Yesterday afternoon at Aqueduct, 7-year-old Second City was raced for the 44th and final time. But this isn’t some happy (and mostly mythical) horse-retires-to-a-bucolic-pasture story. Rather, this: “Second City…came under light coaxing half a mile from home, took a bad step…and broke down, the rider immediately protecting and pulling up his charge, who unfortunately had to be humanely euthanized on track.” (Equibase)
Lots to take in, so allow me to translate:
“came under light coaxing” – was hit (the “home” part is a nice touch)
“took a bad step” – Racing’s go-to phrase of self-absolution
“broke down” – well, we know what this means
“rider protecting and pulling up his charge” – jockey was in self-preservation mode
“unfortunately” – see “took a bad step”
“humanely euthanized” – Beyond mere absolution, this phrase, perhaps the most vile of all, implies a kind of moral rectitude – not only are our hands clean, but we’ve actually done something good. Imagine that.