Saginaw Dies; His People Weep

When a racehorse breaks down, especially one as popular as former-claimer-turned-stakes-winner Saginaw, the garbage starts to flow. In the Times Union account of Friday’s death in the 3rd race at Saratoga, jockey Junior Alvarado said, with “tears in his eyes,” “It’s very sad, there are just no words to explain it. It’s just very sad for everybody. When there were horses going by him, he tried to chase them. In his mind, it was ‘run, run, run.’ I wish I could have helped him, but there was nothing I could do. I knew it was bad.”


Saginaw, the TU reports, “was visible in the ambulance, his eyes looking out at the applause that followed him down the track.” Mike Repole, a competing owner, “lost interest in the race after he saw the breakdown.” He said: “It’s a tough sport. These athletes are going 45 miles an hour on legs that are the size of my wrist. An NBA player tears his ACL, he comes back a year from now. These horses break a leg, he never comes back. He doesn’t always survive. It’s sad.”

Twice in the past week, the Times Union (“Grieving for Kris Royal”), being a publication clearly sympathetic to racing, has attempted to manipulate readers by underscoring the horsemen’s sorrow. See, they cry when their horses break; their hearts ache when the pink courses; they struggle with their professions. The horse people care. Meanwhile, the utter insanity in “athletes” whip-forced to go, as owner Repole helpfully reminds, “45 miles an hour on legs that are the size of my wrist” gets glossed over, whitewashed. “His eyes looking out at the applause”? Times Union, have you no shame?

To Charlie LoPresti, Junior Alvarado, Mike Repole and everyone else in and around horseracing: Your “sport” is not a sport. These “accidents” are not accidents. And your “love” is not love. Racehorses are slaves and you are their masters. If you truly wish for no more broken sesamoids, cease and desist. Cease and desist.

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  1. And this really is the tip of the iceberg. How many have gone before these track warriors and how many survive the rigors of this brutal business only to wind up on a truck to a slaughter house. It happens every day and people look the other way.

  2. Same story, just a different day. So incredibly sad, but I hear these stories all the time. Yes, the pro-racing enthusiasts will gloss over this tragedy. They have a story to sell to the public and they have become good at it over the years. However, I will not buy into their lies. Horse racing isn’t about the horse. It is about the almighty dollar. RIP, sweet Saginaw. I, for one, will NEVER forget you!

  3. “It was explained to me he’ll be in pain for two or three months and there’s a very good chance he could develop (an inflammation),” Jacobson told the Daily Racing Form. “It doesn’t seem to be the right thing to do based on the experts that have advised me. Money is not an issue. It’s just the pain that he would go through.”

    I understand. If he were fertile with an interesting pedigree, he’d still be here. But it wasn’t about the money.

    • It was the right thing to do to get him out of his pain but it was cruel to race him competitively in the first place just for peoples entertainment.

  4. I’ve lived within commuting distance of the Saratoga track all my life and never really attended the track because I’ve always felt that the sport was cruel. I thought it was cruel even though I never really knew that horses were actually dying there every year. That I have learned is a fact that is well hidden by the business of horse racing. It was just this year that I finally went to the track and took a tour of the back stretch. I was just in awe of the beauty of the horses and their personalities (yes their personalities) and actually started to warm up to the sport. Stupid me to be fooled by what they wanted you to see rather than what really happens. Every other day in August so far since the day I visited the backstretch in July I have read about yet another horse that was put down because of this cruel sport. WHAT AN ABSOULETE WAIST….People have a choice, the horses don’t. The greedy business of horse racing is low class and un-civilized no matter how much money you have. How sad!!!! R.I.P away from stupid people: Charmed Hour – August 11, 2013; Heading to Toga – August 17, 2013, Sarava’s Dancer and Kris Royal – August 26, 2013, Ocean Breeze – August, 28, 2013; Saginaw, August – 30, 2013 and all the other horses killed or injured in training at Saratoga Race Track. The sport makes me sick!!!!!!

  5. Do you think by calling them atheletes it makes this sound less sad. They are BABIES. Let them have a change to grow and mature before you force them to race. Yes, they do love to run, but at their own pace, not being hit and whipped by a jockey and forced to run so hard they break down. How do you greedy race horse people sleep at night?

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