I hate animal exploitation. I am not fond of large gatherings of old money. But I have loved horse racing since before I loved boxing. I did manage to give up boxing. But when they play My Old Kentucky Home, the saddest of saddest songs of regret, about dying on a horrid grind of death sugar cane plantation in Louisiana, and wishing to one more time see the relative “freedom” of being on the Kentucky plantation of his/her birth, yet knowing “no daylight is coming” just a dreary march to death, I am drawn nigh to tears, and not of sadness for the poor slave.
Somehow, I love this show so much, and even think I could bear rubbing elbows with the obnoxious ones to stand one day in those stands at Churchill Downs to cheer on a pampered star athlete, or actually two of them, for the horse and the jockey must both be at perfection to have a chance. 3 – 4 hours of slow afternoons and cocktail parties, side bets and gentlemanly wagers, and two minutes of madness, then an anticlimactic time of unwinding the entire days Adrenalin with a cool down lap and the goodbyes and getting out of the place.
Thoroughbred racing is not much better than dog racing from an animal lovers stand point. The few make it to the races and then on to stud and life is good, the masses are slaughtered a year or two out.
Jockeys are tortured into staying so tiny by fasting and sweating. it is a crazy carryover from when the Plantation owners could and did require EVERYTHING from the slaves and peasants to maintain the fantasy of the few. I hate everything about the Derby, except i love it, much like the song Dixie, which has such horrid connotations but still gives me goosebumps.