The long suffering of a 9-year-old gelding named Ticfaw has, at last, come to an end, when, in one final wrong committed against his body, he was broken at Delta (8th) last night – “pulled up, euthanized” (Equibase). It was his 68th time under the whip.

Also: At Belmont, 3-year-old Lemon Iceking was, according to the Gaming Commission, “found dead in [his] stall.” The “report” continues: “appeared to get cast in stall, history of EPM, investigation continues.” Ah yes, the ever so familiar “investigation continues.” Isn’t it funny how all those implied results-to-come never do? Before dying – alone, probably in pain, surely terrified – Lemon Iceking was raced twice (both claiming): an 8th-place finish in October and a last-of-12 in November.

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4-year-old Kiss My Face is dead after breaking down in the 7th at Golden Gate yesterday. Once again, an apologist’s reaction is instructive. Golden Gate track announcer Michael Wrona tweeted out: “Sad to report the demise of Kiss my Face…” “Sad to report,” then on to other matters – next race, next round of excitement.

I’ve long held that people within the racing world – the jockeys, trainers, owners, sure, but also those, like Wrona, who make a living in and around the track – are desensitized to dead horses. It’s as if they have been conditioned, often from birth, to passively (and callously) accept a certain amount of collateral damage. Sick – and sad.

Also, in the most recent Los Alamitos minutes there was this on 3-year-old Sixarun Babe: “Immediately after the start [8th, January 15], while racing in the clear, Sixarun Babe fell. It appeared and was later confirmed the gelding had broken his back.”

This is horseracing.

Through a request to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, I have confirmed the following deaths at Plainridge (Mass’ only remaining racetrack) in 2015:

Something Good, June 12
“ulcerative enterocolitis”

Four Starz Skate, September 2, racing
“fracture C3 vertebra”

Kiss My Cruiser, November 9, racing
“pulmonary edema”

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