I just watched Big Brown run away with the Preakness.
I've always loved horses--my grandfather raised and showed Tennessee walking horses--and I've rarely been grieved about how racehorses are treated, apart from the scandals we hear about from time to time. And I love to watch them race: the play of muscles under their coats, the grace of those huge bodies on those long slender legs, the partnership of horse and jockey.
That's some horse. He's still fresh, after opening up a huge lead in the last quarter mile. He's frisking a bit when he's supposed to be cooling down and headed for the Winner's Circle. Gorgeous.
Don't tell PETA I like to watch the races--I know they don't approve. Forget that these horses are born to run. Forget that some horses are naturally competitive and will race one another in a paddock just for the heck of it. Forget that this horse is well cared for, and has a great trainer who watches him carefully for the stress injuries he's prone to. They're just so beautiful. And Big Brown's going a long way to wipe away the horror of the freak accidents that claimed Barbaro and Eight Belles. Good for him.
Here are pics of Gramps with 2 of his horses, and another of the Banks ponies.