As a rule, the “Comments” next to the order of finish on the Equibase charts provide the relevant information, with the “Footnotes” section at the bottom of the page typically just a rehash. But not, often, with the Penn National charts. In the “Comments” for the 7th last night, 4-year-old Hooked On the Lady was a mere “eased” while bringing up the rear. Apparently, if one were to stop there, fine. Not so, for buried in the chart’s very last sentence, after, that is, all the important stuff – claiming price, purse money, various betting info – we learn this:
“HOOKED ON THE LADY dueled inside the winner into the turn then stopped suddenly, was eased through the lane then collapsed and died just after the finish.”
The sudden death of a supremely conditioned (and, mind you, young) “athlete” relegated to a footnote. In what other “sport” on the planet would this be the case? Footnotes? Hell, had a ballplayer or hoopster “collapsed and died” last night we would have awoken to “Breaking News” and screaming headlines. Further evidence (as if more were needed) that “The Sport of Kings” is no such thing, that the majestic “equine athletes” they’re forever touting are in truth but 1,000-lb hunks of nothing – anonymous, expendable, irrelevant. This is horseracing.