Not quite the coda that Joe Harper and the Del Mar suits had in mind. Honor Award broke down in the 2nd today, closing day, and, the track has just announced (“with heavy hearts”), is dead. (The track also passed along its “deepest sympathies to the Wygods, trainer John Shirreffs and his team”; i.e., to the killers.) Honor Award was just two – a baby – and was under the whip for the very first time.

This is horseracing.

Last week on U.S. flat tracks (racing only):

Cara Mor “clipped heels, fell, vanned off” at Colonial
Barnstorm “vanned off” at Colonial
Lizzy “returned lame, vanned off” at Colonial
Dejanero “bled” at Arizona
Dusty Princess “vanned off” at Canterbury
Diamond for Crider “pulled up in distress, vanned off” at Evangeline
Hot N Sweet “bled, vanned off” at Indiana
Isabella Smile “vanned off” at Parx
Chetzeron “vanned off” at Saratoga
Turn to Me Sucree “vanned off” at Thistledown
Bamalama “injured, fell, vanned off” at Ellis
Kaufy Bean “vanned off” (after “winning”) at Gulfstream
Sierra Sarah “vanned off” at Monmouth
Posse Can Disco “vanned off” at Saratoga
Fortheloveoflucy “pulled up in apparent distress, vanned off” at Evangeline
Duncastle “vanned off” at Monmouth
I’m Bossy “vanned off” at Remington
Filly Cheesesteak “vanned off” at Remington
Namgis Kissinmischka “vanned off” at Ruidoso
Cruz Bay “vanned off” at Kentucky
Gym N Jam “bled, vanned off” at Ruidoso
Shott Gun “vanned off” at Ruidoso
Texian “vanned off” at Saratoga

While not all the “vanned” end up dead, most do, as borne out by our year-end FOIA reports. But even if death is not the ultimate result, the above are victims nonetheless, suffering painful injuries – in the case of the bleeders, pulmonary hemorrhage – so that some men may gamble, others chase pots of gold. (For any new confirmed deaths during the week, please see our running annual list.)

This morning at Saratoga, Tivoli Twirl was euthanized, according to the Gaming Commission, “due to severe health complications” – whatever that means. Tivoli was three and had been put to the whip five times, most recently on August 11.

Meanwhile, downstate, Everyoneloveslily “broke down after the wire” at Belmont – “euthanized on track.” She also was three; she was being prepped for her debut.

That makes 53 dead horses at NYRA tracks in 2021. What more can I say?