A sign of the (L.A.) Times: Santa Anita took all precaution to avoid catastrophe. Then the final race of the Breeders’ Cup happened

A week before the 36th Breeders Cup took place at Santa Anita Race Track, we focused our sports media piece in the Los Angeles Times on how NBC would approach the recent history of calamity resulting in 36 thoroughbred deaths since last December.

After a Tuesday’s conference call with reporters, NBC allowed handicapper Randy Moss to add to the discussion:  “I know the eyes of the world are on Santa Anita and are on the Breeders’ Cup, and it’s obviously critically important for the Breeders’ Cup that they get through this weekend without an incident, but an incident-free weekend doesn’t necessarily mean that the reforms are working, and an injury this weekend doesn’t necessarily mean that the reforms aren’t working.”

It wasn’t injury free.

JockeywinOur followup story posted on how NBC covered the injury suffered by Mongolian Groom near the end of the Breeders’ Cup Classic — the horse was euthanized, but the announcement didn’t come until about two hours after NBC went off the air — is open for further interpretation. No matter how much NBC reporters may have prepared viewers for this possibility, when it did happen, it was still quite unnerving.

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