The NYS Gaming Commission has disclosed the death of 2-year-old Reyana an Reya Act – killed while training at Aqueduct ten days ago. The official Commission statement: “pulled up past finish after breezing, medicated, xrays revealed R carpal slab fracture, euthanized.” Reyana, who was in the early stages of puberty, had been raced once prior to dying. For NY, this makes 92 dead racehorses at its tracks in 2015.


6-year-old Quotable is dead – “humanely euthanized,” says Equibase – after breaking down in the 4th yesterday afternoon at Parx. The pitiful animal had been exclusively a claimer for the past three-plus years; in the last five months of his life, he was made to endure four different trainers and three different owners. In all, Quotable was put to the whip 27 times before being killed. For gambling.

Please stop betting on horse races.


As a rule, the only deaths deemed newsworthy are those of star horses and/or ones occurring in rich races. In other words, with but a few exceptions, the hundreds and hundreds of dead horses on my site – 2014, 2015 – received nary a mention in the Paulick Report, Daily Racing Form, Blood-Horse, etc. This, of course, is to be expected, for reporting on the mass carnage would jeopardize those publications’ very existences. Ever self interest.

In a related rule, extraordinary measures – e.g., surgery to repair a fracture – are reserved for the valuable assets. In other words, a broken claimer at Charles Town is put down immediately; a broken colt/stallion at Saratoga, not necessarily. Both of these rules were on prominent display this week with the death of 3-year-old Gimme Da Lute. As reported in the aforementioned rags, the multiple graded-stakes winning, $627,000 earning, six wins in nine tries colt fractured a leg bone while training at Santa Anita Tuesday. Post-surgery (screws) on Wednesday, Gimme, according to trainer Bob Baffert, “got up awkwardly, twisted his leg, and broke it.” Euthanasia.

In yet another rule, the reporting on these matters typically includes an execrable quote or two from the connections, usually how sick they are. But every so often, a kernel of honesty slips through. Speaking to Blood-Horse, co-owner/breeder Mike Pegram called this “a gutshot,” but then added: “The good thing is, we still have the mama and the papa, so maybe we can catch lightning in a bottle again.” Imagine that.


The NY Gaming Commission reports that two 5-year-old Standardbred mares were euthanized yesterday:

Country Delight, Batavia Downs – undisclosed reason. CD was slated to be raced Wednesday but was a vet scratch.

Delightfully Mine, Saratoga Raceway – colic. DM was last raced Sunday, finishing last.

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Officially, NY’s 2015 Death Toll stands at 91. Unofficially, it’s well into triple digits.