The California Horse Racing Board has disclosed the training death (“shoulder”) of 4-year-old Unveiled this morning at Santa Anita. The colt was being prepped for his first race. He is the 8th horse killed at Santa Anita in 2020 – for, mind you, gambling and entertainment. This alone renders their (specious) “safety rate” utterly meaningless.

Through a FOIA request to the Delaware Dept. of Agriculture, I have confirmed the following kills at that state’s tracks in 2019. Of note, the Delaware Park euthanasias were reported thus: “horse was humanely destroyed” – as if inserting the word “humanely” somehow exonerates them. It doesn’t. More accurate to simply say, “horse was destroyed” – by the “connections,” by the officials, by the bettors and fans. Horses destroyed by horseracing, the industry. Full stop.

Elle Michele A, Mar 27, Dover R – “catastrophic radial fracture”

yet-to-be-named, Apr 1, Delaware T – “severe, displaced humerus fracture”

Rumble, Apr 22, Harrington R – “sudden onset cardiac dysrhythmia”

Princess Nora, May 16, Delaware T – “humerus fracture”

Johnny Jump Up, May 22, Delaware R – “sesamoid fracture”

Pinedo Pandemonium, May 27, Delaware T – “humerus fracture”

Game Lad, May 27, Delaware R – “acute catastrophic rupture of ligaments”

Lookingforanewhome, May 27, Delaware R – “catastrophic sesamoid fractures”

Mercusio, May 29, Delaware T – “collapsed – sudden death” (three)

Cadiz, Jun 6, Delaware T – “condylar fracture”

Well Graced, Jun 13, Delaware R – “catastrophic fracture, disarticulation”

After Jody, Jun 27, Delaware R – “[multiple] catastrophic fractures”

Destructive Flo, Jun 30, Delaware T – “most likely acute pulmonary hemorrhage”

Luckycuba, Jul 19, Delaware S – “found dead with blood and foam at the nostrils”

The Good Odds, Jul 25, Delaware R (euthanized Jul 28) – “catastrophic fractures”

Texas Dolly, Jul 30, Delaware S – “pneumonia/pleuritis”

Glencairn, Aug 5, Delaware R – “displaced sesamoid fractures”

Tidy Stripe, Aug 8, Delaware R – “displaced sesamoid fractures”

Tricky Rose, Sep 9, Delaware R – “catastrophic humerus fracture”

Lucboski, Sep 9, Harrington R – “catastrophic fracture”

Dispel, Sep 11, Delaware R – “[multiple] catastrophic fractures” (first race)

Blarp, Sep 12, Delaware R – “sesamoid fractures with extensive tissue damage”

Bound for Glory, Sep 17, Delaware T – “lame, fracture”

Noontime Salsa, Sep 28, Delaware T – “exercise-associated sudden death” (three)

Indy’s Quick Image, Oct 13, Delaware S – “found dead – acute brain hemorrhage”

Recently confirmed by the Arizona Department of Gaming:

Obligated to None was euthanized after the 6th at Turf January 19. There was, however, no indication of impending death on the Equibase chart – nothing, that is, except for the fact that the 4-year-old finished last of 10, some 36 lengths back. “Showed Little,” said the chartwriter; “Poor Performance,” said the stewards. In fact, one could argue that Obligated was a dead horse racing. His final six:

Oct 28 – 6th of 7, 15+ lengths back
Nov 9 – 5th of 6, 13+ lengths back
Nov 19 – 9th of 11, 17+ lengths back
Dec 14 – 8th of 10, 12+ lengths back
Dec 21 – 7th of 10, 11+ lengths back
Jan 19 – last of 10, 36 lengths back, dead

Obligated was still being raced at the “maiden claiming” level, and for $3500 at that (about as low as it gets). The humans responsible – in addition to the racing secretary, stewards, vets, et al. – were trainer Kyndra McKinney and owner Robert Otero. The breeders were Mr. & Mrs. Keith Grinolds.

Celtic Warrior was euthanized after the 1st at Turf January 25 – “went wrong.” Celtic Warrior was three; ’twas his 9th time under the whip. Trainer, Sandi Gann; owner, North American Thoroughbred Racing Co.; breeder, Glen Todd.

