The NYS Gaming Commission recently added Fancy Pancy to its dead-racehorse database. Apparently, the 3-year-old died on May 24 at Finger Lakes. But up until yesterday, no cause was given. Now we know: “collapsed and died on track after workout – suspected cardio-vascular event.” For those keeping count, this makes three NY racehorses who simply “collapsed and died” in the past week:

Icprideicpower, May 29, FL, “catastrophic cardiac event” while training
Soul House, May 30, Belmont, “cardiovascular collapse” while racing

And six in less than two months:

Fashion Shark, April 9, Yonkers, “artery rupture” while racing
Lunar Tales, April 26, Belmont, “possible cardiovascular event” while training
Jay Bird, May 5, Saratoga, “possible cardiovascular event” while training

Not only were these horses supposedly supremely conditioned “athletes,” but they were also mere adolescents. In other words, something is terribly rotten in the Empire State. Problem is, the perfunctory appendage “investigation continues” means nothing – a hollow device meant to placate the few of us who actually read the database. No answers are forthcoming because beyond their monetary value to their people, these horses – racehorses – simply do not matter. Not in life, not in death. As I wrote in “The Inevitability of Dead Racehorses”:

“There is no real accountability because this core relationship [owner/owned] precludes real accountability. Neither the industry nor our society will ever, could ever, seriously punish a property owner for crimes against his property. Again, to say differently is pure folly.”

Something to ponder while waiting for the next horse to fall.

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