Morrison: Tribute To A War Horse And A Wake-Up Call

In his first four years of racing, New York-bred Hit It Once More was a multiple stakes winner of more than $550,000. Over the last two seasons, however, the 7-year-old son of Hard Spun was winless in 16 starts, with just a second-place finish to show as he steadily dropped down the class ladder, eventually winding up in state-bred claiming competition carrying a $25,000 tag.

On Dec. 19, Hit It Once More ran his last race, his 49th, suffering a catastrophic injury in deep stretch under jockey Luis Rodriguez Castro. The Equibase chart described the incident as follows: “HIT IT ONCE MORE … got put to coaxing at the three-eighths, went six to seven wide into upper stretch, was under light handling when bobbling heavily just outside the sixteenth pole, hobbled injured through to the finish the rider paused, then continued to gallop out a sixteenth past the wire before losing the rider then jogged off to the midway point on the clubhouse turn in distress before being apprehended by the outrider and was subsequently vanned off.”

Hit It Once More was later euthanized, the 21st horse to die from a racing injury this year at New York Racing Association tracks.

Jennifer Morrison, writing for the Canadian Thoroughbred, juxtaposed the death of Hit It Once More against the “tremendous gains (that) have been made in horse welfare awareness,” adding that “it is certain that the majority of horsepeople have deep love and respect for the racehorse.”

Morrison wrote that the FBI probe and federal indictments of trainers, veterinarians and others for doping violations earlier this year “have been a huge wake-up call to the industry that has struggled with public perception.”

Nevertheless, she wrote, “sad and avoidable incidents continue.

“It begins with owners and trainers,” Morrison wrote, “but racetracks and race offices and veterinarians and jockeys must wake up.”

Read more at Canadian Thoroughbred

 

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