Another day, two more kills at much-celebrated Santa Anita Park. Yesterday morning during training hours, death came to Battle of Midway, a stakes-winning (multiple times), $1.5 million “earner,” and Just Forget It, a 4-year-old being prepped for his debut. On the former, this from Fernando Diaz-Valdes, racing manager for co-owner Don Alberto Stable (before it was finally decided to euthanize):
“Terrible. Terrible game. He broke down. He shattered his pastern in his hind leg. We want to do anything possible to save the horse, but the vets say there’s no way. There’s too many pieces. We are trying. We want to do anything to save the horse because he gave us so much. There’s no words. For us, it’s the loss of a child.”
The other half of the ownership team, Elliott Walden, added:
“Thank you for (your) condolences. He was a warrior and loved to run. This is an awful tragedy and please pray for all.” (BloodHorse)
Contemptible, sure. But it’s contemptible for more than just referring to an enslaved, exploited animal as a “child” and a “warrior,” and for more than soliciting consolation for those who reaped the rewards of that exploitation. It’s contemptible, too, for the utter absence of tribute and grief for the other dead racehorse at Santa Anita yesterday. Which only goes to prove (yet again) that only the victims with star pedigrees and glorious “triumphs” rate. For the rest (the vast majority), a collective shrug. How profoundly sad – on multiple levels.
(By my count, 18 horses have now lost their lives at Santa Anita since the first of the year. 18, in eight weeks, at one of the supposed good tracks. Chew on that, apologists.)