I was watching on Saturday when that horse went down. I immediately yelled and cussed at the TV...I think I even shocked my husband. I wanted to cry! The horses don't deserve this. Yes, there are apparently deaths and devastating injuries at other tracks, but not to this degree. Not like what has happened at Santa Anita. So I'm wanting someone to admit to why it's happening more at one track than any others...but that question won't be answered...ever. Are they too lax with their pre-race exams? Is there a problem with the track itself that no one is willing to pay to fix? Or all of the above? Too many unanswered questions.
I have been a racing fan for many years and although I don't keep up with it well enough to be able to tell you the stats on any particular horse, I do enjoy it. However, as I get older and can see and understand more of what is actually going on, I'm getting more mad at the racing industry as a whole. What is it we tell other horse enthusiasts when they ask about certain products? You can't fix a training problem with gadgets. Then why do so many trainers in such an expensive and expansive industry like racing do just that? I hate seeing all the horses with their tongues tied down. And I really hate seeing race horses (all horses actually) with a figure 8 nose band strapped on too tight. I believe I've read articles showing the difference in horses used for racing many years ago versus now. They used to be more muscled, with thicker legs and more substantial bone. I have a friend that works at a track in the barn and checks tattoos and papers of horses before the races to make sure the correct horse is racing. He has told me about some of them that appear to have almost no training at all. They aren't all worked on a regular basis. They're pulled out on race day, exercised a few times, and then put on the track. As two and three year olds. That's too young.
Let's face it, there are issues in every horse related industry. The more money and prestige are associated with the sport, the more people will be greedy and try to win at all costs. Whether that's the owners, trainers, promoters, athletes, etc...it happens in all disciplines. And it shouldn't. It's the horse that suffers! And it's going too far now. If the money continues as it always has in racing, sadly so will the corruption, looking the other way, and cutting corners. Santa Anita should be closed down. No, it won't stop what's been happening, but maybe it'll stop whatever the issue is at that track, and open a few eyes to what can happen at other tracks if regulations aren't tightened or at least followed.
To me a good race horse (or any discipline) is not one that runs fast as a youngster with tons of equipment and drugs. It's a horse that still runs fast at a later age with no drugs of any kind. I'd love to see a track where you are not allowed any drugs of any kind, plain bridle with a snaffle bit, and no horse under the age of 8 running. Those horses would impress me!