[The claim that European superstars are ascendent] is based on what, two recent superstars, Frankel and Sea the Stars? Yes, there have been several superstar fillies worldwide, such as Goldikova and Zarkova in France and Black Caviar in Australia. But they are no more superstars than Zenyatta and Rachel Alexandra, and perhaps even Rags to Riches, whose career unfortunately was cut short.
I for one - while again and as always acknowledging that improvements can and must be made - am really tired of this crap. At some point, people need to stand up and say, look, this is our sport; we're a bit degenerate, and there are bad actors who go beyond the rules to gain an edge just as there are in any financial endeavor. The vast majority of horsepeople treat their horses with the utmost of love and care, and do the best to keep them happy and safe. But accidents are going to happen and if you don't like it then go watch fucking NASCAR races, ok?
In the modern racing world, there is a lot of truth to Woody Allen's maxim that "80 percent of life is just showing up." Rapid Redux showed up at Mid-Atlantic tracks week after week. While most horses manage to lose races they appear certain to win, he never did. He delivered his maximum effort every time he stepped on the track.
That said, horsemen and jockeys need to be reminded that the first line of defense at preventing another Life At Ten episode begins with them. While the rights and protections of jockeys and horsemen are always of critical importance, it should be reinforced to them and every other segment of the racing industry that the rights of the betting public come first.
Irwin is right when he says that Animal Kingdom's Derby win only slightly improves his value at stud. Who will breed to a long-winded stallion with no Mr. Prospector in his first five generations? How can you sell that foal?
"When he won the Rebel, I know everyone got real excited, but I was not really convinced [he could go longer], even though he ran away from those horses," Baffert said. "He’s the kind of horse that will do that, but not if he goes a little bit farther. When he won the Rebel, he came back blowing really, really hard. I tried to rate him in the Arkansas Derby and that didn’t work. He’s a franchise horse, and you’ve got to take care of him."
When we were pulling up Frankie [Dettori] was the only other jockey near me, and he shouted: "I’ve never seen anything like that."
Somehow, the sport has to find a way to improve its betting product, because a time bomb is ticking. The United States is struggling this year with a horse shortage because only about 32,000 foals were born in 2008 – the current crop of 3-year-olds. In 2011, the Jockey Club estimates the size of the foal crop at 24,900, so there will be no escape from the horse-population crisis in the next several years. It seems almost inevitable that fields will get smaller and horseplayers will wager even less." -- Andrew Beyer, in a recent column for DRF.
It worries me that the three-year old horse population is dropping even as it seems that dominant three-year old horses seem to have have become rarer. Shouldn't it be easier for an elite horse to come out of a smaller crowd?
Many first-time owners get frustrated if they do not achieve instant success. However, over the years, we have all learned success—as an owner—means our horses have finished a race unhurt.
All owners need to be accountable for their horses--from the beginning of their lives to the end! We are their advocates. Together, we must fight to ensure there will never be another horse slaughtered in America!
Racing, despite its many problems, is a wonderful sport; one in which we can escape, whether through the love of the horse, the thrill of riding, the art of training, or the intoxicating stimulation provided by handicapping and gambling.