The chart for the 7th at Turf this afternoon reads: “Mystical Image was injured near the 1/4 and fell; Starzan fell over fallen rival.” No vans mentioned. Now we know why: Both horses, I have confirmed, are dead. That’s two “athletes” killed in the same “game.” Imagine if this were any other accepted sport on the planet. Imagine. Turf, by the way, canceled the final race of the day. Mystical was eight, Starzan five.
I understand two jockeys were badly injured, as well. Yet, as per racing industry custom, all the remaining riders in this horror show kept right on whipping their mounts along to try to win this all-important Death Race.
(Gosh, I wonder if they’re admired by REAL athletes for their, um…tenacity? Competitive spirit? Drive to succeed? Nah. Real sports figures tend to understand that life-or-death generally overrides one lousy competition.)
real life analogy to football where game stopped when player fell down
Can someone tell me how this CRUELTY is allowed to go on?!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I mean WTF?
I was there at Turf when it happened. It was horrible. It looked to me like Leslie Mawing, the jockey of Mystical Image, was trying to jump off the horse as he fell. Alex Cruz, the jockey of Starzan, fell and it looked like the horse fell on top of him. Local EMS and Phoenix Fire were called to assist. Cruz lay completely motionless on the track. Everyone was just in shock. It’s the worst accident I’ve seen in my 50 years of going to the races. Horrible, just horrible.
Please stop supporting this awful industry, Richard. If you spend some time on our site you’ll see that similar horrors are visited upon these poor animals practically every single day. Perhaps start here.
But was it enough to get you to stop going to the track?
If not, then your support makes you every bit as responsible for what happens to these horses as the owners, trainers, and jockeys.
You said it, Patrick. I personally think that It would be page one news around the world if two human species died in the same race or sports game of any kind. Imagine, theoretically, if no horse was seriously injured in the same race but two JOCKIES in that race were actually killed. IMAGINE!! (Richard, think of the reaction if two major, even minor or college league, football players somehow died right there, in the presence of spectators, or died shortly afterwords in a human foot race, in track in other words, or in a competitive race of any kind in the same event! The human sports world would be upended. Fingers might be pointed, guilty feelings all around, huge media coverage for weeks with accolades for the dead and grief counseling offered for those followers, let alone teammates and family! But a thoroughbred horse or even a slightly “lesser” equine? This incident of two horses, same race? What a “freak tragedy “. And how sensitive of them at Turf to cancel the final race of the day, I suppose so that everyone could collect their “so very sad” feelings when “Mystical Image” and “Starzan” collided and were fatally injured on that track. But, especially in a “routine” race: please get over it! It just happens! So very sorry, but, you know, “They were born to run. They WANT to race, they need to race! ” It’s all they ever wanted. Yea, I know, eight and five years old. So tragic! Maybe we need to better examine the actual track, maybe there was an overlooked or even sloppy trainer or, God forbid, veterinarian. Illegal or overlooked drugs or pre-existing injuries? Maybe a few heads should roll and rights be suspended for a few days or weeks. Maybe the horses were tired and needed a rest, yada. But this is, and always shall be, the Sport of Kings. So glad that major newspapers, even “The New York Times” continue to faithfully cover and actively SUPPORT this great sport! (Just hide the taped portions where this “tragic and gruesome ” collision and falls of two jockeys, where apparently there were serious injuries to at least one of them occured now, THAT’S OK to show because no one wants to see gruesome horse collisions. It’s too “traumatic” for the average viewer or bettor to see. They shouldn’t be made to see such horror. All they want to do is have a good time and bet.)
Personally I couldn’t give a s**t about the jockeys, they had a choice whether to ride in a race or not but the innocent, defenseless horses had NO choice. It was, for them, run as fast as you can or be mercilessly whipped anyway. Still, never mind, the jockeys will get well-looked after and the ‘owners and trainers’ will just move on to their next innocent victims-the horses….
You’re right, of course, about all of it. But I think it’s every bit as disgusting that both the jockeys, and, more abhorrently, the BETTORS insist that the Death Race continue, even as a paralyzed-or-worse HUMAN is lying on the track as they do with all the dead-and-dying horses from the same “accident.”
See Richard’s comment, above. He claims, “Everyone was just in shock.” But I’ve seen (more than) enough bettors’ collective reactions to A LOT of horror-show breakdowns and chain-reaction crashes. And they always follow a discernible, predictable pattern:
1. Intense interest in the race’s start, usually pretty quiet.
2. An audible gasp/groan (of horror, or surprise, who knows?) at the moment of disaster.
3. General confusion and mumbling as they try to determine WHICH horse(s) went down.
4. An audible renewal of enthusiasm as the remaining horses and riders enter the home stretch, and the “exciting” results of the death race begin to reveal themselves.
5 (And this one’s key). An immediate return to the betting window en masse, chattering away about the last race, or the next race, or their bets at some other death track across the country.
Some lost money due to the breakdown(s), sure. Others profited, and were eager to cash in on their “good fortune.” But none that I saw cried, or vomited, or stormed out in disgust. EVEN THOUGH THEY’D JUST WITNESSED HORRIBLE HUMAN CARNAGE. Equine carnage? Sure. (They’re nearly all from a different generation, and animal life was deemed less valuable than it is to us today.) But these racing fans, one and all, expressed only immediate and absolute INDIFFERENCE to the human toll that horse racing takes.
And I refuse to accept, as they do, when a human being is mangled in this sick game that, “Hey, it happens.”