3-year-old Miss Macarena is dead after breaking a leg in Thursday’s 1st at Aqueduct. But for NY’s singular database, the filly’s death likely would have passed unnoticed – Equibase chart: “MISS MACARENA…took bad steps soon after departing the backstretch, was pulled up and subsequently vanned off.” Yes, “vanned off” to oblivion. This was her first race under trainer Jeremiah Englehart and owner Christopher Dunn. She is the 18th horse killed at Aqueduct since Halloween.

5-year-old Summer Sunset, Oct 31, race 2 (fractured leg)
4-year-old Jesses Giant Dunk, Oct 31, race 3 (ruptured ligament)
4-year-old Knockher Off, Nov 12, race 5 (neck trauma)
9-year-old Cherokee Artist, Nov 28, race 6 (fractured leg)
4-year-old Princes On Thelake, Dec 3, race 5 (fractured cannon)
3-year-old Warrior’s Hero, Dec 4, race 3 (fractured carpus)
5-year-old Half Nelson, Dec 5, race 8 (fractured shoulder)
7-year-old Quick Money, Dec 5, race 8 (neck trauma)
5-year-old Sage Valley, Dec 10, race 8 (apparent cardiac arrest)
5-year-old Ludo Bagman, Dec 11, race 1 (fractured sesamoids)
4-year-old Celebrate We Will, Dec 26, race 1 (fractured leg)
5-year-old Wicked Irish, Dec 27, race 2 (undisclosed leg trauma)
2-year-old Golden Bay, Jan 2, race 6 (fractured leg)
5-year-old Shewreckstheplace, Jan 4, race 5 (fractured sesamoids)
2-year-old Channel of Love, Jan 9, training (fractured leg)
4-year-old Apex, Jan 9, race 2 (fractured leg or ankle)
4-year-old You Take the Cake, Jan 15, race 2 (fractured neck)
3-year-old Miss Macarena, Jan 22, race 1 (fractured leg)

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Receiving an Eclipse award last Saturday, longtime NBC/NYRA announcer Tom Durkin vomited the following:

“Together, we saw some amazing performances over the decades, performances that allowed me to honestly elocute words that horse races routinely generate – words like courageous, determined, sublime, otherwordly, magnificent. Thousands of words that were only an attempt to describe the indescribable Thoroughbred. What other game, what other pursuit, provides a prism for such passions? If nothing else, horse racing is an obsession fueled by dreams.

And here in a room full of dreamers, thank goodness for these incredible horses and the incredible things they do. I thank the game for the privilege of being able to have described their exploits, I thank the game for making a dream come true, and I thank you, thank you, for this incredible, truly incredible, honor with my deepest affection. Thank you.”

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Mr. Durkin, the appropriate words to describe racehorses and horseracing: tearing foals from moms, owners, chattel, enslavement, extreme confinement, desperate isolation, unformed bodies, motivation-through-whipping, nonconsensual drugging/doping, joint injections, “exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage,” “vanned off,” “catastrophic breakdowns,” shattered sesamoids, snapped cannons, pentobarbital, fatal “neck traumas,” “sudden cardiac events,” claiming hell, “retirees” starving, kill auctions, transport trucks, slashed carotids, exsanguination, horsemeat. The abuse and destruction of sentient beings for $2 bets. Evil, Mr. Durkin. Evil.

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“The Unformed Racehorse”

“Man vs Whip”

“When an Athlete Must Be Killed”

“Killed in Action”

“In All Likelihood, Most Retired Racehorses Are Being Slaughtered”

“How They Die”