By now the obscenity in calling horseracing a sport has been well established. But should there be any holdouts among friends and acquaintances, refer them to yesterday’s action at Delta Downs, where, in addition to the general awfulness of whipping animals to run at breakneck speed so that human beings could gamble, two of the supposed “equine athletes” were killed in back-to-back races:
In the 7th, 4-year-old Miss Celeb “stopped after going a half, was pulled up and euthanized” (Equibase). It was the filly’s 30th race, virtually all at the claiming level (prior to dying last night, Miss Celeb was “For Sale” for $4,000). Her last four finishes practically presaged a fatal breakdown:
July 25 at Penn – second-to-last, 32 lengths back
September 2 at Penn – last, 33+ lengths back
September 15 at Presque Isle – last, 14+ lengths back
September 24 at Penn – last, 21+ lengths back
The September starts and the death run were under trainer/owner Stephanie Beattie. What’s that old adage about blood on the hands?
In the 8th, 3-year-old Aut’s Maria “fell and was euthanized.” This, too, was a claiming race, and, in fact, Aut’s Maria was technically sold minutes before perishing.
Two dead racehorses in a half hour’s time. Defend that, apologists.