This is horseracing.

Through a FOIA request to the Texas Racing Commission, I have confirmed the following kills at that state’s tracks in 2019. (This is Part 2; Part 1 here.) (Please note: With but two training deaths listed since May, the carnage in the Lone Star State is surely being underreported by the “connections”/tracks/Commission.)

Witt’s Cut, May 10, Lone Star R – “open fracture MCIII”

Sister Ashlee, May 17, Lone Star S – “colic” (last raced 13 days prior)

Hez Dashin Bigtime, May 17, Sam Houston R – “horse flipped in holding barn”

Yankee Gambler, May 19, Lone Star S – “laminitis” (raced 37 times)

Typhoon Tycoon, May 19, Lone Star T – “sesamoid fracture”

Magnum Maduro, Jun 1, Lone Star R – “sesamoid fracture”

Moro Chief, Jun 8, Lone Star R – “fetlock disarticulation”

yet-to-be-named, Jun 13, Lone Star S – “laminitis” (two years old)

F J Uncle Vic, Jun 30, Lone Star R (euthanized Jul 4) – “chondritis” (63rd race)

Pal Play, Jul 11, Lone Star R – “cannon fracture” (first race)

Smoklahoma, Jul 15, Lone Star T – “condylar fracture”

Carolina Jasmine, Jul 20, Lone Star R – “fetlock, both sesamoids”

Miss Perry Twister, Jul 23, Retama S – “colic” (last raced Jul 5)

Squeeze My Corona, Jul 27, Retama R – “spinal cord fracture”

Klone, Aug 10, Gillespie R – “cannon bone fracture”

Chattering Class, Aug 10, Retama S – “foundered” (70 races – most recently Jul 18)

Facunda, Sep 6, Retama R – “spinal cord fracture”

Little Bean, Sep 10, Retama R – “fetlock fracture”

Promissory Note, Oct 4, Lone Star S – “cellulitis”

Tenue de Soiree, Oct 22, Lone Star S – “neck/back”

Fm Dynasty Rock, Nov 9, Lone Star R – “facial/nasal fractures – massive blood loss”

For the second time in two years, The Philadelphia Inquirer’s editorial board blasted the commonwealth for propping up its horseracing industry (to the tune of some $3 billion since 2004). This time, however, the paper also mentioned ever-increasing outrage over dead racehorses, something, I say with pride, we’ve had much to do with. This, coming as it does from Pennsylvania’s largest newspaper, and the governor’s recent proposal to redirect those subsidies toward education are clear indications that times are changing – and fast. With the pressure ratcheting-up, can action – and the sure demise of Pennsylvania horseracing – be far behind?

Here are excerpts (full editorial here).

“For 16 years, Pennsylvania has been saddled with an obligation to prop up a flailing horse race industry. Since [2004], the industry has gotten close to $3 billion dollars from … slot machines. That’s a lot of money — about $240 million per year — that should have by now stabilized and improved the sector. It hasn’t. [A]lmost every data point connected to the performance of Pennsylvania racing shows a decline. The number of wagers, the number of races, the number of horses, the purses paid, and the attendance at tracks: all in decline, a trend going back years.

“Layer those problems on top of growing outcry over the treatment and deaths of racehorses around the country. Starting in 2018, for example, a rash of horse deaths at Santa Anita Park in California led one industry commenter to note, ‘Poorly bred, overraced, exhausted horses being whipped toward the finish line is not a sport; it’s an exercise in sadistic exploitation.’

“A report last year by PennLive/Patriot-News revealed that 87 horses died in Pennsylvania in 2018 alone [it’s actually more; see my report]. [W]e have to ask, not for the first time: Why are we subsidizing this?

“Those supporting the industry claim that the money supports agricultural jobs which boosts the state economy, and by funding bigger purses, more people will bet. The reality doesn’t back that up. With so many critical and human problems this state faces, the unquestioning propping up of an industry that has shown no promise of improving is outrageous. That’s why Gov. Wolf gets credit for his latest proposal to use about $200 million of that annual money to fund scholarships for Pennsylvania students to attend Pennsylvania colleges. It’s about time.”

Indeed it is.