Three Quarter Horses were vanned off at Sunland Park yesterday afternoon after running stakes trials: Mrs James (race 1), Swiss Fame (race 2), and Cartier N Capris (race 6). All three are but two years old. A reminder from equine vet Kraig Kulikowski:

“A two year old horse is the equivalent to a six year old human. Neither species is mentally or physically mature at this age. Asking a six year old human to be exploited as a professional athlete for economic gain would be considered inhumane. Exploiting juvenile horses for economic gain is equally inhumane. They are subject to permanent mental and physical trauma that, in too many cases, is catastrophic and even fatal.”

It’s called animal abuse.

Two horses – 2-year-old Arbuckle Road and 8-year-old Shoe Freak Marlene – forced to run on a snowy, slippery track at Beulah yesterday broke down and are, according to a source there, dead. Apparently, Shoe Freak Marlene “snapped his leg off.” Curiously, Equibase had the conditions as clear and fast for both races, yet after the 5th (when SFM went down) it reports, “Due to track conditions the remainder of the card was cancelled.” Arbuckle Road was ridden by Megan Fadlovich, and trained and owned by Ivan Vazquez (with Tim Holt). Shoe Freak Marlene was ridden by Rodrigo Vergara, and trained and owned by Charles Lawson.

This afternoon at snowy Monticello Raceway, two Standardbreds suffered fatal breakdowns in the 8th race. Benns Superman, driven by Jim Marohn Jr and trained by Rob Harmon, “choked up at stretch, fractured left front leg, [was] ambulanced off [and] euthanized”; Cosmic QI, driven by Bruce Aldrich Jr and trained by Michael Temming, “choked down and fell in infield and died.”

Jwala (pictured below), a 4-year-old filly, suffered a catastrophic collapse at Hong Kong’s Sha Tin on Sunday and was subsequently killed. She was ridden by Steven Drowne, trained by Robert Cowell, and owned by Manor Farm. Said Cowell in a tweet, “Jwala was a special racehorse. I am especially proud to have been part of her life.” And, Mr. Cowell, part of her death.

photo credit: ESPN
photo credit: ESPN