Joe Drape Editorial: Run to Death at Racetracks

More Disclosure Ahead of the Travers Stakes


Selected excerpts cross-posted from New York Times editorial

Racehorse MI REY is injured and put down at Del Mar racecourse in California. Image by Bill Wechter.
Racehorse MI REY is injured and put down at Del Mar racecourse in California. He is one of hundreds of Thoroughbreds killed each year in U.S. racing. Image by Bill Wechter. Not filed with this report. (click to enlarge)

Handicappers and bettors have had an unexpected new factor to work into their predictions for the elite Travers Stakes Saturday at the racetrack in Saratoga Springs: the disclosure, on the Web, of each medication dose given to the thoroughbreds in the days before the race.

These are praiseworthy but overdue steps. American racing has become a world leader in catastrophic breakdowns of horses overmedicated and overraced to the point of exhaustion and death.

The tragically foreshortened career of the colt I’ll Have Another in the recent Triple Crown races laid bare racing’s easy culture of doping and toothless enforcement of penalties against trainers. After two victories, the colt was scratched from the Belmont Stakes for a supposedly “freakish” injury, but [he] was later found to have been heavily dosed with painkillers to treat chronic tendinitis. Read more >>

2 thoughts on “Joe Drape Editorial: Run to Death at Racetracks”

  1. As long as each and every horse in racing is protected from any chance of ending up at a slaughter plant, we could end racing today and never miss a bit of what was once called “the sport of kings”. We would have some superb performances from the greats to remember. That’s all we need.

    As to the dead, excuses and apologies will never answer for what they have suffered while we watched as entertainment, unaware. I would never give racing a penny.

    As to horse slaughter, it is our job to end that. Each and every equine needs to be protected from that hell and forever.


    1. mpclark, I concur completely with your post.
      And I will not stop advocating until humane treatment is achieved for horses.


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