Right here at Deadspin, we take a wait-and-see method to protecting horse racing. Yearly, somebody will pitch a Kentucky Derby preview and both get laughed out of the author’s room or ignored. The one motive we wrote concerning the 2022 iteration was as a result of lengthy shot Wealthy Strike gained at 80-1, and his coach acquired canceled in lower than per week after the win.
This Is What Made Wealthy Strike’s Victory So Unimaginable
Seven horses are useless
Effectively, there wasn’t a feel-good story gone south this yr, as the principle takeaway from the Derby was the quantity of animals put down in latest days. The quantity stood at 5 getting into Saturday, and rose to seven after a few three-year-old horses have been injured within the races main as much as the principle occasion and needed to be euthanized.
Essentially the most savage half about horse racing isn’t the trainers, the doping, the dishonest, the racist pregame songs, and even animal deaths — it’s the folks of their fancy apparel getting shitfaced within the infield as one other colt or gelding is hauled off in an equine ambulance for one final syringe. I can’t consider a worse technique to go than surrounded by a bunch of belligerent simpletons carrying pastel fedoras and bouquets on their heads.
The game has this mythological aura to it as a result of it’s been round ceaselessly. Extra folks consider Seabiscuit than Fortunate Quantity Slevin, and that idealized historical past offers it a motive to exist and helps create a maintain over sentimental sports activities followers. It’s much like how folks get pleasure from calling boxing the “candy science” as if it’s about something apart from a man’s capacity to navigate a concussion for eight to 12 rounds.
It’s humorous how sappy sports activities followers can get concerning the Derby, as a result of they’re such macho assholes the remainder of the time. The Derby turns 150 subsequent yr, and also you higher imagine it’ll be a large spectacle, and a few bros within the group textual content could even recommend attending till they appear up the price of ticket. The race will probably be as thrilling because it at all times is, viewers will probably be plied with whiskey and lore, and some ponies will most likely die. If not that, it’ll be one other scandal that instantly reminds us that horse racing is as crooked as it’s barbaric.
Put the Kentucky Derby down already
The trade goes ignored each weekend however three a yr, if it’s fortunate, as a result of folks have a tough time feigning curiosity as soon as a Triple Crown is out of the image and the gaudy outfits and mint juleps aren’t helpful. In the event you learn the tales on Saturday’s festivities, they’re full of outrage from Churchill Downs, and quotes from followers who genuinely love the animals, the day-to-day coaching, and need to see a extra buttoned-up operation.
A lot of the deaths appear to have resulted from fluke accidents (apart from Code of Kings, who broke his neck after flipping a number of instances within the saddling paddock), but these sorts of tragedies are so commonplace that there’s a particular ambulance only for the horses, and out of sight of spectators, to hold out the euthanizations. Perhaps capturing lame horses proper there on the observe would clue the gang into the truth that horse racing may be very a lot bloodsport, and never some prestigious pageant the place each victor goes to a magical meadow to impregnate mares in perpetuity.
Apparently, new guidelines relating to antidoping and drugs go into impact Might 22 and will probably be enforced by a central governing physique. That’s nice and all, nevertheless it’s going to take much more recuperation to ease that disquieting feeling I get each time NBC cuts to an expert coach. I view them the identical means a father seems at his 22-year-old daughter’s 35-year-old boyfriend, and have an equal quantity of mistrust in each.
So, congratulations to Mage, and solely Mage, on the win. I could be a tad hostile as a result of I went to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 as an alternative of tuning into the race Saturday, and am in no temper for additional animal cruelty. After watching redacted incinerate numerous redacted for shut to 3 hours, no quantity of horse deaths was going to be acceptable.
Free Willy, RIP Harambe, save the Nice Barrier Reef, and fuck horse racing.