As I wrote yesterday, Laurel Park is the latest track to come under the gun for killing horses, with racing temporarily halted there while the track surface gets dissected – which is all, as we know, for show. Look, I know this gets repetitious, but: From breeding for speed, to employing pubescent bodies, to the incessant grinding – not to mention commodification – of those bodies, to forcing them to run at an unnatural rate, in an unnatural way, and through unnatural means, horseracing guarantees killing. Guarantees. That’s not to say the industry can’t take steps to prevent some deaths, but as a general principle, killing is built into the system.
Every once in a while, one of the exploiters unwittingly acknowledges some of this truth. In a Baltimore Sun article on Laurel’s crisis, trainer Gary Capuano, after noting that he’s “not happy about [the deaths]” and has incurred “a lot of sleepless nights lately,” said: “The horses are running a lot faster than they’re usually capable of doing.” Now, I know what he meant – it is this particular, supposedly “too hard” track that is making the horses run faster. But the truth is, Mr. Capuano, they are always running faster than they should be, and that, as mentioned above, because you and your brethren are forcing them to do so. So let’s not pretend here: It is you, the racers, who are responsible for the killing. Not the track, not the weather, not “bad steps” or “freak accidents” – you, greedy, selfish human beings.