7 racehorses killed so far at Saratoga in 2017

Correction 1.25 pm: 7 deaths not 17. Hope this error does not turn out to some sort of dark omen.

Saratoga Bugler (Skip Dickstein/Times Union).
Saratoga Bugler (Skip Dickstein/Times Union).

SARATOGA, New York — Patrick Battuello of Horseracingwrongs.com reports:

In the final race of the afternoon yesterday at Saratoga, this for 4-year-old Brooklyn Major (Equibase):

“BROOKLYN MAJOR three wide at the half mile pole, was through after the half, then fatally collapsed after crossing the finish line.” Yes, another “fatal collapse” after the wire. But all is not lost: For finishing the race, Brooklyn’s connections took home $84.

To date, seven horses have died at Saratoga ’17, four in the last four days:

Lakalas, May 28, “collapsed and died after breezing”
Queen B, July 6, “fractured leg while breezing…ambulanced to clinic – euthanized”
Wanztbwicked, July 22, “suffered an injury while breezing – euthanized on the track”
Angels Seven, July 28, “pulled up, injury to LF leg – euthanized on the track”
Howard Beach, July 29, “suffered a fracture to RF leg breezing and was euthanized”
Positive Waves, July 29, “suffered a fracture to his RF leg breezing – euthanized”
Brooklyn Major, July 31, “collapsed and died after the finish of the race”

It makes you wonder how horseracing can brag that its casualties are down and they are doing better. Doing better than what? At what? All we can see them excelling at is abusing and killing horses. They are are marvelous at that. Many of their horses die at the track while training. These sad victims haven’t even made it into a race yet.

I suppose with (1) the threat of the return of horse slaughter to U.S. soil (horse racing will love that —murder and mayhem being a day-to-day part of this disgustingly cruel “sport” so called), and (2) the hotly lobbied for killing of 90,000+ American Mustangs needlessly robbed of their homes and freedom and placed into U.S. confinement camps to eke out the rest of their now tragic lives — who cares about a few dead racehorses, right?

Well we do. We care about all of them. What can we do? Protest.

The people at horseracingwrongs.com have been and continue to do so. More on that coming soon.

Protest on Twitter. Tweet reports like this one, but most importantly Patrick’s reports at @ABRLive. That America’s Best Racing’s handle that tweets endless drivel about this “great sport”. Let’s shake their audience up.

And to the gamblers who support suffering and death with their $2 bets, can’t you find something else to bet on? There are a myriad of sports played out across the world you can bet on with human athletes who choose it as a career and voluntarily take the risks associated with it.

Tweet reports like this one, especially Patrick’s to @lasvegasbetting and @vegasSB1 (for strictly sports betting). Use the phrase You Bet. They Die.

These are just a couple of ideas. Help these horses with your ideas. Email us or post them here in comments.

With U.S. horse racing we must put their feet to the fire and keep it there. No one else is going to do it. We have to, in memory of all the racehorses already maimed and destroyed by this dangerous, drug infested industry and its forthcoming victims.

What trainer was it that said this not so long ago? Can’t find it now, but it went something like this: I don’t care if they get rid of drugs in horse racing. I just hope I’m dead when they do it.

That pretty much sums it up.

NY racehorse owners willing to spend a bit to save lives (NY)

Now look. More racehorse owners are stepping up saying they are willing to help out horses who can no longer race, or are just ready to retire.

More than 40% of New York Thoroughbred owners surveyed said they would support a mandatory half-percent purse fee to fund retired racehorse adoption programs. Another 32% said they would support a 1% fee. There’s a lot of barns around that could have retired animals, says Diana Pikulski, head of the Saratoga Springs-based Thoroughbred Retirement Fund. (AP Photo-New York Racing Association, Adam Coglianese)
More than 40% of New York Thoroughbred owners surveyed said they would support a mandatory half-percent purse fee to fund retired racehorse adoption programs. Another 32% said they would support a 1% fee. There’s a lot of barns around that could have retired animals, says Diana Pikulski, head of the Saratoga Springs-based Thoroughbred Retirement Fund. We wonder where these horses are now shown here racing at Saratoga in 2007. (AP Photo-New York Racing Association, Adam Coglianese)

There are many caring owners in the Thoroughbred world. And not just at the top end of the sport. Owners of the less expensive brand want what is best for their horses too. The Standardbred people are right there with them.

It is always good to see true demonstrations of this, because of the horses naturally. But it also gives us the rare opportunity to praise those connected with horses instead of lambasting them.

Paul Post (what a great racing name) for the Thoroughbred Times writes:

More than 40% of New York Thoroughbred owners surveyed said they would support a mandatory half-percent purse fee to fund retired racehorse adoption programs.

Another 32% said they would support a 1% fee.

Those results are found in a USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service study conducted for the New York State Task Force on Retired Race Horses. The survey found that 1,845 Thoroughbred and Standardbred racehorses were retired last year in New York. It is estimated that about 800 were Thoroughbreds.

For the complete NASS study, click here.

Of the more than 1,100 owners surveyed, lack of soundness and lack of economic viability were the primary reasons given for retiring a horse. Seventy-three percent were from three to six years old, 49% had lifetime earnings less than $25,000, and 73% earned less than $25,000 in 2007.

The 13-member task force is charged with investigating the feasibility of creating a larger market and finding second careers for retired race horses, from physical and mental therapy to riding or show competitions.

Karin Bump, a Cazenovia College equine professor, said that horses have been shown to benefit people therapeutically, from autism patients to returning Iraqi war veterans struggling to overcome emotional and psychological issues. One significant obstacle to a more widespread use of horses is getting insurance carriers to recognize their value and viability, she said.

Illinois and Maryland charge horse owners a small fee—five cents per bag or $2 per ton of feed—to fund equine retirement programs.

“The time is right for us to begin looking at things like that,” Bump said.

Task force co-chairman Patrick Hooker said he especially is concerned about the economic downturn’s effect on the retired racehorse population.

“I worry a little about the economy and people’s willingness to step up and help,” he said.

Hooker also is commissioner of the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets. He said there is a great untapped potential for converting former dairy farms to horse farms. This would allow former dairymen to keep land under production by raising hay, he said.

“There’s a lot of barns around that could have retired animals,” said Diana Pikulski, head of the Saratoga Springs-based Thoroughbred Retirement Fund.

>> Thoroughbred Times

Other racing news from Thoroughbred Times: Laurel Park filly with EHV-1 euthanized, by John Scheinman