In response to a new Marist poll that shows “91 percent of [New Yorkers] never go to New York tracks to bet on horse racing in a typical year” (Times Union), the ever-slick New York Racing Association (NYRA) spokesperson, Patrick McKenna, tweeted:
First off, his numbers are wildly inflated. But more important, why does that – jobs, “economic impact” – matter? I mean, in the face of pervasive cruelty and wholesale carnage – on-track kills, stall deaths, slaughter – can’t all good, moral people agree that money is irrelevant? Today, the NYS Gaming Commission released the names of two more victims, both at NYRA tracks: Olympico, six, fatally injured training at Saratoga Saturday; Informed Risk, two, succumbed to laminitis at Belmont Aug 16. (While the Commission claims the laminitis was tied to pneumonia, a quick glance at IR’s Equibase profile reveals a training session four days before he died. So…)
The above bring the 2021 Death Toll at the three NYRA tracks to 47. Over the past five full years, it’s over 350. Since the Gaming Commission began disclosing this information (2009), we’re a shade under 1,000 dead horses. That’s almost 1,000 intelligent, sensitive, beautiful creatures sacrificed for Mr. McKenna’s precious jobs and economic impact. Is this 21st Century America or 1st Century Rome?