In the wake of 36 fatalities this past year at Santa Anita it has drawn the attention and ire of several, from politicians posing for posture to maniacal animal rights groups and activists. The amount of casualties at Santa Anita is really no different than any other track. The difference is the microscope that California racing finds itself under.
With the Breeders’ Cup World Championships approaching us Friday and Saturday we are reminded by Senator Feinstein to ensure that all precautions are being met. In a letter to the (CHRB) California Horse Racing Boards’ Executive Director Rick Baedeker, Senator Feinstein wrote to “ensure that no horses are injured or killed.” she went on to add;
“I believe this weekend presents a critical test for the future of horseracing in California and in the United States,” she wrote. “If horseracing cannot be conducted in a safe and humane manner that protects the life and safety of horses and jockeys, it may be time to reexamine the future of this sport in our state and in our country.”
The Democratic leader is not the only politician that has gotten involved in racing over the past year. California’s illustrious Gov. Gavin Newsom has made several remarks as to the future of racing in the state such as ; “horseracing is dangerously close to being out of business in my state”
I have a few opinions that need airing as PETA gathered in front of the D.A’s office this past Thursday demanding that the current ongoing investigations are going too slow. I ponder the following.;
Gavin Newsom California’s’ Governor, if he is so interested in his state and it’s welfare then I suggest he take a stroll through all of Los Angeles and the surrounding areas where you have human beings sleeping on the street in broad daylight. The homeless situation is beyond reprehensible.
Let me be clear I am all for fixing and continuously looking at every angle to ensure the safety in horseracing is of the highest priority as it should be. Leave it to a politician to throw rocks at a sport that generates jobs and income for the state versus alleviating and solving a humanitarian crisis. In the end the very sport you attempt to shut down is the very thing that would actually add to your homeless crisis that you cannot fix leaving several without jobs.
Feinstein made a bold statement, this Breeders’ Cup weekend is a “test” for racing in California as well as the United States as if the CHRB would or could have some foregone conclusion is preposterous. Wake up people! Horseracing is a dangerous sport that has a lot of risks. Placating to Feinstein or any of these politicians is a slippery slope. There are no guarantees and to make any would be a volatile wager, a losing one.
For those of us that care more than the average person, we celebrate the Breeders’ Cup with anticipation, excitement, absolute anxiety and fear. Fear for the sport and the horses and riders we love. Fear that anything negative will have rippling effects on the industry we all love.