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

Princess Toishma “injured herself [yes, she injured herself]” at Parx
Heroic Officer “returned lame, vanned off” at Parx
Dunroad “vanned off” at Belterra
Dr. Approval “vanned off” at Mountaineer
Dinna Fash “injured during the saddling process” at Parx
Can the Queen “bled” at Laurel
Best Be Goin “vanned off” at Remington
Mo Mosa “bled, vanned off” at Churchill
Empty Nestr “vanned off” at Delaware
Choose Joy “vanned off” at Gulfstream
Silverly Enough “vanned off” at Gulfstream
Rouson “went wrong, vanned off” at Churchill
Kyosha “vanned off” at Laurel
Great Power “vanned off” at Los Alamitos
King of New York “vanned off” at Mountaineer

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.)

“The Greyhound Protection Act” is a federal bill that would forever eradicate the scourge of dogracing in this country. (Dogracing is already banned on moral grounds in 41 states; by the end of next year there will be but two tracks left in the entire nation, both in West Virginia.) We, of course, applaud this measure and commend the group most responsible: GREY2K. Here are some of the quotes from advocates and politicians in support. I’m sure you can guess where I’m going with this.

“Dog racing is cruel from start to finish. This is an antiquated industry with a compulsion for cruelty.” – Christine Dorchak, president, GREY2K USA

“Greyhound racing is cruel and must end. These docile animals are kept in stacked cages for 20 hours or more a day and are subjected to brutal training practices and races, facing the risk of injury and death at every turn. … I am always committed to always speaking up for the voiceless.” – Rep. Tony C├írdenas, CA

“Greyhound racing has an inhumane track record.” – Rep. Michael Waltz, FL

“As a longtime animal protection advocate, I support the effort to responsibly end this inhumane sport.” – Rep. Steve Cohen, TN

“Florida was once the mecca of greyhound racing before the state voted overwhelmingly to end this cruel and inhumane practice. The Greyhound Protection Act is the last lap in transitioning us away from this traumatic sport and finally treating these dogs with compassion.” – Rep. Elvira Salazar, FL

“Greyhound racing is an outdated practice that promotes animal cruelty.” – Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, PA

Then this from Animal Wellness Action:

“Dogs used for racing are kept confined…for up to 23 hours a day. When let out to race, they suffer serious injuries including broken legs and backs, crushed skulls, and paralysis. State records also show greyhounds testing for serious drugs, including cocaine and anabolic steroids.”

Everything said above, of course, applies in spades to horseracing. In fact, I would argue that horseracing is, and always has been, worse because of the multiple thousands of “retired” horses being bled-out and butchered every year. And this in addition to the over 2,000 being killed on track and the hundreds more perishing in their stalls. The case is open and shut. Now all we need is some legislators with a bit of courage. (Piling on against dogracing is, at this juncture, wholly unimpressive.)

One final point: The aforementioned Animal Wellness Action, a nonprofit whose mission is “to prevent cruelty to animals,” is not against horseracing; one of their “partners” on horse issues is The Jockey Club, an organization synonymous with American horseracing. In other words, if you support us, do not support them.

In the 3rd at Santa Anita yesterday, Fight On Ron finished 5th, winning $1,220 for his people. A fine day’s work, wouldn’t you say? Turns out, though, he “sustained an injury late,” was “vanned off,” and subsequently euthanized. Fight On is the second 2-year-old to perish at Santa Anita in as many days. When will the media get it? You simply cannot reform the killing out of horseracing. It is what it is.