King Keene, four, has died at Finger Lakes from post-surgery “complications.” This marks the 33rd death at Finger Lakes this year, making it the state leader. It is also the track’s third “non-racing” death in a row. Is anyone at the Gaming Commission taking notes?
During Keeneland’s 5th race Friday afternoon, three-year-old Order of Magnitude “went wrong nearing the furlong marker, was pulled up and vanned off.” Racehorse Memorial reports that the colt fractured sesamoids and was euthanized. Saturday at Delaware Park, Paskha, a three-year-old filly, “broke down and fell in deep stretch [of 4th race].” Sunday at Albuquerque, five-year-old My Sweet Magnolia “was pulled up in distress” in the 6th race. Also on Sunday, two horses were “vanned off” at Belmont (Rewrite History, two, race 6; Trusted Choice, four, race 11) and one at Santa Anita (Smogcutter, two, race 4).
Lavalette Gold imploded after crossing the finish line in Thursday’s 4th race at Belmont, and this time the NYRA cameras couldn’t help but capture the ugliness…around the 1:40 mark (Race Replays, Thursday, Race 4). Dead at three. The video, of course, tells another story, one of cover-up and callousness: While the announcer remains dutifully silent – not a word – on the filly’s fall, which was as plain as the nose on his face, the winner’s people gather for their repugnant photo-shoot, proving once more that common decency in these circles is a commodity, unlike the racehorse itself, in short supply.
Also Thursday, Quarter Horse Bt My First Picture died after breaking down in the 9th race at Evangeline Downs (Louisiana). Priced at $5,000 before the gun, she is now worth considerably less. And finally, on Wednesday, two-year-old For Riches was destroyed on-track at Saratoga Race Course after “sustaining [an] injury galloping.” Galloping. Just a baby, he had yet to run a race.
With the deaths of Standardbred Ideal Joe (“possible heart attack” at Vernon Downs) and Thoroughbred Two Comma Guy (while training at Belmont), New York has tallied 85 racehorse deaths through the first 3 quarters of 2013, a statistic not likely to make the “I Love NY” tourism guide.
Finger Lakes: 32
Saratoga Race Course: 8
Saratoga Gaming: 1