Two horses – 2-year-old Arbuckle Road and 8-year-old Shoe Freak Marlene – forced to run on a snowy, slippery track at Beulah yesterday broke down and are, according to a source there, dead. Apparently, Shoe Freak Marlene “snapped his leg off.” Curiously, Equibase had the conditions as clear and fast for both races, yet after the 5th (when SFM went down) it reports, “Due to track conditions the remainder of the card was cancelled.” Arbuckle Road was ridden by Megan Fadlovich, and trained and owned by Ivan Vazquez (with Tim Holt). Shoe Freak Marlene was ridden by Rodrigo Vergara, and trained and owned by Charles Lawson.
This afternoon at snowy Monticello Raceway, two Standardbreds suffered fatal breakdowns in the 8th race. Benns Superman, driven by Jim Marohn Jr and trained by Rob Harmon, “choked up at stretch, fractured left front leg, [was] ambulanced off [and] euthanized”; Cosmic QI, driven by Bruce Aldrich Jr and trained by Michael Temming, “choked down and fell in infield and died.”
Jwala (pictured below), a 4-year-old filly, suffered a catastrophic collapse at Hong Kong’s Sha Tin on Sunday and was subsequently killed. She was ridden by Steven Drowne, trained by Robert Cowell, and owned by Manor Farm. Said Cowell in a tweet, “Jwala was a special racehorse. I am especially proud to have been part of her life.” And, Mr. Cowell, part of her death.
Pro football is perhaps the most brutal of professional sports, with laid-out players a familiar Sunday scene. Yesterday, there were 14 NFL games, yet even with violent collisions too many to enumerate, not one athlete died. In fact, over its entire 93-year history, the NFL has lost but a single player during a game, he to a heart attack. (In 137 years, Major League Baseball also has just one death.) Horseracing, speciously referred to as a sport by its apologists, records, according to The New York Times, at least three deaths a day. It’s “at least” because the industry willfully attempts to hide the carnage. Occasionally, though, it happens in full view, so confirmation comes easy.
Yesterday afternoon at Parx in Pennsylvania, two equine “athletes” died within an hour of each other: In the 2nd race, 4-year-old Full Sail Ahead (pictured above) “broke down in her left front near stretch and was humanely euthanized,” and in the 4th, 3-year-old Colour Portrait “broke down just prior to reaching the furlong marker and was humanely euthanized.” Two more youngsters cut down while entertaining gamblers. A sport? Only to the ignorant.