Yesterday at Saratoga, Shiny Copper Penny “experienced sudden death while being treated by vet, possibly due to an adverse drug reaction,” says the Gaming Commission. The 6-year-old had been raced 36 times; his last training session came just six days ago. He is the third horse to die at Saratoga this summer.
In the 4th yesterday at Golden Gate, Snow Pack was said (Equibase) to have “went wrong” and been “vanned off.” For the uninitiated, “went wrong” is one of Racing’s go-to euphemisms for dead. And indeed this 3-year-old filly is, as confirmed by the CHRB. To owner Gary Marrone and trainer Michael Lenzini, however, no great loss, for you see the pair had Snow Pack “For Sale” at the bargain-basement price of $4,000 immediately prior to her death. In other words, next horse up.
This is horseracing.
Two horses were killed at Woodbine yesterday. In the 2nd race, Mary of Scotts “fell near the 3/8 pole.” Dead. She was four years old. Two races later, Ruggero, also four, “fell trying to jump a fallen horse” (Grazely, who is supposedly okay). In its account, the Toronto Sun said, “Ruggero passed away on the track.” Whatever that means.
So that’s two kills at one track, in a little over an hour – and yet, the final seven races of the day went off merrily. By the way, the Sun article opened thus: “The dangers of thoroughbred horse racing were in full view on Sunday….” In fact, the dangers (horrors) of horseracing are in full view every day – at least to those paying attention.
From the NYS Gaming Commission, Belmont Park, Thursday: “[Pasta] was deliberately let out of her stall by ex-employee, ran loose and fell. Injuries sustained in fall subsequently necessitated euthanasia.” Pasta was two years old and was being prepped for her first race. According to an account in Newsday, Pasta took that fatal fall on a nearby street. The former employee, Ramzan Antooa, was arrested and charged with “burglary” and “reckless endangerment of property.”
There are those, of course, who will say that this story doesn’t belong on this site. The horse, they will argue, was a victim of a crime committed outside (because the miscreant was an ex-employee) Racing’s purview. In other words, not on us. But the key lies in the aforementioned charge: “endangerment of property.” Indeed, property. Pasta was a thing, a piece of chattel wholly and utterly controlled by Horseracing, making all that befell her in her two miserable years on this planet – including, obviously, her death – wholly and utterly Horseracing’s responsibility. Period.
The 8th at Arlington yesterday, as reported by Equibase: “MUFFINS REVENGE broke slowly, trailed the field from the two path around the first turn, continued up the backstretch far behind the field, took a bad step at the half mile pole…and was humanely euthanized on the track.”
“Humanely Euthanized” – perhaps the most obscene of Racing’s euphemisms. (Though “took a bad step” ranks high, too.) Muffins Revenge was three; ’twas her fourth time under the whip.