It’s been 5 year since filly Eight Belles crossed the finish line at the Kentucky Derby and then fell to her death while the cameras were rolling, capturing an indelible image that I — as a TV viewer — have never been able to erase from my mind.
What’s changed? What improvements have been made?
According to the InCity Times, “Doping is the worst-kept secret in horse racing: It’s pervasive and entrenched.” The same can be said about the Lance Armstrong gang.
Horses are injected with all kinds of drugs — both illegal and legal, to accomplish speed and mask the pain.
It’s not a sport we can be proud of like say baseball, a sport as American as apple pie. Oh, wait, that’s full of drugs too. Never mind.
According to this recent article in the New York Times, supposedly healthy racehorses in California have dropped dead at an alarming rate from acute severe respiratory distress. The cause remains undetermined. California conducts necropsies on race horses.
On the other hand when Tucson Tails inquired why a 3 year old greyhound was found dead in her cage at the dog track in South Tucson, the reason given was natural causes. And “its carcass was placed in the freezer.” End of story.
Last year’s New York Times article showed that 24 horses a week die at American race tracks. I wonder how many greyhounds die at U.S. dog tracks in a week? Maybe the New York Times should try to get those records?
But back to the 2013 Kentucky Derby, the mint juleps, the ladies in the big hats, the celebs vying for camera cameos, the pundits spewing the odds…this year the track could be wet according to this weather report.
I hope with all my heart, none of the 20 horses stampeding around the track stumble and fall and crash to the ground like Eight Belles. I hate this damn blood sport as much as I hate greyhound racing.