Santa Anita Vets missed chances to remove Mongolian Groom

Mongolian Groom. Sports Illustrated image.

Notice the post’s title says missed chances — plural — referring to the lack of supervision and action leading to the death of Mongolian Groom at the 2019 Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita.

KTLA reports:

“A report on the death of Mongolian Groom in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita says veterinarians missed opportunities to remove the gelding from the $6 million race because of time constraints or deficiencies in the process used to evaluate horses.

In the 20-page report issued Wednesday, Dr. Larry Bramlage identified six suggested improvements aimed at refining safety and evaluation protocols for future events.

Mongolian Groom, a 4-year-old gelding, suffered what Cup officials described as ‘a serious fracture’ of his left hind leg in the late stages of the Classic last November, which was shown on national television. Four vets recommended that he be euthanized.”

Check out this statement by Bramlage:

“It is hard to fault a process that had a 99.6% accuracy rate,” Bramlage said, noting that of the 229 horses that competed in last year’s [2019] world championships, Mongolian Groom was the only one to be injured.

Wait a minute. Mongolian Groom was not simply injured; he was fatally injured. Who knows what horses went home lame?

Then there is this.

What about when Mongolian Groom was warming up on the track? Numerous people saw him and noticed he was favoring his left (or near) hind. What about Mongolian Groom’s jockey? How is it, as sensitive as jockeys are to their mounts, that he did not notice anything?

In our opinion, Mongolian Groom’s life may easily have been saved if someone, anyone, had given a damn about the safety of this horse. As it turns out, he is just another statistic . . . a fatal one.

Someone on a message board wrote, “. . . yeah, well, that’s real sad and everything but it’s better than going to slaughter, isn’t it?” *

This is horse racing.

Read Bramlage’s six points »

*The referenced comment has now been deleted.

Two Quarter Horses die at Louisiana Downs

Quarter Horse standing in pasture. iStock photo.

We do not post much about Quarter Horse racing fatalities. Shame on us for not doing so.

“Lrh Fast as Oak” and “Perry Train”

According to Equibase, two “fell and were euthanzied” on opening day of Louisiana Downs’ Quarter Horse race meeting.

Their names were “Lrh Fast as Oak” and “Perry Train”. They were only two years old.

About Quarter Horse racing

Quarter Horse racing competes horses at great speed for short distances on a straightaway course, originally a quarter of a mile, hence the name. Quarter Horse racing was begun by the early settlers in Virginia shortly after Jamestown was established in 1607.

Long recognized as a distinct type, Quarter Horses are known for their ability to start quickly and sprint swiftly, producing close contests with many photo finishes. The breed originated in Virginia from a Thoroughbred stallion, Janus, and native mares.

There are currently more than 5 million registered Quarter Horses.

US Racing: Santa Anita kicks off 2020 killing yet another racehorse

A rider on the training track at Santa Anita Race Track in Arcadia, Calif. on March 8. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

ARCADIA, California (Jan. 1, 2020) — Golden Birthday took a bad step in the stretch at Santa Anita, unseating his jockey who was trying to pull the horse up. Veterinarians recommended that the four year old gelding be euthanized, although it wasn’t immediately clear what his injury was.

Santa Anita killed a reported 37 horses in 2019.


You may have noticed that racehorse death reports at the end of last year were slipping in references to last December’s investigation by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office which reportedly found there is no indication of animal cruelty or criminal activity in the Santa Anita horse deaths. Well, no. Of course not.

Can American horse racing — especially in California — get any more obnoxious?

Horse racing needs to be banned outright. There is no way to reform an industry full of individuals with the sort of mentality they consistently display. Sadly American racehorses are hardly alone. This same sort of thinking and gruesome practices is show up across horse racing around the world.

In the meantime, California Governor Newsome has done a disappearing act. How many horses do they need to kill at Santa Anita before someone, anyone, puts a stop to it?


•  Santa Anita race track has 1st horse death of the new year after a deadly 2019; CBS News; Jan. 2, 2020

•  Two horses have died at Santa Anita since Dec. 26; LA Times;  Jan. 2, 2020 »

•  Investigation into horse deaths at Santa Anita finds no unlawful conduct; LA Times; Dec. 19, 2019

•  Op-Ed: Jane Smiley: The deaths of Santa Anita remind me why I don’t miss horse racing; LA Times; Mar. 10, 2019

A rider on the training track at Santa Anita Race Track in Arcadia, Calif. on March 8, 2019. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times).


Survey: 62% of Americans think less favorably of racing after 2019

Carved racehorses.


(Dec. 26, 2019) — The Reuters news wire reports, after conducting a survey earlier this month with Ispos, a leading market research firm, that widely publicized racehorse deaths left 62% of respondents with at least a “somewhat less favorable” impression of horse racing in 2019.

Reuters/Ispos conducted their online survey on Dec. 18 and 19, reaching 1,005 American respondents, 741 of whom indicated they knew injured racehorses were sometimes euthanized.

Per Reuters, the survey “found that when horses die from race-related injuries,” 34% of respondents were left with “a lot less favorable” view of the sport, while 28% had a “somewhat less favorable” impression.” Another 37% indicated the deaths did not change their opinion of racing.

Industry response has been widespread, starting at Santa Anita Park, where last spring racing and training were halted for a closer examination into the spate of injuries. Conversation about medications, whips and other reform have resulted.

Reuters also polled its respondents about government involvement in racing. More than 53% said they support federal legislation to regulate drugs, with that a positive for the Horseracing Integrity Act that has gained bi-partisan backing in the U.S. House of Representatives.

31% of respondents said they weren’t sure about federal legislation, while 16% opposed it.

Currently, racing is overseen on a state-by-state basis, while the Horseracing Integrity Act seeks to form a private, independent horse racing anti-doping authority with uniform rules across the country.

Read more »

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Of course it’s not just about the racehorse killings at Santa Anita — which gets trotted out time and time again for scenarios like these — but the doping, physical abuse, mental abuse and brutal killings at all racetracks across the good ol’ USofA.

We are neutral on the Horseracing Integrity Act. We don’t care if it passes or not. However, there is one bonus for us if it does — horse racing will be regulated under one roof which will make the sport vulnerable, especially when the predictable in-fighting among the big owner groups begins.

Churchill Hill Downs Incorporated are against the Horseracing Integrity Act so it will not become law. They have their own plan, and it’s already well underway.