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What a day at Breeders' Cup

11/3/2013

What's to be done about a Breeder's Cup horse that dies on the racetrack on one of the industry's biggest days?

Well, you're probably not going to hear announced over the public-address system to all those late arrivals that a Breeders' Cup horse died and that its jockey had surgery to have his spleen removed.

You're not going to hear anybody talking about the dead horse on the prime-time coverage.

Things just move on down the racetrack.

The horse's name was Secret Compass, the jockey John Velazquez. The horse, a 2-year-old, broke its leg in the first Breeders' Cup race Saturday and was "put down," a decent way of saying killed. Mercifully, the horrible accident happened just before network coverage clicked on.

These things are hard to take for anybody who has had a good animal and has practiced anthropomorphism, the application of human emotions to pets. A horse that dies on the track creates a solemn cast over the entire race-day environment.

Why do racehorses have accidents and die on the track? This is a recording: It's really a dangerous sport.

Outside of a horse that died and a jockey who experienced internal bleeding and required surgery -- and it's pretty hard to get too far away from that -- it was an exciting two days of racing. Using my solid handicapping foundation nurtured on racing in the sticks, I had six winners over the two-day period, six out of 14 races, including the daring prognostication of a horse that made no sense whatsoever being placed on top of all others in the Marathon. Whatever the Marathon was. And What's-It's-Name actually won and paid a ton!

From a show-business perspective not far from Hollywood, somebody played a call to the post on a guitar. There should be a rule against that, and fines.

And whatever Bo Derek is doing, she's doing it right and should keep doing it.