That's one step too far

Mr. Flip's Rant

May 05, 2008

When it comes to horses, Mr. Flip doesn't pretend to be an expert. Of course, that doesn't prevent him from having an opinion.

Some will view what happened to Eight Belles on Saturday at Churchill Downs as a reason to renew the cry that horse racing is a cruel sport that exploits the animals. Mr. Flip would say that simple economic logic argues against such a stance.

These horses are expensive. It is in everyone's best interest to take good care of them and make conditions as safe as possible. In fact, one of the criticisms of the sport is that many of the best horses don't race enough because owners are eager to protect their investments and keep them off the track.

Yes, it was heartbreaking to see Eight Belles suffer two broken ankles and have to be euthanized - just as it was when Barbaro broke a leg in the Preakness. But to blame such unfortunate accidents on cruelty by humans is way off the mark.

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