Pity the poor Standardbred: With practically zero mainstream coverage – you won’t see Bob Costas at Yonkers Raceway – and no chart clues to decipher, the story of his exploitation and abuse goes mostly untold. But owing to the only-one-in-the-nation NY database, we occasionally unearth a bit of harness hell.
Last Thursday at Vernon Downs, a 2-year-old Standardbred by the name of Monsterinthepaint died “after being removed from [the] trailer”; autopsy revealed “colonic ulceration with colitis.” Officially, this gets filed under “non-racing” fatalities. But in truth, all racehorse deaths – whether from colitis, colic, laminitis, snapped bones, failed hearts, or slashed carotids – are Racing Deaths. All of them.