The American public has been seduced. It’s Bob Costas and NBC Sports; it’s Secretariat on ESPN’s Greatest Athletes list (and, on a postage stamp); it’s “Seabiscuit”; it’s Seattle Slew and Affirmed; it’s big hats and mint juleps and radiant millionaires; it’s “The Sport of Kings.” And it’s all one big sham, a myth – a lie. Horseracing has as much to do with sport as bullfighting, which is to say, not a thing. On the same day that American Pharoah was being immortalized as some sort of equine Tom Brady, this, too, was happening on American racetracks (from Equibase):

6-year-old City Cartel ambulanced off after the 10th at Albuquerque
3-year-old Shook Up ambulanced off after the 7th at Belmont
4-year-old Royal Witch ambulanced off after the 7th at Churchill
5-year-old Canny Nanny ambulanced off after the 10th at Churchill
3-year-old Jump On Down ambulanced off after the 4th at Delta
3-year-old Masterkey ambulanced off after the 1st at Finger Lakes
4-year-old Roman Cross “appeared in distress” in the 6th at Finger Lakes

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3-year-old Good Rider ambulanced off after the 1st at Gulfstream
3-year-old Beach Birde ambulanced off after the 10th at Indiana
3-year-old Witt’s Lizard ambulanced off after the 4th at Lone Star
6-year-old Cammazes ambulanced off after the 7th at Los Alamitos
4-year-old Oration “returned bleeding from the nostrils” after the 2nd at Parx
4-year-old Giroux “returned sore” after the 4th at Parx

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Chances are at least half of the above are already dead. In addition, two horses were listed as “broke down” (racing-speak for dead): 3-year-old Jess One Kiss in the 8th at Arapahoe, 3-year-old Kt Turtle Moves in the 3rd at Les Bois. And two more “euthanized”: 4-year-old Helwan in the 4th at Belmont, 5-year-old Sixteen Stone in the 7th at Penn. In short, in all likelihood, some 8-10 horses were killed on the most celebrated day in Racing in almost four decades. How, America, do we reconcile that?

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