I’m not a huge horse racing fan, though I’ll admit I have enjoyed an occasional day at the track. Last week, I worked on a story with two colleagues at Gannett, looking into the spike in horse racing deaths in New York State last year.
I received a couple of emails asking about the source of our information, which we used to build a database of 600+ deaths and more than 1,000 injuries at New York tracks between 2009 and 2012.
We actually got that information as the result of a FOIL request — New York’s Freedom of Information Law. But there is a pretty good source for horse racing data available online — Equibase. They’ve got the results of all of the thoroughbred races in North America back to 2000. they also have video of most of these races. I suppose that’s a great tool for handicappers, but it was also a useful resource for our research, allowing us to see for ourselves the deaths and injuries that were described in the state’s incident reports.