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Death And Disarray At America's Racetracks

Posted: 03/26/2012 7:15 pm Updated: 03/26/2012 7:15 pm

Eight Belles Kentucky Derby Horse Racing
May 3, 2008: Track personnel try to hold down Eight Belles after the 134th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. Eight Belles was euthanized after breaking both front ankles following a second-place finish in the Kentucky Derby.

RUIDOSO, N.M. — At 2:11 p.m., as two ambulances waited with motors running, 10 horses burst from the starting gate at Ruidoso Downs Race Track 6,900 feet up in New Mexico’s Sacramento Mountains.

Nineteen seconds later, under a brilliant blue sky, a national champion jockey named Jacky Martin lay sprawled in the furrowed dirt just past the finish line, paralyzed, his neck broken in three places. On the ground next to him, his frightened horse, leg broken and chest heaving, was minutes away from being euthanized on the track.

Read the whole story at The New York Times


Filed by Chris Greenberg  |