here's a related story from DRF today....
Breakdowns called just coincidence
You couldn't really blame Derby newcomers who have been on the Churchill Downs backstretch the past few mornings if they believed that the blaring of a long, loud horn is part of a daily ritual.
Indeed, in the minutes following the regular harrow break on each of the last three mornings, the mournful sound that alerts everyone to a fallen or loose horse has filled the air.
On each of those mornings, a horse fell and subsequently was euthanized. Saturday, it was Midnight Cry, a graded stakes winner for Ken McPeek. Sunday, it was an unidentified horse trained by Carl Bowman. Monday, it was Svenson, an allowance-level gelding trained by Richard Kohnhorst.
Above all that, fans in attendance Sunday witnessed the breakdown of Quick Draw, a D. Wayne Lukas-trained colt who won the Hansel Stakes at Turfway Park in March. Quick Draw, ridden by Pat Day, shattered his right foreleg when contending for the lead midway through the final turn of the ninth race. Day fell hard to the ground but was not injured. The colt was later euthanized.
The breakdowns are highly uncharacteristic of what horsemen have come to expect of the Churchill surface, which long has drawn praise for being safe and even.
"My horse wasn't the soundest in the world," said a saddened Kohnhorst. "He had a crooked conformation, and the bell tolled for him this morning. From my point of view, the track had nothing to do with it. I know some guys have been having some bad luck lately, but I honestly think it's just one of those streaks that happen once in a blue moon."
These stories just fuel the PETA agenda and reinforce how dangerous our sport really is. I saw the Mike Smith/Prized Friend spill and thought for sure that the horse would have to be euthanized and that Smith would be seriously injured.
Funny, I never stopped to think about it before, but I have so much admiration for these athletes, jockeys, that is, and yet I consider race car drivers to be just nuts! I guess that's unfair but it's how I feel.