In response to an interview I did earlier this month, NYRA spokesperson Patrick McKenna said the following: “[T]he opponents of horseracing who seek to end the sport in New York are certainly entitled to their opinion, but they’re not entitled to their own set of facts. The fact is that thoroughbred racing in New York State…is safer today than at any point in recent history.”
Yesterday, Ms. Kavanaugh, a 3-year-old filly being prepped for her first race, was killed at Belmont: “horse sustained an injury while galloping – euthanized on track.” For NYRA, she is the 53rd “athlete” killed at its three “stadiums” – just this year. (Since 2009, the death toll is over 1,000.) Is this how we’re to define “safer today than at any point in recent history”? Is this how we’re to mark progress? For shame, Mr. McKenna. For shame, NY horseracing. For shame, all who continue to support this vile industry.