This afternoon at snowy Monticello Raceway, two Standardbreds suffered fatal breakdowns in the 8th race. Benns Superman, driven by Jim Marohn Jr and trained by Rob Harmon, “choked up at stretch, fractured left front leg, [was] ambulanced off [and] euthanized”; Cosmic QI, driven by Bruce Aldrich Jr and trained by Michael Temming, “choked down and fell in infield and died.”

Jwala (pictured below), a 4-year-old filly, suffered a catastrophic collapse at Hong Kong’s Sha Tin on Sunday and was subsequently killed. She was ridden by Steven Drowne, trained by Robert Cowell, and owned by Manor Farm. Said Cowell in a tweet, “Jwala was a special racehorse. I am especially proud to have been part of her life.” And, Mr. Cowell, part of her death.

photo credit: ESPN
photo credit: ESPN

Pro football is perhaps the most brutal of professional sports, with laid-out players a familiar Sunday scene. Yesterday, there were 14 NFL games, yet even with violent collisions too many to enumerate, not one athlete died. In fact, over its entire 93-year history, the NFL has lost but a single player during a game, he to a heart attack. (In 137 years, Major League Baseball also has just one death.) Horseracing, speciously referred to as a sport by its apologists, records, according to The New York Times, at least three deaths a day. It’s “at least” because the industry willfully attempts to hide the carnage. Occasionally, though, it happens in full view, so confirmation comes easy.


Yesterday afternoon at Parx in Pennsylvania, two equine “athletes” died within an hour of each other: In the 2nd race, 4-year-old Full Sail Ahead (pictured above) “broke down in her left front near stretch and was humanely euthanized,” and in the 4th, 3-year-old Colour Portrait “broke down just prior to reaching the furlong marker and was humanely euthanized.” Two more youngsters cut down while entertaining gamblers. A sport? Only to the ignorant.

The following, unless otherwise noted, were “vanned off” American tracks last week.

6-year-old Believeinyoursong, Beulah, race 8
4-year-old Iron Choo Choo, Turf, race 7
6-year-old Whata Wild Woody, Zia, race 1
4-year-old Foundaflyer, Zia, race 1

3-year-old Dixie Lake, Beulah, race 1 (“broke down”)
7-year-old Lil Dale (46th start), Charles Town, race 7

4-year-old Moonovermanhattan, Charles Town, race 2 (“pulled up lame”)
5-year-old Tame the Lion, Delta, race 8 (“fell suddenly”)
4-year-old Light Kiss, Hawthorne, race 6

2-year-old Lander Road, Charles Town, race 1
3-year-old Mi Cinco D Mayo, Charles Town, race 4 (not vanned but “returned bleeding”)
2-year-old Andrew’s Rose (1st start), Delta, race 3 (not vanned but “returned bleeding”)
6-year-old Blues Heir (45th start), Laurel, race 9 (“broke down”)

3-year-old Rocky Barboa, Hollywood, race 1 (“broke down”)
5-year-old Black Magic Man, Hollywood, race 3
3-year-old E Sveikata, Calder, race 5 (“broke down,” 2 DNFs in last 3 starts)
3-year-old Sterling’s Warrior, Charles Town, race 2 (“broke down”)
2-year-old Derailer, Delta, race 9
5-year-old My Lovers Eyes, Finger Lakes, race 2 (confirmed dead)
4-year-old Winter’s Coming, Gulfstream, race 7
8-year-old Classic Recital, Hawthorne, race 2
4-year-old I Lead U Follow, Los Alamitos, race 2
3-year-old Sky Slider, Sunland, race 8

3-year-old Lrs Last Patriot, Evangeline, race 5 (confirmed dead)
2-year-old Respectful Wishes, Laurel, race 4 (“pulled up lame”)

2-year-old Coco Noir, Hollywood, race 1
3-year-old Cat Five Hurricane, Gulfstream, race 4
5-year-old Brushfirefairytale, Mountaineer, race 1 (not vanned off but “bled”)
4-year-old Full Sail Ahead, Parx, race 2 (confirmed dead)
3-year-old Colour Portrait, Parx, race 4 (confirmed dead)