The NYS Gaming Commission has confirmed the death of 5-year-old Alison’s Wyn at Finger Lakes – cause undisclosed. The old/young mare had been whip-raced 29 times, the last time in August. This is trainer James Acquilano’s 3rd dead horse at FL in the last two months, and 12th at that track since 2009. This is horseracing.

The Paulick Report (11/7) says that Oaklawn Park has received a record number of stall applications for the upcoming meet (Jan 9th). The reason: a record amount of available purse money ($23 million). On the surface, all seems rosy in Arkansas. But…

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Oaklawn is a racino track; in a January 2013 DRF article, Oaklawn’s GM conceded that at that time revenue from gaming – reel/table games – accounted for close to 50% of total purse money. And that was up from 40% the year before. A “critical component,” he called it. Chances are it’s even higher now.

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So you see, the Paulick press release is grossly misleading: With nary a mention of the corporate welfare (welfare because the money flowing from gaming to horsemen is unearned and state-mandated), the implication is that Oaklawn racing – as measured by bets and attendance – is thriving. It is not. Distract and deceive, the racing way.

Virtually without exception, “broke down” is racing-speak for dead; “vanned off” translates to a better-than-even chance of dead.

Broke Down:
Antone Suavey, Nov 3, Finger Lakes 2
Unabiding Citizen, Nov 5, Thistledown 6
Next Right Thing, Nov 8, Thistledown 6

Vanned Off:
Letngo, Nov 3, Gulfstream W 2
Power’s Cupcake, Nov 3, Parx 3
Eslin, Nov 3, Turf 7
She’s All Lady, Nov 4, Zia 11
She’s Slammed, Nov 5, Mountaineer 3
Wild Sassy Syn, Nov 5, Turf 8
Sisteremos, Nov 6, Churchill 5
Secret Duke, Nov 6, Finger Lakes 8
Air Landon, Nov 6, Gulfstream W 7
Diamond Disco, Nov 6, Remington 4
Giacomo Strap, Nov 7, Hawthorne 8
Fashionably Rich, Nov 7, Los Alamitos 3
Ace Navigator, Nov 7, Remington 2
Corporate Culture, Nov 8, Churchill 6
Igotitdad, Nov 8, Gulfstream W 1
Diamondback, Nov 8, Gulfstream W 7
So Long for Now, Nov 8, Mountaineer 6
Patchofbadweather, Nov 8, Remington 8
Snow Warrior, Nov 8, Retama 9
Model With Style, Nov 9, Turf 3

Other:
Miss Special Laveaux, Evangeline 8, “lame”
Bonamassa, Nov 5, Mountaineer 1, bled
R Dirteater, Nov 5, Thistledown 6, “hit fallen foe,” DNF
Pigeon Chris, Nov 6, Charles Town 8, bled
Hidden Blitz, Nov 6, Laurel 2, “returned bleeding”
Kaptain Konawa, Nov 6, Remington 6, fell, DNF
Phar Stretch, Nov 7, Charles Town 7, “limped off”
Margin Call, Nov 8, Charles Town 5, DNF, “limped off”
Thisishowwedoitbaby, Nov 8, Lone Star 7, “fell to face,” DNF

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While reviewing the April casualties, I came across these three horses, all 3-years-old when initially appearing on our lists:

Una Parche was vanned off in a race at Sunland on April 8th. Inactive for the next five months, the filly resurfaced in a claiming run at Albuquerque. Once again, the ambulance was called. Her career started-to-finished ratio is (was?) 3:0. Trainer/owner/breeder team, Ralph and Melaquias Valdez.

Color Me Hot has also been raced three times, all at Prairie Meadows. On April 20th, she was “slammed” by another horse and DNF. Three weeks later, she finished last of 8, 46 lengths back. About two weeks after that, she finished last of 9, 33 3/4 lengths back. Nothing on her since. Trainer/owner, Gene Jacquot.

On April 22nd, Bubba Blitz “dropped back in apparent distress” in a race at Beulah. (At that same track 17 days prior, the gelding had finished last, 17 1/2 lengths back.) Since then, two races at cheap Hazel Park – second-to-last, last. Owner/breeder, Robert Donald; trainers, Ivan Vazquez and Daniel Myers.

If the above aren’t already dead, there’s a good chance they will be soon.

This is horseracing.