The following racehorses broke down this weekend:

Electric Eddie, Saturday, Santa Anita, race 10
Dixie Sparkle, Sunday, Aqueduct, race 7 (confirmed dead)
Silent Blessing, Sunday, Calder, race 2
Gimmenosass, Sunday, Turf, race 8

The following racehorses, unless otherwise noted, were vanned off this weekend:

Worldly Lad, Friday, Golden Gate, race 4 (“lame,” vanned)
Mo’s the Man, Friday, Gulfstream, race 8
Pyc Paint Alis Wagon, Friday, Hialeah, race 3 (not vanned but bled)
Inexcessofperfect, Friday, Los Alamitos, race 1
Shesonlyseventeen, Friday, Los Alamitos, race 7
Aful Alibi, Friday, Sunland, race 4
Said I’m Lucky, Friday, Sunland, race 9
Skinny Margarita, Saturday, Aqueduct, race 2
Blossom’s Trail, Saturday, Aqueduct, race 5 (not vanned but bled)
Concrete Cat, Saturday, Charles Town, race 2
Llano Cartel, Saturday, Hialeah, race 5 (not vanned but bled)
Polly’s Dancer, Saturday, Los Alamitos, race 4
Girl On the Lam, Saturday, Santa Anita, race 6
Alasharchy, Saturday, Santa Anita, race 7
Cancan Magee, Saturday, Sunland, race 3
Streaked Face Bay, Sunday, Hialeah, race 2 (not vanned but bled)
Corona Favorita, Sunday, Hialeah, race 6 (not reported as vanned but “returned lame”)
My Mans No Lady, Sunday, Portland, race 7
Pepe Le Feu, Sunday, Portland, race 10
Eyesa Miracle, Sunday, Sunland, race 2 (not vanned but bled)
Us Chicks, Sunday, Sunland, race 3

The following racehorses broke down this week:

Top Data, Monday, Fair Grounds, race 9
Vanessa Flag, Tuesday, Sunland, race 9
Holleran, Wednesday, Beulah, race 2

The following racehorses, unless otherwise noted, were vanned off this week:

Could Be Michael, Monday, Beulah, race 3
Soul Searcher, Monday, Golden Gate, race 8
Raised for Speed, Monday, Gulfstream, race 9
Cameo Lady, Monday, Gulfstream, race 10
Suzzona, Monday, Gulfstream, race 10
Diamonds Fallin Star, Monday, Hialeah, race 8
Warren’s Rail Bird, Monday, Santa Anita, race 5
Hi Moon Beams, Tuesday, Sunland, race 1
Three G Speed, Tuesday, Sunland, race 6
One Foxy Private, Tuesday, Sunland, race 9
Horizonbound, Tuesday, Turf, race 8
Shakitsugaree, Wednesday, Turf, race 5 (vanned after “crossing the wire bleeding”)
Pegasus Red, Thursday, Aqueduct, race 2 (not vanned but “returned bleeding”)

The following were casualties at the Penn National racetrack during the 197-night 2013 meet. Equibase officially confirms 8 dead. Of the 45 horses listed as “broke down” or “vanned off,” 42 have not raced since. A former racing insider and renowned industry expert told me that in her estimation, 90% of the vanned off are euthanized. 42 of 45 is roughly 93%. In other words, it’s a safe bet that Penn National claimed the lives of some 50 horses last year. Just one of the 100-odd tracks operating annually in the U.S.

