A head-on collision claimed the lives of two racehorses at Belmont yesterday morning, a story receiving mainstream coverage because one, 9-year-old Caixa Eletronica (below), was a star. Apparently, 4-year-old Six Drivers, the claimer afterthought part of this tale, became unnerved on the training track, threw his rider, and darted into Caixa Eletronica. Both, according to the NYRA vet, died instantly (neck, skull fractures).
Now to the nub. Caixa Eletronica’s owner, Mike Repole: “I’m devastated. …It’s a terrible day for racing. For any horse, it’s horrible. When you hear it’s Caixa Eletronica, it’s magnified.” Why devastated and magnified? The aptly named Caixa Eletronica – Portuguese for “cash machine” – had earned $1.6 million for Repole. Chris Englehart, Six Drivers’ brand new trainer (he was claimed on December 27th), fully commiserates: “It made it 10 times worse when I found out who the other horse was.” Curiously, Englehart had nothing to say about his own horse.
As a footnote, Newsday says that Evan Gewirtz, Six Drivers’ owner, hopes “the accident wouldn’t provoke protests from animal-rights groups.” Well, Mr. Gewirtz, we do protest, vehemently. And while you and your cohorts shamefully attempt to wipe your hands of this, we know the truth: Horseracing, not mischance, killed these two horses. Sleep on that.