Santa Anita Entry Gate. By David McNew. Getty Images.

Santa Anita’s racehorse dozen of the dead

As of this writing, a dozen horses who raced at Santa Anita are among the U.S. racing dead.


Golden Birthday

4-year-old Golden Birthday, died after being injured during a January 1 race, becoming the first horse to die at the Santa Anita racetrack in 2020. CNN »


Buckstopper Kit

Buckstopper Kit found dead in his stall. HW »



The latest spate of fatalities at the track began on Friday, when a 6-year-old gelding named Harliss broke an ankle in a turf race and was euthanized, according to racing officials.



On Saturday, a 5-year-old gelding named Uncontainable also broke an ankle in a claiming race on turf and was euthanized. NYT »


Tikkun Olam

The third death came on Sunday when Tikkun Olam, a 4-year-old gelding who had won $40,743 in nine races, collided with another horse while training on dirt. The nature of the horse’s injuries was not immediately clear. NYT »


Double Touch

5 year old Double Touch suffered “sudden death” while training. HW »


Miss Romania

2 year old Miss Romania, dead, following a “fractured shoulder”. It was the first death on the main track, where the majority of the deaths in 2019 occurred, according to the park via ABC News. HW » ABC NEWS »



A 4-year-old horse was euthanized Thursday at California’s Santa Anita Park after suffering a fracture in training, becoming at least the seventh horse to die at the famed complex in 2020. The horse, Unveiled, fractured his right humerus while galloping in morning training, the facility said. CNN »

FEBRUARY 29, 2020

Chosen Vessel

Chosen Vessel, a 5-year-old gelding, suffered a fracture of the left front ankle while on the turf course, a park report says. X-rays showed the horse could not recover, and the attending veterinarian recommended to put the animal down, the report said. CNN »

Santa Anita was closed for racing beginning March 27, following a directive from the Los Angeles County Public Health Department, citing the coronavirus. The facility was permitted to remain open for training, weather permitting.

APRIL 2, 2020

Smiling Ali

According to the California Horse Racing Board website, a 2-year-old filly named Smiling Ali died. She had yet to race and was trained by Jeff Bonde.

Smiling Ali had just completed a two-furlong timed workout in 25 seconds when she died on the main dirt track. The cause was not immediately determined, although it was believed to be a probable heart attack. A required necropsy will be conducted. ESPN »


M C Hamster

M C Hamster, a 4-year-old filly, suffered a fractured left front ankle after a three-furlong workout on the main dirt track Wednesday. It was just the second day training has been allowed since April 6 because of rain.

Trained by Ryan Hanson, M C Hamster finished fifth in her final race on Feb. 24 at Turf Paradise in Phoenix. She moved to Santa Anita, where she worked out on March 30 and again Wednesday. M C Hamster had three wins in eight career starts and earnings of $36,730.

M C Hamster is the fourth horse to die on the main track since Dec. 26. Four others died on the turf course and three on the training track. ESPN »


Last Renegade

Last Renegade, a 2 yr old colt who had yet to make his racing debut, died Friday, according to information posted on the California Horse Racing Board website.

Mike Marten, public information officer for the board, told City News Service on Saturday that Last Renegade “threw his rider, ran loose, and went over the inside rail. He was ambulanced back to his barn where he was attended by his private veterinarian, but died shortly thereafter.”

Last Renegade was trained by Peter Eurton, who has earned $32.8 million during his 30 years as a trainer. NBC Los Angeles »

SIDE NOTE: “Horses are not fully mature until between the ages of five and seven years old. A horse is a horse — and they all mature at approximately the same rate.” See When are horses mature?, Isabella Edwards, Equine Wellness Magazine.

Sources: Media reports and (see all kills at HW).

Fund for Horses Logo

Featured Image: Santa Anita Entry Gate. By David McNew. Getty Images.

5 thoughts on “Santa Anita’s racehorse dozen of the dead”

  1. Why is the barbaric, public torture of racehorses still permitted in the 21st century?
    It has no place here.
    The billions in wagering profits only benefit a select few and it’s all made off the bones, backs, and lives of racehorses.
    Their aftercare programs barely put a dent in the unwanted racehorse mess.
    Truth be told, the industry knows damn well that there has never nor will there ever be enough decent homes to accommodate the obscene number of racehorses they require to fill races and their wagering coffers.
    They also know that the parasites (owners, trainers, sales auctions, wagering firms) who exploit them for money have no retirement plan in place for any of them.
    Their retirement is usually a kill auction or bleeding out on the slaughterhouse floor.
    The apologists never cease to shock me because they continue to deny that racehorses go to slaughter quoting the statistics, provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, as “subjective.”
    Spreading lies, deceiving the public for years, hiding their shameful daily abusive business practices and putting up the tarp every time one snaps its leg-off and dies in the dirt.
    This public butcher show needs to end and it needs to end now.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You are in every way right Gail.

      Horse racing American style is on a ventilator at this point and fighting desperately to stay alive. Why? Because they love it? Perhaps they did at some point. Now, they are desperate to keep it going for the gambling profits. That is what fuels the whole thing.

      Without gambling there would be no horse racing. That has been proven. We are tired of gamblers and their salty tears about the horses, and how heartbroken they are when they see one breakdown and killed. If gambling were outlawed tomorrow, how many of them do you think would be following horse racing for just for the pure “pleasure” of it? Very few is our guess. Every dollar bet subsidizes the cruelty and carnage of horse racing.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. .. heart bleeds..
    ..for the beautiful innocent sentient beings
    tortured to death by human greed
    ..and arrogance
    ..”Immorality sanctified by tradition is still immorality” ~ B. E. Rollin

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s