Good Riddance to John Cherwa’s “Racing!”

John Cherwa’s “Racing!” newsletter in the LA Times has come to an end (“business decision,” he’s calling it). In the penultimate edition, he offered his opinion on what needs fixing in racing. Included among things like “get rid of the Rainbow Six,” “free parking at all race tracks all the time,” and “the press box elevator at Del Mar [needs] to work on opening day,” is this:

“Horse racing needs to take a stand against Saudi money. The influence of Saudi money is huge in this sport, but racing doesn’t seem to care about the human rights issues that engulf the region. Lest you forget, they kill journalists and, according to a British court, kidnap and silence family members who speak out. Despite the $20-million price tag, I will never cover the Saudi Cup, even if assigned. Don’t you wish someone in racing would take a stand and say human rights’ principles are more important than a big payday.”

Yes, “take a stand” against the Saudis for human-rights violations, but utterly ignore the fact that the rest of your vile industry abuses other sentient beings as a matter of course – confinement, isolation, drugging, doping, whipping, etc. – and kills by the boatload: between on-track, stall, and the slaughterhouse, we’re talking some 15,000 American racehorses every single year. But by all means, go after the Saudis, Mr. Cherwa. What a (bad) joke.

I’ve often said that the likes of John Cherwa and Joe Drape (NY Times) are more dangerous (to horses, that is) than the Bob Bafferts of the world. Cherwa and Drape are accomplished journalists writing for major publications; they lend respectability to horseracing. What’s more, by being frequent critics of the industry that they in no way wish to see end, they convey to the masses that all that’s needed is a bit of tidying up – that there is nothing fundamentally wrong with breeding, exploiting, and killing horses for gambling. So, good riddance to “Racing!” and bravo to the Times for (though long overdue) bringing this blot to a close.

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  1. That is interesting that anyone making their living in the horse racing industry by glorifying as well as promoting the EXPLOITATION of horses to the public would be turned off to Saudi money by the Saudi violations of human rights. I mean the money is the top priority in HORSERACING and yet a pro-racing journalist is against someone’s MONEY?!?! Talk about straining a gnat and swallowing a camel… 🙄 Horse-killing money is acceptable to some people, but human-killing is on a more serious level. If John Cherwa had been born a horse…

  2. Big congratulations to the L.A. Times, for finally leaping in to the 21st Century and cutting some of their Killing-Animals-for-Fun-and-Profit coverage.
    But I believe most Cali racing folks are actually relieved to see one more hole in their information sieve getting plugged. I think they’re more critical of Cherwa than we are(!). They yearn for a return to the good ol’ days of horse racing “news.” (You know, the days when Cali tracks could take out several hundred equine lives each and every year, and Cherwa and other “journalists” wouldn’t devote a single drop of ink to the obscenity.)
    But, since Santa Anita’s “Disaster Season” of 2019 — when he was forced to tally up most of the reported kills at the SADT — racing advocates started to think of him as a liability, and actually wanted his “newsletter” to cease altogether. (“If you can’t say everything nice about us, say nothing at all.”)
    Well, they got their wish. Too bad it won’t do a thing to save their anti-sport at the ballot box (where it really counts:)

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