Santa Anita and the CHRB have finally confirmed the death of Mantra in the 9th race Sunday – officially, snapped ankle. He was five, and this was his 24th time under the whip. For Santa Anita, that’s 7 dead horses on the year; for all Cal tracks, 18.

Reform is a ruse; safe racing is a lie. Horseracing kills, always has, always will.

First things first: In the 9th at Aqueduct yesterday, Kiss Me Dave “fell fatally.” Dead. She was just two; this was her very first race. Vile enough. But the chartwriter had more to say: “MAYBE I KNOW was just off the rail coming up to a prostrate rider…lost its own pilot trying to hop off over him…. TELLAPERFECTTALE worked its way into the two path…avoiding a fallen rival and jockey….”

“its” (not “her”)
“pilot”
“fallen rival”

Then this: “Following a Stewards’ Inquiry focusing on an incident on the turn, the result was allowed to stand and the race was declared official.” Well thank heavens the “incident” – a dead horse, I remind – did not affect the “result.” How sad that these racing people have allowed their innate human compassion to be blunted by $2 bets.

Equally sad are the fans who, in the wake of these deaths, express their sentiments. One from yesterday is fully indicative of the delusional (and/or callous) mindset. A Dr. Lourdes Abellera – “racing fan (11 countries, 27 racetracks), animal welfare advocate [emphasis added], civil engineering professor, UCLA PhD alumna” – wrote the following on Twitter: “Rest easy, Kiss Me Dave [crying face]. Condolences to the connections.” Detestable. By the way, I’d show the replay but alas, this: