Patrick Buttuello labors continuously to report fallen and dead racehorses across America.
In a recent article we cross-posted here about horse racing’s casualty database Mr. Battuello writes:
- “The database is completely voluntary: While many tracks participate, some do not. Besides that, no third party – not the JC*, not a government agency, no one – verifies the submitted data. At the risk of stating the obvious, dead horses are bad for business. So, not only is there no compelling reason for tracks (trainers, owners, etc.) to give a complete reckoning, there is a vested interest to not. Self-reporting – an honor system – the casualties that they are directly responsible for? Please.
“The database is anonymous: No names, no dates, (mostly) no locations. Not only does this make it impossible for someone like me to cross-confirm, it keeps the names and faces of the dead safely secreted away. Messy carcasses converted to sterile ratios.”
Battuello’s post today is a case in point regarding the above.
- In the first week of April, two horses were, according to the Equibase charts, “injured, vanned off” at Los Alamitos — Apollitical Chic April 1, Shellbell April 3. Turns out, both perished, with one even euthanized on track. From the Stewards Minutes:
“The running of the eighth race was marred by the breakdown of #5 Apollitical Chic following the conclusion of the 350 yard handicap. …the horse suffered a major injury to its right foreleg, causing it to stumble sharply and fall. The rider, Ramon Sanchez, was attended to immediately by the ambulance staff and was found to be uninjured. The horse was not as fortunate and was euthanized on the track.”
(How many “athletes” in other sports are referred to as “its”?)
“During the late stages of the sixth race, #1 Shellbell, with jockey Cruz Mendez aboard, lost its action and in the process lost the rider. Jockey Mendez was quickly attended to by the ambulance crew and found to be uninjured. It was later learned that the horse had suffered a broken back and was euthanized.”
Thank you Mr. Battuello for calling them out on referring to horses as “its”. See Horses Are Not Its.
*JC = Jockey Club
Photo Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times
The caption to this July 2014 image from the Los Angeles Times states: “Jockey Efrain Hernandez tries to control jittery thoroughbred Charmstealer before the start of the second thoroughbred race at Los Alamitos Race Course on Thursday. This is the first time thoroughbreds have raced at the track since 1991.
The fractious Charmstealer was just two years old in this picture. See pedigree.