Last year, the Oregon racing people were super excited in announcing that Grants Pass Downs would fill some of the void that was left when Portland Meadows, Oregon’s sole commercial track, closed. Horseracing lives in “The Beaver State”! Which, of course, means that horses will continue to die. This week, two have – so far.
Tuesday, Hellagood collapsed and died, says the Mail Tribune, “on his way back to the barn” after the 4th race. Although the temp at the track Tuesday hovered around the 100-degree mark, track vet Jack Root says it was a “busted aneurysm” that killed Hellagood, with the left chest “just full of blood.” Root: “This horse was likely born with a defect…and it was just a matter of time, no matter what. Then, of course, the exertion of a race raises the blood pressure and busted an otherwise very weak place.”
The next day, Hawks Main Interest, three, “broke down,” crumpled to the dirt, and was ultimately euthanized. Kills on back-to-back days, but this should make us activists feel better: “It’s one of those things that just breaks everybody’s heart,” said Root (who, by the way, has also been an owner, breeder, and trainer). “Everybody’s really bummed about it, to be honest with you. It’s a tragic loss that kind of sets everybody back.” He then added, “Fortunately, it hardly ever happens.” Liar. Liar.