Do Your Homework, LA Times – Then Tell the Truth

Yesterday, the LA Times Editorial Board weighed-in (again) on Santa Anita, calling (again) for the track to shut it down. Fine, but its reasoning is terribly flawed, its outrage (“we’re appalled”) unforgivably overdue.

Santa Anita should close, says the Board, until “an investigation into the mysterious spate of deaths that has bedeviled the track” is complete. “It’s reckless,” they say, “to keep racing before the park has all the information it needs.” Okay, here we go again. Going back to 2007, Santa Anita has averaged 50 dead horses annually. 50. 48 died there just last year. We’re currently at 35 (yes, it’s 35, not 29). No “spate,” no “spike” – in fact, right on schedule. To that, where was this rebuke back in 2018? 2015? 2007? Ever? And what, pray tell, about Los Alamitos’ 257 dead horses the past five years, or Golden Gate’s 180? Or California’s over 5,000 since 1998? If Santa Anita “should not risk any more horses’ lives” by continuing to race, shouldn’t those other tracks (because dead horses are a guarantee) close too?

As to the “mysterious” nature, the Board would do well to read some of the highlights from the already-in 2018 necropsies. No mystery here.

Still, the Board got one thing right. At the end, it says, “Over time, Americans have to decide how much death they are willing to tolerate in this ancient sport.” Indeed, how many, America? How many?

7 Comments

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  1. Well, I thought that when someone was injured, a jockey or exercise rider, legislatures would sit up and take notice. Yet, when Blackhawk Beauty died on the track, two jockeys, hers and another horse’s, were injured. The report doesn’t say how serious the injuries were. But, it seems human life is just as cheap as a horse’s. But who knows, maybe a jockey will DIE, along with his or her horse, on the track, on national tv. But does anyone think that will get racing done away with?
    Nope. After all, men and women in the racing industry, have been killed before on the track, been paralyzed, spent months, even longer, recuperating from injuries, have had bones broken, ligaments and tendons torn-in short, suffered just as the horses do, and not one state or federal legislator has done a thing to do away with horse racing.

    • Karen — keep in mind that Humans CHOOSE to enter this industry and participate — Humans KNOW what they’re getting into — if they don’t like it, if it’s too dangerous, they bow out — the CHOICE is theirs to make ////// not the Horse — the Horse has NO CHOICE.

  2. Thank you patrick once again for the facts and the truth, simply more damage control from an industry in denial and disrepair. The racing industry has no one to blame but themselves, and can finally answer for all the years operating with immunity. Where is the media and outrage across the board? California is the top tier of racing, imagine what goes on at the lower level less known tracks. The carnage is everywhere, and not much is or has been done to stop any of it.

  3. We should be open to the possibility that the sudden admission that there is a problem at Santa Anita, and even calls to close it down, are a “limited hangout”— admit wrong somewhere, do something about it, and pacify people by pretending the problem is solved. Sacrifice a little bit to keep the rest going.

  4. Santa Anita is NOT the only track where racehorses are dying!
    It’s everywhere.
    Horse racing KILLS racehorses every single day with total impunity, total lack of disclosure to the public while covering under an “entertainment” “sports” banner – FACT.
    Although I’m elated that the truth is FINALLY getting out to the general public it’s so sad that so many racehorses have died for this to be unmasked.
    Again, I want to make clear, whether you believe me or not, I tried so hard as an Associate Steward to address these issues YEARS AGO – back in 2005 and the more I fought for much needed changes the more I was labeled as a “trouble-maker,” and eventually lost my job.
    My direct experience with the CHRB, at that time, was an organization led by a racing apologist Rick Arthur who didn’t do anything to ensure that racehorses were protected.
    Hardly people who “care” about their “family members.”
    Committee meeting after endless meetings, endless lip service and wallpaper led to nothing and racehorses continued to die.
    This is a vile business that has been killing racehorses for years and nothing will change their fundamental business model despite what they say.
    It’s a discombobulated mess, a criminal enterprise that kills racehorses for billions in profit.
    Their empty words are just that and the only way to stop this bloodbath is to shut it down.
    We, as a society, will do just fine without racehorses being exploited for profit.
    The world will go on and gambling will continue without killing sentient beings.

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