According to the Del Mar stewards, 3-year-old Love On the Road is dead after breaking down (Equibase: “pulled up in distress”) in the 5th yesterday.
My count, which comes directly from the Stewards Minutes, has Del Mar at at least 17 dead horses this summer…
7/6-7/12: 3 dead
7/13-7/18: 1 dead
7/19-7/25: 2 dead
7/26-8/1: 3 dead
8/2-8/8: 2 dead
8/9-8/15: 2 dead
8/16-8/22: 1 dead
Plus Pure Tactics 8/23, Divine Tale 8/30, Love On the Road yesterday.
Racing apologist and San Diego Union-Tribune reporter Ed Zieralski, feeling a bit prickly over attacks on his precious game, writes this in response to the death totals:
“PETA’s figures [basically in sync with mine] on horse fatalities at Del Mar are wrong. The organization has been taking the number of horse deaths listed on the Del Mar stewards minutes each week and adding them to Del Mar’s totals. All horses that die of illness or injuries at any Southern California track that trains horses for Del Mar are included in the stewards’ minutes. PETA’s numbers reflect that.”
To which I respond – even if true, what (moral) difference would it make? Instead of saying (at least) 17 horses have died at Del Mar, we could simply say (at least) 17 horses have died at Del Mar or while being “prepared” for Del Mar. The end result, no matter how desperately the hacks try to spin it, is the same: There are (at least) 17 dead bodies on the Del Mar ’15 ledger. And that is that.