Two horses were killed in the same Aqueduct race (8th) yesterday afternoon:

7-year-old Quick Money, being raced for the 54th time, “clipped heels and fell heavily to the track and was immediately struck by two foes behind…tragically succumbed to neck trauma.” Dead in the dirt. For trainer Rudy Rodriguez, this makes 12 NY dead in the past three years.

5-year-old Half Nelson “struck the fallen foes [Laila’s Jazz also went down] directly in front falling heavily to the ground then was subsequently vanned off.” Euthanized in the necropsy area. This is trainer Thomas Albertrani’s third fallen athlete since May (Handstand, Zo Sophisticated).

Once again (Princes On Thelake, Wednesday), NYRA has whitewashed the replay from its website. This is horseracing.

In the 9th at Hawthorne last night, 11-year-old (almost 12) Hurta broke down and was euthanized. If not for a pair of fallen jockeys who were transported to the hospital (which usually garners some media attention), Hurta’s final fate would have remained unknown, just the way Racing wants it. Equibase: “HURTA…took a bad step…fell while striking SPECTACULAR ACT…and was subsequently vanned off the course.”

In his final two years of life – a life spent entirely in captivity – Hurta was an almost exclusively cheap ($5,000) claimer. Trainer on death day: Eduardo Rodriguez.

The following athletes were killed on American playing fields yesterday:

In Aqueduct’s 5th, 4-year-old Princes On Thelake “came under urging at the five-sixteenths, broke down nearing the quarter pole falling heavily to the track and was euthanized.” This was the Eduardo Jones-trained filly’s second race in a week. Curiously, the replay of the 5th – and only the 5th – is missing on NYRA’s website.

In Finger Lakes’ 7th, 4-year-old Carla Sweetrevenge “dueled for the lead early, dropped back along the rail…gained and then broke down and fell a furlong out.” Euthanized. The trainer was Jeremiah Englehart.

In Turf’s 1st, 2-year-old Sweet Strider, being raced for the first time, “pressed early then was pulled up in distress…euthanized.” The trainer was Jerry Gourneau.

And finally, in Delta’s 8th, 3-year-old Precocious Kitty “chased the early pace from the inside, was pulled up entering the second turn and euthanized.” “Pulled up and euthanized.” Earl Bankston trained.

Sport? Good, clean family fun?

To those who wager on horseracing, we implore you to reconsider. And ultimately, you hold all the cards: no more bets, no more races; no more races, no more kills. And, no more separating foals and moms, no more abusing unformed bodies, no more confining, no more whipping, no more drugging, no more doping, no more buying and selling and trading and dumping. No more auctions, no more kill-buyers, no more transport trucks, no more abattoirs. No more pain, no more suffering. No more.

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In a landscape that abounds with other gambling options – casinos, lotteries, real sports involving autonomous human beings – hasn’t the time at long last arrived to let the racing horse be? You, the bettor, have within the capacity for mercy. We ask only that you exercise it. Please. For the horses.

Two horses are dead from colic-related complications: 3-year-old Keen Katana on Sunday (at Belmont) and 6-year-old Fast Bullet just this morning. The industry and its apologists are quick to dismiss fatalities like these as simple misfortunes, something that can and does happen in myriad horse settings the world over. But we’re not fooled – Racing’s handprints are all over these young corpses.

From May through October, 4-year-old Wild Perfection was a full and active cog in the Finger Lakes claiming machine. But then, nothing, a 5-week silence that given the who (cheap horse, bottom-feeder connections), what (running in races that pay first through last), and where (pound-em-often FL) was deafening. That Wild Perfection turned up dead should come as no surprise. The circumstances, however, are most disturbing. According to the Gaming Commission, the Arcadio Lopez-trained horse was “found dead in [his] stall” – reason “unknown” (which because of the who, what, and where is exactly how it will remain).

Other NY racehorses found dead or dying in their stalls this year:

Clawback, April 10th at Aqueduct
Corvo, April 10th at Belmont
Liberty Cruise, May 5th at Yonkers
The Lucky Dream, July 10th at Finger Lakes
Majic Laughter, July 29th at Batavia
Superbe Rulah, August 6th at Monticello

Without knowing the exact cause, we can only speculate. But there is a good chance that Wild Perfection suffered before dying – all alone. Imagine that.

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