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Racing for Money. Dying for ... real estate?

This week I went to Santa Anita to watch the Breeders Cup. It wasn't a long planned trip, rather a spontaneous decision bred of finding myself an hour away, with time to spare, and available $25 tickets.

The Santa Anita race track has been in the news for controversial horse deaths. That's a fact hard to escape. I have to admit that controversy didn't stop me from attending the Breeders Cup meet, but it did give me pause. It also made me think.
As a horse person, I'm intimately aware that horses are large animals on a constant suicide mission. A wrong step can force their deaths. Slight dehydration can murder them in a day. For god's sake, a minor scrape can make their skin revolt, resulting in sepsis and a lingering and painful end. Horses die. It is unfortunate, but also a fact of life dealing with these crazy animals.

Because of this knowledge, I have been skeptical of the furor over the tragedies at Santa Anita and other US race tracks. When I hear a news broad…

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