bone. I euthanized…once Esterina was deceased, I palpated the LH leg and discovered both sesamoids displaced, P1 had comminuted fractures, and the lateral condyle was indeed fractured. There was also blood soaking through the bandage on the RF [different leg] ankle.”

Pickle Back, Jan 31, Pimlico T (euthanized Feb 3) – “comminuted knee fracture”

Dr. Meittinis (private vet): “Gerry [Brooks, owner/trainer] told Jared to have me inject the knees the first day he came from the farm. The knee was huge, but cold and tight, and he was sound. He wanted to inject anyway, so I did. The horse returned bad from first work off the layoff. Gerry was out of town and wanted to give the horse a few days to see if it [italics added] would sound up some. Gerry got back on Feb 3 and made decision to euthanize because she was still really lame.”

Birdies Honor, Feb 8, Laurel R – “finished the race…suddenly the horse collapsed and died – presumptive heart attack”; also: “chronic degenerative joint disease in distal limbs; chronic synovitis both carpal joints and both front fetlocks” (four years old)

Dr. Daniel (commission vet): “It was determined after his death that he had been taking Thyro-L, a supplement for hypothyroidism. This horse was placed on this supplement without my approval…I would not have approved this supplement as Birdie’s Honor did not fit the clinical picture for hypothyroidism. I am concerned that this supplementation may have contributed to the death of Birdie’s Honor.”

Major Flirt, Feb 15, Laurel R – “fracture/dislocation of fetlock; comminuted, displaced sesamoid fractures; soft tissue damage; [torn] ligaments”; also: “chronic gastric ulcer”

Donald Barr (trainer): “Tough loss.”

Supercross, Mar 18, Pimlico T – “ran into a wall and died”

Dr. Meittinis (private vet): “The horse died on his own from head trauma before I could get there.”

The Magical One, Jun 20, Laurel R – “complete, displaced fractures and soft tissue rupture – vanned off and euthanized”

Irish Crossing, Aug 22, Laurel R – “broke down near 3/8 pole, in significant pain and trying to lie down, limb knuckling and dropped; three major fractures of left scapula, approximately 15 fragments; severed biceps; copious amount of hemorrhage – euthanized on track”; “jockey stated horse was nervous prior to the start of the race”

Polar Bear Pete, Sep 10, Laurel R – “five fractures, multiple pieces; presumed traumatic avulsion; intramuscular hemorrhage”; also: “acute gastric ulcers – acute stress; chronic degenerative joint disease all four fetlocks” (three years old)

One Fat Kat, Sep 18, Laurel R – “both [sesamoids] shattered with associated hemorrhage and ligament damage – euthanized on track”; also: “chronic degenerative joint disease [all four fetlocks]” (four years old)

Dr. Daniel (commission vet): “Filly was very reluctant to come to the paddock [before start of race].”

Through a FOIA request to the Maryland Racing Commission, I have confirmed the following kills at that state’s tracks in 2020. It should be noted that in the wake of Santa Anita, Maryland began releasing much more detail. Because these details, including vet testimony, are so powerful (and damning), I will post in multiple installments so as to give each death its proper due. Please share.

Yes Man, Jun 27, Laurel R (euthanized Jul 2) – “fractured LF fetlock”; also: “multiple, chronic chips RF fetlock [and] five screws in an old hind-limb fracture”

JW Renegade, Jul 6, Ocean R – “collapsed, sudden death – heart attack”

Tricks R For Real, Jul 13, Ocean R – “collapsed and died” (three years old)

My Lila, Aug 8, Laurel R – “[multiple] compound, comminuted fractures and dislocation, LF fetlock; rupture in the skin through which a portion of cannon bone protrudes, sand and debris packed into the hole in the skin”; also: “chronic synovitis in all [four] carpal joints; chronic degeneration in all four distal cannon bones; chronic, active joint disease both hind fetlocks”

My Lila was declared “racing sound” before each and every one of her 15 races, including the one in which she died. She was but three years old.

Talent Scout, Sep 24, Pimlico R – “blunt trauma, catastrophic fractures, LF fetlock; open wound into joint, copious amount of blood, RF fetlock” (that’s both front ankles); also: “significant, chronic degenerative joint disease in both radiocarpal joints” Attending vet, Dr. Daniel: “Talent Scout had an open fracture of the LF fetlock and a severe rundown/wound of the RF fetlock. The horse was unstable and in severe pain. He was euthanized on the track.”

When asked horse’s condition when acquired (June 2020), trainer said, “Fine – old ankles.” Talent Scout was five years old.

Charlie Mops, Oct 11, Laurel R – “rupture of both distal sesamoidean ligaments”

When asked horse’s condition when acquired (two years prior), trainer said, “OK – bad ligaments.” Any history of chronic injury? “Just old and bad tendons.”

Styles, Oct 29, Laurel S – “broke down chasing loose horse – ankle completely dropped, soft tissue rupture”

Moochie, Nov 19, Laurel R – “[multiple] fractures, [bone] displaced and through skin; devastating damage to almost all structures of affected joint”; also: “chronic, degenerative arthritis [in all four feet], stomach ulcers” (two years old)

Super Dancer, Dec 18, Laurel R – “complete fracture of leg, bone exposed up to mid-cannon, area covered in dirt and dried blood; tendons shredded; muzzle, tongue, and teeth coated in dirt, incisor broken at gum line” Dr. Sacksen: “RF limb was clearly fractured and swinging when we approached. A large segment…completely fractured free.”

Isabellaalexa, Dec 19, Laurel R – “[multiple] comminuted fractures, LF fetlock”

Isabellaalexa had a previous surgery with two screws inserted into her RF ankle (not one that broke down). She also suffered from “chronic joint disease.” She was three years old.

