Power Punch finished third (in, in a sign of the times, a three-horse field) in the 4th race at Gulfstream January 3. Then he was “vanned off” – “vanned off,” I can now confirm, to his death. But all was not lost, for in finishing the race the 2-year-old Power Punch “won” his exploiters – jockey Cristian Torres, trainer Larry Pilotti, owner Panther Gap Stables – almost $3,000. Vile. Horseracing.
The 6th at Aqueduct this afternoon, as relayed by Equibase: “Dark N Cloudy…vied with vigour for the top…lost his rider after suffering a fatal injury…was euthanized.”
“Vied with vigour,” then died. Can you imagine a sentence like that appearing in any other sports recap? These people have no shame, nor, it would appear, consciences. In his final three completed races – all for trainer Domenick Schettino and owner Antonio Blandino – the 4-year-old Dark N Cloudy brought up the rear – a portent, perhaps, of what was to come.
Earlier in the NY day, Jewel Can Disco “sustained an injury while breezing at Belmont, was ambulanced to barn…and euthanized” (Gaming Commission). He was five.
Dead horses every day. This, America, is your “Sport of Kings.”
This morning, Tikkun Olam, three, was killed – head-on collision, I have confirmed (CHRB) – while training at Santa Anita. He is the 3rd horse killed there in as many days, 6th since the current meet began, and 613th since July 2007. That’s 613 animals sacrificed for gambling – at just one track. This ends when – and only when – we the people demand it of our representatives.
Going into its big day of the meet (six stakes races) yesterday, Fair Grounds in Louisiana had this to boast: four – yes, four – kills in the previous six days of racing:
J Rob – who “won,” had celebratory pics taken, then was euthanized – on the 9th
Big Shanty on the 11th
Jim’s Silverbullet (in a “spill”) on the 16th
Take Charge Cece on the 17th
Four kills in six days. Where’s CNN? Where’s that Santa Anita outrage?
And another. In the 1st race at Santa Anita today, Uncontainable “took a bad step,” says the chartwriter, and is dead. Officially (CHRB): “Fractured right front ankle; per recommendation from the attending veterinarian, the horse was humanely euthanized.” Uncontainable was four and under the whip for the 11th time. He is the second horse killed in a race at Santa Anita in as many days, and 8th fatality statewide since January 1. Nothing has changed. And nothing will.
So the question for Governor Newsom, for Senator Feinstein, for Senator Harris, for each and every member of the California Legislature, for PETA and other advocacy groups working for reform, and for the good citizens of the state of California: How many more? How many more intelligent, sensitive beings must die – for, I remind, $2 bets and frivolous entertainment – before you understand that this can’t be fixed. Horseracing is inherently cruel and inevitably deadly. Horseracing must end. Period.