Photo: Eclipse Sportswire
After 75 years of some of the best racing in America, nobody
wanted to see Hollywood Park close. Knowing this weekend will be its last, they
should have put on a show to be remembered by. Going out with a bang, given fans
one last good memory of them. Instead, as fans watch a 10 year old, ex-Breeders’
Cup Sprint contender, earner of over 1 million dollars, Cost of Freedom
home in an $8,000 claimer, all they may feel is infuriated.
Have we not seen enough of this? Have we not see enough
horses who were once at racing’s highest level, disappear from the radar, only
to resurface in the bottle level claimers? Have we not seen enough of our stars
be pushed to the breaking point, because there are connections out there so
low, so desperate, that they will push a once proud and regal animal to its death,
all to get a few more bucks? I for one, have.
Tell me, how is it ok, for tracks to allow connections to do
this? We have seen this many times this year already…..Can anyone say Monzante
How many times did he change hands before his legs finally gave way and he was
given the needle that ended his suffering?
I realize there are thousands of horses in the game, but
hardcore fans watch just as many races, if not more than large tracks, who only
need to keep an eye on the horses partaking at their events. Is it really that
hard to pick up on a name like Cost of Freedom, who was a grade one performer,
who is now dropped in for a tag of 8k? Is it really that difficult to see a
horse that was a grade one winner at 5 years old, racing in the sports lowliest
of races at age 10?
In a game that used
to be so beautiful, held in such high esteem that it was deemed The Sport of
Kings, we have let corruption and greed tear it down to the point that people,
even longtime fans are turning their backs. They are turning their back in
disgust, because of things like this. They simply cannot believe that instances
like this are allowed to happen, with no consequence. So, instead of watching the
madness continue, they walk away, unable to bear watching their once proud
stars fade into oblivion.
Commentators on TVG and HRTV, called Cost to Freedom
something good. That seeing “old veterans” like him, out on the track is good.
Yes, when the old veterans are competing at the same level they always have,
with the same vim and vigor that they had when they were three years old.
Horses like Fort Larned
, Mucho Macho Man
, Ron the Greek
, and Game on Dude
THOSE are the horses that are good for the sport. They are what the sport
should be proud of. What is happening to Cost of Freedom is nothing like that,
and should NOT be sugar coated. It can’t be sugar coated. It is a crappy
situation, and I’m sorry HRTV and TVG, but you simply cannot sugar coat crap.
What should have been done, is that somebody should have
noticed it and called it out. They should have said something about it. Would
have been bad for racing, yes, but if this horse breaks down the outcry that
will reach the press will be far worse, than if somebody on air spoke up right
now to get this situation some notification. That way, instead of meeting the
needle while lying, in pain, in the dirt, of some off the radar track, Cost of
Freedom can be retired to greener pastures. That way situations like these don’t
go unnoticed or unpunished.
Our stars need protection from the greed and corruption that
has torn this game apart. Starting with Cost of Freedom, we can help try to end
this. Now, who else is willing to stand up, with me? Who is willing to raise
their voice, to be heard, to not just help Cost of Freedom, but those like him?
Stand up with me, and shout to the powers that be……THIS HAS TO STOP!