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Days After the Death of 5 Race Horses at Churchill Downs, Twin Tragedy Rocks Kentucky Derby Hours Before the Big Event

Published 05/06/2023, 5:18 PM EDT

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The day when equestrians, horse racing lovers, and some of the finest thoroughbreds in the country gather at Churchill Downs for one of the most prestigious events of the year has finally arrived – The Kentucky Derby. While the event is nearly 150 years old, it has, however, raised some grave concerns this year amidst all the glamour and glitzy surrounding it. The injury of horses with as many as 5 of them dying is a matter that’s garnering some attention. Now, with 2 more horses added to that unfortunate list, a famous reporter is shedding some light on the matter. 

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Ray Paulick is a 70-year-old reporter who has written books like ‘Sunday Silence: Racing’s Hard Luck Hero’. As the day of the Kentucky Derby 2023 arrives, Paulick dares to raise the important matter of the rampant death of horses.

As dead horses keep mounting, Kentucky Derby comes under the radar


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Ray Paulick recently wrote on his Twitter, “Two dead horses on Kentucky Derby day, seven for the meet. I used to think the Kentucky Derby was a day to develop new racing fans for life. Now I fear we’ll be losing them, including some who have supported the game for years”.

Wild On Ice and Take Charge Briana were two of the latest horses to die this week. Wild On Ice got injured on Thursday while training and Take Charge Briana got hurt on Tuesday while competing in a Turf race. They were both euthanized as their injuries were beyond recovery.


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Code of Kings, Freezing Point, and Chloe’s Dream were some of the other horses that had to be euthanized after suffering severe injuries. Whereas Parents Pride and Chasing Artie collapsed and died after racing at Churchill Downs.


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The gravity of the situation is alarming

This makes it 7 horses now that had to be either put down or collapsed and died since April 27. In less than 10 days, 7 horses died, with 2 of them just 3 days ago. Some of them were Derby contenders. This calls for some serious media attention. These are 3-year-old colts, handpicked and homebred for such races, and yet it doesn’t shield them from any such unfortunate and fatal circumstances.

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Churchill Downs themselves acknowledged the gravity of such a bizarre phenomenon. They then released a statement. Chruchill Downs acknowledged and addressed these deaths, calling them alarming while finding them unusual. However, they have assured the fans that stronger measures will be taken to assure their safety from now on. The event is happening as scheduled with some new competitors now.


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Written by:

Tanmay Roy


One take at a time

Tanmay Roy is a sports writer at EssentiallySports specializing in his coverage of the Olympics and other major American sporting events. His passion for sports was ignited by the early achievements of Michael Phelps, Pete Sampras, and John McEnroe. As a writer for EssentiallySports, Tanmay's articles have been recognized as Editor's Picks, showcasing his ability to craft engaging and thought-provoking stories.
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