According to the official chart (Equibase), B B Molly was a mere “eased over the wire” in the 5th at Finger Lakes Thursday. “Eased” – positively innocuous, huh? Turns out, the filly was actually “vanned off” for a slab fracture and, says the Gaming Commission, euthanized. Dead at three. Finger Lakes now sits at 16 killed on the year.

This is horseracing.

From the most recent Stewards Minutes from “The Big Fresno Fair”: In the 2nd race last Saturday, Ought to Be Wanted “was euthanized due to a catastrophic injury.” He was six years old, and this was his 15th time under the whip.

California “SB-469” passed both chambers unanimously (118-0) and was signed into law by Governor Newsom on June 26. A direct result of Santa Anita’s most recent killing season (36 dead horses), the new law gives the California Horse Racing Board the authority to “at any time, immediately suspend a license to conduct a racing meeting when necessary to protect the health and safety of the horses or riders that are present at the racing meeting. The suspension shall remain in effect until the board determines that the matters jeopardizing the health and safety of the horses or riders…have been adequately addressed.” Well.

Since the June 26 enactment, this (23 dead racehorses):

No New Friends, killed racing at Pleasanton June 30
Sandra Smiles, killed training at Pleasanton July 7
yet-to-be-named filly, dead back in stall at Los Alamitos July 8-July 14
Charge a Bunch, killed training at Del Mar July 18
Carson Valley, killed training at Del Mar July 18
Cuervo Foose, killed racing at Los Alamitos July 20
Bowl of Soul, killed training at Del Mar July 29
Black Site, killed racing at Santa Rosa August 1
unidentified, dead back in stall at Del Mar July 31-August 4
It’s The Ice, killed racing at Santa Rosa August 8
unidentified, dead back in stall at Del Mar August 5-August 11
Bri Bri, killed training at Del Mar August 12
Always Checking, killed racing at Los Alamitos August 17
Bronco Brown, killed racing at Ferndale August 18
Mr. Frank, killed racing at Golden Gate August 18
Da One Two Special, killed racing at Los Alamitos September 1
Free Ricky, killed racing at Los Alamitos September 7
Eagle Screams, killed training at Golden Gate September 14
Zeke, killed training at Santa Anita September 16
Contratto, killed racing at Los Alamitos September 22
Emtech, killed racing at Santa Anita September 28
Ought to Be Wanted, killed racing at Fresno October 5
Ky. Colonel, killed training at Santa Anita October 5

On September 25, Bridget Moloney was killed in a race at Mountaineer. But there was another death earlier that day at Mountaineer – one that would have gone unreported if not for this site.

Around 6:30 a.m., according to two trusted sources at the track, a horse named Rockaroo somehow got loose from her stall. At some point, she either crashed into a fence or simply took a fall; regardless, she broke one or more – the sources could not be sure – legs. A death sentence, of course. But there was no vet to be found. In fact, even with training beginning at 7, it took until 8:20 for one to arrive at the track. Meantime, track personnel had to hold the mortally-injured Rockaroo down, with one person reportedly having to leave as the scene’s horror proved too much. By the time the pink was delivered, almost two hours had passed – that’s two hours of unfathomable, unconscionable pain, terror, and suffering for this poor animal.

According to the West Virginia Racing Commission rules, “an association shall provide an equine ambulance staffed by trained personnel on association grounds on each day that the racetrack is open for racing or training.” An advocate reached out to the Commission’s executive director and asked: “What does ‘trained personnel’ mean? Does it mean a vet tech? A track vet? If a horse falls shortly before training begins and suffers a severe injury, what ‘trained personnel’ will be there to euthanize the horse since only a licensed vet can do so?”

The director wrote back: “‘Trained personnel’ means employees trained to drive the tractor and operate the equine ambulance. During racing a State Vet. is present when the horse is loaded into it and when the horse is taken back to the barn an Association Vet. is there to meet it and the horse is treated at the barn. During training an Association Vet. is there when placing the horse in and follows the horse back to the barn for treatment.”

When informed (though he surely already knew) of Rockaroo’s fate, and asked why, at the very least, a vet wasn’t on site at the beginning of training (7 a.m.) and what protocols – how to keep a broken horse calm, pain relief, etc. – are in place for a tragedy occurring before training, no response.

No response. This is horseracing.

This, today at Belmont, courtesy of the NYS Gaming Commission: “E Z for You to Say was euthanized in stable at Belmont Racetrack for severe laminitis [both front] feet.”

First, let’s disabuse the notion of a “non-racing” death: E Z for You to Say was put to the whip just last month at Belmont (and Saratoga before that). But get this: She was only two years old – “severe laminitis,” both front feet. Please take a moment to contemplate this poor animal’s short, mean existence on this planet. Sad beyond words. For Belmont, this makes 31 dead horses on the year. Belmont, Santa Anita, Keeneland, Gulfstream – it matters not a whit. Horseracing kills horses. Period.