Take Control Dead at Santa Anita

Bloodhorse reports (10/17/13) that 6-year-old Take Control was euthanized at Santa Anita after, in the words of trainer Bob Baffert, “he took a bad step” while breezing. With only four career starts (and at least two surgeries), his death, I suppose, is newsworthy because of lineage (AP Indy, Azeri) and past value (“a $7.7 million RNA at the 2008 Keeneland September yearling sale”).

photo: Bloodhorse
photo credit: Bloodhorse

As this was a public passing (in contrast to the vast majority of racing kills), trainer Baffert was duty-bound to offer lament: “It’s really tough…he’s a nice horse, and he’s been with us a long time. It was a really sad day at the barn. It’s a part of the business that makes you not want to be in it, but things happen, and it’s just bad luck. One bad step and that’s what happens.” And the beat goes on…

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  1. Baffert has had more than his “fair share” of “bad steps” in this bad business.

  2. “Take Control” was the first foal out of Horse of the Year and three times Champion Older Female “Azeri”, so he has been quite a celebrity … but Baffert and “Take Control” ‘s owners show that even this does not change the usual run of things … racehorse … races … dead … we pretend to shed a tear… then we shrug our shoulders and life goes on …
    Just terrible! Another life wasted!
    I do not know any other kind of sport where taking “a bad step” turns into being the death sentence of an athlete !
    I am appalled… again and again ..

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