The Breeders’ Cup is big. While it may not have the “history” and “tradition” of the TC races or Saratoga, it has cash, lots of it – some $26 million worth over 13 races. With the money, of course, come the big names and, by extension, an obsessive, saturating coverage in the racing press. Unfortunately for these “journalists,” however, this level of coverage practically dictates they report a dead horse.
Yesterday during the running of the $2 million Grade 1 “Distaff,” 5-year-old Corona Del Inca “broke down” and was subsequently euthanized. While the kill was indeed relayed, it was buried deep under unforgivable soppiness:
Daily Racing Form
“A champion mare produced a storybook ending…”
“There were tears everywhere in the Santa Anita winner’s circle…”
Jockey Gary Stevens: “I just asked Mr. Hughes if he has a paddock for me next to her.”
“Another cheer went up as Beholder loped back to the winner’s circle, celebrating her swan song victory in true champions style and not batting an eye as the winner’s garland was laid across her withers.”
Owner Wayne Hughes: “I don’t know what I did to deserve [her]…”
“Mike Smith took his helmet off and looked to the heavens…he then picked up the reins of the champion filly beneath him, who had her ears pricked as she so often does after her brilliant on-track exploits…”
“The greatest of sporting outcomes often rely upon protagonists of equal stature…”
“With the grandstand cheering for her upon her return from the gallop out, Songbird had the demeanor of a horse still untouched by defeat.”
And then there is the rapture of the track announcer (pick up around 2:00 mark)…
A horse dies; the party goes on. Racing’s moral depravity on full display, yet again.