Yesterday afternoon at Louisiana Downs, 3-year-old Aztec Secret was killed in the 3rd race. Complicit in his death: jockey Richard Eramia, trainer Jonas Gibson, owners George and Adam Ackel, and breeder I. Lee Lange. This was Aztec’s first race under Gibson, having run all seven previous starts for the equally complicit Corale Richards.
Later on Saturday, Gameboy Luke, another 3-year-old gelding, died at Santa Anita (race 4). The chart reads: “Gameboy Luke broke down on his own.” Imagine that. Complicit: jockey Rafael Bejarano; trainer Mark Glatt; owners Norman Stables, William Branch, Robert Gramer, David Pycz; and breeder Machmer Hall. This is horseracing.
I have confirmed that 3-year-old (barely) Zion Hill is dead after breaking down in his very first start, Sunday’s 6th race at Mountaineer. The complicit: jockey Luis Rivera, trainer Anthony Farrior, owner Joseph Cucarese II, and breeder LaDona Hudson.
At Yonkers tonight, Standardbred Liberty Cruise died back in the receiving barn “after getting Lasix for [the] 5th Race.” A “non-racing” kill? Hardly. Liberty Cruise was chasing a racino-jacked purse of $10,000 (for driver Jordan Stratton and trainer Carl Tirella).
Also, we have learned that 6-year-old Hotradamus, who was reported as vanned off (“bad step”) in the 3rd race at Santa Anita Thursday, did, in fact, die from his injury. The complicit: jockey Geovanni Franco, trainer and owner Michael Pender, breeder Madeline Auerbach, and all prior connections. This is horseracing.
This, from Sunday’s 6th race at Parx:
4-year-old Debonaire Man “stumbled at the start, was steered wide, was unable to keep pace with winner but gamely held place. Debonaire apparently injured himself at the start and after battling tenaciously to hold the place spot, he was vanned off the racetrack.” Two things: First, he most definitely did not injure himself. Second, and more importantly, jockey Maria Remedio must answer for this horse’s ultimate fate, which, at this point, is unknown. Curiously, in his prior start on March 17th, Debonaire “bobbled early [and] gave way.” The jockey then: Maria Remedio.
Also, 2-year-old (racing says three, but she had yet to reach her third birthday) stakes-placed filly JJ Julep has died of complications from laminitis. Although she did not perish on a track, make no mistake, racing took this young life – took, that is, after first making and using it. Her owner and breeder was Seidman Stables.
An hour-and-a-half after California Chrome won the world’s most prestigious horserace, Churchill Downs closed its Saturday card with a $60,000 maiden run. It was, as it turned out, a deadly one, as 3-year-old Canadian Winner went down and was subsequently killed. While racing enthusiasts bask in the Derby afterglow, we advocates choose to honor the piteous Canadian Winner, another equine child felled by $2 bets. The complicit include Jon Court, D Wayne Lukas, Robert Baker, William Mack, and Brereton Jones.
Also on Saturday, 9-year-old Boston Chief, he of 48 career starts dating back to 2008, died while practicing at Finger Lakes. The cause: “possible heart attack.” Apparently, six long years of servitude (and over $200,000 made for his connections) were not enough, at least not to trainer Charlton Baker and owner Francis Paolangeli. To them, Boston Chief was but an asset who had yet to be fully expended.
And finally, I have confirmed that 3-year-old Polar Pal is dead after breaking down in Friday’s 7th race at Evangeline. The complicit: jockey Jamie Theriot, trainer Ronny Werner, owner and breeder Dan Bell, and all prior connections.