“Makes Zero Sense”: Horse Racing Community Refutes Healthy Suggestion Despite Deadly Triple Crown Season Last Year

Published 05/15/2024, 11:44 AM EDT

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The horse racing world is rife with anticipation as the 149th Preakness Stakes is slated this Saturday at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. The Triple Crown series’ middle jewel comes after the Kentucky Derby and before the Belmont Stakes, resulting in a dramatic series of events. Despite all the excitement, last year’s Triple Crown season was plagued by tragedy, with 13 horses killed, casting a gloomy shadow over these prestigious races.

PETA’s Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo did not hesitate to confront the terrible truth, noting, “Racing couldn’t manage to keep all horses alive for even one Triple Crown day this year.” With the upcoming Preakness, the internet criticizes the authorities for failing to address last year’s fatalities over equine deaths. Will we see the light of day??

Horse Racing community condemns Triple Crown’s show


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The Preakness, a Grade I race that dates back to 1873, pits the best 3-year-old colts and fillies in a grueling 1 3/16-mile test of speed and stamina. Bob Baffert, a horse racing industry veteran, won eight Preakness wins and one with National Treasure last year and aims to repeat the feat with Muth this year. Despite the buzz around the race, worries over the health of the horse competitors remain, with industry insiders and onlookers questioning the sport’s objectives following last year’s tragedies. Hence, @andyserling took to X to share, “Suddenly the Preakness is looking like a terrific race. Perhaps now we can put off moving it for a year or two:-)”

The pattern of astonishingly identical deaths on American racetracks has never been a mystery. According to salon.com, given that Kentucky Derby horses are over the age of three, the horse racing participants in the 2023 Triple Crown would have been trained and been racing when Lasix (a PED) was still authorized in some cases. Furthermore, the usage of different substances such as painkillers, anti-inflammatory drugs, co**ine, and even cobra venom underlines the industry’s persistent loyalty to preserving the racing spectacle and cash influx. This obsessive chase frequently comes at the price of the young horses, putting them through significant physical strain and danger.


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In response to mounting pressure last year, the Jockey Club and other industry leaders attempted to downplay the gravity of the situation by touting statistical improvements to safety procedures. However, critics argue that these estimates fail to capture the true scope of the problem, ignoring fatalities that occur outside of official race statistics.

The founding of the Horseracing Safety and Integrity Authority (HISA) was hailed as a step toward reform, yet tangible progress remains elusive, reported salon.com in their detailed report on the issue. With the spotlight on the racing community ahead of this year’s Preakness, calls for responsibility and serious change are stronger than ever.

Fans divided over the tracks turning into graveyard

While many animal health advocates are ready to put an end to the harsh practices of horse racing, others have a different perspective. One suggested that the ordinary American “Horse” racing competition would be meaningless without the racer-horses. The comment read, “Only in racing could there be consideration to changing the one thing that resonates with the everyday American. Makes zero sense.”It’s as American as a reaction can get.


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The Kentucky Derby organization claimed that seasoned trainer Bob Baffert has been reluctant to accept responsibility for a positive drug test that resulted in the disqualification of his horse, Medina Spirit, after the 2021 win. Consequently, Churchill Downs has prolonged its suspension of Baffert until 2024. This prompted another to condemn the Preakness race and said, Whats Terrific About It. The Chemist Man Dominating It.”

Churchill Downs stated last year that horse racing would be temporarily suspended at its venue and relocated to another racetrack in Kentucky. This decision came as federal and state inspectors investigated the deaths of 12 horses in five weeks. However, someone shared how the Triple Crowns are dependent on its well-scheduled five weeks stating, Hard for me to see the Triple Crown standing up to history if the dates are moved. Public interest will diminish. 3 races in 5 weeks is really the test of a champion 3 year old. Looking at historical PPs, horses of yesteryear were running much more frequently. Seems foolish”.


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Furthermore, the prize money for last year’s Preakness Stakes was $900,000, which was a low figure for the race itself. As a result, this year’s prize pool has been increased to $2 million. The same was pointed out by one who said, “Is the Purse any higher? It was pretty Pathetic last year and if it wasn’t the 2nd leg of the triple crown could ve been downgraded to a Grade2”

Whether one appreciates the excitement of Triple Crowns or promotes the cause at hand, the unsaid sorrow frequently rubs off on the bigger picture, rather than improving the larger vision to preserve the tradition. Don’t you agree?


Written by:

Divya Purohit


One take at a time

Divya Purohit is a senior Olympics Sports writer for EssentiallySports. She majorly covers gymnastics, alpine skiing, and horse racing. While bringing the detailed stats of gymnastics to the American readers, she covered two prominent events - the 2023 Xfinity Gymnastics Championships, and the 2023 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships.
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Edited by:

Himanshu Sridhar