They’re back training at Santa Anita – and the killing continues. Monday morning, the LA Times reports, Zeke broke – pelvic fracture – “while working on the training track” and was eventually euthanized. I say eventually because Zeke was not put down till 11:00 that night, which raises the question: Was Zeke’s suffering extended because Santa Anita (The Stronach Group, California Racing) is desperately trying to avoid the harsh coverage of yet another dead horse? Seems a reasonable query to me. Zeke was four and had been put to the whip 14 times, most recently at Del Mar last month.

Speaking of Del Mar, while all the talk from the industry was the “unprecedented” safe racing there this summer – completely ignoring, that is, the six horses who did lose their lives either training or back in the stalls – this horse, Zeke, was raced twice at Del Mar in August. As many of these breakdowns show preexisting injury or compromise at the breakdown site – which speaks to the constant grinding racehorses are forced to endure – is it possible Zeke was “pre-injured” racing at Del Mar before breaking down at Santa Anita? You bet. And that is why I’m not at all interested in drawing “safety” comparisons among the various tracks (states), or, for that matter, the trainers (Jerry Hollendorfer and Bob Baffert are no better or worse than the average trainer). This is one big vile industry. A kill at one is a kill for all.

Santa Anita’s 36 dead racehorses thus far this year:

Tank Team, killed racing at Santa Anita Jan 4, 2019
Unusual Angel, killed racing at Santa Anita Jan 4, 2019
Secret Street, killed training at Santa Anita Jan 8, 2019
Derby Treasure, killed racing at Santa Anita Jan 11, 2019
Henry, dead at Santa Anita January 14, 2019
Noise Mandate, killed racing at Santa Anita Jan 18, 2019
Amboseli, killed racing at Santa Anita Jan 20, 2019
Like Really Smart, killed racing at Santa Anita Jan 21, 2019
Last Promise Kept, killed racing at Santa Anita Jan 21, 2019
Ponchito, dead at Santa Anita January 22, 2019
Dancing Harbor, killed training at Santa Anita Jan 23, 2019
Spitfire, killed training at Santa Anita Jan 25, 2019
Mongolian Hunter, dead at Santa Anita January 28, 2019
Kid Cantina, killed racing at Santa Anita Feb 2, 2019
Comegowithme, killed racing at Santa Anita Feb 3, 2019
Jager Time, killed training at Santa Anita Feb 17, 2019
Unusual Rider, killed training at Santa Anita Feb 18, 2019
Hot American, killed racing at Santa Anita Feb 22, 2019
Battle of Midway, killed training at Santa Anita Feb 23, 2019
Just Forget It, killed training at Santa Anita Feb 23, 2019
Charmer John, killed training at Santa Anita Feb 24, 2019
Eskenforadrink, killed racing at Santa Anita Mar 2, 2019
Cooney, dead at Santa Anita March 4, 2019
Lets Light the Way, killed training at Santa Anita Mar 5, 2019
Princess Lili B, killed training at Santa Anita Mar 14, 2019
Arms Runner, killed racing at Santa Anita Mar 31, 2019
Rolling Shadow, dead at Santa Anita April 4, 2019
Commander Coil, killed training at Santa Anita May 17, 2019
Spectacular Music, killed racing at Santa Anita May 19, 2019
Kochees, killed racing at Santa Anita May 25, 2019
Current Times, dead at Santa Anita May 27, 2019
Derby River, killed training at Santa Anita June 5, 2019
Formal Dude, killed racing at Santa Anita June 8, 2019
Truffalino, killed racing at Santa Anita June 9, 2019
American Currency, killed training at Santa Anita June 22, 2019
Zeke, killed training at Santa Anita September 16, 2019

The legs of Boom Boom Bango, who was killed at Santa Anita in March 2018

4-year-old Rhode Island’s run in the 5th at Belmont Saturday, according to the Gaming Commission: “was placed in a protective hold at 1/2 mile…pulled up near the 7/16 pole; was vanned off in the best interest of the horse [so caring, these racing folks are] and was subsequently euthanized.”

Belmont Park, one of Racing’s crown jewels, has notched five kills in the first nine days of its Fall Meet – five in nine days. So you see, it wasn’t Santa Anita after all.

