2-year-old Secret Compass broke down during the running of the Breeders’ Cup $2 million Juvenile Fillies Saturday afternoon, suffering, in the words of the on-call vet (The Washington Post, 11/2/13), “the worst type of injury we get,” a lateral condylar fracture. The child-horse was put out of her misery. Dead.

She crumples at 1:12…

In an AP article (11/2/13), famed trainer Bob Baffert says, “When you lose a horse like that, it just took all the wind out of our sails.” Undeterred, though, Baffert, according to the AP, “was smiling later” when his New Year’s Day won the boy’s version. Win some, lose some, I guess.


5-year-old Centralinteligence (shown below), a Seattle Slew progeny, was vanned off after the $1 million Dirt Mile Grade 1 at Santa Anita. The video, which can be viewed here, shows no ambulance, of course; it’s all smiles and jubilation in the winner’s circle, with Goldencents’ owner calling Doug O’Neill “the best trainer of all time.” Yes, that Doug O’Neill.

photo credit: Breeders' Cup
photo credit: Breeders’ Cup

Later in the Santa Anita day, 9-year-old (54 starts) So Big Is Better was vanned off after winning a non-BC $150,000 Grade 1.

The following, unless otherwise noted, were “vanned off” American tracks this week.

2-year-old Mr Rabbits (1st career start), Finger Lakes, race 4 (confirmed dead)
4-year-old Bb Mine, Zia, race 1

5-year-old In God’s Country, Parx, race 8 (broke down)
3-year-old Worthy Note (after winning), Zia, race 12

4-year-old Trick Falls, Albuquerque, race 7
3-year-old Dyker Beach, Churchill Downs, race 7
4-year-old Touch of Revenge, Suffolk Downs, race 3
6-year-old King T C, Thistledown, race 3 (broke down)
3-year-old Double Ought Pyro, Zia, race 2

4-year-old Kititis, Delta Downs, race 1 (not vanned off but “flipped in the gate”)
3-year-old Controlled Chaos, Hawthorne, race 7
2-year-old Deep Bottom, Remington, race 6 (not vanned off but “pulled up in apparent distress”)


Because NY is the only state to publicly disclose its breakdowns as they happen, we have to draw inferences on the rest of the nation’s “vanned off.” But consider this: Today, the Gaming Commission announced the death of a 3rd (of 3) Finger Lakes ambulance-rider from Saturday. 5-year-old My Cousin Eddie, who “returned sore and was vanned off” after the 2nd race, is but a carcass now, joining comrades Magestick Tomahawk and Irish Lady. With these, Finger Lakes boasts 38 kills this year (and 44 in 2012). This is horseracing.

download (6)