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Hurricane Harvey Displaces Horses, Sam Houston to the rescue

The Gulf Coast has been shattered by the monstrous Hurricane Harvey, setting a record of contiguous rain measuring up to 49 inches, while the Texas thoroughbred industry seems to have escaped from the worst of it. More than a hundred horses have been displaced as a result, all of which has taken shelter in the Sam Houston race park, located North-west of downtown Houston. The track’s live racing season had ended in May and did not have any horses presently. It is now providing free shelter to the horses evacuated from the flooded areas. Calls for assistance has been lower than expected, probable reason being majority farms are located mostly inland from the hurricane hit areas.


The Race to the Grave

Race horses are victims of the billion-dollar industry that is prevalent with drug abuse, race fixing, injuries and horses end up in slaughter house once their strength and stamina is lost. Horses begin their training or are already running races at ages where they are yet to develop their skeletal structure and often are not able to handle the huge pressure races brings forth. A study brings forward the conclusion that one out of every 22 races results in injury to a race horse which prevents him from finishing a race or taking part in further races. The study also gives an estimate of deaths of 3 thoroughbreds per day in North America, due to several shattering race-time injuries. Surgeries are not well handled by horses and strained tendons or cases of hairline fracture are hard to detect by the veterinarians. In such a case, horses may permanently lose their ability to walk, let alone race, if they are forced to train or race further without proper treatment.

Apart from the neglectful attitude of the trainers, illegal drugs are also injected into these race track victims, to increase their speed and strength. Trainers have been accused of using drugs like ecstasy and clenbuterol to enhance speed and have ended up with several failed experiments and dead horses. Once the horses stop winning races, they are often sent to pastures and slaughterhouses, turned into dog food or glue, while their flesh is exported to end up being Japanese or French delicacies.


Chances for Gaughin to upstage Malahat

Malahat, the best bet for the Wednesday race at Canterbury Park, could be upstaged by the horse its trainer used to prepare, says John Sargent. Gaughin, previously trained by James Cummings, could upset Malahat and many punters alongside with just a proper run. The Godolphin colt, presently trained by Cummings, was rated a favourite of $2.30 in the “Schweppes Benchmark 74 Handicap (1200m)” after finishing third first-up at that very track three weeks ago. The best bet ratings by Brad Davidson has placed Malahat, running in race 6 at number 11, as the Best Bet. Next up is Missile Coda, race 7 at number 1, who maps to acquire a beautiful and pleasant run in transit while her opponent is likely to face some difficulties for the lead.


 

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