Belmont’s 2019 carnage – 27 dead, and counting:

Doyouknowsomething, Jan 8, stall – “sustained left elbow injury in stall”
Speke, Jan 19, training – “suffered a fracture to his right shoulder”
Catpsalm, Jan 29, stall – “protozoal myeloencephalitis”
Miss Marion, Feb 3, training – “fractured cannon bone…euthanized on track”
Chronos, Feb 3, training (euthanized Feb 4) – “fractured right front leg”
For Pops, Feb 26, training – “collapsed and died” (four years old)
Queen Bode, Mar 3, training – “euthanized at hospital”
Mighty Zealous, Mar 10, stall – “severe respiratory distress…euthanized”
Miss Marilyn, Mar 23, training – “leg injury…euthanasia on the track”
Miss Mimosa, Mar 28, training – “cardiovascular collapse” (three years old)
Pretty Enuff, Apr 1, training – “suffered a leg fracture…euthanized”
Luz Mimi, Apr 4, training – “suffered a leg fracture…euthanized”
La Manche, Apr 11, training – “suffered a fracture…and was euthanized”
Noble Cause, May 11, racing – “injuries necessitating euthanasia”
Anne’s Song, May 24, racing – “ambulanced off, euthanized due to poor prognosis”
Successful Mission, Jun 9, training – “sustained fractures while breezing”
Inflection, Jun 9, racing – “euthanized due to poor prognosis”
Ro Bear, Jun 16, stall – “died in the barn from an apparent impaction colic”
With Caution, Jun 28, training – “P1 fracture…died complications from anesthesia”
Fancy Persuasion, Jun 30, racing – “cardiovascular collapse” (two years old)
yet-to-be-named, Jul 11, training – “fractured sesamoids…euthanized”
La Fuerza, Jul 27, training – “fractured humeral, ambulanced to barn, euthanized”
Royal Inheritance, Sep 6, training – “collapsed and died” (five years old)
Passporttovictory, Sep 6, racing – “bad steps”
Mo Moxie, Sep 7, training – “sustained a fracture and was euthanized on track”
Deft, Sep 12, racing – “broke front leg and was euthanized on the track”
Rhode Island, Sep 14, racing – “was vanned off…subsequently euthanized”

While NYRA and Saratoga Race Course are busy celebrating “another successful season,” here was the cost of that success, courtesy of our own Linda Rydant. (The Borough Boy replay – 1:45 mark – alone should be enough for all Americans of good conscience and compassion to forever forswear this vile business.)

Last week in U.S. Thoroughbred and Quarterhorse races

Carol Marie “took a bad step…unfortunately perished on the track” at Belterra
Tricky Rose “went wrong…had to be euthanized” at Delaware
Gimme Goosebumps “appeared in distress, DNF” at Finger Lakes
Verrazano Vittoria “injured herself in the stating gate” at Parx
Credo “went bad, vanned off” at Parx
Dazzle Em Hickory “vanned off” at Prairie
Little Bean “vanned off” at Retama
Blues Story “vanned off” at Thistledown – subsequently confirmed dead
Nantan Lupan “bled, vanned off” at Albuquerque
Blame It On Mom “vanned off” at Belmont
Imaginethejoy “got unsaddled bleeding from the nostrils” at Delaware
Dispel “went wrong…had to be euthanized” at Delaware
She’s Flat Out “pulled up injured, vanned off” at Thistledown
Beltway “suffered an injury…euthanized” at Thistledown
Deft “fell…suffering a fatal injury” at Belmont
Blarp “went wrong, vanned off” at Delaware
Tastemaker “went wrong, vanned off” at Golden Gate
Perfect State “vanned off” at Gulfstream
Nyx Warrior “pulled up lame, vanned off” at Penn
Imperioso “hit gate, vanned off” at Belmont
Fashion Shot “went wrong, vanned off” at Belterra – subsequently confirmed dead
Cut Like Delaney “vanned off” at Charles Town
I Am Furh Real “vanned off” at Charles Town
Colonelsdarktemper “bled” at Churchill
Maru “vanned off” at Belmont
Rhode Island “vanned off” at Belmont
Lutsky “vanned off” at Belmont
Sweeping Edge “vanned off” at Canterbury
Tapalot “vanned off” at Emerald
Alteration “fell, vanned off” at Fairmount
Bash “went wrong, vanned off” at Parx
Thisbetterwork “vanned off” at Prairie
Whiskey Doctor “in distress, vanned off” at Remington
El Corazon “vanned off” at Gulfstream
Mexican Girl “vanned off” at Mountaineer
Burnout B “injured, hauled off” (yes, “hauled off”) at Will Rogers

“Vanned Off”: unable to walk off course under own power; many of these horses will resurface on my FOIA kill-reports

“Bled,” “Returned Bleeding From Nostrils”: usually indicates pulmonary hemorrhage

(source: Equibase)