Through a FOIA request to the Maryland Racing Commission, I have confirmed the following kills at that state’s tracks in 2019 (previous ones here.) Please note that in the wake of Santa Anita, Maryland began releasing much more detail. Because those details – and the words of the vets – are so powerful (and damning), I will post these in installments so as to give each death its proper due. Please share.

Perfectlyintune, Dec 20, Laurel T
“middle third of the LF cannon bone has shattered into numerous fragments; sharp ends of bone fragments lacerated the skin and protrude, and are thickly coated with sand; the shoe on the LF hoof has been modified to accommodate radical hoof trimming; a wedge shape section of hoof has been removed and the exposed deep surface is black and cracked, with deep fissures and flaking; distal LF cannon bone…cartilage loss; proximal phalanx…cartilage loss; full thickness laceration in the skin over RF [other front leg] fetlock with…associated hemorrhage on the skin and hair, and it is packed with sand; copious amount of bright red (acute) subcutaeous hemorrhage along the medial surface of the RF cannon bone; the surface of the palmar annular ligament is ruptured and packed with sand; stomach…numerous (>30) chronic mucosal ulcers, ranging in size from 3mm diameter to 2cm diameter”

Dr. Walsh: “When I arrived the filly was up on the track near the outside rail. I was told she fell and was originally stuck under the outside rail. Her LF leg had an open fracture of the cannon bone and she was sitting backwards trying to flip over on the handler. Dr. Casey soon arrived and sedated the filly. At that point Dr. Newsome arrived and administered euthanasia. The filly went down and began paddling. Dr. Lockard and Dr. Kerford…took over and administered additional euthanasia.”

Dr. Virginia Pierce (necropsy): “We removed the LF shoe and sectioned the hoof through the defect in the heel. The hoof in the affected region is discolored dark grey/brown, the outermost layers of hoof wall are peeling apart. [T]here is gross evidence of necrosis and disorganization of the structures of the LF hoof.”

Bandito, Dec 24, Laurel S
“cecal perforation, colic, septicemia”

Dr. Plaisance: “On Monday, 12/23 Marco Salazar brought up the concern that the gelding Bandito was not eating like he used to for the past week or so despite being treated with omeprazole and having his teeth floated. On Tuesday, 12/24 Marco Salazar phoned me around 8 am that Bandito was in distress. According to the groom and Mr. Salazar, Bandito acted normal before, during, and after training [yes, they still trained him even though he wasn’t eating normally]. Upon seeing Bandito he was in distress. He had an extremely rapid respiratory rate, excessive sweating muscle fasciculations, looking at his side, and stretched/parked out. The horse was making frequent attempts to urinate. The urine volume was low and the color was brown. He was bleeding slightly from his nose. He was treated with pain meds…Bandito died at 5 pm despite treatment.”

Dr. Daniel: “I did not witness Bandito during his illness. I would expect that he was painful for quite some time.”

Guilty, Dec 28, Laurel T
“horse collapsed suddenly and died – exercise-associated sudden death” (Guilty was just two years old.)

Through a FOIA request to the Maryland Racing Commission, I have confirmed the following kills at that state’s tracks in 2019 (previous ones here.) Please note that in the wake of Santa Anita, Maryland began releasing much more detail. Because those details – and the words of the vets – are so powerful (and damning), I will post these in installments so as to give each death its proper due. Please share.

Aikenetta, Nov 21, Laurel R
“sudden death after race – suspect cardiac; fetlock and right elbow joints: chronic traumatic osteoarthropathy; stomach: chronic squamous ulcers; lungs: multifocal interstitial hemosiderophages – indicative of prior hemorrhage”

Dr. Daniel: “Aikenetta…had mild changes to her shins which had been fired. She had joint capsule hypertrophy of both ankles with moderated decreased range of motion.”

Dr. Sacksen: “Observed mare performing poorly in stretch. Mare vocalized and then collapsed in front of winners circle. On reaching her she was recumbent, mucus membranes were extremely pale/white. She expired shortly after.”

Aikenetta was just five years old.

Bo Vuk, Nov 28, Laurel R
“sesamoid bone has a complete, displaced fracture; intersesamoidean ligament is completely torn; suspensory ligament [has] a longitudinal tear extending from the lateral branch proximally into the distal body; deep digital flexor tendon and superficial digital flexor tendon are frayed and hemorrhagic; palmar annular ligament…torn and hemorrhagic; cartilage loss”

Dr. Daniel: “I have examined Bo Vuk many times in the last few years. He had a thickened distal suspensory of his RF leg. Bo Vuk was closely examined in the post-parade. He was flagged as a horse of concern due to the suspensory ligament. He was sound and the rider had no complaint. Bo Vuk was in the turn near the 1/4 pole when he suddenly pulled up. When I got to him, his RF ankle had suffered a fracture/dislocation and both sesamoid bones were fractured. There was also substantial soft tissue damage. Bo Vuk was humanely euthanized on the racetrack.”

Dr. Walsh: “I flagged the horse on pre-race exam. There was no response to palpation or any indication that this injury would be a problem. When I mentioned to Dr. Daniel, she stated this was an old healed injury that the horse had been running well with.”

Super Annapola, Dec 8, Laurel R (euthanized Dec 11)
“3rd carpal bone fracture…euthanized her because they didn’t want to do surgery”

Dr. Dilodovico: “The filly had a history of a right knee issue on previous exams.”

Super Annapola was four years old and had five previous races; in those, she finished a combined 96 lengths back. “Right knee issue.”