4th horse killed at Del Mar

Blinkered racehorse closeup. Photographer not specified.

Fox News reports:

DEL MAR, Calif. — A 3-year-old racehorse was euthanized after a training injury in Del Mar, the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club confirmed Monday.

The 3-year-old filly, Bri Bri, suffered a serious pelvis injury, officials said. They did not immediately clarify when the injury occurred.

“Del Mar has implemented a series of safety and welfare reforms over the last several racing seasons, including the creation of an independent five-member panel to review all entries,” the club said in a statement.

Which means what exactly, we ask.

She was the 4th horse killed in during Del Mar’s summer season.

On July 29, a three-year old filly broke down during training after a leg injury. Two horses were killed July 18 in a freak accident when a two-year old threw his rider and collided head-on with a three-year old, also during a morning workout.

Hollendorfer wins his lawsuit to return to racing

Jerry Hollendorfer racehorse trainer, killer and doper. Racing Post image.

Sometimes there seems little justice in life, but was trainer Jerry Hollendorfer made the poster boy for the rash of racecourse deaths in the killing fields of California racing? He was asked to take his horses and move out of Santa Anita following the reported 30 deaths that caught national headlines, and some of which he was responsible for.

In the hot glare of the negative publicity swirling around those racehorse killings, horse racing desperately needed to look like they were doing something, and banishing Hollendorfer seemed like that something.

Hollendorfer tried other racetracks who said, yes, okay, we’ll let you in, only to change their minds. When he applied at Del Mar and they said no dice, he sued them.

ESPN reports:

Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Hollendorfer is now allowed to train and race horses at Del Mar following a ruling Friday in a San Diego courtroom.

Hollendorfer had sued Del Mar earlier this month after the Southern California racetrack refused to allow him to enter races during the track’s meet or keep his horses in the track’s stalls. He sought an injunction to allow him to race at the track, and San Diego County Superior Court Judge Ronald Frazier granted that request.

The suit was filed after the track declined to give him stalls due to “[public-relations] risks and considerations,” according to court filings. Hollendorfer had previously been banned at Santa Anita and Golden Gate Park, two tracks owned by The Stronach Group, after four of his horses died during the Santa Anita meet, completed last month, where 30 horses were euthanized.

The response to the lawsuit by Del Mar attorneys alleges that during the meeting June 28 where they told Hollendorfer he wouldn’t be allowed to participate, his attorney said, “We get it. Jerry’s radioactive. We get it.”

Horse racing is radioactive. A toxic killer of horses.

And we strongly object to the use of the more pleasant sounding term “euthanized” when these racehorses catastrophically and painfully broke down and had to be killed to put them out of their misery. Insured too, no doubt.

In the meantime, “according to Equibase, Hollendorfer horses have won 7,623 races in his training career and have collected purses of $199,932,748,” reports the same ESPN article.

Who writes this stuff? The horses have collected purses of . . . ? Yes, we know what they mean. Still.

Blood money.

Racing Post image. Not filed with ESPN story.

See also “The Slow and Merciless Death of American Horse Racing“, Tuesday’s Horse, May 28, 2019

Del Mar starts its summer meet with two kills

ESPN and numerous other news outlets reported two deaths at California’s Del Mar racecourse which just opened its Summer Season of racing on July 17.

ESPN wrote:

Caslon Quote Left Black“Two horses suffered fatal injuries Thursday morning after colliding in an accident during training hours at Del Mar racetrack in California, a spokesman for the track confirmed on Thursday.

“The accident occurred around 6:30 a.m. P.T. when Charge a Bunch, an unraced 2-year-old colt trained by Carla Gaines, threw rider Giovanni Franco and ran the wrong way down the track.

“Charge a Bunch then collided with Carson Valley, an unraced 3-year-old gelding trained by Bob Baffert who was working in the opposite direction.

Bob Baffert who is reportedly worth $10 Million. That's a lot of blood money.
Trainer Bob Baffert, responsible for racehorse Carson Valley, is reportedly worth $10 Million reports an article published by COED.

“Del Mar told ESPN earlier Thursday that the horses were euthanized shortly after the accident but later clarified that the horses were killed in the collision.”

Let’s get our facts straight.

NBC Palm Springs reports:

Caslon Quote Left Black“From the clinical examination of the horses it appears both suffered cervical fractures and both were dead on the racetrack,” said Dr. Rick Arthur, a veterinary with the California Racing Board.

What we know for sure is that they are dead — and by all appearances the deaths were “accidental”, or in other words they didn’t “break down (as in a leg) and die”, as racehorses typically do these days as a matter of routine. This time the horses broke their necks.

How about this quote by Kathy Guillermo in a statement made by PeTA following the announcement of the death of these horses:

“Saying that deaths are inevitable in racing is like saying a swim team can’t compete without drowning.”

Normally the public would have heard nothing about these deaths. Most tracks don’t even report or record training kills. However, all eyes are on California horse racing following Santa Anita’s recent disastrous season of kills.

What’s not mentioned is the pain and mental suffering these two young horses endured as they died. Yes, mental suffering. These are sentient beings.

