Finger Lakes Racetrack wasted little time in recording its first victim of the brand-new 2014 meet: 3-year-old Recovered suffered a slab fracture in the 3rd race yesterday and was subsequently killed. The thing is, if not for NY’s unique database, Recovered’s death would never have come to light; in fact, the chart shows her as finishing, with no indication of an injury – not pulled-up, not eased, not vanned off. In other words, there are anonymous horses dying back in the barn, off our radar, off anyone’s radar. They simply disappear, just the way racing wants it. Dead horses are bad for business.
Recovered was trained and owned by Donna Bireta and ridden by Jeremias Flores. She was running in a $5,000 claiming race – “for sale” the day she died. This is horseracing.
On Tuesday, 4-year-old American Iron perished while practicing at Finger Lakes. The Stephen Ubbink-trained filly had been under the whip six times, all in 2013, and had earned but $4,300. To racing, no great loss. NY’s 2014 Death Toll: 24.
3-year-old Sicard’s Sensation was killed in the 10th race at Evangeline last night. Sicard’s connections – trainer Kelly Broussard and owner KB Racing – were chasing a purse of $13,000 in a $7,500 maiden-claiming race. Coby Bourque was aboard.
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 forcing unformed bodies onto the track, no more stalling free-spirited animals 23 hours a day, 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 exsanguinations. No more.
In a landscape that abounds with other gambling options – real sports involving consenting human athletes, casinos, lotteries – hasn’t the time at long last arrived to let the racing horse be? You, the horseplayer (or just the occasional bettor), have within the capacity for mercy. We ask only that you exercise it. Please. For the horses.
The summary of 2-year-old Ivebeensaved’s fatal ride yesterday afternoon at Parx:
“…clipped the heels of Over My Head and fell heavily to the ground. Despite immediate and prolonged intervention on the part of track veterinarians, [her] injuries were obviously catastrophic and she was humanely euthanized.”
It’s as if Parx seeks credit for its extraordinary measures and “humane” final act. But the truth is, this was a wanton destruction of life. Horseracing killed this poor young creature; scorn, not commendation, is what’s warranted.
Ivebeensaved was ridden by Josiah Hampshire, trained by Ronald Dandy, and owned by Tedston Holder. This was her eighth race.
Clawback, a 4-year-old colt, was euthanized today at Aqueduct after he was found lying in his stall unable to stand. For trainer David Jacobson (who claimed Clawback back in December), this makes 11 NY deaths since 2009. Clawback ran nine times, all under trainer Richard Violette and owners Klaravich Stables/William Lawrence.
Also today, a 12-year-old gelding named Corvo was found dead in his Belmont stall “due to colic of approximately one week.” It appears that the 73-start veteran was retired, having last raced in 2011. Why, then, was he stabled at Belmont? But more importantly, why was a suffering horse left unattended? The trainer of record is Michelle Nevin.