The industry quote of the week comes from a recent BloodHorse article by longtime racing writer/apologist Jay Hovdey. The piece began by acknowledging what we at HW have long known (and exposed): not all kills are treated equally. Hovdey:
“I have no idea why, in the scheme of things, those emotionally invested in Thoroughbred racing would mourn the death of one horse to an exponentially greater extent than any other. That’s just the way it is, the way it’s always been.”
Indeed. A $5,000 claimer breaks down at Parx, no one cares. Shoot him up, scrape him off the dirt, stuff him in a van, dump him in a pit, and wait for the “disposal service” to haul him away. A star, or budding star as was the case with Taraz, the subject of Hovdey’s column, and it’s an outpouring of grief – the “black crepe trail,” as Hovdey calls it – “prayers and condolences to the connections,” and excrement like this from Garrett O’Rourke, GM of Juddmonte Farms, Taraz’ owner:
“[W]e felt like she was something special. You live to have a chance to be in the presence of such talent. For all of us here, it hurts to have that taken away.”
But the aforementioned quote, the golden moment as it were, came in a larger discussion on fatal injuries and the fragile physiques that make them so common. Hovdey, again:
“A hard fact remains – the sport cannot save its injured athletes at a rate that will ever satisfy the general public.”
No it cannot, Mr. Hovdey. No it cannot. And with each passing day, the pressure mounts and a groundswell builds. Your beloved industry is living on borrowed time.