Saturday, I posted on the breakdown/death of La Ranchera at Tampa Bay the day before. Her fatal crumple, you may remember, initiated a pileup that eventually included four horses. One – Bright Promise – was listed as vanned off; the other two – 6-year-old Juliebrowneyes and 3-year-old Carol Ann – were merely reported as “fell over a fallen foe.” Nothing more – no word of breakdowns or ambulances. Turns out, according to a reliable source at the track, that both are dead – euthanized, like La Ranchera, for catastrophic injuries.
Juliebrowneyes was a 26-start career claimer, used for her entire life by trainer Edward Williams and owner/breeder Gail Wright. Carol Ann was first put to the whip back in May. After six cheap Suffolk claiming races (mostly, every 7-14 days) under trainer Alan Lockhart/owner Lloyd Lockhart, she was sold to Miranda Downing for $5,000. Two more at Suffolk, then she was shipped south for Friday’s race.
This business’ Big Lie – the racehorse as athlete, the horserace as sport – is not some harmless marketing ploy. By manipulating the masses and massaging the politicians, this terrible industry is allowed to function in the face of wholesale destruction. Sure, three dead (and another maimed) in a single race is a rare event, but death on American racetracks is not – it happens multiple times every day. So when they start with “this was an anomaly, a fluke,” refer them to this. Then watch them squirm.