From Finger Lakes comes word that 5-year-old Very Very Grateful was euthanized Tuesday after x-rays revealed a fractured leg. But here’s the thing: The Gaming Commission notes that trainer Enrique Hernandez had the horse for only a week when he “noticed a problem.” So, the question becomes: When did this poor creature break? In an August 20th claiming race when he “stopped,” finishing 25 lengths back? In an October 14th claiming race when he “stopped,” finishing 30 lengths back? Or was it in a November 9th claiming race when he “showed little” in finishing dead last? Hard to say, of course.
Here’s the other thing about Very Very Grateful: His sole owner, Carlos Milian, changed his handler four times in an 11-race career – Eli Betancourt to Marcos Zulueta, Zulueta to Alberto Plaza, Plaza back to Betancourt, and Betancourt to Hernandez. What each knew (knows) we will likely never know, but in my mind, at least, all of these men – plus breeder Shirley Lojeski and various whip-wielding riders – had a hand in this horse’s death. And imagine, right now on some ridiculous Facebook page condolences are going out to them. Horseracing: corrupt and deluded.