St Nicholas Abbey, a much-celebrated former champion, has died from colic. As previously covered, the 6-year-old Irish Thoroughbred underwent several procedures – which included 20 screws, 2 plates, a steel pin, and a bone graft – after breaking his pastern in July. All, in a cruel and shameful attempt to preserve him for breeding. And all, for naught. Not that more evidence is needed, but these comments from the Paulick Report lays bare, yet again, how delusional the racing “fan” truly is…

“Heartbreaking news. Condolences go out to everyone at Ballydoyle/Coolmore who moved heaven and earth to care for this magnificent champion.”

“As Shakespeare said (Hamlet) – ‘Now cracks a noble heart. Good-night, sweet prince; And flights of angles sing thee to thy rest.'”

“Utterly heartbreaking–much love and hugs to everyone at Coolmore, especially those who cared for St. Nick. My prayer, too, is that God someday wipes the scourge of laminitis and colic from this planet.”

“Bless his owners and all who gave him every humane chance to survive.”

“Tears and heartbreak. All my heart to this magnificent horses owners and all the people who took care of him and loved him.”

“Fly with the angels, handsome boy. I thank Coolmore for trying so very hard to save him, and I cry with all his fans and friends.”

“My condolences to Aidan and Joseph O’Brien, Coolmore, and everyone who loved and cared for St. Nicholas Abbey.”

“I feel as if I hit rock bottom with this news. …Sincere condolences to all those in his immediate circle and, to all the fans that loved him so, fondest memories.”

“I send my deepest sympathies and warmest hugs to everyone at Coolmore, especially Joseph and St. Nic’s lads.”

“Sadly, even today with so many impressive scientific and technological advances and accomplishments, men still have only limited power against grave injuries and the powerful, brutally humbling forces of nature especially when dealing with fragile horses.”

“Oh so sad – heartbreaking. Run free, precious St. Nicholas Abbey, in the Great Green Paddock.”

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Wow. Where to start? First and foremost, the unbridled love, warm hugs, and deep gratitude are meant for St Nicholas’ final owner, Coolmore, the world’s largest Thoroughbred breeder. Surely, the grieving can’t be that naive. But beyond that, Shakespearean quotes, tears, “rock bottom,” God, angels, and “the Great Green Paddock”? In a word, repugnant.

Each year, thousands of pedestrian racehorses, many pumped full of drugs to mask debilitating pain, shatter bones while “competing” and are summarily destroyed. Each year, tens of thousands of former racehorses are hung upside down and bled-out in grisly abattoirs. For those, (virtually) no press, no outrage, no heartbreak. This, not the anomaly of SNA, is horseracing. Finally, to those who lament man’s “limited power against grave injuries” to “fragile horses,” we simply say, stop racing them. Stop racing them.

Go Canes Go, a 3-year-old gelding who could not finish his last race on December 29th (and came in second-to-last, 15 1/2 lengths back the start before that), broke his leg yesterday while breezing at Belmont and was killed on-track. He was trained by David Cannizzo and owned by ZRJ Stables.

Also at Belmont yesterday, 5-year-old Shertzer, trained by Robert Barbara and owned by Vincent Scalcione, died from an infected leg. NY’s 2014 Death Toll: 5.

Two horses were killed last night at Delta Downs. In the 1st race, a maiden claiming, 2-year-old Casey Lynn “took a bad step mid stretch.” Dead before her third birthday. (Racing advances all ages on January 1st, but Casey Lynn wouldn’t have turned three till April.) In her last start (Louisiana Downs in September), Casey Lynn finished 10th, 22 1/2 lengths back. Perhaps trainer Joe Duhon should have known something. Perhaps he did. And the same for her owner, the sadly ironic Dream Walkin Farms.

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Later in the Delta night, 3-year-old Battle Silk, another filly, went down in the 9th race. She was trained by Billy Allen and owned by Raymond McFarlin. The replays reveal little – Casey Lynn dumped her rider late, while Battle Silk pulled up early. This is horseracing.

122 racehorses lost their lives at NYS tracks in 2013. 122 intelligent, sensitive beings sacrificed for $2 bets. The breakdown: 40 dead at Finger Lakes; 38 dead at Belmont; 23 dead at Aqueduct; 9 dead at Saratoga; 4 dead at Monticello; 2 dead at Buffalo; 2 dead at Saratoga Gaming; 2 dead at Vernon; 1 dead at Tioga; 1 dead at Yonkers. For shame, NY.

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