Genetic Gem in the 10th at Aqueduct yesterday (her very first time under the whip):

“Genetic Gem broke out at the start bumping Starship Rogue and stumbled awkwardly losing the rider and suffering an injury freezing her hind end and standing prone and was attended to by veterinarian and euthanized on track.”

One would think that a dead “athlete” on the “field” would be fairly earthshattering. One would be wrong. Here’s what rates for the racers and players (hardened bettors): “There was a Stewards’ inquiry into the start focusing on GENETIC GEM prior to the result standing and the race being declared official.” “Official,” as in payouts locked in.

Vile.

Last week on U.S. flat tracks (racing only):

Wherethere’ssmoke “bled from nostrils” at Mahoning
Go Estrella “vanned off” at Mahoning
Bodeflex “vanned off” at Parx
Hero of Gold “vanned off” at Delta
Pinky’s Point “vanned off” at Mahoning
Lotsa Fun “bled, vanned off” at Turf
Posh Princess “fell, DNF” at Charles Town
Kabikeka “fell, DNF” at Charles Town
Colette’s Spirit “fell, DNF” at Charles Town
Elgofranco “bled” at Del Mar
Deputy Bernardini “vanned off” at Del Mar
Feller “fell, vanned off” at Delta
Doc Meeks “vanned off” at Mahoning
Golden Tabby “bled” at Penn
Castle of Caylee “vanned off” at Charles Town
Freedom Rose “hit the rail, DNF” at Churchill
Cool Papa G “vanned off” at Churchill
American Playboy “vanned off” at Laurel
Conchita “fell, vanned off” at Los Alamitos
Not This World “vanned off” at Los Alamitos

While not all the “vanned” end up dead, most do, as borne out by our year-end FOIA reports. But even if death is not the ultimate result, the above are victims nonetheless, suffering painful injuries – in the case of the bleeders, pulmonary hemorrhage – so that some men may gamble, others chase pots of gold. (For any new confirmed deaths during the week, please see our running annual list.)

Super de Shine was put to the whip for the very first time June 27 at Ellis Park; it was, as it turned out, also her final race. The KHRC reports that the 2-year-old was injured that day, with the vet calling for the “ambulance.” But after meds were administered “to assist in loading, the filly became very painful and fractious and due to the severity of the injuries…was euthanized on the track.” How severe? “Open, disarticulated fracture; severe disruption of the suspensory apparatus; luxation of the joint.”

Imagine how scared this poor baby must have been, a fear – a terror, really – that surely grew with each passing minute. First, shoved by strange men into a strange metal structure. Next, compelled, by another strange man, this one wielding a whip, to run at an unnatural speed, to keep up with an unnatural herd. Then, made to suffer a horrific injury. And finally, forced to endure an extended pain and suffering when the indefensible (the fracture, I remind, was through the skin) ambulance “load” failed. These people, including the should-have-known-better vet, are disgusting.