Another unnecessary horse racing incident mars the sport at Belterra Park
Race Horses should not die because they are not fast
No horse should be allowed to race off a 4 year lay-off
If you live in a neighborhood full of thieves and you don’t lock your door at night, it is pretty hard to blame the thieves when you get robbed. If you leave that door open, they’ll come in and they are not there to make friends and break bread. I am so tired of having to write articles like this and watch our industry destroy itself from within.
We have plenty of racing cheerleaders saying how good we are doing and how much progress we have made. I say and have said before you’re only as strong as your weakest links and we have plenty of them.
Why Belterra Park, owned by Boyd Gaming, accepted the entry of Mox Nix in the last race on September 28th, 2021 is beyond me. They pretty much sealed the horse’s fate and rammed another nail into the coffin of the sport many of us still love, if not cherish. Worse, they showed a complete disconnect and disregard for animal welfare, compassion, human decency, and the future of horse racing.
Why owner and trainer Robert C. Bennett thought it was acceptable to enter and try and run this horse is also beyond me. There is no shot for a good or happy ending here. The horse was an 8 year old gelding who had not raced since October 16th, 2016. That is over a four year lay-off. The works coming back were slow but does that really matter? I guess he somehow cleared the Vet if Belterra Park even has a Vet. I don’t know based on what I see but does that matter? There were 8 other entrants so I don’t think they can make the absurd claim we needed the race to fill and go so we risked a horse’s life to accomplish that. This very same owner/trainer ran Angelofthemorning off a 3 year lay-off.
This is why we need more than HISA. We need and have needed for a long time a central governing body with a commissioner who actually understands not only the business of horse racing and gambling, but first and foremost animal welfare. If we don’t take care of them we’re doomed to fail. HISA and drug regulations and uniformity is not enough.
To all the cheerleaders who say how good we are doing and point out the progress we’re making, I say ask Mox Nix how we are doing. Right, we can’t and it is not only because he can’t talk is it?
As expected by anyone who has been around racing more than 5 minutes or who took reading past performances for dummies at their local racetrack Mox Nix pulled up and was vanned off. Belterra Park ignored my request for a comment. What could they possibly have said?
I am not sure Mox Nix was euthanized but the replay certainly did not look good. I read on both the Twitter feeds of Daily Racing Form photographer Barbara Livingston and former trainer Charles Simon that he was.
I usually mourn the loss of one of our horses along with the connections. I can’t mourn with the Bennett’s. I can only pray for them. I can and do mourn Mox Nix. This was something that did not have to happen and it is a gut punch to everyone on the backside and at all the farms and training centers who put the horses first and do it right. We should all be outraged.
I doubt Boyd Gaming cares. Obviously Belterra Park management does not care. If the racing secretary, stewards, track and or state Vet care they should submit their resignations this morning in disgrace and vow to never own or work around animals again. I don’t believe they deserve to.
I would be remiss if I failed to mention how many in this game put the horses first and truly love them and do right by them. There are plenty of us. There are just not enough. This can’t be a majority, it has to be unanimous. Belterra Park punched us all right in the gut. Hit back.
UPDATE: Mox Nix was euthanized on the track
Contact Belterra Park HERE
Photo: Belterra Park, Coady Photography