Source ESPN article by Katherine Terrell, “Two horses die at Del Mar after colliding” »

Related Reading Rancho Santa Fe Review; July 5, 2019; “Del Mar strengthens safety standards after Santa Anita deaths” »

Baffert Picture COED article by Josh Sanchez; May 4, 2019; “Bob Baffert Net Worth 2019: How Much is Horse Trainer Worth Today?” »


A first day racing kill for Del Mar and a training kill for Saratoga

Horses jump out the gate at Del Mar racetrack in California. Unattributed Google search result.

Patrick Battuello of Horse Racing Wrongs reports the following on Del Mar’s first day kill:

Caslon Quote Left Black

Yesterday [July 15] was opening day at the famed and celebrated Del Mar Racetrack – “Where the Turf Meets the Surf.” Great food, summery libations, wacky hats, hobnobbing, glass-tipping, shoulder-rubbing. . . and death?

In the 6th race yesterday afternoon (yes, they put on horse races too), a 3-year-old filly named Presidential Air “broke down” – to be more specific, snapped a leg – and was euthanized. Dead.

Which leaves me wondering: How many of those 42,000-odd revelers were/are aware that part of the day’s entertainment was killed? More important, how many care?
Black Line

Well the answer to that seems to be — no one.

John Cherwa reporting for the LA Times writes:

Caslon Quote Left Black

The upbeat tenor of such a day can be undone in a moment, as was what happened in the sixth race when Presidential Air broke down at the top of the stretch in front of a sizable part of the crowd.

The sometimes horrifying realities of the sport were in full view as the 3-year-old filly rose to her feet and staggered with only three working legs. She went back to the ground as two men came running with the green tarp that tracks use to shield the crowd from the horse’s impending death and subsequent loading onto a van.

After that race the crowd thinned only slightly and the buzz quieted only a bit. By the time the eighth race, the featured Oceanside Stakes won by Monster Bea with Gary Stevens aboard, it was as if the tragedy of two races earlier [was] forgotten.
Black Line

Gary “The Buzzer” Stevens. Shocked any horses lately?

Jane Allin (who is on a well-deserved vacation) compiled a list of Del Mar’s kill figures over the past 15 years. Here’s what she found.

Year Racing Memorial Wall Worldwide Article: Sword Hanging Over Del Mar [1] Jockey Club Horse Racing Wrongs (PB) [2] ALL SOURCES
Highest Count
2016 7* 7*
2015 7 10 17 17
2014 15 9 23 23
2013 4 2   4
2012 12 7   12
2011 11 12 5   12
2010 7 7 5   7
2009 15 9 5   15
2008 10 14   14
2007 12 12   12
2006 16 13   16
2005 5 23   23
2004 4 26   26
2003 5 17   17
2002 1 22   22
2001 0 13   13

* As of July 15, 2016. By Jane Allin.
[1] See The Del Mar Conundrum; Bill Shanklin; HorseRacingBusiness.com; September 14, 2012. Note: Shanklin got his numbers from the California Horse Racing Board.
[2] PB — Patrick Battuello, HorseracingWrongs.com.

Listen to this.

In the same year Mr. Shanklin wrote his article — 2012 — Alan Zarembo reporting for the LA Times wrote this in an article entitled Santa Anita leads California tracks in horse racing deaths.

Caslon Quote Left Black

Horses died while racing at Santa Anita Park at more than double the rate of horses at the state’s other three major thoroughbred tracks over the last fiscal year, according to state statistics.

The fatality rate at Santa Anita, in Arcadia, rose significantly after a return to a dirt running surface in 2010 after three years of using a synthetic track, the data show.

The deaths of three horses during the production of the television horse racing drama “Luck” — which happened to be made at Santa Anita — has drawn recent attention to the issue. HBO canceled the series this month after the third incident in which a horse on the set suffered injuries and had to be euthanized.
Black Line

Meanwhile on the East Coast Saratoga had its first kill before its meeting has even begun. Again, let’s listen to what Mr. Battuello had to say today on that front:

Caslon Quote Left Black

With the season opener still a week away, Saratoga ’16 has already recorded its first kill. 2-year-old Squire Creek broke while training yesterday morning and, according to the Gaming Commission, was euthanized on the track. The equine child was being prepped for his first race. For trainer Todd Pletcher, this makes 16 dead racehorses since 2010 – in NY alone.
Black Line

It is revolting the rate they kill these horses. And the ages. 2 year olds and 3 year olds.

Why do these people not see they have a very serious problem?

This is horse racing.


Horseracingwrongs. com.
Racing Memorial Wall Worldwide.
Jockey Club Injury Database

Horses jump out the starting gate at Del Mar racetrack California. Unattributed Google search result.

July 18, 2016

Presidential Air’s death sparked back to back protests on Saturday and Sunday outside of the park. “This weekend starts the summer season of abusing and killing horses for profit and entertainment. It is beyond me to even think that in the year 2016 this is even legal,” said Ellen Ericksen, the protest organizer. (via NewsoftheHorse)