Book Review: Missionville by Alex Brown

(HORSE RACING) — Patrick Battuello, chronicler of racehorse killings at Horse Racing Wrongs, recently reported the death of 7-year old Sing the Dream in a claiming race for 4 yo’s+ at Aqueduct, Saturday afternoon, January 27, 2018.

It was Sing the Dream‘s 50th race. Battuello states the horse “fell heavily” (Equibase) and was euthanized where he lay.

American racing routinely kills its horses particularly in contests such as these — the claiming race.

Alex Brown, author of Greatness and Goodness: Barbaro and His Legacy, has written a book called Missionville which delves into the lives and activities of the people who work horses in the business of the American claiming race.

Missionville is a well crafted story with credibly drawn characters you can root for or against as the author gives you an unvarnished look at the day-to-day rigors of training and racing horses at a small track and its resulting consequences.

Eclipse award winner Mike Jensen, journalist for the Philadelphia Inquirer, in his review of Missionville puts it this way:

Alex Brown, a lifelong horseman, takes you on a journey few are capable of providing. He takes you to the underbelly of the sport. A terrific read”.

Missionville gives true to life insight into what happens to horses when their careers begin to take a downward spiral and tragically end up in the claiming race system.

Missionville is a must read for every racehorse advocate.

Buy it now »

Featured Image: Missionville, by Alex Brown (pictured with used racing plates) by Vivian Grant Farrell.

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.

A young horse just died at this Racetrack — and no one’s talking about it

His was the third death in just two months.

Horses jump out of the starting gate at Saratoga racecourse. Saratoga.com.
Horses jump out of the starting gate at Saratoga racecourse. Saratoga.com.

THE DODO | BY SARAH V. SCHWEIG | JULY 26, 2017 | Link to Article

A 3-year-old thoroughbred horse named Wanztbwicked was euthanized on the Saratoga racetrack on Saturday after breaking down during training — he’s the third horse to die at the New York track in just two months — and no one’s really even talking about it.

That’s because casualties like this are the norm for horse racing. Hundreds of horses die on tracks in the U.S. every year.

In just New York state so far this year, over 50 horses have died at racetracks and many more have been injured. Last year, at Saratoga alone, 17 horses died from racing-related injuries.

Part of the reason so many young racehorses die is because of a lack of regulation on drugs administered to the animals, according to Vivian Grant Farrell, founder and president of The Horse Fund, an organization that promotes horse welfare. Farrell said that horses are commonly given drugs to mask preexisting injuries so that they can “run through the pain,” and this compromises their safety.

“Man and animal alike love to do what they were created to. Racehorses love to run. But some even go so far as to believe that racehorses love to compete. Perhaps, but not in the way a human being does. In the instance of horse racing, too often humans project insatiable appetites for money and glory onto the performance of these magnificent animals,” Farrell told The Dodo after a young horse died at the Belmont Stakes in 2015. And little has changed since that death, and so many others.

“Horses continue to die unnecessarily on America’s racetracks,” Jane Allin, research writer for The Horse Fund, told The Dodo.

One of the most memorable deaths on the track was a horse named Eight Belles, who was euthanized at the Kentucky Derby after getting injured on May 3, 2008. “It was her tragic death that spurred a major undertaking to address the pervasive use of drugs — both therapeutic and performance-enhancing — in every division of horse racing occurring on the tracks across the U.S.,” Allin said. “Since this time, has anything really changed?”

Eight Belles falls to her chest as she fractures both front legs after crossing the finish line in the 2008 Kentucky Derby.
Eight Belles falls to her chest as she fractures both front legs after crossing the finish line in the 2008 Kentucky Derby.

In terms of drug use, nothing has changed, according to Allin. “Year after year, the racing industry meets to discuss and argue about developing new regulations … but the industry itself is divided and so the ideas of many well-intentioned individuals are mired in disagreement,” she said.

Allin pointed out that Saratoga, like other tracks across the nation, has a history of death. “With the rampant use of drugs in North America, unlike other jurisdictions in the world, there is certainty that horses are compromised, leading to a greater number of fatalities on the track, reported or not,” Allin said. “It seems no horse is immune to these abhorrent practices… Horse racing in North America is a sham. Until real changes [take place], racing here will continue down the ugly path of deceit and death.”

Even if better regulations pass, there are other problems that cast a dark cloud over the industry. “There are some horse racing jurisdictions that are highly praised such as Hong Kong where drug abuse is virtually nonexistent. However, gambling is the heartbeat of horse racing and it has much more to do with running ‘clean’ races, which bettors in their culture demand, than any consideration for the racehorse,” Farrell told The Dodo. For instance, it is not uncommon for ex-racehorses to be shipped to slaughter or die of neglect. “How can you make an industry humane that for decades has been dumping racehorses of no further use to them in slaughterhouses?” Farrell said.

Read full article »

Additional Reading

Horse Racing Special Reports, Jane Allin »
Horseracing Wrongs, Patrick Battuello »
Racehorses Killed in 2017, Patrick Battuello »

Featured Image

Horses jump out of the starting gate at Saratoga racecourse. Saratoga.com.

Death at a Party: 30,000 Witness Two Kills at Saratoga

by PATRICK BATTUELLO
HorseRacingWrongs.com

I was at Saratoga Race Course yesterday – along with 40 or so other activists. We were there, of course, to protest the systemic abuse and killing of horses for entertainment. On this gorgeous upstate-NY summer day, 30,000 souls merrily marched through the front gates, anticipating a social scene practically unrivaled on the East Coast.

Sure, Saratoga beckons the hardened “players,” but it also attracts the kinds of demographics you won’t find at America’s more pedestrian (read: cheaper) racetracks – middle-class families, sunscreen and coolers in tow; the upper crusts, styling young and gaudy old alike. And yes, there were limos.

So, with signs hoisted, we dutifully (and respectfully) offered knowledge – flyers containing the facts and figures of this site, the irrefutable truth on Racing. Some took them, most did not; a great many, in fact, were confrontational, even downright nasty:

    “Get a job.”
    “Get a life.”
    “Don’t you have something better to do?”
    “Why don’t you spend your time worrying about humans?”
    “You’re idiots; those horses are treated better than people.”
    “We’re going to have a lot of fun in there!”
    “Can’t wait to win some money!”
    “Yeah, I bet you’re voting for Hillary too.”
    One, to a friend (in a threatening tone): “Better keep me away from them.”
    “You people make me sick.”

And, my personal favorite: “You’re obscene.”

Yes, it is we, the advocates speaking in behalf of innocent, defenseless animals, who are the obscene ones.

And so it was with this backdrop that those KIA [killed in action] lists we were disseminating prior to had, by day’s end, grown just a bit longer. Dead: 3-year-old Zamjara in the 1st, 4-year-old Rootformejustin in the 5th.

The party, alas, had been marred – if only a tad, if only for a day.


See also “Two More Killed at Del Mar
Two More Killed at Del Mar

RELATED READING

  • A First Day Racing Kill for Del Mar and a Training Kill for Saratoga
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    Starting Gate Saratoga Racecourse. Saratoga.com.