Last month, I reported the death of 2-year-old Paddock Boss at Churchill. The race, you may remember, was canceled after the start – “management decision.” The stewards have now provided a bit more detail:
“Because [the jockey] appeared to be injured and was unable to be immediately moved, the stewards took the necessary steps to have the field pull up by activating the alarm system and alerting the outriders and announcer…the race declared a No Contest.” Paddock Boss, the stewards go on to note, “suffered a catastrophic injury and was humanely euthanized on the racetrack.”
This, in microcosm, is The Big Lie: horseracing as “sport,” racehorses as “athletes” – “teammates.” Imagine that the only reason the alarm was sounded and the race canceled was the downed jockey (he’s fine, by the way). In other words – and of course this happens on American tracks every day – a dying horse was not going to stop this race. Let him lie there until it’s safe to get the vet out with his pink concoction; first, there are bets to be settled. It is vile. It is horseracing.