Having been at this for four years, I now regularly receive eyewitness accounts of track deaths. Most are simply sharing the horror of what they had seen, usually accompanied by a vow never to return. But others pass along information with no apparent motivation. An email on August 3: “multiple deaths in Yonkers 7th last night.” Nothing more. (The U.S. Trotting Association chart did indeed show several horses not finishing that race, but I’ve yet to see a single death disclosed on the harness charts; this was no exception.) So, this being NY, I awaited confirmation on the Commission database. Finally, nine days after the fact, the following was posted:
(6-year-old) Jesse’s Story, August 2, Yonkers: “horse started race went down at 3/4 pole and died.” “Went down and died.”
Not multiple deaths, at least as far as we know (horses euthanized back at private farms die in anonymity), but one more name for this singularly ignominious list.
Postscript: I received a followup email just this morning. The source saw three horses stay down; hence the assumption of multiple deaths. And, he added, “there was blood on the track.” Surely, the dying Jesse’s Story’s. How profoundly sad.