The 9th at Gulfstream yesterday: “Salambo bumped with Sleeping Giant and checked at the start, went wrong in upper stretch and was pulled up, and had to be euthanized” (Equibase). Salambo was four and under the whip for the 23rd time.

I can also confirm that J Rob, the horse who was whipped – “vigorous urging” – to a “win” at Fair Grounds Thursday then was “vanned off” after the celebratory photos, is indeed dead – fracture, euthanized. To add insult, the 2-year-old was sold immediately prior to being killed. Vile. Horseracing.

By all measures, X Y Jet was a hugely “successful” racehorse: multiple graded-stakes wins, lifetime “earnings” of over $3 million, etc. So of course, news of his death would be all over the racing press. Never mind that these same rags – Paulick, BloodHorse, Daily Racing Form, et al. – utterly ignore the cheap, pedestrian horses who die every day on American tracks. This was a “star”; this was newsworthy.

Yesterday, trainer Jorge Navarro announced that X Y Jet suffered a heart attack after a training session. He was seven years old. For those unfamiliar with the development and lifespan of a horse, a seven-year-old is just out of adolescence – in the prime of life. Heart attack. Anyhow, here is Navarro’s full “WE LOVE YOU X Y JET” statement:

“With deep regret, I am sorry to notify you that X Y Jet died this morning as a result of a heart attack. X Y Jet was more than a horse on my trained list, it [not ‘he’] was the one that took us through a wonderful and exciting roller coaster of emotions. He always fought against adversity and despite the injuries that affected him during his career, he always brought out that kind of champion he was.

“Beyond the racetracks, XY Jet becomes [sic, but then again who can be bothered with proofreading?] part of my family, was like the older brother of my children and of course, that affection extended to all those who in one way or another related to this swift, mood [sic], but noble racehorse.

“Since his arrival at my stable at the end of 2014, I immediately felt that connection with him, which remained until today and will surely remain with me until the day of my departure. I owe X Y Jet so much, that I’m sure there are no words that can specify my thanks to his nobility and class, I do not say goodbye to a horse, I say goodbye to a friend that I will carry forever in my heart. Keep running fast to your next destination X Y Jet.”

“with deep regret”

“he always fought against adversity”

“he always brought out that kind of champion he was”

“part of my family”

“like the older brother of my children”

“that connection…will surely remain with me until the day of my departure”

“I do not say goodbye to a horse, I say goodbye to a friend”

“carry forever in my heart”

“keep running fast to your next destination X Y Jet”

Vile – to the core.

Saddle Club was “vanned off” after “placing” (and “winning” $2500 for her people) in the 4th at Los Alamitos December 28. In fact, I have confirmed (CHRB), she is dead (fracture). Saddle Club was six years old and under the whip for the 18th time.

Horseracing is inherently cruel and inevitably deadly. Horseracing cannot be fixed or “reformed.” Horseracing must end.

In the 2nd at Golden Gate yesterday, Elegant Sundown “suffered a catastrophic injury to his right foreleg at the three sixteenths and was euthanized in the van” (Equibase). Elegant Sundown was made by Sheldon Paldanius and Javier Villalobos, owned by Stan Spano, and trained by Paldanius. Of course, all in, and all who patronize, racing are also complicit in his death.

At Belmont Friday, Yorkiepoo Princess “developed severe laminitis after surgery approximately 5 weeks ago…euthanized in her stall” (Gaming Commission). She was five years old and last raced at Charles Town in September. Made by A. Francis and Barbara Vanlangendonck, owned by Danny Chen, and trained by Claudio Gonzalez.

This is horseracing.

I get it. I really do. “Santa Anita” is sexy – dead horses at perhaps the most celebrated racetrack in the land. Throw in that it’s California, with all that progressive legislation (see fur), and unrelenting pressure from activists (HW), and this story, as they say, has legs. But meanwhile, horses continue to die everywhere else, too.

Yesterday, Louisiana Downs reopened for business (it had been on hiatus since September), and here’s how it unfolded, according to Equibase: In the 3rd, Lrh Fast as Oak “fell” and was “euthanized” (you don’t get a whole lot of detail out of this chartwriter). He was two years old. Two races later, same thing: Perry Train “fell, euthanized.” He, too, was two. Two kills on “Opening Day” – how proud they must be.

To the people who attended, to the people who bet, there are no more excuses: Everyone knows (largely because of Santa Anita) that horseracing kills horses. But here’s another uncomfortable truth: If it were not for your patronage, those poor babies would be alive today. It’s called being complicit. Now the only question that remains is what are you going to do about it?