On the chart (Equibase) Saturday at Thistledown, Straitouttathefunk was reported as “pulled up in distress, vanned off” in the 2nd. I have since confirmed that (at least on this occasion) “in distress” is as bad as it sounds – Straitouttathefunk was euthanized. In three of his final four finishes, the 3-year-old was 8th of 9, last of 14, 11th of 12.

I have also confirmed that Generous Woman suffered the following fate prior to the 7th last Monday at Mountaineer (per a track source): “[Generous Woman] reared indoors and fractured her skull on the low ceiling beams. Bit her own tongue off and bled out profusely. They covered her with a tarp and ran the last 3 races before removing her…3 races, with many people walking by; it was no secret there was a dead horse in the paddock.” Imagine that. Officially, the 5-year-old was a “scratch.”

This is horseracing.

“We’ve lost the horse. He suffered a catastrophic fracture of his left fore. I was with him on the track for 30 seconds. He was in the process of running a very disappointing race and I believe it was when he was winding down that it happened.” – Mark Johnston, trainer of Permian, as quoted in The Guardian

The “horse lost” was European import Permian, on U.S. soil for yesterday’s Grade 1 Secretariat Stakes at Arlington. The 3-year-old was one of the pre-race favorites – hence Mr. Johnston’s “disappointment” in the last-place finish. The Guardian said Permian’s snapped leg was so bad that “he had to be destroyed.”

(Permian. Photo Credit: The Sun)

10-year-old Okie Ride collapsed and died – “a pulmonary event,” says The Blood-Horse – seconds after a training session at Remington Wednesday. The Blood-Horse, of course, only covered this because Okie was a big-earning (almost $800,000) champion “sprinter.” Obits in the racing press are for winners only.

While Okie’s connections, at least according to the article, do seem better than most (extended time off), I would ask those same people – Richter family, Kenny Nolen – why at ten Okie Ride was still on a track. Had he not earned enough, given enough, for you? Did you really have to squeeze one (two, three?) more Remington season out of him? So spare us the grief-ridden declarations – “all of us are just devastated” – and “part of our family” garbage. Truth is, you used this animal right into his grave.