Running Scared – Even in Sacred Saratoga

On his HorseRaceInsider site, John Pricci recently shared an email he received from a racing-related friend in Saratoga Springs, home, of course, to Saratoga Race Course:

“Horses are dying. We all should be uncomfortable about that. Thoroughbred racing is worth saving and the game that you and I grew up loving was noble. But if we don’t face this thing down… So far, those I have talked to seem not to be willing to face this.

“This past Derby Day, approximately 50 protestors [that was Horseracing Wrongs, by the way] were on hand at the Oklahoma Training Track, just down from the East Avenue entrance. They later moved to the front of the National Museum of Racing. The number of protesters at the gate, and at the Museum, grows annually.

“I have been struck in recent months about when I am stopped by someone when it comes to racing and this issue. It is in church, the supermarket check-out line, or the deli newsroom where I get my papers each morning. My spouse is president of a charity at a Roman Catholic Church and is the youngest member of this organization of caring older people. After two recent monthly meetings the question asked of me was ‘what about those horse deaths at Saratoga [this year]?’ These people barely know where Saratoga Race Course is located. Okay? But they are getting the message and forming an opinion.

“This game has got to step back and take a deep breath and make some truly hard decisions about where it wants to go. Because if government makes that decision as a result of popular pressure [animal abuse is an automatic vote-getter], it is not going to be pretty.

“Hallowed Saratoga is NOT immune to this and most of our civic leaders don’t get that. For a far less harmful situation than horse deaths — opposition to gambling — New York outlawed thoroughbred racing in 1911 and 1912.

“I truly love [the game] and have first-hand knowledge of what it can be. I honestly think we are in crisis and are unwilling to confront that. I hope I am wrong.”

Pricci concludes: “Can stakeholders doubt there’s a crisis when residents of the town that is home to one of ‘America’s Top 10 Sporting Venues – where horse racing has been part of the fabric for over a century and a half – begins to question why so many horses are dying?”

Running scared – even in sacred Saratoga. Which brings to mind one of my favorite historical lines. It comes from an ever-so-brief note from President Lincoln to General Grant in the waning days of the Civil War: “General Sheridan says ‘If the thing is pressed I think that Lee will surrender.’ Let the thing be pressed.”

Indeed, activists and all caring people nationwide, let the thing be pressed.

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13 Comments

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  1. I think the crucial point to this comment was when John Pricci said that he had spoken to people at his church and some didn’t even know of the location of Saratoga Race Track. That’s the point. These fine people don’t know about racing and therefore don’t contribute, and therefore STOP contributing to the foul industry.
    The ones that need to be won over are the wicked people employed in racing in various ways.

    • They are SCARED, Ray because the people who “work” in this “industry” KNOW they are not capable of getting a REAL job!!!!,you know like maybe something that would benefit society,rather than killing innocent animals.

  2. This asshole says “Animal Abuse is an automatic vote getter” you piece of shit, whoever you are lady,How dare you so snidely say that you piece of shit. Yes some of us DO CARE about horses being TORTURED. Go crawl back into your hole.

  3. And another thing,you scumbag,who wrote this…It has NEVER been “noble” you dumbass. It has always been SLAVERY of these Majestic Horses. I hope you stay in Saratoga,with the other brain deads

  4. “Horses are dying. We should all be uncomfortable about that.” Uncomfortable?! How about horrified, disgusted, and ashamed? The only reason you people are uncomfortable about it NOW is because you feel threatened by the negative picture your own disgusting actions have revealed to the public. If no one knew the truth about horse racing, you wouldn’t care at all.

  5. There’s only one reason why this antiquated business model continues:
    the obscene amount of money coming from taxpayers and/or casino profits.
    Any track depending on this financial handout would surely shut down starting with the hell hole Finger Lakes, but aren’t they all hell holes for these poor racehorses?
    These money pits and killing rings are not financially sustainable and haven’t been for years.
    I think that the pressure should be on our politicians whom WE vote in or out because once the money stops so will most racetracks shutter.
    The moral issue is obvious to most except for the delusional apologists and that’s not enough to keep this public butcher show going.
    The writing is on the wall, and the shutting down of horse racing in California is inevitable.
    It can’t come soon enough for the racehorses.

  6. Just want to share a cute memory of mine…Me about 5or6 years of age,knock on our front door..it’s one of the neighborhood Mom’s,I had given both her twin boys,who were almost twice my size “bruises”(black eyes), my Mom ,opens front door,the woman takes one look at me..and starts laughing,she couldn’t be mad,but amused,that little pip-squeak (me) could do that,to her two big boys. I still have that type of fight in me to stand up for what’s right,that’s who I am fundamentally.

  7. Pressure,pressure,pressure!!! How can these people even TRY And tell anyone they have respect for these beautiful majestic BEINGS!!! BEINGS just like us!! Ban this evil sport!!! We supposedly have evolved as himans,ha! What they do yo these beautiful animals AND THE BIG LICK ALSO,IS CRIMINAL!!!!the spectators chill me the most…. CHEERING ON THE ABUSE!!!! MONSTERS ALL OF THEM!! THIS IS NOT SPORT ITS ABUSE AND MURDER!!!!BAN THERE ATROSITIES!!!!

  8. The “cheering” is for “their” horse to win. A friend who is a professional horseplayer told me, “It’s a money game.” The players who grind out a living are few but there are some. Very difficult. Some enter contests with big pots going to the winner. It will be interesting to see what happens to “The Sport of Kings” going forward. May be headed for extinction.

  9. REasons, why:
    Horses are trained too hard, too early in their lives.
    Horses are raced too early in their lives.
    Horses are inbred. Damaging conditions, syndromes, and diseases are weakening them.
    There are just too many racehorses foaled each year.

    Feel free to add to the list.

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