After 62 races – all but two, claiming – over five years, 8-year-old Funky Country was, according to prominent advocate Mary Johnson, scheduled to be retired. Problem was, he had one more race left on his sentence – a cheap run on Suffolk Downs’ final day. The chart for last Saturday’s 6th has Funky Country “bumping a foe,” pulling up, and being vanned off. But in fact, he is dead. Apparently, trainer/owner John Nassi – who bought FC for $4,000 in May – couldn’t bear to leave any possible dollars on the table. (Although 5th was paying only $300; 6-9 were getting nothing.)
In the end, it is fitting that Suffolk Downs – which had been killing horses for 79 years – should go out this way. And yet, it is we – a 21st Century society that still abides blood-sport – who ultimately failed this horse. End racing, now.