5-year-old Spider Bride, a career maiden-claimer who never finished above 4th, has been reported dead by the NYS Gaming Commission from a training injury suffered April 29 at Finger Lakes. The official line: “pulled up during workout – exam revealed palpable R shoulder fx – euthanized.” Her trainer, Pablo Torres.

Also, 8-year-old Down Town Allen, a multiple stakes winner with over $1 million earnings, was, according to multiple press reports, euthanized Monday for injuries (suspensory tear) sustained in a race at Charles Town on April 18. The vet: “…we all wanted to do absolutely everything [cast, hyperbaric chamber, special shoe] we could to save her.” Breeder/owner/trainer John Casey: “She…loved being a racehorse…she was also like a pet that was a part of our family.” (Isn’t it funny how “family member” status is reserved for those who win a boatload for their owners?)

Two mares: One, a cheap, disposable claimer for whom no extraordinary measures were taken and whose death garnered zero media coverage; the other, a hugely successful “champion,” a potential future breeding machine for whom “everything” was tried and whose obit was shared widely. This is horseracing.

220px-pferdeauge3

The following horses were raceday casualties on American tracks last week:

Reported as “vanned off” – left via ambulance, a better-than-even chance of dead
Mi Malagra Maria, Mountaineer
Jess Special Baby, Albuquerque
Lonely Herman, Louisiana
Sir Warbo, Mountaineer
Big Chestnut, Evangeline
Tanquerray, Santa Anita
Mr Perrys Blue, Delta
Someday On Sunday, Penn
Hush’s Storm, Albuquerque
How Bout That, Churchill
Sette E Mezzo, Gulfstream
Sgt Thompson, Gulfstream
Exit Stage Left, Golden Gate
Hush It Dutch, Los Alamitos
Afleet’s Hot Copy, Prairie

Other
Candy’s Luck, Parx, “ridden back to the unsaddling area lame”
Magic Soul, Parx, “returned bleeding”
San Gregoria, Parx, “pulled up in apparent distress”
Magic Harbor, Parx, “stumbled badly,” DNF
West Birch, Charles Town, “bled”
Captainof the Nile, Penn, “returned lame”
Bo Bull, Penn, “stopped and returned sore”
Long Kiss Goodbye, Pimlico, “returned sore”
Alaskan Paradox, Fairmount, “returned bleeding from her nostril”
Isle of Skye, Fairmount, “returned bleeding from his nostril”
Manacor, Percy Warner, “fell,” DNF
Long House Saint, Percy Warner, “fell,” DNF
American Ladie, Percy Warner, “fell,” DNF
Hardrock Eleven, Percy Warner, “fell,” DNF
Awesome Slinky, Sam Houston, “bled”

(source: Equibase)

The jockey who mercilessly beat American Pharoah in the Kentucky Derby has been fined in California for similar abuse. According to Blood-Horse, Victor Espinoza “was fined $300 by the Santa Anita Park stewards May 8 for ‘causing a break in the skin’ with his whip on Stellar Wind during her 5 1/4-length victory in the Santa Anita Oaks April 4.” Last Saturday, you might remember, Espinoza whipped American Pharoah 32 times down the stretch – animal cruelty played out in full view of cheering millions:

crack
crack
crack
crack
crack
crack
crack
crack
crack
crack
crack
crack
crack
crack
crack
crack
crack
crack
crack
crack
crack
crack
crack
crack
crack
crack
crack
crack
crack
crack
crack
crack

This is horseracing.

Back in December, I wrote about an 11-year-old gelding named Calculating Jimmy. At the time, he was being prepped for his 78th race. Well…78 came – and so did 79, 80, 81, and 82. And how did he fare?

January 2 – 8th of 9
January 23 – 10th of 11
February 6 – last of 11
March 15 – last of 10
April 15 – last of 10

In all five, Calculating Jimmy (below) was “For Sale” at $5,000 pre-race; for each of these bringing-up-the-rear starts, trainer/owner (and master since day one) Glenn Wismer banked $100 (Tampa Bay is a racino track that pays first through last). In other words, there is every incentive to continue the abuse. And continue it will – Calculating Jimmy worked out at Presque Isle two days ago. This is horseracing.

zVzFjoQJ_400x400