race 6, 01/03/13: 5-year-old Bowmans Girl
race 2, 01/05/13: 5-year-old E Or, no races since
race 4, 02/15/13: 6-year-old Sharik, no races since
race 6, 02/15/13: 2-year-old Dashing for a Rose, no races since
race 2, 02/16/13: 2-year-old Ur Joshn Me, no races since
race 3, 02/22/13: 6-year-old Sugar Shark, no races since
race 4, 02/22/13: 6-year-old Solid d’Oro (last raced 8/11)
race 8, 02/28/13: 4-year-old Jennifer’s Romeo, no races since
race 7, 03/08/13: 3-year-old Aim for Love, no races since
race 4, 03/14/13: 4-year-old Two for One, no races since
race 1, 03/28/13: 3-year-old Aisle Three, no races since
race 4, 03/29/13: 3-year-old K K Pistol, confirmed dead
race 6, 04/06/13: 6-year-old Web Surfer, no races since
race 7, 04/13/13: 5-year-old Bess’ Dream, no races since
race 7, 05/04/13: 4-year-old Final Vindication, confirmed dead
race 5, 05/10/13: 5-year-old Dakota Sis, no races since
race 8, 05/10/13: 4-year-old K C’s Snowfoot, no races since
race 5, 05/22/13: 4-year-old Billet’s Baby, no races since
race 2, 05/24/13: 4-year-old Food Fightin, no races since
race 3, 05/24/13: 5-year-old Home at Six, confirmed dead
race 8, 06/01/13: 7-year-old Manito, confirmed dead
race 1, 06/12/13: 5-year-old Tennis Racket, no races since
race 1, 06/19/13: 5-year-old Stained Glass, no races since
race 5, 06/26/13: 4-year-old Music Man Stan, no races since
race 5, 07/10/13: 4-year-old Ever Alert, no races since
race 6, 07/10/13: 3-year-old Cowboy Cat, no races since
race 6, 07/20/13: 3-year-old Glenmary Lane, no races since
race 9, 07/31/13: 6-year-old Last Boot, no races since
race 6, 08/10/13: 3-year-old Quite Domestic, no races since
race 5, 08/22/13: 5-year-old Purely Awesome, no races since
race 4, 08/31/13: 3-year-old Sugar Mama, confirmed dead
race 2, 09/05/13: 4-year-old Come On Rose, no races since
race 9, 09/05/13: 3-year-old Nathan C, no races since
race 6, 09/13/13: 4-year-old Hard to Steal, no races since
race 4, 09/14/13: 4-year-old Macho Gris, no races since
race 9, 09/14/13: 6-year-old Satellite Beach, no races since
race 9, 09/20/13: 5-year-old Fast Stack, confirmed dead
race 4, 09/28/13: 7-year-old Gretsky, no races since
race 6, 10/02/13: 4-year-old Kentucky Hannah, confirmed dead
race 2, 10/12/13: 5-year-old Lov Tov, no races since
race 3, 10/12/13: 3-year-old Round of Applause, no races since
race 6, 10/12/13: 5-year-old Call Me Sweetheart, no races since
race 5, 10/17/13: 4-year-old Time for Wine, no races since
race 5, 10/17/13: 6-year-old Triple A Rating, no races since
race 7, 10/18/13: 4-year-old Proulette, no races since
race 9, 10/18/13: 3-year-old Chiquita Mala, no races since
race 5, 11/02/13: 4-year-old Maid of Dishonor
race 8, 11/13/13: 3-year-old Seeking Suki, no races since
race 9, 11/14/13: 3-year-old Prima Zip, no races since
race 5, 11/16/13: 6-year-old Modern Cowboy, no races since
race 9, 11/29/13: 3-year-old Lucky Guess, no races since
race 7, 12/12/13: 6-year-old Dina’s Touch, confirmed dead
race 7, 12/26/13: 4-year-old Iron Stone Ridge, no races since

Shedrow Secrets

Shedrow Secrets

By Joy Aten and Jo Anne Normile (author of “Saving Baby”)

In the fall of 2003, with track licenses as “vendors,” we were doing our weekly walk of the shedrows in the backstretch barn area of Great Lakes Downs in Michigan. We were in search of horses needing to retire from racing. The goal: save them before they are forced to race on accumulated injuries and/or before the onsite kill buyers take them to auctions.

Five-year-old Hestosmartforyou stood quietly in the shedrow aisle while the trainer pointed to his enlarged, fractured ankle. We told her that if she donated the horse we would immediately x-ray the ankle and arrange for surgery and rehabilitation under our care, with the hope that he could be adopted out to a nonracing home. The trainer, who was also a CPA, had no interest in a donation. Instead, she wanted to know what we were willing to pay for the horse. With limited funds, we offered half of the going meat price of $400, knowing that our final cost – after factoring in transport, surgery, and rehab – would be well over $2,000. The trainer accepted our offer.

We informed the racetrack veterinarian that the rescue would be purchasing Hestosmartforyou and that we would need x-rays to take with us. He knew the horse and agreed. When preparing to leave several hours later, we stopped by the onsite clinic to pick up the x-rays. We were astounded to learn that before the vet could take them, the trainer had changed her mind and sold Hestosmartforyou to another trainer – and well-known auction collector – for $400! This poor gelding, who prior to his injury had earned over $38,000, was denied medical treatment and a new nonrace home just so the owner/trainer could pocket an extra $200 in blood money.

Outraged, our rescue formally notified the Michigan Racing Commission that this horse had a known fracture and that his new trainer (whom we identified) was taking him to race at another bottom level track, Beulah Park in Ohio. We stressed that not only was his life at stake, but the jockey’s and the lives of the entire field as well. The new owner/trainer told the racing commission to mind its own business – the horse was his livestock and he would do with it what he wanted. The Commission backed down and did not forewarn their counterparts in Ohio.

With no help from the supposed “oversight authorities,” we put out the word to the onsite meat buyers at Beulah Park that we would buy Hestosmartforyou. In the end, this poor gelding – so close to being saved – was forced to race two more times with fractured bones in his ankle, earning $123 before disappearing completely from the online racing services. Mostly likely, he was taken to nearby Sugarcreek auction in Ohio and sold for meat. Hestosmartforyou, just another in a long line of racing casualties.