Wandshara (FR)

Undisclosed Fatalities in Official Reports

Golden Gate Fields in California is one track that readily reports the facts in CHRB stewards’ minutes. This could give the appearance that there are more incidents at this track than the others. (That may be true, we have no idea, and we are not comparing nor investigating tracks.)

However, we’ve observed that other tracks fail to report certain incidents and/or will hide information from the public by putting it in an “attached Accident Report” that is private to officials only. Del Mar and Santa Anita fall into this category.

For example, two horses died in the first week of the 2016 summer meet at Del Mar, incidents that were openly published in articles easily found across the Internet: Presidential Air (racing) and Dynamite Charge (training). However, the stewards’ minutes merely mention Presidential Air’s “accident,” without mentioning her death, stating an Accident Report is attached (private). And there is no mention of Dynamite Charge, perhaps because she was fatally injured in training one morning, not racing, as if that makes a difference.

By contrast, New York State Gaming Commission remains the most transparent (honest) in reporting injuries and fatalities consistently, thus taking the heat for other tracks’ same phenomena of ongoing track incidents. As with Golden Gate Fields, perhaps New York tracks could appear to have more incidents than other tracks, just by virtue of their being honest with us.

By the way, this Memorial honors any horse who lost his or her life in work on the track, whether training or racing.

We only mention these observations to point out that some tracks report horse incidents more openly and consistently than others. They seem to have legal leverage to report as they see fit. This is how horses get swept under the rug, may never appear on this Memorial, and are too easily overlooked and forgotten.