Fact: Racehorses are in a constant state of flux. As commodities – chattel – they are ever being bought and sold, and with that, shuffled from barn to barn, trainer to trainer. But even when not, they are often on the move – shipped from track to track and across state lines. Because of all this, it is utterly pointless to attempt to draw distinctions among the various tracks and states, to argue that a certain one is “safer.” Case in point, the first kill of the Del Mar season yesterday.

Lovely Lilia “suffered a catastrophic injury after completing a four-furlong workout” and was euthanized, reports The San Diego Union-Tribune. While the 3-year-old was being prepped to race at Del Mar, her last race was at Santa Anita less than a month ago. In that race, she finished dead-last – a mere 59+ lengths back. Who’s to say she didn’t incur some sort of injury there that eventually led to her death yesterday? (LL was also raced in Arkansas back in April.) If so, it still goes in the books as a Del Mar fatality. So you see, it’s pure folly to compare; U.S. Horseracing is a single entity – or to borrow their lie of a sports metaphor, one giant league. A kill at one is a kill for all.

(By the way, the Tribune’s writers, John Cherwa and Bill Center, degraded Lovely Lilia’s death by pointing out how “safe” Del Mar has been of late: “Last year, at the summer meeting, [Del Mar] had no racing deaths and four in training. Two of those in training were the result of a freak accident [please] where two horses collided in the morning. In the shorter fall meeting, there were three racing deaths and two in training.” How sick is that? “Safe” for these two apologists is nine dead animals. For gambling.)

The 9th at Monmouth yesterday, as relayed by Equibase: “Ilchester Cheetah was bumped after the start, raced off the pace, injured on the turn, pulled up and was euthanized.” That’s it – an intelligent, sensitive, fully-sentient being’s life snuffed, and summed in 20 cold, harsh words. Horseracing is ugly and cruel and mean. Horseracing is murder, on a daily basis. This red stain must be forever scrubbed from our national landscape. Now.

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission has confirmed that Alittlevodka, a “went wrong, vanned off” in the 3rd at Churchill May 31, is dead. From the official report:

“Gelding was racing in the pack and suddenly pulled up near the 7/16’s pole with an injury to his left front limb. The KHRC veterinarian summoned the equine ambulance and administered a sedative/analgesic to assist loading onto the ambulance and minimize further injury. He was ambulanced off the track and after consulting with the private veterinarian the decision was made to euthanize the gelding due to the extent of his injuries and a poor prognosis.”

Necropsy findings:

“Left forelimb: biaxial sesamoid fractures, comminuted. Right forelimb: There is a single lag screw fracture repair of the first phalanx. On interview with the trainer it was noted that the lag screw in the RF P1 was placed before the horse began racing.”

So: This poor animal suffered a fracture and was operated on prior to ever being entered in a race; was then put to the whip 31 times on a screwed-together leg; was killed when his other leg snapped. This industry’s wickedness knows no bounds.