The killers of Santa Anita

Killer (definition): Noun. a person or thing that kills.
Adjective. denoting a person or thing that kills.
Synonyms — murderer, slaughterer, destroyer, liquidator, exterminator, terminator, executioner, slayer, cause of death, destroyer, threat to life, menace, plague, scourge, peril.

The following trainers are responsible for the deaths of the racehorses listed below during the current season at the Santa Anita Park racetrack in California.

The Killers of Santa Anita

1. PSYCHEDELICAT, Dec. 30, 2018
Trained / Killed by Jerry Hollendorfer

2. TANK TEAM, Jan. 4, 2019
Trained / Killed by Alexis Barba
Unusual Angel died in the same race.

3. UNUSUAL ANGEL, Jan. 4, 2019
Trained / Killed by Keith Desormeaux

4. SECRET STREET, Jan. 8, 2019
Trained / Killed by Bruce Headley
The unraced 3 year old died during a five-furlong timed workout.

5. DERBY TREASURE, Jan. 11, 2019
Trained / Killed by Ruben Gomez
The 4-year-old filly had no wins in eight tries. She died in a six-furlong $30,000 maiden claiming race.

6. NOISE MANDATE, Jan. 18, 2019
Trained / Killed by Michael Machowsky
The 3-year-old filly died after finishing last in her debut race, a five-and-a-half-furlong $20,000 maiden claiming race.

7. AMBOSELI, Jan. 20, 2019
Trained / Killed by Jim Cassidy, president of the California Thoroughbred Trainers.
The 7-year-old mare won two of 26 lifetime starts.

8. LIKE REALLY SMART, Jan. 21, 2019
Trained / Killed by Leonard Powell

Trained / Killed by Tom Proctor

10. DANCING HARBOR, Jan. 23, 2019
Trained / Killed by Frank Lucarelli

11. SPITFIRE, Jan. 25, 2019
Trained / Killed by Brian Koriner

12. KID CANTINA, Feb. 2, 2019
Trained / Killed by Librado Barocio

13. COMEGOWITHME, Feb. 3, 2019
Trained / Killed by Antonio Garcia

14. JAGER TIME, Feb. 17, 2019
Trained / Killed by Jorge Periban

15. UNUSUAL RIDER, Feb. 18, 2019
Trained / Killed by Mike Puype

16. HOT AMERICAN, Feb. 22, 2019
Trained / Killed by Ryan Hanson

Battle of Midway. Running at Santa Anita. He is now dead.
Battle of Midway. He is one of 29 racehorses killed at Santa Anita this season so far.

17. BATTLE OF MIDWAY, Feb. 23, 2019
Trained / Killed by Jerry Hollendorfer
Breeders’ Cup winner Battle of Midway was injured in a timed workout Feb. 23. His death attracted national headlines. Now that’s a big kill Jerry.

18. JUST FORGET IT, Feb. 23, 2019
Trained / Killed by Librado Barocio

19. CHARMER JOHN, Feb. 24, 2019
Trained / Killed by Mark Glatt

20. ESKENFORADRINK, Mar. 2, 2019
Trained / Killed by Jorge Gutierrez

21. LET’S LIGHT THE WAY, Mar. 5, 2019
Trained / Killed by Ron McAnally

22. PRINCESS LILI B, Mar. 14, 2019
Trained / Killed by David Bernstein

23. ARMS RUNNER, Mar. 31, 2019
Trained / Killed by Peter Miller

24. COMMANDER COIL, May 17, 2019
Trained / Killed by Marcelo Polanco

25. SPECTACULAR MUSIC, May 19, 2019
Trained / Killed by Nadine Anderson
The gelding was offered up at the local Barretts sale in January 2018, receiving a bid of $900, but remained with Anderson. 

26. KOCHEES, May 25, 2019
Trained / Killed by Jerry Hollendorfer

27. DERBY RIVER, Jun. 5, 2019
Trained / Killed by Ruben Gomez

28. FORMAL DUDE, Jun. 8, 2019
Trained / Killed by Phil D’Amato

29. TRUFFALINO, Jun. 9, 2019
Trained / Killed by Richard Mandella

Partners in Crime

Of course, the trainers are hardly alone in the killing fields of thoroughbred racing. There are also the breeders and the owners. However, the trainer makes most if not all of the decisions about the horse. Let’s call them the up close and personal killers. All the others are merely murderous accomplices.

Someone try and answer me this. Why would you put your horse in the hands of any of the trainers cited below, even if they are “Hall of Fame” trainers — for whatever that is worth in the Chemical Age of horse racing.

The Politicians

Not even the glib Governor of California could talk Santa Anita into closing for the remainder of the season. Neither could the California State Racing Board. Nor U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif). No. No. No. Santa Anita is determined to stay open and keeping the suffering and death of its racehorses as part of its racecard.

One has to wonder why. Is the track struggling financially? Is it that they can’t afford to close up shop even for a week?

Who goes there? Who bets on their deadly product? Our guess is that online punters are pretty much their main source of gambling revenues.

The Park Executive

Belinda Stronach, president and chief executive of the Stronach Group, who owns Santa Anita Park, could have stopped the carnage any time she liked. Yet Stronach remains resolute in going forward with the remainder of the season in the face of all that’s gone on.

Sorry, Madam, but that makes you a killer. A big killer. One might even say—a serial killer. And these 29 are not the only racehorses killed on your watch, are they?

The Punters

Back to you gamblers. Why . . . . why would you continue to bet on racing at Santa Anita? How is that wisdom? Where is your bloody conscience?

Sorry, but you are as complicit as all the others mentioned here. “You bet. They die.” Get it?

But you can redeem yourselves.

We are calling on all gamblers to boycott Santa Anita. Do not gamble on their races for the rest of the season. Come on. It’s not like there’s nothing else to bet on. Or don’t you give a damn about the horses either?

Sources: Horses & Trainers

• Joe Drape; The New York Times; June 6, 2019

• John Cherwa; The LA Times; May 20, 2019

Santa Anita racing schedule »

Related Reading

• The slow and merciless death of American horse racing; Vivian Farrell; May 28, 2019

4 thoughts on “The killers of Santa Anita”

  1. I used to think you were good and intelligent people….only caring about the well being of horses – but now I tend to think your organization has several screws loose! Not unlike the nuts at PETA. Has it dawned on any of you to question “Why Santa Anita… opposed to any of the there tracks out here in CA? The property here in Arcadia is worth millions and millions. Think about it! I also resent your insinuation that the good/decent trainers such as the great Ron McCanally would deliberately do ANYTHING to harm their horses! Please try to educate yourselves before sending out such nonsense!

    Maureen Davis ________________________________


    1. Please do some research. You are expressing an opinion. We are presenting facts.

      Are you saying all of these deaths are just unfortunate accidents? These horses have suffered and died terrible, painful deaths.

      The names of all of these trainers should be listed. These horses were killed. They didn’t kill themselves. These weren’t sad, one-off “accidents”. They were killed by the training methods U.S. racehorses are tortured with as a matter of routine.


  2. Hi – I would like to re-blog this article on my site under the title: “Is Horse Racing Harmful to Horses? Tuesday’s Horse says it is.” I will provide links to your site and to this article. I want to use some of my own graphics and I want to mention another site called “Horse Racing Wrongs” in the same introduction.
    Are you OK with that?


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