Let's not kill the messenger. Gabriel Saez was just doing his job by whipping Eight Belles at the finish of Saturday's Kentucky Derby. And let's not lose ourselves in the pseudo-science of breeding for skeleton versus muscle. The composition of the tracks is not a factor either.
The fault lies with the owners. Racing these immature animals at 2 and 3 years of age is the real crime. They aren't even physically mature until they are 5. Unfortunately it's all about return on investment in this business and the welfare of the horses is obviously secondary.
It was a sad day for the sport of horse racing, but a much worse day for Eight Belles.
The estimate is 700 horses are killed every year and that number does not include training accidents. But at least the humans are having fun!